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Photography hints, tips and whatever for Otakon


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#1 Gremlich

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 04:23 PM

Because there are so many people taking pictures of so many cosplayers at an anime convention, I thought some miscellaneous tips and links to tips might be helpful. Not everybody need bring a dSLR, there's great photography being done with smartphones and everything in between. So some of what I post will useful to some, useless to others. I hope others can share their past experiences taking pictures here to help everybody to get the best results they can.

Lighting - it's very important as one might guess. Too little, and you really can't see the subject. Too much and you wash your subject out. Sometimes, you just don't have a flash to give you that extra oompf or you realize that the flash is too bright and you don't have a diffuser. If all you have is an on camera flash and you think it's too bright, tape a single or double layer of napkin or tissue over the flash to soften it. Looks goofy, but it works. You can also make reflectors using index cards and tape. Just make sure those paper items are white, white, white. Translucent plastic work as well.

If you have access to natural light - on the balcony or outside on the street, you may find it too bright and your subject may be too dark or get washed out. Either get your subject to a shaded area and reflect light onto them or place either an opaque or translucent barrier between your subject and the light. You can also do both - block light and reflect other light depending on the effects you want.

Don't have a fancy set of reflectors? Position somebody that's wearing a white, silver or gold-colored t-shirt, cosplay costume, or even use a white paper plate or sheet of white paper. I understand that tungsten or fluorescent light inside may not work as well, so try to manipulate it as best you can. Of course, you may just happen upon a scene that you won't be able to adjust light for. Shoot anyway and use iPhoto, GIMP, picasa or noise ninja (or both) later if you need to. If you have a compact digital like a Canon G-11, Nikon P7000, or PEN, you can set your white balance (like a dSLR) and play with the outcome

If you are one of those shooters that has one or more strobes that you can remote (using Nikon CLS, Canon's version of that, or pocket wizards), there are probably bystanders willing to be your voice-activated light stands.

The best thing to have with you? A friendly, non-threatening demeanor (meaning don't be creepy) and polite manner when asking to take someone's picture. Remember to say "thank you"! If you plan on posting any image, make sure your subject is okay with it and tell them where you will be placing it if they have no objections. I will tell my subjects where they can find it, usually on deviantart or flickr ( i try to have buciness cards with me) and let them know that if they want a full up 300 ppi image, to ask for it, providing me with details related to the time that I shot the image.

Megapixels and photo size, just so you'll know -

This website can explain what is what so you can determine how large you can blow an image up to.

Post-production Photoprocessing for free -

Can't afford Lightroom, Aperture, or Photoshop? Use picasa or GIMP. There are versions for PC and MAC both. And as indicated, they are free and can do most of what people shooting happy snaps need done.

Cheers

Edited by Gremlich, 05 March 2011 - 04:24 PM.

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#2 Gremlich

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 07:43 PM

Image too bright or too dark?

If you look through your camera's menus, you may find "exposure compensation". Also look here for tips

Say you are using "shutter priority" and you want to shoot at 1/60 or whatever and you don't want a slower shutter speed than that because you know there will be shake or some other annoying interference, by increasing your exposure compensation, you allow more light making a brighter picture - decreasing exposure compensation will give you less light at that shutter speed. This feature can be particularly useful if you are using a flash, whether on a point and shoot, compact digital or dSLR.

Fill Flash: If you have a point and shoot and you have a chance for a great shot, and your subject has bright light behind them (which will usually make them dark) - use what is known as fill flash. Force your camera's flash on. Try it at home before you come to the Con so you won't be unprepared for strong backlight. Of course, if the look you are going for is silhouette, forget fill flash and under expose.

Got flash units (speedlites or speedlights - there is a difference of branding) - check this tool out. Hand one to your voice-activated light stands at the Con.

Only bringing a smartphone camera with you? Look here

Done with the rave and still have glow-sticks? Paint with Light! Look here for tips, and check the middle image out at this site and some of the images at this one
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#3 CocoFaerie

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 08:40 PM

Those are some pretty handy tips. I just learned how to utilize fill flash myself.

I also would suggest looking for a camera that has a good "optical" zoom. Most current models do. Optical zoom provides for much better close-ups than digital zoom.

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I'll see y'all again in August hons!


#4 Gremlich

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 10:34 PM

Awesome!~ Glad someone else has provided to this thread. Great tip, too!

