So how about those cosplay photos? Today marks the culmination of months of anticipation/trepidation, planning, and photography practice to bring you guys my favorite Comic-Con cosplay gallery yet. Earlier this year, I wrote about how taking cosplay photos at conventions was basically my on-location schooling for learning DSLR photography, starting with my time fumbling with a Canon 40D at Maximum PC. It's something I take pride in, not because all of my photos have been good--but because these thousands of photos are a visual timeline of my evolution as a hobbyist photographer (someone on the forums generously called me a gifted amateur), with each year's Comic-Con a milestone for checking in on personal growth. To look back and scoff at my past years' photographs is a wonderful feeling, and I can't wait to look back on this year's photos in 2014 and hopefully feel markedly improved (maybe I'll even start using a flash!).
But let's talk about gear and techniques, since at this point, my process for every con is a departure from the last. Last year's Comic-Con was shot with the Sony NEX-C3 compact mirrorless camera, when I was still shooting only with JPEGs. WonderCon in March was shot with my then-new Canon 6D, using two lenses: a 17-40mm f/4 wide-angle lens and a 50mm f/1.4 Sigma prime lens. I lugged my gear around in an InCase DSLR Pro backpack (still my current daypack), which I found to be a little bit too big for maneuverability on the convention floor. Putting the bag down to swap lenses took more time than I anticipated, and I felt uncomfortable holding up a cosplayer to snap more photos while they had somewhere to go. The plan for Comic-Con--a much larger and denser event--had to be different.
Fortunately, I was given the opportunity to borrow some of Adam's gear to shoot cosplay photos (as well as photos for Adam Incognito). As a like-minded gearhead, Adam doesn't skimp on camera equipment, but I didn't want to bring his entire collection of lenses. In the end, I borrowed his Canon 5D Mark III, 35mm f/1.4 prime, and 50mm f/1.2 prime. Along with my 6D and 17-40 wide-angle, I would have two camera bodies and three lenses to work with at Comic-Con.
To carry the cameras and lenses, I brought along a new Crumpler Six Million Dollar Home shoulder bag, which is advertised to be large enough to to hold a camera body and two lenses. As this would be my first on-location testing of both the bag and the 5D Mark III, I came back with plenty of thoughts on both those products. In short: the camera is great but the bag wasn't big enough.