20 Best cosplay photographers 2014

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#1 Sinistra on 4 years ago

Hello,

Did you see the updated 2014 best cosplay photographers article?

[URL="http://www.kotaku.com/2014-20-best-cosplay-photographer-in-the-world-1681030719"]http://www.kotaku.com/2014-20-best-cosplay-photographer-in-the-world-1681030719[/URL]

What is your favourite top 5 cosplay photographer around the world?

#2 Access on 4 years ago

Lists are nonsense, I mean, if you are a cosplayer, the best photographers are the ones you know.

#3 brucer007 on 4 years ago

Hi Gabriella,

I agree with Access.

If you want to make a list of your favorite Cosplay photographers, that is fine, but to call them the best, or the best in the world, that does not seem valid.

I saw your lists from the past two years, and I see many of the same names. It seems, of course, based on who you are familiar with, and whose work is more publicized, but there are many photographers whose work impresses me far more than many on your lists.

I suggest you change the title of your list to "Favorites". Then nobody can dispute your opinion and taste, because it is your list of your favorites.

#4 Sufida on 4 years ago

^ Agreed
I was pretty tempted to lay some criticism, but the whole thing just speaks for itself.

Someone suggested I make a similar list once, but in the middle of making it I realize I would have fell into the same trap. Maybe if I made it more region-based it'd make more sense, but certainly not world wide.

#5 TykeJack on 4 years ago

[QUOTE=Sufida;4947136]^ Agreed
I was pretty tempted to lay some criticism, but the whole thing just speaks for itself.

Someone suggested I make a similar list once, but in the middle of making it I realize I would have fell into the same trap. Maybe if I made it more region-based it'd make more sense, but certainly not world wide.[/QUOTE]

Or, you could just qualify the list as "My Top 20 Favorite Photographers" which would convey that you, as the author, understand it's just a list of your personal preferences and that you're not trying to make an authoritative claim about all of cosplay photography.

#6 Ashurachan on 4 years ago

Also, the shots chosen are not exactly the best from each of the photogs listed so I really wonder about criteria to get on that list.
I mean, Pugoffka's done some really amazing shots this year, and while this is a nice portrait there's nothing impressive about it (unlike say, [URL="http://fav.me/d869v8r"]that one[/URL]).

#7 brucer007 on 4 years ago

Gabriella,

I noticed that you many times wrote the words "our list" in the captions above some of the photos. Is this a colaborative selection of judges, or is it just "your list" of favorites?

#8 SolarTempest on 4 years ago

I'd love to be on that list one day!
There are a few photographers on there that I definitely admire their images.

Something to work on. Maybe 2015 will be my year. =P

#9 sukotsuto on 4 years ago

Some of those photos are nice. I like the ones where it appears that they put a lot of time and effort into getting the right model and right location more than the quality of the photography itself. I'm not a fan of the extreme photoshops, but those have their place too. That being said, some of the photoshop choices in those photos are off-putting.

Are they the best cosplay photographers? No idea, but you can at least tell there was a lot of time put in to some of them. People who have a high level of refinement in a craft are the real deal. All you need to do is watch someone work at that super refined level and you know right away.

Let's have some fun and critique the images a bit. One example is by no means a way to say if anyone is good, bad, or the best at something. I'm just going to look at them at the same extreme level that I do to my own photos as I'm editing them or looking at them after the fact.

Vaxzone: I like that it has a natural feel to the image and is pretty light in photoshop. The bubbles are a cute addition, though I don't know if that character and dress really work too well with that backdrop.

Shiro Ang: I like the overall look and in this situation, the dead center framing works alright. The backdrop also works for the most part as One Piece goes well with the water and net bridge. I think the depth of field is a bit on the thin side and the extreme background doesn't add anything to the photo, so I can understand the choice. The photoshop is there, but not too heavy that it is distracting.

35Ryo: The focal point looks off like it's more on the hand than the eye, but I can't really tell. The backlight is a nice addition to the photo. I feel that if the lighting were even more extreme like having the bottom and right of the image darker, it might have worked better with that subject. Maybe it's just that I don't like the bottom and right side of the image more than anything, so either crop of darken it away.

Jay Tablante: A lot of photoshop. It fits with that movie poster theme. More graphic art than photography. I can't even tell if any of the background is real as photographed.

Benny Lee: Effort was placed in getting a nice model and backdrop. I like that aspect. The photoshop is subtle, but also extreme in a way that I'm not too fond of. I'm not a fan of the framing here. In this case dead center framing doesn't work. The non-relevant tattoos are distracting.

Beethy: The backdrop is decent for the character, but I'd assume this was taken at a convention or something and used as a last resort. The framing is tight in a way that feels restrictive. The floating red scarf was probably held up and then whatever holding it was photoshopped given that she is so close to the wall, so that doesn't seem to work too well. The main thing I don't like about the image is the strange coloration of it.

Fernando Brischetto: Who hasn't taken a photo like this? Thin depth of field and blur the background to nothing while having them hold their weapon toward you. In this case it's kind of a poor example because of the dead space upper-right whereas the bow was cropped (looks like they didn't want to risk proper framing because they were relying on the focal points in the camera too much. I do like the coloration of the photo.

