I knew before getting up to Phoenix this year I wanted to try something different with my lighting. Quite a few of the photos of cosplayers you see at cons try to expose the photos for ambient light. What I've found during conventions though is that the lighting can be quite terrible. Not only is the lighting terrible but the backgrounds can be awful as well.
My idea was to utilize my speed lights and darken the background as much as possible. I knew I didn't want to have the light on camera so I used this little contraction to get the flash off camera and up high. Using this technique I was able to darken the background enough but keep the focus on the cosplayers.
This photo of Chewbacca was my first attempt at this. I didn't quite get the background as dark as I wanted, but I was on the right track.
Next I went on the merchant floor and tried a couple of different shots.
This was the general look I was going for. But I was still a little dark. I found that I wasn't going to be able to go as dark on the background as I originally wanted.
This was the photo when I knew I was getting it right. The background is dark enough and my flash is highlighting just the right parts of the cosplayer.
From here it was just a matter of getting out and photographing as many cosplayers as possible. There are no shortage of folks running around as their favorites characters. I do have to admit I was a little picky about the costumes I wanted photograph. I tried to stay away from the 15 million Black Widows running around. I did find a lady in Scarlet's civies outfit from Cap 2, I lost her in the crowd though.
I ran into an interesting situation while walking between venues. I found these ladies cosplaying Harley Quinn. I wasn't quite prepared to shoot outside so I had to quickly take a shot at my settings. It turned out great.
Considering it was middle of the afternoon with nothing blocking the sun I like how this photo turned out.
A trip to a convention wouldn't be complete without finding my steampunk friends.
Looking back on the convention I did much better this year than last at getting good quality photos. Next year I want to spend more time getting photos. I also want to try and set up some full on photo shoots. It's a tough job though because along with being a photographer I'm a geek and there are just so many cool things to see and do.
In the coming year I'm going to try a little harder to get to a few more conventions. I just have to convince the wife!
Thanks for reading. Do you attend any cosplay/comic book conventions? Are there any I should definitely go to? Let me know in the comments!