Cosplay Photography: Playing With Ambient Light

Some of our photographers had an opportunity to present a great tutorial panel discussion at Fanime one year, on the tips and tricks of using ambient light for cosplay photography. This is actually the start of a longer discussion and tutorial regarding lighting in cosplay photography. The Bui, Rachael Masako Ing (Masa-kocha), Vincent Milum, and Tim Vo presented some great tips and tricks on how to achieve excellent lighting by using modifiers such as reflectors, shade, trees, leaves, and more. Chock-full of sample photos with detailed setup analysis (including camera settings), this video is a must watch for cosplay photographers who struggle with getting excellent ambient lighting and shooting in challenging lighting conditions.

Here’s a very useful table of contents on the various topics covered with the key time:

  • 0:50 Our Goal For Today
  • 1:11 Key Concept: Apparent Light Source Size
  • 1:37 Equipment
  • 3:40 Equipment: Modifiers
  • 8:34 Lite panels
  • 9:22 Reflectors
  • 11:10 Why Shoot Ambient Light?
  • 12:27 Common Settings / Modes
  • 13:50 Example Shots
  • 15:19 Lighting vs Time of Day
  • 21:12 Night / Indoor Shooting
  • 25:19 Weather Affecting Shots
  • 27:25 Shooting in the Shade
  • 31:02 Indoor Light Sources
  • 35:37 Conclusions
  • 37:03 Light panel demo
  • 38:20 Questions & Answers

A special thanks to Jim3535yt for filming and editing the video! Be sure to subscribe to his YouTube page for other informational and useful videos.

If you found this article interesting, be sure to join our Facebook group, Cosplay Photography Discussion Group. It is a place for cosplay photographers of all levels to learn from each other. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook as well!

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At Cosplay Photographers, we believe that cosplay is an art form to be celebrated. We believe that epic cosplays are about bringing your favorite fantasy characters to life and, through the latest mediums like digital photography and videography, sharing that with the world. We seek to foster a community of talented individuals who wish to promote the art of cosplay and photography.


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