Convention Photography: 2011 C2E2 Comic & Entertainment Expo

I attended C2E2 on Saturday the 19th. Of course, I spent most of the 8 hours there photographing cosplayers and walking around. As this was my first Sci-Fi convention, I wasn’t sure how things would work. It’s pretty similar to an Anime convention, but the guests who attend are even more diverse than most anime conventions. I was really impressed by the costumes, as you could tell, a lot of them required some top-notch skills. The convention had an overall different feel than an Anime convention, but with many positive aspects.

Here are my photos for the day:
http://gallery.photographybanzai.com/c2e2-2011
It is comprised of three sets. The first set are the “editors choice” of my costume photos, with all of those being hand post-processed (I basically took one or two photos from each cosplayer and edited them in Photoshop individually). The main set was processed with a standard batch action I have setup in Photoshop. The third set are all of the other random photos I had taken.

My setup consisted of the Pentax K-5, battery grip, and FA 31mm f1.8 Limited. I initially was shooting in what I like to call the built-in “bokeh mode” that keeps the camera set at max aperture, but I eventually moved to aperture priority and set to a fixed f2.0 for most of the convention. You can see EXIF data on my photo site if you are interested. I had my first outing with the Kata 3N1-22 backpack/sling bag and it worked quite well. It was packed with the above setup as well as a DA 14mm f2.8 and Sigma 530 DG Super flash with diffuser, neither of which I used… One of these days I’ll start using an external flash at conventions again. Most likely at ACEN 2011 as I’m pre-registered with a hotel room booked.

A few highlight images:

Excellent Na’vi cosplayer. Well done.


This cosplayer had an idea about lighting, saying as she stood with the sun back-lighting her… We should take the photo over here instead as the lighting is better. Her suggestion probably helped a bit. 🙂 That image is post-processed to make the background fully black, check the photo link above to see originals.


The lighting in the conventions center was better than most of the ones I’ve been in previously.


Sci-Fi conventions have some really detailed “hard” costumes, which is one of the most interesting aspects.


His rotating gun barrel really adds to the photo.

Overall it was pretty fun and I might try to attend next year. As I’m not too much of a fan of driving in busy areas such as downtown Chicago, I took a Coach bus from my home city to Union Station. From there I used the free C2E2 shuttle service to get to McCormick Place (the convention center). The only negative of the trip was when I had to wait a half-hour in front of Union Station on my return trip where two people asked me for money and being restricted to the bus schedule (the free shuttle stopped at 8pm, I opted to leave early to catch a 7pm bus back to my home city for various reasons).

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