Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Animaritime 2013 - The Good and The Bad, But Mostly Good

Sometimes the best planning and intensions can go wrong. First of all let me say, I'm thrilled with most of Animaritime this year, moving venues to Fredericton so I could stay at home, giving me a massive room to shoot in, and having actual backdrop and better equipment. The staff was amazing, and the hotel and convention centre staff was beyond supportive and again, the venue was heads and tails above last year in Moncton. But some things you can't really plan correctly for till you try them out. Firstly, I took complete control of the group shoot schedule, I was was with that, but I wanted to do mostly outdoor shoots and take advantage of the beautiful locations here in Fredericton. Well the weather decided that was a no go and rained pretty much all the first day, most of the second and then turned to intense heat the third day. Now I did plan for rain in my schedule, however, I did not take into account the size of the groups when moving to locations inside the hotel and convention centre and was asked after the first two times not to shoot in the halls by staff do to safety concerns. I complied but it played with the info on my schedule, I tried very hard to post the info out through online channels but it was not seen by enough people and many shoots didn't get to happen. Now that being said, I have a much better idea of what can and can't be done for next year, and I'll be much better prepared. The second thing that didn't quite work out was my backdrop. I had ordered this beautiful black, cloth backdrop which I had done amazing shots on in a few shoots before hand and had great results. But my method of lighting the backdrop colours for cosplay showed every crack and wrinkle in the fabric. I really aim for smooth, almost seamless backdrops in my images, like my original studio work. So, what this did was lead me to edit the background and every single image just like last year, which I wanted to avoid. And it took me almost a full month to finish all the editing, spending hours each day at Second Cup feeding coffee into my body. Luckily I feel like I collected a beautiful collection of extremely well made and portrayed cosplay this year, so thank you to the cosplayers for being so awesome again. Next year I'll have a seamless vinyl backdrop and this extra editing time just won't happen, and my eyes and hands will thank me for it. Anyway, all and all, I had a blast. Now, lets talk pictures.

So I mentioned I had to edit the booth photos a lot, well, it's pretty much what I've been doing since last year, so not much technique has changed. I start in Lightroom and then to Photoshop and the final form is complete.

In some cases I didn't take all the texture out, but rather tried to use it, but I mostly removed it in about 85% of the images. I also started to use a square format in a lot of photos, I'm on a big square format kick this year. 

In cases of groups I would often have to add side extensions on to the backdrop because it doesn't lend itself to a wide format.

The group and special location shoots I did do were much easier to edit and barely needed much post work, however I got some wicked images thanks to some amazing cosplayers. Here's a couple of my favourites.

Hopefully the weather will hold for next year so we can more shoots outside.

For all my complaints in this blog, the greatness the that was Animaritime this year far outweighs the concerns, it was more of a live and learn sort of experience for me. Next year I should be set for a relatively issue free time in post with new gear I'll be picking up in between. 

-Larry M. Holder  

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