Category Archives: Photos

Going Mirrorless: WonderCon 2019 Cosplay Photography

Last fall, I conceded that phones have caught up to casual cameras and I’d have to get a nicer one to get better image quality. Well, I finally bought a mirrorless camera. The kiddo found my old SLR, and we’ve split a few rolls of film (re)discovering how to shoot with it. Then he started asking about a modern digital equivalent. Since it was going to be two of us using it, not just me, I felt like I could justify the expense.

I read a bunch of reviews and asked around for advice, finally settling on a Sony Alpha a6000. It’s a few generations back in their advanced amateur line, making it a bit more affordable.

We brought the new camera to WonderCon, and I made some discoveries:

  1. It actually handles the light level inside the convention center!
  2. I’ve gotten waaaay too used to just capturing costumes when shooting cosplayers, instead of composing interesting shots. Most of the photos I took on Saturday had good image quality, but were ultimately just snapshots.
  3. Because of #1 and #2, I ended up with a lot of busy backgrounds. I tried to cut down on the distraction by adding vignetting to some of the photos afterward.

Originally we planned totrade off who had the good camera, but he ended up wearing his giant Minecraft Spider Jockey costume the entire time, so he didn’t have much opportunity to take photos. In the end, he only took one all weekend…but it was the best-composed shot of the entire day!

Women dressed as Joy, Sadness and Disgust from Inside Out

I took the lesson from that, and while most of my pictures on Sunday were still utilitarian snaps, I did manage to take a few that I think worked out better, like these three:

My full cosplay gallery is on Flickr, including these four photos and all those snapshots.

Waxing and Waning Moon

Tonight’s waxing crescent moon, taken with the really long telephoto lens. It’s passing in front of the Hyades star cluster right now, which I’d love to get a photo of, but the moon is just waaay too bright to capture the background stars! Plus I’m still getting used to the controls on this camera.

And here’s another moon shot I took in January, about a week after the lunar eclipse. I used a different camera, while it was in a different phase, on the opposite side of the sky…

Same moon, though! 🙂

Supercameratelephotolensisoutoffocus

Blurry leaves on a twig in front of an even blurrier background.

Super camera telephoto lens is out of focus
Even though the tripod’s set, the blur is really bogus
If you use the automated setting hocus-pocus
Still the telephoto lens is slightly out of focus!

(The background is supposed to be blurry, but I had a lot of trouble focusing on the foreground with this lens. I guess it’s just going to take practice.)

Snow Above Los Angeles (Feb 2019)

Snow Above LA (Morning)

The winter storm of the past few days is over, leaving a thick coat of snow on the higher parts of the San Gabriel Mountains and a thin dusting on the lower parts, even the mountains behind the Hollywood Hills, still lingering though mid-morning.

Snow above the Hollywood Sign

By mid-afternoon, most of the snow in the second photo appeared to have melted, and the patches on Mt. Wilson (barely visible to the left in the first and third images) had mostly faded. The next ridge back was still thoroughly covered, though!

Snow Above LA: Afternoon

I left work just before sunset, to make sure I could get some photos of the reddish light glinting off of the still snow-covered mountains.

Snow Above LA: Evening