Kawaii Kon Saturday 2017

The rest of the weekend involved me attempting to find friends to photograph.  A lot of them were running around in preparation for the big contest.  The prep for prejudging and the actual show caused some difficulties finding them till after everything finished.   I also feel like my time management could have been done better. While I did manage to shoot a handful of my friends, there were many people I missed.  Internal crying occurs when I finally saw all the great cosplays everyone else had the chance to photograph.

This whole problem developed from the way I started shooting.   There are almost no general hallway shots anymore, I have started pulling off to the side in order to avoid the crowds or find some decent lighting.  It means the people meeting with me get a lot more attention at the cost of not running into others. I really enjoy meeting everyone during these cons so there needs to be an adjustment to how I manage my time.

 

Kawaii Kon Friday 2017

Kawaii Kon came through like a hurricane this past weekend. I didn’t dress up as Bob from Bob’s Burgers for once.   That caused a lot of confusion for the people used to only seeing me with a mustache.  It got even worse when I dressed up with a friend  doing a real cosplay and no one knew who I was.   Half of my Friday was spent dressed as Batou from Ghost in the Shell along with Sachi Senpai as Major Kusanagi.   I lost about 70% of my vision and had to be guided around like a puppy, it was an entertaining challenge to navigate the area and recognize people.  I failed miserably and would not have survived if it weren’t for my friends guiding me.

I managed to get a few shoots in before I had to dress up.

 

 

From here on out, I went full potato and decided to keep taking photos even though I was blind.   I left everything up to the autofocus in the camera.   You think I’d be frustrated with missing a few shots but I had a blast trying to do this.   After snapping some casuals I attempted a real shoot, I managed to get a pretty good set of photos.

 

@kebin.808  took over the camera for a minute and nailed some shots of me and @sachisenpai together.

 

 

The eye pieces were removed and I had my vision again.   Snapped a few more photos on the way to purchase @emkehawaii ‘s new CD

Rezero Cosplay in the Garden

@masapuff cosplayed as Rem and Ram from Re: Zero.   We didn’t have an extra person to make the pair so she switched things up in the later half to portray both characters.  I have been here a few times and tried hitting up different angles to see how I could change it up a bit.  It takes me a while to get comfortable with a scene so I might miss some really great angles the first time around.   Lately, I’ve really been wanting to make the eyes pop out in my photos, it really adds so much more to the photo when you can see some beautiful catchlights. The effect is enhanced even more when all these cosplayers have some crazy colored contacts.

 

 

The second half of the photos were edited in another session and I handled them differently.  This has become more common lately as I try to see what style fits in with my current vibe.  I’m not really sure what direction I’m trying to head in, yet.

Miraculous Ladybug Cosplay

Just before Valentines Day hit I met up with a lady bug and a cat for another session downtown.  Prior to this shoot, I didn’t know much about the show where these cosplays came from. Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir is an animated CGI series from France and full of cat puns.   That alone has put this show on my list of things to watch in the future.  Ladybug and Cat Noir were portrayed by @stellafraise and @kyykun, totally worth checking out their IG accounts later if you like cosplay.  @takacosplay came back out to help out, holding items, reflectors and most of all eye candy.

Everyone brought a great energy to the shoot, I’m not one to be that serious so it helps when the people in front of the camera don’t take it seriously either.  It ends up being just a session of hanging out with a camera.

 

After getting a bit more comfortable with the triangle reflector,  I’m hoping to try out something larger like a sunbounce.  Even the cheap one is easily 4x more expensive than this knock off reflector I’ve been toying with.   The Fuji XT-2 and 85mm f1.2 was my setup of choice for this shoot.

 

Nightwing = Best Waifu

The night was dark and full of sexy Dick pics,  Dick Grayson to be exact.   I had the opportunity to shoot with the elusive @takacosplay  as he portrayed Nightwing.  We hit up downtown in the early evening and ventured into an alley that gave a creepy vibe but didn’t scare us away.  I brought out the Nikon  D750 and borrowed an 85mm f1.8 G from my friend.  Nightwing forgot his weapons at home so we had to improvise a few stances. After reviewing the photos and talking with another photographer, I got a few tips on how to make an action hero more imposing.  Highly unlikely that I’ll remember to use them when the time is needed, but I’ll try.

