Conventions Photography

Taiyou Con 2013 Photos and Photography Talk

Please read the related article on for a convention report and more information that isn’t technical.

Facebook Galleries (tag-able): Friday, Saturday, Maid Cafe, Masquerade, Sunday

I ended up with around 715 photos and a few video clips. My technique was varied and depended on the level of effort at any given point in time.

I didn’t bring my manual flash and RF triggers. They take a certain level of effort I don’t find that enjoyable for quick hallway cosplay photos, so moving forward, I probably won’t use them that often for this purpose. I was lucky enough to turn my remaining consignments into a 1-to-1 trade-in for a SB-800 flash unit. I am very happy with the results and simplicity it brings to the table.

The SB-800 was used to create a balanced foreground and background exposure.

I arrived pretty late to Arizona and only attended the convention around two hours. I decided to go simple with the Nikon D600, SB-800 flash, and 50mm f1.8 lens. This combination allows for a large amount of general versitility and especially good at night time without too much of a crowd. I focus a lot on simple portraits with this setup. It was literally my first time using the SB-800 flash outside of firing a few test shots after getting home from the camera shop a few days before.

Nikon D600, 50mm f1.8, and SB-800 for a simple quick access Friday setup.

I spent most of the day using the D600 and D7000 together. For the D600 I had the 28mm f1.8 lens and for the D7000 I had the 50mm f1.8 lens along with the SB-800 flash. This allowed for more variety in my final result and also kind of forces me to put a bit more time into each situation so I have less chance at totally botching a person’s photos. Over the years, I’ve increased the speed that I do my thing, but it has some negative side effects if I’m not careful (which was the case a few times as I’ll get to in a bit…)

A Madoka group photo taken with the D600 and 28mm f1.8 lens.

I had a mishap but I managed to go unscathed. I was taking a break when a photo opportunity presented itself. I didn’t have the D600 around my neck. I took two photos with that and then went to switch to the d7000. I tried quickly setting the d600 on a padded stool right next to me but it kind of bounced off and then landed on the thin carpet floor with a clank. The clank, as I could tell, was the shutter going off, but a passer by said something like “Well, that’s broken!” Anyways, the camera and lens are thankfully fine and I have photographic evidence in the form of a blurry photo that I need to take it easy and be more careful!

The photo taken when the camera hit the floor or seat.

The D600 and 28mm combo were primarily for full-body photos and then I switched to the D7000 and 50mm combo for portraits.

I did a short stint using both cameras as I did on Saturday. Thought, I eventually switched to the D600, 50mm, and sb-800 flash. I stuck with the simple setup until leaving after closing ceremonies. It’s easy and takes less effort to manage, making my time there more enjoyable.

Closing ceremonies at Taiyou Con 2013.

I mentioned earlier that there are situations where I can do things too quickly. The main issue here is with how I focus on my subjects. It’s usually called the “focus and recompose method.” You use the center-point on the camera to focus on a persons eyes and then shift the camera to your desired framing. The problem is if you press the shutter button too quickly, you are likely to get some motion blur. After skimming through the photos, I see I had that happen on a few occasions. It’s more a matter of reminding myself to pause before pressing the shutter, but also happens accidentally as my index finger puts some pressure on the shutter button as I move the camera. It could also be that I’m not yet use to the more sensitive shutter buttons on Nikon cameras.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the results. All of this equipment is still new to me, but I think I’ve been able to use it at a reasonable level of competency. Like I had said in my past convention article, I want put more emphasis on framing and giving directions to cosplayers.

Please read the related article on for a convention report and more information that isn’t technical.