ColossalCon 2010 Live Blog – Photography 101


The panelist was about 10 minutes late and said he did not prepare for the panel so it’s a Q&A format.

Basic convention etiquette:

  • Try to find locations that are somewhat out of the way
  • Don’t stop someone in the middle of the hall and take a picture across the width of the hall

For posing

  • Do front, side, 3/4 shot to take better pictures of the costume that show off the craftsmanship
  • For individuals, it’s a lot simpler and easier to work with – you don’t have to manage as many people
  • Look out for extraneous limbs, especially when posing together
  • Look for things that might be awkward later on (ex. this pose didn’t work before, etc.)
  • For groups, sometimes it can be finicky since some people in groups don’t do what you ask them
  • Try to keep symmetry and balance
  • You can do traditional everyone line up or someone kneeling down in front
  • You can also do action poses in groups
  • Still be on the lookout for random limbs or things that look awkward
  • Be way of your surroundings

Point and shoots can get good enough pictures. The biggest thing is being aware of the limitations of your camera, including the flash. I’ve actually been shooting without flash for this entire convention by adjusting the exposure and setting aperture manually. Using flash in the masquerade in the back of the room is pointless. If you use flash in the hall it can be used for fill flash but again, I have read from numerous sources that it’s not necessary. Direct flash doesn’t have good results and usually you’ll have a black border around the subject. To solve this problem it’s as easy as using a piece of tissue paper or using reflector cards. You want to make sure that you set the white balance first.

Really good zoom lenses allow for shallow depth of field since it lets in more light. With a lower aperture number the depth of field is more shallow since it means that the lens is open wider.

The panel seemed to be half run by the one guy who ran around the con taking pictures on his Canon Mark IV with the flash and reflector.

Posted on June 5, 2010, in ColossalCon 2010, Conventions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the nice write-up. I was the guy with the Canon 1D Mark IV that ended up running about half the panel 😉 I just wanted to step-in and try to not make it a complete waste of everyone’s time, since the presenter was not prepared. I may do the panel in his place next year, but I will be prepared with examples and pictures!


    • Yeah I was kind of disappointed with the format of the panel. There’s a lot of good information that can be gained from such a panel but it would probably require a bit more of a structured format. I know the basics such as exposure, ISO, aperture, and shutter speed from a semester of photography class during college last year. I’m still learning a lot (with photography you can always be learning something new). I just got my DSLR last week and think that as long as I keep practicing and trying new techniques I’ll steadily improve my photography skills.

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