I have some friends that advocate de-saturating images - baloney! You taking color pictures? Oversaturate!! Especially at an Anime con.

I shoot Nikons and they have this feature called "active d-lighting". it takes over the brightness and contrast settings for any of the modes you select and automates them so you don't have to think - I turn mine off so I can manipulate my brightness and contrast (I prefer to shoot B&W). This also allows you to adjust your color settings as well if you turn that feature off. I know Canons have a similar option, but I don;t know what it's called. (Anybody out there know?)

Auto-focus assist light - That's the light on the front of your camera that illuminates when you depress the shutter (it's different than the on-camera flash) I turn mine off because it draws your subject's attention and they look at you - remember this at concerts, don't distract the artists. If you camera isn't focusing in low light, switch to manual focus if you dare. You can leave it on if you aren't comfortable without it. We'll understand.

Don't forget some sort of support - I prefer a monopod with a ball head. A tripod is too unwieldy unless you can set up some place like the balcony and don't go anyplace else. You can use another person, a beanbag, brace yourself against a corner, gorillapod.....

(Most of these tips are for dSLRs and compact digitals. I know little about point-n-shots other than, well, you point and shoot with them. Sooo, if anybody has some unique tips for that set of camera, by all means, share.) Check lifehacker in the meantime

There are loads of tips out there on how not to make your shot. Here are a few I have to always cautions myself against:

If you have the time, don't place your subject in the bullseye, meaning avoid centering your subject and instead use the negative space around them to make it more interesting.

Don't position your subject so that it looks like they have something growing out of the top of their head.

Try not to take the picture from your standing height. Instead, crouch down or get above your subject - manipulate the perspective.

Pictures of people wearing glasses. If you can dismount your flash and remote fire it, position it so that it fires up or down upon your subject, just enough to keep the flash from reflecting in the glasses back to the camera.

links to sites with info about composing your shots:

Guidelines for better photography

Photofocus

Photographymad
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#5 Gremlich

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 09:23 PM

shoot a Dutch angle use it

see this one



take the Low shot, this guy was about 5'4"

Edited by Gremlich, 11 March 2011 - 09:24 PM.

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#6 Gremlich

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:21 PM

Some more tips, whether you want them or not!!

smart phone photography sites:

mostly iPhone:

Iphoneography

Greg Schmigel

Inspiration & Perspiration

Master gadgets tips
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#7 LadySkellington

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:33 PM

Fabulous tips! :3

One more:

If you're posing or taking pictures, please don't block the hallways ): Be considerate! If they really want to take your picture, they'll follow you a few steps off the beaten path to take a shot that doesn't mess with traffic patterns.

Thanks friends :DDDDDD

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See you at the Con!


#8 Gremlich

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 06:14 PM

Indeed, great tip! Place that one in the "common courtesy" category, something we can't have enough of.

And if you want to know how big an image taken with your camera/smartphone can be blown up to (at 300ppi) based on it's megapixel count, look at this information on Design215

Edited by Gremlich, 16 March 2011 - 06:16 PM.

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#9 Gremlich

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 05:52 PM

Just found this at the photo argus: 10 Photography cheatsheets!!

there are some other cheatsheets listed below that one, some work, some don't.
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#10 Gremlich

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 03:05 PM

iPhone apps:

Nikon USA has a free app available on iTunes that is filled with useful bits whether you have a point and shoot, compact digital or dSLR camera. The topics, although certainly Nikon centric, will be useful to anybody regardless of camera brand. Did I mention that it's a free app?

Canon does not have anything similar that I have found. Nor Sony, Nor Pentax, Nor Olympus. None that I saw were free, anyway. Panasonic has several free Lumix-related apps for their cameras.

Anybody with a iPhone will find this free app useful for iPhone photography.

If you haven't seen my cosplay images from the past two years, give em a peek at flickr (search for user/member "gremlich") or go to my deviantart page, specifically in the cosplay folder.

The tools I use are Lightroom 3 and the Nik Software Silver Efex Pro v 2 (for B&W). I stopped using Photoshop regularly well over a year ago and only break it out to do the odd odd thing.
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#11 Clutch

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 06:15 AM

Fabulous tips! :3

One more:

If you're posing or taking pictures, please don't block the hallways ): Be considerate! If they really want to take your picture, they'll follow you a few steps off the beaten path to take a shot that doesn't mess with traffic patterns.