Altug Isler: I don't like the lighting much and the background is really close to the subjects. I do like that there is some intentional action in the photo, but not necessarily the best. The guy on the right is doing a much better pose than the one on the left. The framing seems too tight because the feet are cropped out.

Hexlord: I like the use of wide angle here. The pose is nice and the background seems to fit well with the subject. I wish there were something in the upper right, but maybe there were no angles that could have worked that in, who knows. The lighting on the subject seems a bit too strong. The main thing that bothers me is the upper right of the photo.

ImMuse: The harsh light seems to work well with the subject's cosplay. I'm not a fan of the close brick wall background and the lines of the wall are not horizontally straight when it seems like that was the half hearted intention.

Kira Hakuten: I like the positioning of the two subjects relative to each other. The background is alright considering it was probably taken at a convention. The blue cast of the image is a bit much.

Pugoffka-Sama: I like the color tones and overall effort of them putting together a fitting cosplay and backdrop, but I can't really tell because of the strange framing. The backlight in this case is more distracting than anything else. I'm guessing some of their photos from that were really neat if what I can tell from the chair is any indication.

Bigwhitebazooka: The cosplay is great and is what really holds up the image. The fencing on the bottom left bothers me and the background blur is rough. The color tones are a bit yellowish, but not too bad. That cosplay would have been amazing with a really nice background. It was probably another convention photo.

Joseph Low: I like the intent to photograph action. The background works in this case because it looks like either a school or parking garage where I think some of the scenes of the show happen in. I'm not a fan of the framing, but I'll chalk that up to not getting exactly what they wanted because the cosplayer got tired of jumping or something like that.

Martin Wong: That's colorful. That's photoshopped pretty strongly on the model. They tried to get it rule-of-thirds-ish. The bush's angle is distracting. Maybe another convention photo.

Razrig: I like the framing and focal length used. In this case the empty top-left is decent because of the lines of the tile helping to break things up a bit. Though, I wish she used her other hand to hold the hat because it doesn't feel good how her pose is relative to how it was framed.

Elysiam: I like the effort that was taken to get an interesting backdrop to go along with the cosplay. I also thing the cosplayers are in a decent pose. There is too much grass in the foreground so maybe with a different selection of focal length or positioning, they could have managed more of the sky and less of the grass. I guess maybe they wanted to keep the horizon line in the middle of the photo.

Zweit: I like the framing of where the subject is in the image. It's a bit bland given the background, but the contrast compared to the stark black outfit of the cosplayer is interesting in a way.

Arc: heavy photoshop. I like the wide angle perspective and positioning of all of the models. The building in the background seems to fit well with the outfits of the characters. I Just don't like the choice in coloration and editing.

Eleventh Photograph: A decent portrait though maybe a bit too tight in framing. The backlight seems to add to the photo more than detract. The facial light seems a touch too strong. Maybe a light from the right would have helped.

#10 nathancarter on 4 years ago

[QUOTE=sukotsuto;4947888]Some of those photos are nice. I like the ones where it appears that they put a lot of time and effort into getting the right model and right location more than the quality of the photography itself. I'm not a fan of the extreme photoshops, but those have their place too. That being said, some of the photoshop choices in those photos are off-putting. [/QUOTE]

I agree entirely. Once you reach a certain level of technical skill, you have to really start putting in setup time and legwork to get those top-notch, interesting photos.

I don't mean to discount the skill involved to do those extreme retouches and believable background replacements, of course. I just don't think they're in the same category as world-class photography.

It's one thing to photograph a cosplayer on a neutral backdrop, and drop them into an interesting digital background. It's another thing entirely to go out and schlep all your gear and cosplayer(s) and assistant and stuff, out to an exotic and interesting location, and set it all up to do some "real" location photographs.

Similarly, it's one thing to photoshop some flame and particle effects onto a photo - it's a different thing entirely to find a cosplayer with the skills and tools to use real fire, and set up in such a way to capture real fire effects.


[QUOTE=sukotsuto;4947888]Let's have some fun and critique the images a bit. One example is by no means a way to say if anyone is good, bad, or the best at something. I'm just going to look at them at the same extreme level that I do to my own photos as I'm editing them or looking at them after the fact.[/QUOTE]

Ha ha, fun idea.

I hope that these photos aren't all representative of these photographers' best work. Some of them are indeed great, some of them are just "good."


[QUOTE=sukotsuto;4947888]Jay Tablante: A lot of photoshop. It fits with that movie poster theme. More graphic art than photography. I can't even tell if any of the background is real as photographed.[/QUOTE]

Agreed. Good digital artwork, nice movie-poster look. Better than other skilled background-replacement artists? Not really.

[QUOTE=sukotsuto;4947888]Fernando Brischetto: Who hasn't taken a photo like this? Thin depth of field and blur the background to nothing while having them hold their weapon toward you. In this case it's kind of a poor example because of the dead space upper-right whereas the bow was cropped (looks like they didn't want to risk proper framing because they were relying on the focal points in the camera too much. I do like the coloration of the photo.[/QUOTE]

Agreed. It's a reasonably competent wide-aperture natural-light photo. Top 20 in the world is reeaally pushing it.


