RedBull Battlegrounds Detroit 2014

Two friends and I recently attended a gaming tournament that centered around the game StarCraft II. We were only able to attend that Saturday and Sunday, driving all the way from Illinois. StarCraft II is a real-time strategy game that is popular in the professional gaming scene. This is the first gaming tournament I’ve been to and I feel it was worth the trip to try something new and just see what professional gaming is about first hand.

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This specific event was connected to the company RedBull that are famous for their energy drinks and sponsoring of non-traditional and extreme sports. The event location was well laid out and the live video production team they had was impressive. From a convention photographer’s perspective, I really enjoyed the high production values of the tournament. I also thought that the event staff I had interacted with were friendly, polite, and helpful when I had questions or needed something. Overall, it was a worthwhile experience for me even though I don’t personally have much of a connection to the game or the StarCraft II scene in general.

I was able to photograph some of the event along with a number of photos of my friend who is really into the StarCraft II scene. His game ID is illestkid if you want to hit him up for a match. Mine is DWW, although I rarely play as of the date on this article.

You can see my photos of the event on Facebook as well as my personal gallery website.
Facebook Gallery (tag-able after liking the page)
Personally Site Gallery

Here are a few highlight photos from the event (the reoccurring person in the photos is illestkid I had mentioned before):

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If you haven’t seen a professional gaming tournament event before, I’d suggest checking one out. I’d consider attending another one in the future. RedBull did a good job hosting the event, so they are worth checking out.

If you have any questions or comments, message me through here.

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Anime Central 2014 Photos (ACEN)

I was able to attend Anime Central on the 16th and 17th. Most of my time spent was with private photo sessions, but I did take some hallway cosplay photos when I had free time.

General Gallery
Lolita Fashion Show Gallery
Photo Session Favorites Gallery

Facebook General Gallery
Facebook Lolita Fashion Show Gallery
Facebook Photo Session Favorites Gallery

Gallery Site General
Gallery Site Lolita Fashion Show
Gallery Site Photo Session Favorites

A few highlight images:

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I decided to focus on camera equipment and not lighting for this convention. A Nikon D600 with a 28mm f1.8 lens and a D7100 with a 50mm f1.8 lens. I also used a small reflector a small handful of times when I was able. The vast majority of the photos were taken with totally natural light and edited in Photoshop to my preference.

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My Photoshop tips when editing cosplay photos.

Though I’ve used Photoshop in some fashion since the early 2000s, I’m always learning or re-learning things about it. To improve the speed of editing, there are a few things that make a big difference. I’ve been trying to incorporate the keyboard more into the editing process because it does speed up editing a lot.

– Holding the space bar down will allow you to drag around the photo while keeping your current tool.

– There is an application level setting that you can change to have the scroll-wheel perform zoom and it doesn’t change your current tool selected. I always enable that whenever I need to (re)install Photoshop.

– The clone stamp tool is my go-to tool for editing cosplay photos. It’s easy to clone out harder to manage spots and areas with this tool compared to the others I’ve used. It takes more effort to use than the other related tools, so I try to use the others when I can to speed things up.

– The spot healing brush is good for quick removal of most moderately sized things you don’t want in the photo as long as the image around it isn’t too complex. This tool works best when editing inside something and not edges of things. The healing brush tool is a quicker alternative to the clone stamp tool as long as the surroundings are not complex.

– The patch tool is good for changing big areas as a starting point. It’s also good for under the eye darkness.

– To change brush size or hardness, hold alt+right mouse button and drag the mouse either up/down or left/right to change things.

– The blur tool is good for a number of things, especially making your larger edits look more natural by blurring the edges of what you added.

– The sharpen tool helps fix some of the blurriness that some of the other tools like clone and heal result in.

– Dodge and burn are just generally good and adding realism to major edits or changing things like shadows to make them less harsh.

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Anime Milwaukee 2014 Photos

I was around Anime Milwaukee on Saturday the 15th for a few hours. I didn’t have plans to attend, but on a whim, I was able to attend with a few friends that had planned on going. Check out the photos below.

Main gallery page
Facebook gallery (Tagging is possible after you “like” the page)

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As for equipment, I used the D600 and 50mm f1.8 lens exclusively. I had brought along a small wireless flash setup, but didn’t end up using it at all.

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My entire Convention Photography book on this site!

I decided to put another one of my books on this website. I wrote this back in 2010 – 2011. I’ve evolved as a (convention/cosplay) photographer a lot since then, but it is still worth a read.

Convention Photography (Click here to read the book.)
conventionphotographybookcover

Description:
Learn all about the exciting subculture that is convention photography! Straight from the experiences of a long time convention attendee, Scott J. Waldron has spent years improving his skills in all aspects of photography and how that relates to the convention scene. From tips and techniques to the best practices of cosplay photography, everything is here for your reading pleasure! Whether you are interested in conventions in general or want to get into either cosplay or photography, this book is a great fit to help you further your goals or just expand your knowledge on the subject.

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