Thanks friends :DDDDDD


This was my suggestion last year regarding hallway photos. http://board.otakon....s...st&p=215453

Wizard World Philadelphia had a booth set up that said something like "Con photos here." I couldn't tell if this was a commercial photo booth though.

Otakon could try hanging some banners in areas where photos should be taken. Tape out a box on the floor for cosplayers to stand in, and have some neutral or gray colored background with the banner hanging above "Photos Here." A large enough space for a bunch of people to pull out their cameras and grab a fast shot. Too many cosplayers get stopped in the halls. They could be like the Pied Piper of Hamelin and lead a throng of photo seekers to the designated photo areas.


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#12 Gremlich

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 06:04 PM

That's a great idea!

Of course, the staff probably didn't see your suggestion. Wizard World is a different kind of Con, though. Perhaps, logistically, the Otakon staff can't figure out a way to accomodate it. Maybe the extra space in the Artists Alley. The light there stinks, though. Unless you can change your white balance.
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#13 Gremlich

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 01:08 PM

Think your point and shoot camera's flash is too bright? Makes your subjects look garish?

While that may be okay for someone in Deathnote cosplay, use a white post-it note or a layer or two of tissue paper to tone things down a tad. (some scotch tape to afix, not too much though. Flash is good for about 6-8 feet - remember, don't watse your flash taking pictures past that distance unless you have a flash unit designed for that distance. (Using a flash at a concert when you're dozens of feet away only wastes battery power) Turn your flash off unless you know you can actually use it (like for fill flash)

Want some color tinting, use a colored post-it note. Just remember, these things are thinker than tissue and may not let enough light pass through.

If you have a dSLR and don't have adetachable flash unit, there are things you can buy to cover the pop-up besides using paper and tape MacGiver style.
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#14 Gremlich

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 11:41 AM

As an alternative to tissue or post-its, cut a small piece of a plastic milk carton - anything to diffuse the bright. Even a piece of a Styrofoam cup or 3x5 notecard. Google images for flash diffuser, and although most of the examples are for dSLRs, with a little imagination, you'll come up with something for a PnS camera. Diffusing your flash will help to minimize those shadows in back of your subject and even negate red eye to a great degree. Check out the example at this site:


dSLR guys, there is this
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#15 Clutch

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 02:23 PM

Would flash diffusing help with Red Eye? Even with Red Eye reduction turned on in the camera, it still happens on a lot of pictures.
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#16 Gremlich

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 09:18 PM

Would flash diffusing help with Red Eye? Even with Red Eye reduction turned on in the camera, it still happens on a lot of pictures.



I pulled the following from another web site searching for "diffuser red eye"

pop-up flash can provide a harsh blue light that is often too bright and can make people seem ghostly white. This harsh flash is also the culprit behind the red eye in photographs. What a diffuser does is soften the flash so you get more ambient light, which means more natural skin tones and no red eyes.

what the red eye reduction does is flash a few times before the full flash is used when the camera takes the image. It's supposed to cause the pupils to close, minimizing the red eye effect.

Some people even use ping pong balls over the pop up flash unit. It is indeed supposed to prevent the red eye effect. Well, not just the ping pong balls, but you know what I mean.

Edited by Gremlich, 03 April 2011 - 09:19 PM.

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#17 Gremlich

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 09:00 AM

How to hold your camera?

Point and shoots are easy, you push the button one-handed.

(semantic tip: underhanded and overhanded here denotes manipulation of your hand, not some Machiavellian machination)

However, I have seen people at Otakon with dSLRs manipulating the lens using the left handed overhand method instead of using their left hand underhanded to also support the weight of the lens and camera. Using your left hand "underhand" will facilitate less shaky images.

One girl got torqued at me for pointing out that her method was incorrect. She said "this is the way I do it" and she was not gracious about it. Obviously, she lacked experience with dSLR/SLR cameras and had a personal problem. Anymore, I just let people figure it out on their own, expecting that they are unlikely or unwilling to accept well intentioned advice. I have been using SLR cameras since 1978 and think I know a few things about holding a camera.

A quote from someone I know that succinctly informs why one method is preferable over another:

"if you are already putting downward pressure on the camera with your right hand on the shutter button, you should counter that pressure and support the bulk of the weight with your left."

