Tokonatsu 2011

I know I’ve not posted anything on hear for mouths but I’ve never been one for keeping blogs updated so instead of spending ages apologising about that I’m just going to make a sires of posts about what I’ve been up to over the summer that’s kept me so busy and no posting lol.

I can’t not talk about Tokonatsu. As normal this is another anime convention only its not technically a convention its really a festival. I for the last couple years have been extraordinary lucky to be a part of this event sitting on the committee as Cosplay Coordinator. Tokonatsu it self is euros only if not the worlds only anime camping festival catering for most ages a unique and fun event.

My role is to organise all cosplay events. I run to big events the masquerade (pretty self explanatory there) and Ready Steady Cosplay witch is a fun computation where teams compete to make a cosplay to a mystery theme in a hour. Now your properly asking what the hell any of this has to do with photography as this is a photography blog. The answer is simple as part of my job looking after events and cosplayers I have the responsibility of recording this, cosplayers lover photos. I didn’t just cover my own events I tried to cover the entire event over the 3 days.

I struggled to get as many photos as I normally would from a event as I was busy running and organising things but I was able to get most of the shots needed. The masquerade I was sick of poor shots so I built a stage back drop for this years entries now I found the area was to small so I’ll have to make it larger I used 2 light stands holding up a camouflage net to reflect the ascetic of a camping festival.

I was also charged with getting a group photo of the entire attendees of the convention at the opening ceremony. something I did the premises time. This is turning into a tradition for the event last time I only had a supper zoom with me not the best optics even so I got a ok shot. The problem was even at 18mm witch is very wide in the space available on location to get the photo I was standing on top of reeds over a lake this could of been very bad but it paid off. So this year I hired a wide angle lens the sigma 10-20mm I loved this piece of glass its on my to buy list. I did find one problem in post presses shooting 250 people at 10mm is to wide there all nicely spread out but there so small in frame there’s just not as much detail as I’d like I think next time I’ll use the same lens but shoot it round the 14mm mark hopefully that will give me enough space to not be in the lake. I highly recommend hiring lenses for important jobs its cheaper then buying glass for a one off use and it gives you a good chance to try something before buying. I used this lenses as much as I could thought out the hire period even got a nice star trail photo but I will post about that in a few weeks or at least I intend to.

There are a lot of water based events at Tokonatsu lots of people running round with water guns being silly great chance to get interesting photos but water and digital cameras not a good combination. ordinarily you would have to add water proofing to your gear. I didn’t have to worry to much tho I should of taken more precautions just in case. My Nikon D300s is weather sealed so a little splash won’t course any problem witch is one more reason why I’d advocate a pro body camera over a advance amateur body they may currently have higher mega pixels and better noise performance on cameras like the Nikon D7000. The thing is the pro body’s have things like weather sealing more buttons on the body to speed up setting changes and higher build quality.

One piece of advise I learned the hard way test your gear extensively before taking it into the field. test it extensively. I got my self a new Compact Flash card and I was taking a chance with a unknown brand. I regret this as the card never worked from the word go. It was a Duracell 600x 32GB compact flash card and it failed spectacularly so badly so it was letting me take photos but the data was not being transferred to the card so I lost a section of the event if this had been say a wedding I could find my self in a position where I wouldn’t be getting paid. I recommend dual slots one as a back up for important events properly have the second as jpeg, that and test your gear. The worst thing about it is following this I tried to contact the manufacture about a faulty product despite having a 10 year guarantee they refused to respond to me. Then I go to the company I brought it off they also do not respond to my emails so I’m left with a expensive card that dues not work. I highly recommend you stay clear of Duracel cards. I do have a 8GB card from there works fantastic but if something goes wrung they will ignore you in my experience I do not recommend.

There were 2 big problems I had with this event limited access to electricity so I had to make sure I had enough batteries for 5 days use as well as cards in case I could not back up to my laptop. The second was light camping it gets very dark so your operating in almost pitch black at times. I found thought a combination of a 50mm 1.4 lens high iso and a SB-900 I was able to keep working. Just a note on the SB 900 I did find that its power output was high enough to light a entire field not bad for a small flash unit. I’d like to invest in strobes with power packs for future events of its kind providing I can transport them. Talking of light I did also try something for the very first time and this was light painting I got 9 people all with LEDs to spell out the letters of Tokonatsu I did hand hold this on bulb mode I should of used my tripod but it came out ok defiantly something to do more of at night

Some links to the Tokonatsu sets on my flickr






This entry was posted in Advise and Tips, Cosplay, Location, Masquerade, Nikon, Photography. Bookmark the permalink.

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