Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Harbour Con-Fusion 2013 - The Icarus Effect

I've been dreading writing this blog for a while, not because I had a bad time at HCF 2013, but more because of certain issues that lead to it's now public death that didn't need to happen. As some of you know from reading my blog about the first year, the con had issues from the start, but it was wonderful. My issues started when I became a full staff member and had to deal with internal and external struggles created and fanned by the hubris of certain key staff and ex staff. In effort to leave the past as the past, I won't speak of any events or name any of those involved, rather I'm going to stick to what this blog is about, making cosplay photos.

With that said, lets talk about the set up I had. I did pretty much the same thing I did at Animaritime 2013 with my new backdrop, one or two main front flashes sand instead of two background flashes, I went to one and axed the coloured gels. My thinking was it would save time in editing if everything was black in the background. Instead, the over head light I put in seemed to bring the wrinkles and lines out more in the backdrop. That is a problem I hope will disappear forever when I get my new vinyl backdrop for next year. Really it added about 3 times the amount of hours into editing, so hopefully this is the last year I have a 2 month period of editing post convention.

One thing that went fantastic, beyond the technical photographic equipment issues, were the cosplayers themselves. What a fantastic group I had in. The good thing about this being my second year of convention shooting is I'm starting to get to know certain people better. It was easy to schedule full shoots with people I know well and know they love the camera. Why do they love the camera, because they are fantastic designers and performers, true to the definition of cosplay, costume play. I'm just overjoyed at the amount of talent in the Maritimes and it's the sole reason I want to make a book to highlight all the amazing work people make here.

Here's a good sample of the before and after work I did for the images.

And one for a solo shoot.

Needless to say it was well worth the time put in.

During the convention my friend and longest allied cosplayer, Phil Vautour, held a two day photo op event for Saint John Iron-Bat, one day as Iron Man and the second as Batman. There's a ton of good images from those shoots, here's a couple stand-outs for me.

The images from these events made up for a good half of my total shot count so I felt the need to put a shout out to him. Without him to provide these events I would have had a fairly small image collection.

I did the costume contest photos, a few candids and panel shots, including title header, actor Robert Maillet, who I ended up shoot a small video of, seen here.

I even got to shoot some scale models by the amazing and talented Robert S. LePine, who's work can be seen in depth here.

This is my favourite, I used my macro lens and some fairly directional light to shoot the images.

And that leads to the only real issue with Harbour Con-Fusion 2013. It was in a huge space (Saint John High School), over 3 days, with not much going on during all the hours. Last year worked well because it was 2 days in a small space with lots of events. Basically the convention tried to grow too fast, which led to it burning up after the doors closed. It's sad to see the convention go,  the Saint John community really needed and deserved a good convention. Hopefully someone sees the potential and starts a new one up there in the future. 

Stay tuned next for the complete image catalog.

-Larry M. Holder  


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