If you are using a monopod or tripod, overhand or underhand doesn't make a difference. You should, however, develop better focusing habits regardless.
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#18 Gremlich

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 12:03 PM

bump
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#19 Scorpion89

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 07:13 AM

How to hold your camera?

Point and shoots are easy, you push the button one-handed.

(semantic tip: underhanded and overhanded here denotes manipulation of your hand, not some Machiavellian machination)

However, I have seen people at Otakon with dSLRs manipulating the lens using the left handed overhand method instead of using their left hand underhanded to also support the weight of the lens and camera. Using your left hand "underhand" will facilitate less shaky images.

One girl got torqued at me for pointing out that her method was incorrect. She said "this is the way I do it" and she was not gracious about it. Obviously, she lacked experience with dSLR/SLR cameras and had a personal problem. Anymore, I just let people figure it out on their own, expecting that they are unlikely or unwilling to accept well intentioned advice. I have been using SLR cameras since 1978 and think I know a few things about holding a camera.

A quote from someone I know that succinctly informs why one method is preferable over another:

"if you are already putting downward pressure on the camera with your right hand on the shutter button, you should counter that pressure and support the bulk of the weight with your left."

If you are using a monopod or tripod, overhand or underhand doesn't make a difference. You should, however, develop better focusing habits regardless.


Sorry Sir I will have to disagree with you on how to hold your camera :lol: I can post you three different photo's that I have took and you try to tell me which way I was holding the camera.

http://www.flickr.co...157594497186726

http://www.flickr.co...157625136883666

http://www.flickr.co...157615246086103

I'll give you a hint none of them are the way you just discribed

#20 Scorpion89

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 07:15 AM

One tip that comes to mind and I run across this allot owith fols who purchase nice DSLR but they don't tae the time to actually read the manual that comes with you camera learn it eep it with you at all times trust me I've been shootig for over 35 Years and I still use my manual for ref on some items.

#21 bobwill

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 02:40 PM

Learn how to set white balance (though not very important if you rely on a flash as the flash is always putting out the same color of light and will drown out the ambient for the subject atleast).
When you're going for natural light, use presets or custom white balance, a lot of cameras have really crappy auto white balance and will leave an orange or reddish tint to the image when shooting under incandescent light, and possibly green tint to everything under florescent.
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#22 bobwill

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 04:39 PM

Another thing, generally you don't want to get too close to the subject. It's better to stay farther back and shoot zoomed in than to get closer and zoom out.
Shooting at wide angles, especially if the camera is not level can lead to unflattering distortion, which might be what you're looking for on a specific picture; but, probably not what you want on every pic.

Note how tiny the predator's legs look, this is due to shooting a wide angle, and looking down.
Posted Image
Predator by rwillia532, on Flickr

This was shot for a very wide angle looking up.
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Looming Joker by rwillia532, on Flickr
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#23 Gremlich

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:21 PM

@scorpion89 - regardless of your method on three images, professionals do hold their cameras the way I described. That you got three images your way out of how many, does not a better, or "just as good as" technique make. You were fortunate, but maybe that alternate technique worked for those pics (which all seem a little "muddy").

And the RTFM is the indeed best advice ever for your camera (RTFM = read the f-ing manual)

@bobwill - indeed, ISO!!!

Here are some of my shots at Otakon: flickr

and on deviantart (you'll see some repeates)

Edited by Gremlich, 01 June 2011 - 09:24 PM.

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#24 bobwill

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 02:30 PM

If you have any intention of printing pictures, keep in mind you will probably need to crop the image when printing to a standard photo size. So, if it's a shot you think you want to print, learn what part of the image is going to be cut off when you try to print it, so that you don't lose something important.

It seems that a lot of newer point and shoots will allow you to select aspect ratio at the time the image is recorded.
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#25 Neosabre

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 10:54 AM

I'm a Nikon D7000 and D300s dSLR shooter myself. I also have 2 different Speedlights.

I started out shooting dSLR with Canon and quickly switched over to Nikon (I think they have better products overall) and have been shooting ever since. I use many different techniques depending on location, situation, balance, and subject.

Megapixels never meant much to me. Even though my Nikon D7000 is 16.2 Megapixel, you don't really need anything above a 6 megapixel camera unless you're printing images on a city billboard.

