London MCM Expo 21 Gallery


Another Expo, the first one I got to experiment on with the steadicam, unfortunately also the one interrupted by another event double booking the entirety of the useful outdoor area, sigh. Dragging people to calmer areas (quite the walk!) took an annoying amount of time and I didn’t get to catch remotely the number of people I was hoping to. Still, made the most of it and hopefully got some good footage. Won’t find out until I check of course, but first come PHOTOS!

Kinda slacked on the photo front to accommodate videoings, outside of the masquerade at least, so apologies for sparseness. I’m hoping whatever I churn together on a timeline will make up for it! This is mostly due to the outside area being offlimits nearly the entire weekend, inside kinda sucks, the loss of space meant everything was packed tight, the weather didn’t help, and I pretty much had to drag people down the entire other end of the ExCeL to find space.. Even doing it every waking hour of the day before the masquerade I only got a fraction of the people I usually do.. Apparently the tree garden was opened up late on Saturday but by then I’d considered it a writeoff and patrolled the other end, and Sunday I only get a few hours of expo time between doors open and masq start T_T Normal photography service should resume next event, as long as EuroCosplay doesn’t keep me busy anyway!

As always, if you spot photos of yourself and want nicer copies, throw the NertCam number at me in private via whatever means you wish! Use ’em as you will, uploading to whatever social media of your choice is perfectly fine, credit’s not a requirement as long as they’re photos of yourself.

I’ve also set up something of a Facebook page now, I’ll be uploading some of the highlight photos from each event there as well as here so they can be tagged and be all web2.0 and I can pretend I’m popular! XD

So throw all your love and likes at: ManyLemons on Facebook

Updates can also be found on some other social networky thing called Twitter over at ManyLemonsUK

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HyperJapan 2012 Gallery


First event of the new year for me! HyperJapan returns for its third outing in an even larger venue and appears to have smacked its queuing problems on the head from last year, the event is only improving and this year was host to the UK qualifiers for both the European Cosplay Gathering, and – for the first time ever – World Cosplay Summit. The UK is finally on the WCS map!

Congratulations to our winners for both!

Lex and Sands are our representatives for the 2012 World Cosplay Summit with their excellent Vampire Hunter D (Amano version) costumes and performance, and will be attending the finals in Japan.

Yuka and Dahlia will be representing us at the 2012 European Cosplay Gathering with their costumes and performance from Final Fantasy XIII, as with Nomes with her Son Goku from Dragonball Z (which sadly I missed seeing!) at the finals held in France.

Other prizes went to contestants for: Judges’ Choice, Best Junior, Best Individual, 4th place, and 3rd place.

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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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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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Expo19-3D

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):

NertCam3D-117570.jpgNertCam3D-117691.jpgNertCam3D-117739.jpgNertCam3D-117748.jpgNertCam3D-118359.jpgNertCam3D-118411.jpgNertCam3D-118428.jpgNertCam3D-118452.jpgNertCam3D-118475.jpgNertCam3D-118498.jpgNertCam3D-118539.jpgNertCam3D-118582.jpgNertCam3D-118643.jpgNertCam3D-118717.jpgNertCam3D-119366.jpgNertCam3D-120751.jpgNertCam3D-121676.jpgNertCam3D-121732.jpgNertCam3D-121925.jpgNertCam3D-122055.jpgNertCam3D-124965.jpgNertCam3D-129016.jpgNertCam3D-129100.jpgNertCam3D-129109.jpgNertCam3D-129083.jpgNertCam3D-129092.jpg

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!):

NertCam3DAuto-117570.jpgNertCam3DAuto-117691.jpgNertCam3DAuto-117739.jpgNertCam3DAuto-117748.jpgNertCam3DAuto-118359.jpgNertCam3DAuto-118411.jpgNertCam3DAuto-118428.jpgNertCam3DAuto-118452.jpgNertCam3DAuto-118475.jpgNertCam3DAuto-118498.jpgNertCam3DAuto-118539.jpgNertCam3DAuto-118582.jpgNertCam3DAuto-118643.jpgNertCam3DAuto-118717.jpgNertCam3DAuto-119366.jpgNertCam3DAuto-120751.jpgNertCam3DAuto-121676.jpgNertCam3DAuto-121732.jpgNertCam3DAuto-121925.jpgNertCam3DAuto-122055.jpgNertCam3DAuto-124965.jpgNertCam3DAuto-129016.jpgNertCam3DAuto-129100.jpgNertCam3DAuto-129083.jpgNertCam3DAuto-129092.jpg

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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London MCM Expo 19 Coming up

General last-minute-ish update.

I’ll be in attendance is usual, packing up so I can head up early and help with cosplay desk setup ecetera, so posting this now.

If there’s wallspace again near the cosplay desk then the 3D gallery will return! With fancier glasses! Yay. On that note also, I have created something monsterous:

NertCamMini-65274b.jpg

That right there is a stereo camera bracket!  To what end, you might ask?  MORE 3D

Currently I’ve been taking 3D stereo photographs with a single camera, by getting the cosplayer to hold still and physically moving myself to get the dual images required to mimic each eye’s view. Since I now have two cameras, and the old 50mm lens was damaged (no longer closes aperture past f/2.8 T_T) a replacement was required but the old one can sit on my old 450d and VOILA, both strapped to each other I can now take true stereo photographs. ACTION SHOTS, PEOPLE!

Sadly only at f/2.8 when 3D pictures work better with sharp backgrounds but can’t really be picky here.

I went through various iterations of how to make this thing, I don’t have a great deal of money or tools and accuracy is kind of a big thing with this.. So it’s made from a doorframe’s carpet edging slat, for lack of an accurate name, which had screw holes in exactly the right distance apart for what I needed, how lucky?

Sawed it to measure, drilled larger holes for the tripod screws (broke a drillbit in the process, metal is haaard T_T) and bent into the correct shape with a vice and MY TWO HANDS.  Cameras are held in place with aforementioned tripod screws, and a couple of anti-slip self-adhesive furniature pads.  There’s also a little plug holding the hotshoes together for extra stability made out of hotglue and bits of a plastic CDR-protector disc, and tied to the rest of the bracket with fishing wire so I don’t lose it.

Cameras are linked via HARD WORK AND TEARS.  I was trying to solder together a Y-splitter for 2.5mm jacks so I could use my current remote trigger and link both cameras to it, but you know what? 2.5mm jacks are TINY, I got one done fine but the other was a different design on the inside and near impossible to solder.. They were the last two I could find too -_-  Ended up with a 3.5mm->2.5mm converter and then pillaged a 3.5mm jack from old earphones. Once finally wired up and after several misfires where wires crossed and many inadvertant photos were taken, I found out that the remote isn’t needed – as luck would have it when you use the shutter button, the signal cable is closed so a straight 2.5mm->2.5mm lead in each camera will essentially sync them without hassle, press the shutter on one, both fire!  bonus. Saves juggling the rig and a remote trigger cable!  A quick rewire and it’s good to go for Expo time.

Long story short, if you’ve got a cool costume that’d look good in 3D, FIND ME!  I doubt I’ll be lugging both cameras in the bracket all day but can’t hurt to ask. If the weather is nice I’ll likely be outside for the majority of the time, but this is me, I’ll be everywhere really.

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