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Convention Photography: Learn all about the exciting subculture that is convention photography! Paperback – October 7, 2011
About the Author
As a trained computer scientist with a love for programming as well as writing, Scott applies logical structure and thought processes to his works. While still incorporating fun and descriptive aspects to help readers enjoy his works to their fullest.
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I am not a beginner photographer. That doesn't mean I'm a talented photographer, but I have been through the basics enough times to know how to take great landscape, street and some decent portrait photos. As I'm heading to my first big convention this Spring, I decided to check Amazon to see if anyone had written a book on convention photography. Well, here it is, and it answered many of the questions I had regarding what I will need to bring and what to expect as far as posing cosplayers and getting good exposure. Since I've already been handling a camera for a while, I could skip the introductory material and move right on to the con specific stuff. However, if you're a regular con-goer and are just getting into photography, this may be the guide for you. It puts the technical terms of photography in context with con photography, so you understand right away what the practical applications of a wide aperture is.
Since the last review, the book has been released on Kindle, and now the pictures are in full color. They are great examples of what the author is trying to explain and give me a good idea about what to expect as far as my own photographs. My only complaint is that they are very small, with each barely taking up 1/3 of the page. Even when reading on my large computer screen, they were pretty hard to see. Still, I could see enough to get an overall idea of the picture and they were helpful.
There's a lot of information online, but this puts most of it in one place. For the price, consider it a tip to the author for his efforts. If you're a beginning con-photographer, or a beginning photographer who regularly goes to cons, this book is for you.
I was hoping for a book that presented hints and tips for taking cosplay photos as well as of the discussion panels. Much of what this book provided was a basic introduction to cameras which, for those who have been getting by with point and shoot cameras might find helpful, but for those of use wanting to better use our advanced cameras, the information provided in the book is of limited value.
There were some helpful hints about approaching people whose picture you want to take, accurately saying that most people who dress up WANT to have their picture taken and enjoy posing. (In my 5 years at Comic Con, I have only been turned down once, and that was by a person working in a booth who was there to sell goods, not pose for pictures.) But even there, the advice is limited, though I believe there is some mention of not always walking around the convention hall looking for people to photograph, but to hang around in one area and wait for the subjects to come to you. (I have worn myself out walking around looking for interesting people to photograph, and given that eventually most coplayers will reach all areas of the convention hall, you can save some energy and stay put.)
The book also gives hints for cosplayers who are looking to be photographed, giving them advice on how to approach photographers. I was slightly upset that the author included this at first but, after thinking about it, it does fit within the title of the book I suppose. I guess it gives the photographer reading this book a moment to determine how they would handle such a request. I have never had someone come up to me and ask, and while most of us amateurs would be happy to do it, others might want to think about it and, as the book suggests, offer to give them low-res pictures for free and to offer to sell high-res pictures. Me? I do it for fun and would simply send them a full-res JPEG.
There is little mention about dealing with lighting, other than possibly using flash and to bring a good lens, and nothing about discussion panel photography. Some hints about the choices between zooming, f-stop, shutter speeds with zoom lenses, etc. would have been nice. However, these are more advanced topics and beyond the apparent scope of this short book.
Finally, the book is in black and white and the faces of the cosplayers are all obscured. The examples are not particular well posed or interesting, so I got absolutely no motivation or ideas. (There was a book I saw on Amazon while researching for a book on convention photography that had a photo of a very attractive cosplayer in a very interesting pose that did provide some ideas, and that was what I was hoping this book would have provided.) I understand the legal issues for not showing faces, but surely the author, as part of preparing this book, could have obtain releases.
For those used to simple cameras who want to take the next step up in taking pictures of cosplayers in basic poses, there is indeed some helpful information here and is worth the $8 or so the book costs. For those who have some decent equipment and know how to use it and who have been attending a few shows and want to improve their skills, this book falls short.