And while convention shooting often is never optimal, you can get some really good shots if you follow some of the pointers in the above posts.
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#26 OtakonOtaku

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 11:06 AM

ok I have a few questions as a person who will be in a picture.
I have requested someone to take a few shots of me at a time that is early in the morning 830AM. and the outfit iIm going to have on is a bold color Red and White. I'm pretty sure this person does not have lighting equipment.

Do you (or anyone else for that mater) have an location suggestions that are close to the convention center? since I'm only looking for a few nice shoots I don't want it to be too far away or a place that is not accessible before the con opens.
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#27 bobwill

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 11:24 AM

ok I have a few questions as a person who will be in a picture.
I have requested someone to take a few shots of me at a time that is early in the morning 830AM. and the outfit iIm going to have on is a bold color Red and White. I'm pretty sure this person does not have lighting equipment.

Do you (or anyone else for that mater) have an location suggestions that are close to the convention center? since I'm only looking for a few nice shoots I don't want it to be too far away or a place that is not accessible before the con opens.

Early in morning will be good for photographs. If they don't have lighting equipment you definitely want to be facing the sun. I'd say the east side of the convention center should be fine, as long as there aren't a lot of people around, you'd have a simple background that shouldn't take any emphasis from you and your costume.
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#28 Clutch

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 01:44 PM

What is the opinion of the more advanced photographers with regards to framing the picture with the viewfinder vs. the integrated LCD? Should the focal distances be set to the 100mm equivalent for a 35mm camera(the length used for portraits)?
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#29 Gremlich

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 04:41 PM

ok I have a few questions as a person who will be in a picture.
I have requested someone to take a few shots of me at a time that is early in the morning 830AM. and the outfit iIm going to have on is a bold color Red and White. I'm pretty sure this person does not have lighting equipment.

Do you (or anyone else for that mater) have an location suggestions that are close to the convention center? since I'm only looking for a few nice shoots I don't want it to be too far away or a place that is not accessible before the con opens.


The balcony is a good place, and yes, make sure the subject faces the sun. If you want bright, set your camera's white balance to vivid (if possible). watch for shadows and try not to shoot from standing eye level. Don't forget fill-flash if the situation calls for it. Mid-day light really stinks unless you have things for shade or some flashes. early morning or late afternoon are great times for shooting.(the golden hours)

@clutch -- The only time I use the LCD is to use the video mode, which I never do. If you have a dSLR and you are using the LCD to compose your image, get a point and shoot camera. If your viewfinder is a proper one (like one found on a Nikon P7000 or Canon G-11/G-12, I recommend always composing using the viewfinder. What kind of camera are you using? That would help us help you better. Using the LCD would be okay, I guess, for simple happy snaps, but if you want more control over more serious efforts, use the viewfinder.

The FX format cameras are what the film 35mm cameras were and a 50mm lens is a 50mm lens for example. The DX cameras are 1.5X that of an FX/35mm film camera. Soooo, if you have, say, a 35mm lens on a DX body, you are actually shooting with an equivalent FX/35mm film focal length of approximately 52mm. 85mm on a DX is a great focal length for portraits and it's about the same as the 135mm I used on my Nikon FM 35mm film camera. I couldn't begin to tell you what the equivalents are for a point and shoot.

Edited by Gremlich, 05 June 2011 - 04:43 PM.

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#30 bobwill

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 06:15 PM

I shoot with a Nikon D200, it doesn't even have Live View (the ability to frame one's shot with the LCD) it is only used for menus, and for image review, so personally, I couldn't frame might shots using the LCD if I wanted to.

Reasons I could see for using Liveview framing instead of the viewfinder, well, one would be tripod shooting. I find that it's uncommon knowledge (due to the fact that most people don't read the manual with their camera) that with most if not all DSLRs you need to have something blocking the viewfinder, due to where the light meter is, light entering from the viewfinder can throw off the exposure, which is why the camera comes with a little shield that you can slide over the viewfinder to keep light out of it. With live view you can keep the eyepiece covered and still frame your shot and make adjustments.

Another good use would be for macro, thus you wouldn't need to get down on your belly to frame the shot if you don't want to.

And, you can raise the camera up to a level beyond your eye level and still see the lcd.
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#31 Clutch

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 07:57 PM

@clutch -- The only time I use the LCD is to use the video mode, which I never do. If you have a dSLR and you are using the LCD to compose your image, get a point and shoot camera. If your viewfinder is a proper one (like one found on a Nikon P7000 or Canon G-11/G-12, I recommend always composing using the viewfinder. What kind of camera are you using? That would help us help you better. Using the LCD would be okay, I guess, for simple happy snaps, but if you want more control over more serious efforts, use the viewfinder.

