Continuing my sires of late posts about things that happened over the summer brings us onto Ayacon 2011. A quick word about Ayacon this is one of the UK’s largest and long running anime conventions currently held at the Warwick Arts Centre witch is actually in Coventry. The convention is a blend of Japanese culture anime and cosplay mixed together by UK fans. Just as attending is so much fun.
I went as Press to this event, Trying to cover all the events at a convention this size is a lot of work but worth it because as a bones you are normally in the best seats in the house to do your work. Admittedly you can’t fully enjoy the shows as your thinking about f stops and available light and all that jazz but if your not enjoying it how are you meant to get that across to the people latter viewing your images and press work.
I’ve left this a little late to really go into much detail so I’ll just talk about 3 events at Ayacon and give you some links at the end
I’ll be honest hear I’m not a gig photographer in fact I’ve only ever shot 2 gigs. The first was Momo-i Live at Ayacon 2009 I had no idea what the hell I was doing with this one. So I learned as I went made some stupid mistakes like use flash… Can’t believe I wasn’t asked to leave for that one. by the end of the night I was pushing my ISO higher and going for available light got my best shot at that gig during the encore after the real press had left. That was before I was officially working for the convention as press. This time I took everything I learned at the time and added it to with a lot of expanse and theory I’d looked into and guess what? yes I still made mistakes but I had progressed in leaps and bounds the biggest problem I found was I was centre stage at the front because unfortunately the manager wasn’t letting press into the pit but I still got to jump the que going in. I should of been either 3 foot to my left or right. I think I still got some fantastic shots all the same. I was getting my best results with a 50mm lens wide open at f/1.4 as I was able to lower the iso a little and still hold onto a high shutter speed to freeze the action and the 1.4 also gave me a very nice shallow depth of field
The masquerade always my specialty I’m sure a lot of the photographers shoot it because its expected of them and not because they want to. That’s not true of every one there but I get that feeling from some for me I see it as my chance to shine love the challenge of trying to get a good shot of ever entry. You get one chance with each of them and you have to get it right under the difficult lighting conditions you always encounter with the gear you have available its a real thrill. I as always worked out where I thought the best photographers were set up and took the opposite side of the stage. I’m sure I’ve said this before but as competitive as I am if I can’t get the shot I want them to I mean were there for them right? Its also nice knowing you have a different angle to the people you consider as your Rival’s I say that with love, there’s no point trying to be the best if the computation aren’t as good as you or better. I shot this the same as I always shoot masquerades its getting fairly fine turned now so won’t repeat my self there. No I tell a lie I did one thing differently I used my SB-900 as a infer red auto focus system with the flash unit set to no fire. I was able to focus much more accurately and faster wile reaming discreet. The main difference with this was its length was the largest one I’ve ever shot this was in part due to it also being a qualifier for the Euro Masquerade. Holding up my heavy camera for that length of time especially with the added SB-900 on was difficult might consider a mono pod for next time. one tip for you extra cards and batteries I burned thought 3 16GB CF cards and 2 Batteries. It was quite a show loved every minuet of it and when I latter found out one of my personal favourite cosplays had won it really pleased me, absolutely deserved. Some of the best talent I’ve seen so far across the borad.
I have to post something about this event because of how great a idea it is. this isn’t a new idea its been brought up over and over again at least as long as I’ve been going to anime cons since about 2005 but this to my knowledge is the first time its run successfully in the UK and I was lucky enough to be asked my friend Yuka to help cover this. The cosplays were amazing and the show was so funny I think the set of photos I got is well worth taking a look at as a piece of history there’s nothing to special for me to post about how I took them it was all basic stuff but the thing about these events is theirs always something special happening so if some of the things I’ve posted about are interesting consider attending a convention in the near future you won’t regret it. There are some other great sets on my flickr like The Sunday Night Live Event from Ayacon 2011 I highly recommend you take the time to go take a look