[QUOTE=sukotsuto;4947888]Altug Isler: I don't like the lighting much and the background is really close to the subjects. I do like that there is some intentional action in the photo, but not necessarily the best. The guy on the right is doing a much better pose than the one on the left. The framing seems too tight because the feet are cropped out.[/QUOTE]

This one, to me, falls under "tried real hard but it's still not quite right." The pose is obviously contrived/setup (not a still capture of real sword-swinging action). The too-bright background competes with the subjects, especially the top-center where the sword is on top of the raised buttress on the wall. And, cropping out part of the feet is one of my big pet peeves; it's simply a novice mistake. Good effort, but could have been so, so much better.

[QUOTE=sukotsuto;4947888]Hexlord: I like the use of wide angle here. The pose is nice and the background seems to fit well with the subject. I wish there were something in the upper right, but maybe there were no angles that could have worked that in, who knows. The lighting on the subject seems a bit too strong. The main thing that bothers me is the upper right of the photo.[/QUOTE]

I'm not a fan of this one: I have a bit of a dislike for up-the-nose shots. The background elements are way too much; they just overpower the subject. And, the wide-angle distortion stretches her fingers out in a really creepy way.


[QUOTE=sukotsuto;4947888]ImMuse: The harsh light seems to work well with the subject's cosplay. I'm not a fan of the close brick wall background and the lines of the wall are not horizontally straight when it seems like that was the half hearted intention.[/QUOTE]

I like this one, though I agree that the not-quite-parallel brick lines could have been fixed with just a little more effort in editing. Especially with the new auto-upright tool in Lightroom 5, this is a one-click fix.

[QUOTE=sukotsuto;4947888] Kira Hakuten: I like the positioning of the two subjects relative to each other. The background is alright considering it was probably taken at a convention. The blue cast of the image is a bit much.[/QUOTE]

Agreed on the blue cast. I guess it's intentional, but it almost looks like just a bad white balance.

[QUOTE=sukotsuto;4947888]Pugoffka-Sama: I like the color tones and overall effort of them putting together a fitting cosplay and backdrop, but I can't really tell because of the strange framing. The backlight in this case is more distracting than anything else. I'm guessing some of their photos from that were really neat if what I can tell from the chair is any indication.[/QUOTE]

Agree entirely on the background light. If you need background separation, hair/edge light placed up high would have been a better choice, IMO.
I usually nitpick cut-off fingers, but I don't think it detracts from this one. I do, however, nitpick about haphazard crooked framing. The ol' "dutch tilt" works only if it complements the subject matter.


[QUOTE=sukotsuto;4947888]Joseph Low: I like the intent to photograph action. The background works in this case because it looks like either a school or parking garage where I think some of the scenes of the show happen in. I'm not a fan of the framing, but I'll chalk that up to not getting exactly what they wanted because the cosplayer got tired of jumping or something like that.[/QUOTE]

Agree. This one is a good try, not quite perfectly executed. It's an action shot, sure, but not really a good or flattering action pose. I've done some, and they're hard to pull off.

I haven't done any good action shots recently. I should put some on my bucket list. My most recent ones are from a couple years ago, and my skills have improved considerably since then.



[QUOTE=sukotsuto;4947888]Elysiam: I like the effort that was taken to get an interesting backdrop to go along with the cosplay. I also thing the cosplayers are in a decent pose. There is too much grass in the foreground so maybe with a different selection of focal length or positioning, they could have managed more of the sky and less of the grass. I guess maybe they wanted to keep the horizon line in the middle of the photo.[/QUOTE]

I think my main complaint about this one is that the cosplayers are small and almost silhouetted. As part of a larger set, this one would work, but I don't think it stands on its own.

A front-light on the subjects would have added a lot to this one. Though, it would take a pretty powerful studio strobe on a battery pack to be able to put the light far enough away to be out of the frame, and still be able to compete with the sun.


[QUOTE=sukotsuto;4947888]Zweit: I like the framing of where the subject is in the image. It's a bit bland given the background, but the contrast compared to the stark black outfit of the cosplayer is interesting in a way. [/QUOTE]

Gonna give this one a "meh." The old "let's go stand in a wheat field in late afternoon" chestnut simply doesn't qualify as best-of-the-world photography.



[QUOTE=sukotsuto;4947888]Eleventh Photograph: A decent portrait though maybe a bit too tight in framing. The backlight seems to add to the photo more than detract. The facial light seems a touch too strong. Maybe a light from the right would have helped.[/QUOTE]


Not really a fan of this one. I don't think this style of portrait lighting works at all for this character. A softer main light would have helped a lot; or, if a modifier for the main light is not available (maybe it's too windy?) then a more precise pose and light placement is necessary.
This is a "I just got speedlights and gels and off-camera triggers" shot.

#11 sukotsuto on 4 years ago

Good points there. After reading your comments, I can agree with you in a lot of that.

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