For now, I have a point-and-shoot Canon SD1000. It comes with a viewfinder, but wearing glasses makes it harder to look through, and the viewfinder frame doesn't exactly match the picture frame. I have to run some test shots to figure out where the skew is.

The Canon G12, and Nikon P7000, are both nice cameras. It is hard to decide which one I like better. The head-to-head reviews seem to favor the Canon, but not by much. The High Dynamic Range mode on the Canon looks pretty cool, but the Nikon lens goes to 200mm equivalent. This Otakon will probably be with the SD1000 again, due to funding.
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#32 Neosabre

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 08:29 PM

@clutch -- The only time I use the LCD is to use the video mode, which I never do. If you have a dSLR and you are using the LCD to compose your image, get a point and shoot camera. If your viewfinder is a proper one (like one found on a Nikon P7000 or Canon G-11/G-12, I recommend always composing using the viewfinder. What kind of camera are you using? That would help us help you better. Using the LCD would be okay, I guess, for simple happy snaps, but if you want more control over more serious efforts, use the viewfinder.

For now, I have a point-and-shoot Canon SD1000. It comes with a viewfinder, but wearing glasses makes it harder to look through, and the viewfinder frame doesn't exactly match the picture frame. I have to run some test shots to figure out where the skew is.

The Canon G12, and Nikon P7000, are both nice cameras. It is hard to decide which one I like better. The head-to-head reviews seem to favor the Canon, but not by much. The High Dynamic Range mode on the Canon looks pretty cool, but the Nikon lens goes to 200mm equivalent. This Otakon will probably be with the SD1000 again, due to funding.



If I was to use a Point and shoot, it would most certainly be a Canon, as their point and shoots are a tad bit better I hear. For dSLR, I'm a Nikon man all the way; unless I could ever afford a Leica, but that just isn't possible right now.

As for viewfinder vs. LCD, for professional or... hell, even normal photoshoots, I would always use the viewfinder. Both my Nikon D7000 and my Canon 7D have live view but I find that I ALWAYS take better photos using the viewfinders.
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#33 bobwill

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 09:15 PM

Well, for the most accurate framing, on a point and shoot, the LCD will be better as you're looking at essentially the final image, whereas the viewfinder is going to be offset to some degree. I never had much trouble accounting for the offset on my dad's camera when I would play with it; but, a lot of people have trouble, even with just snapshots, you know all the countless stories about people cutting people's heads off on pictures.

That said, the viewfinder will give you a more stable shooting position than holding the camera out in front of you. Holding the camera tight against your head, with your arms tucked into your body will be more stable than holding your arms out in space, whether that's enough for a noticeable amount of blurring is going to vary based on the photographer, and the lighting conditions.
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#34 Gremlich

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 04:35 PM

I wear glasses so you'll get no sympathy from me about using a viewfinder whilst wearing them. To me, that's just an excuse to not use the viewfinder.

I'll never pooh-pooh a Canon because I own only Nikons - Canon is good product. Of course, Gimme a Hasselblad with a 56 MP digital back and I'll put down anybody else's non-Hasselblad camera. The P7000, with the current firmware upgrade gives the G-11/G-12 a run for their money. Both cost about the same and there are tradeoffs still. Here is a comparison with reviews of the two. The camera you have should do well for you provided you are in the presence of good light. P&S are limited, but great for happy snaps (like smart phone cameras and people are doing amazing things with those).

Edited by Gremlich, 06 June 2011 - 04:40 PM.

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#35 wintermute

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 04:27 PM

Thanks for the great tips! gonna have to read through this. I'm bringing my DSLR so I'll be snapping like i'm a shutterhappy crazy person <_<

#36 Gremlich

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 10:05 AM

Since I've mentioned the "golden hour", I should also broach "the blue hour"

From wikipedia (so you know it's gotta be true!) it is:

"The blue hour comes from the French expression l'heure bleue, which refers to the period of twilight each morning and evening where there is neither full daylight nor complete darkness. The time is considered special because of the quality of the light at this time of day."

