As our Best Cosplay Photo of 2012 contest came to an end, we held a brief interview with each winner. As the first place winner, Thomas Kuan a.k.a. Hexlord shares with us a little bit about him and how he achieved his prize-winning cosplay photo.
Cosplay Photographers: Please introduce yourself. How long have you been doing photography? How long have you been shooting cosplay? Is cosplay your primary/favorite subject to shoot?
Thomas Kuan: Hi there, my name’s Thomas and I have been doing cosplay photography since 2004. Cosplay is perhaps one of the main reasons why I took up photography in the first place, although as time passed I began to become more interested in a variety of other subjects/genres.
Cosplay Photographers: How did you come up with the idea for this shot?
Thomas Kuan: The shot was actually a mixture of all three factors:
- some of the official character artwork,
- an idea of mine that wanted to combine as an imagery of both the subject and the backdrop, and
- the fluidity of motion as was suggested by the cosplayer herself.
It all came together at the spur of the moment.
Cosplay Photographers: What challenges did you encounter in creating the final image and how did you overcome them?
Thomas Kuan: It was a relatively simple setup, using an ultra-wide angle lens and shooting it from the bottom-up angle to capture both the cosplayer and the glass window at the top. I had her do the spinning motion a few times, and then I made the necessary adjustments to the exposure setting and the shutter speed to ensure that everything’s just right. Shutter speed-wise, I did not use a really fast shutter speed as it would freeze the spinning motion and end up losing the fluidity feel.
I chose the location on the basis of it being relatively high-tech looking which suits the feel of the series. I made the arrangement with the security guards on duty there to allow us to shoot around the location, making sure that my request was done in a polite and friendly manner.
Post production was kept to the minimum, with minor touch-up to the costume, increasing the saturation of the shot and finally adding a bit of sharpness. The lighting that day was really ideal so there’s no need to alter it in any ways.
Cosplay Photographers: If you could do it again, would you change anything about this shot?
Thomas Kuan: I probably would’ve wanted to shoot this at night or in the late evening, with some strobes to mix both ambient light and flash together.
Cosplay Photographers: Is there anything you would like to say to the cosplay photography community and those who voted for you?
Thomas Kuan: Thank you all for the support; it was a surprise even to myself that a lot of you liked this photo. Hopefully this year, I will be able to produce even better works to share with everyone. Thank you once again!