Anime Central 2014: recollections and how I ruined my body

Day 3

Panel notes: Better Cosplay Photography

Although I’ve been photographing figures for a while, I haven’t photographed people a lot. I do enjoy cosplay photography, but I don’t have many chances to hone my skills in this particular genre of photography. This was one of the best panels I went to. It was run by Oscar Cwajbaum, who says he’s a hobbyist… but he shoots with a Canon 1D X. You don’t get that kind of gear without being serious about what you do.

Oscar talked us through everything from photography basics to shaping light, posing, location scouting, and pretty much anything else you’d want to know. It was a great presentation and I really learned a lot. The biggest thing that I want to try out is bringing a lighting rig with me next time. The nice thing about local events is that hauling equipment isn’t much of a problem.

Anyway, I encourage you to check out Oscar’s Facebook page and look at his work. He sets up private sessions with models so his shots end up looking professional. My shots are more of the “hallway” variety.

Tachikoma-kun at ACen 2014
But I can still get some cool figure shots!

Panel notes: World of Figure Collecting

This one was run by Mamitan. I didn’t know what to expect but it ended up being a great panel. I thought I knew a thing or two about figure collecting, but Mamitan is on a whole other level. After the introductory “so what are these things?” talk, she got into the topic of bootlegs.

I never had strong feelings about bootlegs. Yeah, they’re lame, don’t reward the manufacturers and property holders, and you usually get a subpar product, but I thought they were mostly harmless. Turns out there’s a pretty large illicit business built around them. Mamitan told a few horror stories involving organized crime threatening some of the higher ups at Good Smile Company, which blew my mind. So, uh, bootlegs are bad, mmkay?

Panel notes: Attack on ACen

Attack on ACen was the last panel I went to. It was about Attack on Titan and how the TV series measures up to the manga. The adaptation seems pretty faithful, although the panelists did point out how the later episodes of the show deviated more from the source. As you may know, the show doesn’t really finish its last story arc. The manga has moved on since then, so it’s definitely something to look at if you’re an AoT fan.

I don’t have a ton of notes on this panel as I left before the manga spoilers were discussed. But… yay AoT?

That wrapped up my ACen experience for 2014. As you can tell, I didn’t do much photography on the third day, but the first two panels I went to were excellent. The rest of the time was spent buying art and t-shirts, but I’m probably not going to do a loot post.

As with any con, I spent a lot of time walking the show floor. I enjoy talking to the artists and industry representatives, as well as the small business owners who produce all the stuff I love to collect. It’s nice to be able to do all this on my own schedule. Covering a convention for Tomopop is a different affair, as there are appointments to meet, booth tours, panels, and a laundry list of items to photograph. ACen is no less hectic, but there’s less to keep track of mentally.

If you made it all the way through this insanely long post, I feel like you deserve a prize. I’m not sure what conventions I’ll be attending after this, but I’ll be at SDCC for sure. Anime Midwest is a possibility. Unfortunately Nan Desu Kan is probably out as I don’t want to pay the travel expenses. Anyway, check back here as I’ll be posting a little bit of booth coverage as well as the cosplay galleries.

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