That link above will take you to one site focused (no photography pun intended) on blue hour photography. Since many of the con goers will probably be up during either or both blue/golden hour periods, maximize your shooting opportunities and take pictures others have not been. Remember, mid-day sun About 11 am to 4 pm in the summer stinks for lighting unless you take precautions like shade (man-made or natural) and lighting (man-made (flash or reflectors) or natural).

There is a free ios app from pawpawsoft for sunrise and sunset. I don't know if there is an equivalent app for the other smart phones. However, if you don't have an iPhone, iPod, iPad or other smart phone, here are the sunrise/sunset times (in 24-hour time) for the days of the Con so you can plan your shoot times yourself:

28 July - sunrise/sunset 0603/2024 twilight (dawn) begins 0532, twilight ends (dusk) at 2055
29 July - 0604/2024 dawn at 0533, dusk at 2054
30 July - 0604/2023 dawn at 0534, dusk at 2053
31 July - 0605/2022 dawn at 0535, dusk at 2052

solar noon is about 1313 each day

What this means is that the primo blue hour light for images is about 0500 (maybe even 0430) to 0545 in the morning and 2040 to 2120 in the evening for all three(four) days. Fewer people are around in the morning, even the bums have to sleep.

Something to think about, when the sun sets (meaning when it touches the horizon) it is already about 15 degrees below the horizon, its "image" is being reflected off the atmosphere. That's why it gets dark so quickly in the evening.

Experiment one day to attempt for reals the next. If you have a compact digital or dSLR, always play with your ISO, white balance (if you can), shutter speed and aperture to see what gives you the less noise. (noise is explained above someplace)

Edited by Gremlich, 12 June 2011 - 10:10 AM.

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#37 Gremlich

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 08:31 PM

I've posted some additional cosplay images on my deviantart site and in the cosplay set on flickr

gremlich.devianart.com

on flickr, just query for "gremlich" in the photographer search
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#38 Clutch

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 05:53 PM

I've posted some additional cosplay images on my deviantart site and in the cosplay set on flickr

gremlich.devianart.com

on flickr, just query for "gremlich" in the photographer search

Went to check it out, but you misspelled your own site. Doh! http://gremlich.deviantart.com/ :P
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#39 Gremlich

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 06:08 PM

I've posted some additional cosplay images on my deviantart site and in the cosplay set on flickr

gremlich.devianart.com

on flickr, just query for "gremlich" in the photographer search

Went to check it out, but you misspelled your own site. Doh! http://gremlich.deviantart.com/ :P


Damn initial "t"!!! I always forget that one.

How'd you like the images?
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#40 Scorpion89

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 06:10 PM

Here are a few examples of Blue Hour,

http://www.flickr.co...157625606547136

http://www.flickr.co...157625049913943

http://www.flickr.co...57625049913943/

http://www.flickr.co...157625136883666

The last one was shot 15 minutes after the sun went down I was using no flash

#41 bobwill

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 07:15 PM

slow synch flash can create great effects in a rave or dance environment of dim lighting, and glow sticks and lights.
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Untitled by rwillia532, on Flickr

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Untitled by rwillia532, on Flickr

Edited by bobwill, 17 June 2011 - 07:16 PM.

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#42 Gremlich

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 12:21 PM

Here are a few examples of Blue Hour,

http://www.flickr.co...157625606547136

http://www.flickr.co...157625049913943

http://www.flickr.co...57625049913943/

http://www.flickr.co...157625136883666

The last one was shot 15 minutes after the sun went down I was using no flash


Great compositions for the most part, but....

One of the things about shooting with flash, it always gives you too much light sometimes. That's why I have an SB-700 and 2 SB-600s - to control the amount. Something I'm still working on - light balance.
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#43 Scorpion89

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 01:25 PM

Here are a few examples of Blue Hour,

http://www.flickr.co...157625606547136

http://www.flickr.co...157625049913943

http://www.flickr.co...57625049913943/

http://www.flickr.co...157625136883666

The last one was shot 15 minutes after the sun went down I was using no flash


Great compositions for the most part, but....

One of the things about shooting with flash, it always gives you too much light sometimes. That's why I have an SB-700 and 2 SB-600s - to control the amount. Something I'm still working on - light balance.


None were shot with flash all long exposure the first one was a 3 minute exposure

#44 Gremlich

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 05:21 PM

Here are a few examples of Blue Hour,

http://www.flickr.co...157625606547136

http://www.flickr.co...157625049913943

http://www.flickr.co...57625049913943/

http://www.flickr.co...157625136883666

The last one was shot 15 minutes after the sun went down I was using no flash


Great compositions for the most part, but....

