Disclaimer: As usual, the photos are uploaded to Facebook because (insert copy paste explanation here + me being lazy). In the future I might consider other image hosting sites such as imgur/photobucket/instagram but hey if it ain’t broken don’t fix it?
First and foremost, some background info. Event occurred on 6-7 July, in which I attended both days. Pictures were uploaded on 20th July, and obviously I was lazing around about with regards to the writeup.
Next, this was my first time using a DSLR camera (Canon EOS 500D), which was a huge step up from my iPhone4S when it comes to image quality, zoom capabilities and other technical stuff. To be completely honest, I’m not actually a big fan of cosplaying, although I certainly respect those who do put in the effort to do so (not to mention having the courage as well). That said, cosplaying is still part of anime culture and I needed to level up my (photo) shooting skills so..
Last but not least, there’s this mantra that I tend to adhere to: “If you got nothing better to do, why not?” Plus there was no entrance fee required anyway.
Immediate impressions? Way more people than I had expected, in terms of both cosplayers and the general audience. Maybe I’m not well-informed enough, but man did the closet people come out to play. Let’s face some reality here, anime culture in itself is already subjected to stereotyping, needless to say that also applies for the various subcultures of anime. Therefore, for people who enjoy cosplaying or taking pictures of cosplayers, the only time where one can “blend in” and not feel out-of-place is exactly during these events/conventions, which also only happens a couple of times per year.
The part that surprised me the most was probably the presence of the “casual crowd”, which was actually to be expected as the venue itself was a chalet + recreational place. Still whenever I see people of all ages being a part of cosplay/anime (from kids cosplaying to old folks taking photos), it never fails to amaze me to see how huge the local scene can be.
As for the event itself, while there isn’t much to say since it is just mostly just walking about in circles looking out for photo subjects, there is something I wanna rage about. I really hate photographers who think they are either invisible or that they are the only ones who want to take pictures. Like seriously, these idiots are either blocking your view or taking their own sweet time to press the shutter button, and trust me this happens nearly ALL THE TIME. Selfish bastards much? Well I was not going to be one of them, meaning that also I lost count of how many times I actually missed out on taking a picture because a cosplayer can/will only pose for that long.
Come to think of it, being on the move constantly for ~6 hours can be really tiring. Taking a rest could mean missing out on potential photo taking opportunities. Also I took the liberty of actually taking shots of the “better” cosplayers, not to be a jerk or anything but let’s just say the world is unfair.
Even as I type this right now I’m still learning the ropes when it comes to digital photography. Back then when I was using a camera phone, it was a relatively painless task (just aim and press a single button), whereas for DSLRs there are many settings (ISO; f-stop; shutter speed) to adjust on the fly and other external factors to consider (light; angle; zooming). Though many pictures ended up less than satisfactory, especially after viewing them on the monitor as opposed to tiny camera preview, I decided to keep all but the “unacceptable” ones.
To wrap this post up, although the event was kinda tiring (on the body), it was a valuable learning experience nonetheless. I think I actually have more to blabber on about, though I guess I’ll just cut it here since they are just random thoughts about cosplaying as a whole and whatnot.
PS: I always love taking pictures of graffiti walls. I’m always impressed with how talented people can be when it comes to drawing.