Miscellaneous Photography

Discovering Photography

Over the last few months, I’ve gone on a bit of a spending spree. With a new camera body, new lens, and a new bag to hold everything in, I found myself feeling slightly ridiculous at how much I’ve poured into this hobby of taking photos of plastic butts. I was itching to make more use out of the D7000’s advantages, and that itch drove me from my cozy man-cave and into the Canadian winter, where I rediscovered why I enjoy photography.

I’ve tried doing some non-figure photography before, but none of it clicked with me. That’s probably because I didn’t post-process my photos all that much back then. Even if the idea occurred to be back then, I probably wouldn’t have known where to even begin. Thankfully, my good friend Blowfish gave me a bunch of Lightroom presets he had for doing cosplay photography, and I decided to playing around with them by going out and snapping some photos.

These presets are definitely more nuanced than the usual adjustments I use for figure photos. Where as I’ve almost always aimed for a bright and exuberant look in my photos cartoon girl statues, these outdoors photos tend to be sombre in tone, mostly due to the season, and the preset settings showed me a couple of things on how to make a photo more moody and dramatic.

When Hamstercorp dramatically removed his figma Miku from his collection and sent it my way, I knew I had to follow it up with something. The initial idea was to have her hot-glued by Gollum, but upon the sight of a recent snowfall, I decided to take advantage of the weather and do something a little more ambitious by going to the field of a school nearby after work.

The lesson learned that day is to wear gloves. Being an urban hermit who rarely goes out in the winter, the importance of keeping my fingers warm in the dead of winter is one of those common-sense things which eluded me. By the end of the short shoot, my frozen sausages could barely turn the focus ring. There were some missed opportunities with this shot, but there’s no point in crying about spilt milk. After a fiery grilling from Ashlotte, this is what I ended up with — A most bleak fate for a former president.

I also took a couple of self-portraits, which I had not done in a long time. The first one had me travelling to High Park once again, mostly due to the fact that it was secluded enough to make me not feel ridiculous when smiling stupidly at the camera sitting atop the tripod. The Tamron 90mm macro lens made for some pretty really nice bokeh, and I’m loving the subject isolation potential of the lens when it comes to 1/1 scaled figures. Overall I’m happy, as the shots really brought out the narcissist in me — though that’s not really saying much.

The second self-portrait was crazy fun. I took it on my birthday with the aim of creating the most depressing birthday photo ever. It all started when I found in the fridge this cheap supermarket cake my roommate had bought. I thought to myself: “wow, this would be the most pathetic birthday cake ever.” From there the idea just snowballed. The whiskey bottle vase of dollar store plastic flowers, the dinky party hat, the ugliest shirt I have, petit nendo Haku, and a row of neatly-arranged party blowers. The cherry on top is the look in my eyes — I confess I am perhaps a little too proud of that dead expression that seems too convincing to be faked.

My favourite thing about going out with a camera for the hell of it is the fact that there aren’t any expectations. Whereas I would get frustrated if a figure photo idea doesn’t work out the way I had wanted it to (which has happened many times), taking a stroll downtown or in a park has virtually no planning involved.  Although most of photos I shot are throwaway garbage, finding the few interesting shots at the end of the day is a very satisfying experience — like this black guy on an unicycle whom I happened across downtown.

I definitely see myself doing more of this in the future, especially when the weather gets warmer. I’ve recently met someone who’s pretty big into cosplay, and with any luck she’ll be my unfortunate test subject for some cosplay portraits. I’m also planning to go to San Francisco at the end of May for a friend’s wedding, and given the things I’ve heard and seen about that city, it should make for a pretty amazing weekend of aimless roaming.

Anyway, that’s enough of this off-topic nonsense for now — I really must finish working on the post this weekend. To my fellow figure photographers: do you do much creative photography without figures?

9 replies on “Discovering Photography”

THIS IS WHY I MISS TORONTO! I swear where I live now is boring and nothing of interest happens ever. But truthfully, I just don’t go outside for street photography here.

Now you need to buy a motorcycle so you can come on all the photo journeys I go on! … I suppose you could ride bitch (that means pillion or back seat), but I’d rather not.

I completely COMPLETELY understand what you mean about gloves. When I did that set for Sayame, I had to eventually give up my fingers were so cold. I couldn’t even tell if I was hitting the shutter button or not, I’d have to listen for the click, which sucked because I was also using a 2 second delay to stop the shake on the tripod due to the rapidly diminishing light. My brother gave me a pair of gloves that should work, but I haven’t decided to go outside.

Still lovin’ that lonesome birthday photo.

Clearly you need to come visit more often and sleep over like you were supposed to last time! And while you’re here, DRIVE ME AROUND AND STUFF

Motorcycle photo journeys sound good, but riding bitch on a motorcycle is one of the reasons why I’m terrified of motorcycles in the first place. The wobbling, the horrible wobbling!

My burfday photo is a miracle of this universe. I would not be surprised if it ended up being an image macro on 4chan one of these days.

I used to take pictures of things that weren’t weeaboo figures. But I don’t think I really ever cared enough to bother much. And the good cameras I’ve had are always the greatest pain in the ass to carry around.

I seem to like taking pictures of urban stuff and clouds for some damn reason, and I don’t really have much opportunity to do either.

Hamstercorp was going to be an artist, but then he took a figma to the knee.

*is shot*

GASP! Regular mainstream photography?! How shameless!

No, not really. Too be honest when I bought my first digital camera this was the intent I had in mind. I would walk around school with Luigi and take pictures and stuff. In fact when he got his hands on my camera I suddenly would end up with hundreds of pictures to sort out on my SD card. It was kinda fun.

Then I bought figures, then I took pictures of them, then I made a blog. Which is a good thing as I actually put some sort effort every now and then with figure photography. While I consider myself decent enough at that looking back I suck pretty badly at non-figure photography. I should really start applying what I learned with figure photography at least for when I take portraits of people.

*cracks knuckles* We don’t take kindly to normalfagging ’round here.

Funny how one thing lead to another, eh? In my case, things seem to have come full circle. Maybe my dad can now sleep at night knowing that something other than a spiraling figure obsession has come out of that fateful evening.

I wish I had a photography buddy like you. Maybe that’s why I’m keeping my D40 around — for that slim chance that I’d come across a FWEND. Or I need to step up my efforts on importing internet friends to Toronto. MOVE TO CANADA.

I guess most of the time, scenes without figures don’t usually interest me and when they do, my phone is in my pocket and the big camera is not. I’ve tried a few times to take it out but I often take few pictures and process none of them. Your photos are nice though, it totally makes me wish I could do it too. Although, there are photography tours in the city fairly often; when I’m rich, I should go on one of those.
Also, you should get your cosplay friend to take photos with you!

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