One of the things about shooting with flash, it always gives you too much light sometimes. That's why I have an SB-700 and 2 SB-600s - to control the amount. Something I'm still working on - light balance.


None were shot with flash all long exposure the first one was a 3 minute exposure


I should have been more specific - Image number 4 was certainly taken with a flash, there's no way such lighting could be obtained otherwise. The other three are obviously natural light.
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#45 Gremlich

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 07:02 PM

bump
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#46 scottw

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 08:44 PM

Nice, thanks for the information. I'm pretty enthusiastic about convention photography as well as I even wrote a book about it. heh

There isn't much off hand I think I can contribute as there is a lot of useful information here...

I usually use prime lenses (fixed focal length). In the case of general hallway photos, a 35mm lens is decent on APS-C sized sensor cameras. Due to the crop factor it makes it close to the standard normal focal length of 50mm on 35mm full-frame cameras. In my case I can easily use a 31mm f1.8 for 90% of the convention. Sometimes I use two camera bodies. For example, the main camera would have a 14mm f2.8 with a neck strap. The second would have a 55mm f1.4 with a hand strap. I take some portrait style photos with the longer focal length combo and put that in a shoulder bag, then the other camera I use for general full-body photos.

Diffusers like the white push-on plastic Stofen ones usually require some exposure compensation. With my equipment I take it down 1.3 - 2 stops indoors. Outside depending on he conditions I can leave at default.

Using high speed sync or second curtain sync are two options to help level out foreground and background exposure, but they also provide other benefits.

Generally high speed sync would be used in bright sunlight so you can remove harsh shadows and it also allows you to use larger apertures to decrease depth of field (eg. smooth background blur), thanks to the higher shutter speeds available. The negative is that your flash won't be able to fill a scene like it could using x-sync or slower because it needs to put out continuous short pulses of light.

Second curtain sync is good in dark situations where you want to make the background brighter to match your foreground subject. So if you used a 5 second exposure, the flash would fire at the end of that to light up your foreground subject. Depending on how you handle it it is a good technique for action photos (as someone demonstrated above with nice photos).

Edited by scottw, 05 July 2011 - 08:45 PM.


#47 syntaxerror37

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 07:17 AM

I can add something for taking a good picture with a smartphone. If your smart phone is equipped with a flash and are taking a picture in anything not low light, turn it off. General rule of thumb, if there is enough light to read by, the flash should be off. If you don't believe me take a few pictures around the house and compare. I learned this from a Samsung representative when I was working tech support for a cell company. If you can't find the setting, check the manual, if you've tossed the manual Google your phone's model.
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#48 Gremlich

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 06:06 PM

I'm glad others are posting VERY useful information (Scottw!! +2 karma)

found some new smart phone apps people may be interested in, but, they cost a little bit.

Android:
Pro HDR Camera - $2
Vignette - $4
Photoaf 3D Panorama Pro -- $4


one other item - make sure that all of your camera batteries are charged (I have two for my dSLR). Bring your charger as well. Buy a multipack of AA or AAA if that's what your camera uses (or rechargeables of those with a charger).

iPhone:
Camera Plus Pro 3.4 - $2
Slit-scan Camera Pro - $2
Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0 - $4
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#49 Otaku Ru

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 10:08 PM

T2i user here, gonna be my first Otakon with this nice little toy. This thread has definitely been helpful, thank you! <_<

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#50 Gremlich

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 07:01 PM

T2i user here, gonna be my first Otakon with this nice little toy. This thread has definitely been helpful, thank you! :)


Great starter camera! It also stands up well against my D90 with a few more capabilities.

Make sure you get a class 6 or higher SDXC card (higher the class, the faster it can "talk" to your camera). 8GB at a minimum. I have two 8GB and one 16GB card. Since your camera can shoot 1080p, you may want a 16GB. (at 720p, it shoots at 60 fps vs 24-30 fps on 1080p) Also, whenever you have the opportunity, download your images and re-format the SD stick in your camera. To reiterate: Don't set your camera to shoot at max MP, select the next level down. Remember, a 6MP image makes a great 8x10 picture. 12 MP can make 20x30. Lower your MP and get more pictures on your SD stick.

Most importantly -- READ YOUR MANUAL!
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