 

 

In the end, Nightwing took it upon himself to rescue a young damsel from boredom.

 

Mori’s 2nd Cat Cafe

January 28th marked another pop up cat cafe for Mori.   This time around there were reservation times to keep the lines controlled a bit more.  There were several cat themed products available including shirts, pins and stickers from various local brands. There was a photo booth provided by Photo Ops Hawaii and refreshments from Morning Glass Coffee had a refreshment table with delicious snacks.

It was a bit hectic so some of the kittens needed alone time and didn’t stay out for long, thankfully about 7 kittens managed to find a furever home by the end of the day.  It will be great if Mori manages to create a permanent location for people to drop in and enjoy the kitten party frequently.

The kittens arriving in their crates minutes before being let loose around the store.

Catsmas lights

A few weeks ago, I was approached about trying to do a shoot with Christmas lights.  I didn’t realize how fun it was to play with these during a shoot, or think about the warmth created when having the lights directly around you.  We had a powwow to get a general vibe for the shoot and got started.  We shot with just the Christmas lights as a source and brought out a strobe for me to get some practice in.  There was also a mixing up of the gear even more so than usual since I had random items on hand.   Even though the final images could have been edited to match, I took a different approach.  The specific cameras gave me a feel, the Nikon was dark and “contrasty” while the I felt light and softer with the Fuji.

 

Nikon D750 with a black backdrop

 

Fuji XT-2 on the couch with light walls

 

Beach session with the Fuji XT-2

I’ve been bringing out the XT-2 pretty consistently since I got it.  This day was no different, the 56mm Fujinon was the only lens I used for this day out with Lauren.  The focal length took some getting used to.  I initially shot at 135mm for a majority of the time last year.  While I do enjoy the compression from such a long lens, it’s nice to work in areas that have limited space, something the 135mm lens wouldn’t do easily. This area didn’t have much room to step back so it worked out very well.

Getting some slide film developed

I decided to try some slide film a while back and have only recently sent the rolls in to get developed.  Handling these on island is a bit too costly for me to afford locally, so I had to ship a box off to the mainland.  A friend had recommended a company called AGX Imaging out in Michigan. AGX was great on the pricing and turned the images around flawlessly.   This isn’t a sponsored post, but I really would like to talk about the experience working with them.   Mike at AGX handled all my questions about the mailing process and everything returned very well taken care of.   I probably should have had Mike scan the slides.

The second half of the process where I chose to scan the images myself, didn’t work out as well as I had hoped.  The roll of film appears to look great,  but I couldn’t seem to nail the scanning down properly as the colors looked off and a line appeared throughout most of the images. I tried adjusting the colors and cleaning the scanner but it couldn’t get the results I seen on the slide.  This is definitely my fault and I need to look up some tips on how to handle my scanner better.  It requires a lot of time and knowledge to be comfortable with all the different steps involved for getting your film to the medium you desire.

 

It’s the middle of January 2017 and some of these rolls went as far back as 2015.  I know a lot of people can build a huge backlog of undeveloped film, but this has been the longest I’ve personally taken to get the processing finished.

The Mamiya RZ67 got a taste, but those slides had the most trouble for me to scan correctly.

 

The Yashica 635 had one fancy rolls that has stopped production since I picked it up in Japan. Provia 400X

 

Lastly, I’m pretty confident these were shot with my Contax G1 on Provia

 

San Jose Part 3: Instax Mini

I had zero intention on using my Instax mini 90 for this trip so I left it at home.  I Randomly came across some of the newly released Black and White Instax film at a good price.  Naturally I was forced to pick up a few and eager to try it out.   Earlier in the year I had convinced my cousin to pick up the same camera as me, so it wasn’t too hard to track down a loaner for the trip. I also had my first sampling of the new printer at this time.  The printer entertained me a few times and before I knew it, I also had to purchase a 60 pack.