London MCM Expo 20 & EuroCosplay 2011

Another Expo has passed by and this time I was truly in the thick of it.  Hosting the second EuroCosplay championship pretty much ate the entirety of my Friday and Saturday, I’m now down on the staff list as Photographer Overlord, apparently  o.o;

I got a brief bit of freedom but otherwise was chained to the photo studio for the ECC finalists until Sunday.  My first attempt at seamless white!  Not my kit so thanks to Pounce for supplying it but after the feedback everyone got from Aya’s studios I tried a more adventurous setup with duct tape and foam gobos, painted MDF flooring and stuff like that.  It’s gone pretty well though now going through the photos again on a white screen it’s clear where the falloff still lies, sads!  Also thanks to Ashe for the loan of a gorgeous bit of kit in the shape of the 24-70mm f/2.8L Canon lens for the weekend, but JEEZ my arms hurt for days after carrying that thing for two days solid..

This year’s EuroCosplay contest was spectacular, once again some real showmanship and camaraderie between the majority of the finalists and some familiar faces back from across the waters.  The opening video was of mine and Locke’s creation, I did the stupidly overdramatic stuff and the cringingly patriotic flags, the 3D country flyovers were made from his sweat and tears learning the 3D mechanics over the last month.

Apologies for anyone looking for me on the Saturday, I was intending to get a bit more free time to do my usual thing but sadly was not to be.

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AyaCon 3D Edition

Forgot to plaster these on the front page: A few more for the 3D pile!

So much Felixize tri-dimensional love :P

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AyaCon 2011 Gallery

Apologies for the unusually long delay on this, and for the rather slim pickings on the Cosplay gallery (also apologies for the ABSOLUTELY LUDICROUS amount of Masq photos), the con was absolutely amazing and lived up to its reputation, I just wasn’t up to my usual standards. Luckily, I had some help:

This AyaCon, a most beloved convention, saw the first foray of an official ManyLemons tag team effort, accompanied by trusty minions assistants Niffer and Locke, as well as InvisiGirl volunteering on the AyaCon camcorder:

(If any of the above have sullied the name of the sprocketed lemon slice and require beatings, let me know)

With any luck they haven’t been utterly scared off by me demanding they spend every waking second after the con getting their photos processed and to me for uploading and you may see them at future events!

Hope everyone enjoyed the new and improved CosplayHQ, the team pulled out all the stops to fill the room and the schedule end to end with STUFF, never before has so much velcro been used in one day.. Also hope people enjoyed the cosplay mosaic banner:


Which took FOREVER but so, so worth it. That right there is over 1,600 different cosplay photographs montaged into some lovely AyaCon banner artwork from Sonia Leong.

Lastly, congratulations to theKillingDoll for snatching the second and final coveted position as a representative of the UK in the EuroCosplay 2011 finals!

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HyperJapan 2011 Gallery

Packed doesn’t begin to describe this one! That queue was insane, and I could barely get near the stage!

Not a lot of space, and hard to take photos outside of the contest so it’s only a small gallery this time but met a lot of interested people and with HyperJapan hosting the UK’s first entry into the World Cosplay Summit next year, things will only get busier!

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Here’re the success stories from the 3D camera rig over the Expo weekend, in anaglyph mode (requires red/cyan 3D glasses, other colours or cinema glasses won’t cut the proverbial mustard):


and eyebending-autostereogram mode (sit back, dead centre and level to picture, cross eyes until each side overlaps in the middle, relax and your eyes should focus eventually, takes practice but no glasses!):


Yeah there’s one that only has a red/cyan version, turns out holding the camera at a 45-degree angle does HORRIBLE THINGS to your eyes in autostereogram, who’d have thought? :p  The red/cyan version sort of ish works, the effect is there anyway.

So how did it fare? Not so bad, not so great, a bit of both. In my brief tests the differences between the two cameras (450d and 550d) weren’t enough to cause problems – resizing the larger picture to match the smaller worked just fine. In practice, something else is up; the 450d is delivering darker images with more shadows and sharper backgrounds, while the 550d consistently manages lighter shadows and a slight orange-reddish tint to everything in comparison.

Now whether this is at least partly due to the 450d’s lens having been dropped is uncertain. The lens only closes up to 2.8 and even that’s a case of the lens will close in smaller increments up until that point, whether it’s accurately that value is uncertain – though eyeballing it, it looks to be true. Taking a few pictures at home and matching the sharpness up it seems going to f/3.5 on the 550d brought the closest match to the 450d’s new f/2.8 max (just to be clear, it’s the broken lens’s max, the camera itself is fine).

I’ve managed to clear up most of the issues in post, but not much can fix the difference in bokeh. Luckily the human brain is pretty damned smart and many of us already have differences between our eyes that it compensates for without anyone but our optician noticing. Thus most of the time it doesn’t affect the final result much, but it’s unideal. I’ll have to do more testing, try swapping lenses and so on. PITA :P

Still, it was a fun experiment, the 3D rig got a lot more people talking to me than I’m used to and it is a fun gimmick to wave around. Despite the fact it’s made of doorframe, ducttape and homemade wiring, while one lens is wrapped in yellow PVC tape to designate its borkedness, people still seem to generally go LOOK OUT, ITS A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER! QUICK, EVERYONE VOGUE!

Any sufficiently advanced (looking) technology is indistinguishable from magic, as they say!

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London MCM Expo 19 Gallery

As usual, photos containing yourself are free to thieve for personal use (profile pictures/CosplayIsland/Facebook/whathaveyou), requests for higher resolution/unwatermarked versions as well as deletion or editing requests are typically honoured ASAP (please supply the NertCam number where possible!).  Commercial use or for photos not of yourself, get in contact and we’ll work something out.

Many thanks to all who stopped for my lens as always, the 3D rig got a lot of attention!  Though I haven’t had the time to process anything on that side yet; that comes next.   The 3D gallery was much more of a success this time, although nearly all of my glasses were thieved by the end of Saturday.. And my entire stash of hotglue on the repair desk was decimated before Sunday morning, you monsters! :o

The rapidstrap was also a success, I recommend one for anyone tired of a heavy camera around your neck all weekend, I may have to get one for the 450d now.. Also I don’t recommend using two cameras at once (one on each eye) with different lenses on each out of get-everything-in-the-masquerade desperation, but that’s exactly what I did and it was… a new experience.  This would be why the masquerade sections are vast and somewhat overkill!

Congratulations to Xaereal for landing the first of two places as a UK representative for EuroCosplay 2011!

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Additional third dimensions

So here’s a few Kita pictures I had the presence of mind to take 3D versions of..

Here be the cross-eyed autostereogram versions:



aaand the red/blue anaglyph versions:




Also going to be moving servers sometime real soonish, just got to port everything across, so things may go asplode for a while but as usual I’ll be sure to hack it back into operation quickish.

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