2012 Chicago Botanic Garden Cosplay Photo Set

I promoted this on my other outlets such as Twitter and Facebook, but I thought it would be nice to make an article as well. I’ll go into technical details after the highlight photos.

Here is the entire gallery:
http://gallery.photographybanzai.com/p278494301

Some highlights of the event:

Situation:
– We were there from around noon to 7pm. The beginning hours had a lot of strong harsh light we had to deal with, but it worked out alright.
– The garden is amazing and very large. It’s really worth the trip if you live around Chicago. There is no admission fee, but there is a parking fee of currently $20 for cars.

The equipment I was using:
– Pentax K-5 with the DA* 55mm f1.4 lens and Sigma 530DG Super flash (small diffuser attached some of the time). This setup was on a tripod mounted shoulder strap.
– Pentax K-01 with the DA 14mm f2.8 lens and occasionally a monopod when I had it attached for the purpose of video. This setup was around my neck with a standard strap. I attached a shoulder strap with a quick release to the monopod.

Settings and technique:
– The K-5 setup was the go-to setup for artistic flat field images. The flash was used with this to try and soften the extremely harsh lighting and add catch lights to the eyes. The flash was in high-speed-sync mode and I frequently added some negative exposure compensation or adjusted the flash head in different directions. I was shooting around f2.2 to f4 due to the strong light and wanting nice sharp photos. I was still able to get blurred backgrounds partly because of the large open spaces.
– For the K-01 setup I seemed to naturally prefer holding the camera up and shooting downward toward the subject. I haven’t had much experience yet with this camera, but it just felt natural to use it that way. I think it was partly because I instinctively wanted the subjects to look up to avoid harsh shadows on their face from the intense sun. Aperture wise, I was shooting around f5.6 to f8. Normally, with the 14mm lens I tend to crouch down, so some interesting differences in the images I took are there.

Overall, I think the photos turned out decent. There is always room for improvement of course. I need to keep reminding myself to move around more, especially considering I use prime lenses. πŸ˜‰

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