POTW: Anime Punch 2010

April 6, 2010 at 10:08 pm

POTW: Anime Punch 2010

Guess subtitle this "Behind the Scenes." Went to Anime Punch over the weekend. It takes place in Columbus and is much smaller and more specialized than Ohayocon (only other convention I've been to). Anime Punch strives to be an anime convention, not a japan convention or anything convention. They've received quite a lot of flak for it and I know people that have boycotted it because of issues that stem from it. But the convention makes the valid argument that Ohio has a bunch of conventions which allows for this one to be more specialized than others. The good thing about the smaller convention is the more intimate things feel. Instead of being a single person in a swarm of thousands, you're someone in a group of hundreds. Bad thing is most of the time the hallways didn't really have that many people which is why I have absolutely no pictures from just walking around the convention.

This picture was from one of the photo shoots I did. Showcasing it here since it's about the only way it will see the light of day. As a portrait it's horrible. Mirror itself is dirty, you can see me in it, and you can't even see the model all that well. It was one of those "Hey, I wonder if this would work" shots and immediately rejected it. This type of mirror makes it practically impossible to take a picture without me in it. Tried the same effect in another mirror that I could have done without me in it but the mirror was so dirty you wouldn't see anything. Even with all that going against it, I still like it. Had a few good/interesting shots from the photo shoots. Where the first one I did at Ohayocon there was only a couple I really liked there were quite a few from both of these that I liked.

The other photo shoot felt like I was back at square one again. It was a group of four people from the same anime. From a logical standpoint that means it should take four times as long to do. With my current average time of like 15 minutes (I can see the professional photographers that may be reading this roll their eyes) that means it should have lasted for an hour when in reality it was more like a half hour. I did remember to take in consideration there are four people in the same frame. So when I had them looking off camera I couldn't just tell them to look to the left because they would all be looking at different spots. Sometimes that's what you want but other times I had to find some object for them to all look at. It was also more difficult because I was pretty much unfamiliar with the anime. The night before I watched the first couple episodes to get some sense of the series but I was still flying blind for the most part. This was fixed somewhat simply by asking how they related to each other. For example if two of them were sworn enemies you wouldn't have them standing next to each other acting like best friends. Add to all this I got to the hotel maybe 40 minutes before the shoot and it was all rather rushed. So I had the same lessons learned as I did from the photo shoot at ohayocon. Slow down, double check composition, etc. Really the big thing was slow down. Looking back I noticed I felt pretty rushed. Not sure if I felt more intimidated by now being director over four people instead of just one or if it was because within minutes of getting settled in the hotel I had to run off to do the photo shoot.

Although I'm pretty good at hiding it I'm actually really nervous during these photo shoots. Not only do I have to be social with people I hardly know but I need to maintain a leading role as the "expert"--I know what is going to work and what isn't when taking a picture. As far as technical knowledge of how to operate my camera I'm set. It's the guiding other people that I need to work on. Also some things that I should have caught in camera but didn't. For example at one point for the second photo shoot (the one the above picture is from) she's up in a tree--her idea, and she climbed it in heels no less--I'm over in the other tree so we're both at the same level. Didn't notice it when taking the picture, reviewing it at the time I took it, or looking it over back at the hotel room, but there was a parked car in the background. That should have been obvious to me when framing the shot in the viewfinder. Another thing I should have done is utilize the fact she's five feet above the ground and took a picture from ground level looking up which would make it look like she's farther up. Looking back at that specific position and I think it was another one of those times I felt rushed. I'm sure it wasn't comfortable being crouched on a branch in a tree so I was trying to get some pictures done as quick as I could. Again I should have just maintained an open line of communication, just tell her to let me know when she wants down and took more time to explore other angles that may have come out better.

There was another picture that was quite uncomfortable for me which was the closeup. After I did the first photo shoot and looking them over in the hotel room I noticed I got some decent pictures of them individually but I didn't have any real close up pictures. I knew I wanted to do this for the second photo shoot. A couple problems I immediately noticed. First is my general shyness and being extremely self-concious of other people's comfort level and personal space, especially people I don't know all that well. The primary lens I'm using is the lovely Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8. 55mm for a closeup means I'm going to be within a couple feet of the person (which for me feels really close). Also I have to assume that this person has never had a photo shoot done before and need to get them used to having someone snapping away pictures. I solved this by telling myself to wait till the middle or end of photo shoot. At that point the whole photo shoot process would no longer be a completely foreign concept. I also know that my nerves tend to settle down pretty quickly once I get into the groove of things. So by the time I found an opportunity to do a close up I didn't give it a second thought. And with only one picture I nailed it.

So lessons learned from these photo shoots: really try to get there early to scout the area and get into "photographer mode." Also still need to not rush things. I should also get into the habit of reviewing the photos with the person or persons. That way if there's something that either the subject or myself notices we can retake right there. Still like doing photo shoots of cosplayers because things like posing aren't as complicated. They're used to posing for photos as it is. Also, as much as I've mentioned how nervous I get during these, I've found I'm not as much interested in the pictures but the people I meet. It's almost like photography is an ice breaker to meet new people. That could also mean that the photography aspect is so second nature to me that it's a non-issue, but interacting with people is a new and enjoying thing. Explains why I don't have much interest in wedding photography even though that's where the money is. After the first couple weddings it's just taking the same pictures over and over again. I might do senior photography and other type of portraits because I enjoy getting to know people and tailoring the session to that person. With cosplayers that's typically whatever character they're portraying where other forms of portraiture I'm getting to know that actual person instead.

All the pictures I took are in the gallery.

Let me know if these descriptions are starting to get too long. Maybe I'll make a dedicated post on portraits and what I've learned so far.

Posted in Photography.

If you are having problems commenting, be sure you are not blocking third party cookies or allow 'intensedebate.com'