I had the pleasure of taking some amazing images of @jaysanity55 and @Beautybee_95 this weekend. As you can tell from the images, they decided to cosplay as Sam Wilson (Falcon) and Frank Castle (Punisher). These photos were very impromptu and occurred in an extremely small Airbnb room right after a convention. I personally loved the way they turned out and wanted to shine a little light on how I created these photos. So, let’s check out this Falcon and Punisher cosplay shoot!
As I mentioned we had a very small area to work with. The Airbnb was not exactly set up to be conducive to photoshoots. There was only one wall that was completely blank as the rest were adorned with furniture and artwork. The area we choose was approximately 6 feet wide and 10 feet high. When you consider falcons wings were capable of expanding well beyond this range, it really puts the space available into perspective. But there was no time to complain and the shoot had to proceed so we made it work.
As always, I wanted to touch on the gear used for this shoot. I decided to go with my trusty Nikon d7000 for this shoot. I bounced between the 50mm Lens and believe it or not the Kit lens. Lots of people do not like this lens and ill admit its not the best piece of glass but when used correctly and can make some rather decent images. You know Im not a natural light photographer so I busted out 2 of my 3 Orlit Rovelights. Accompanying them were two large Neewer Studio Stands and Large Godox Softboxes. Finally, the various light effects were created using Color Gels.
I have used this exact set up in several of my shoots and have touched on this gear in several posts which can be found HERE! Now that we got that out the way lets get back to this shoot. I had never shot a punisher cosplay before so we decided to opt for some military poses. The cosplay model was in the military prior to his current profession so these poses came natural to him. We also decided to simply look at the characters poses online and found more than we needed to create some great images.
For several of the images, I opted to use one light rather than two. The image seen above shows how one side of his body is illuminated much more than the other. With post-editing, I did end up adding a bit more light back to the other side but it’s still much stronger on the left than the right. I opted for this style of lighting rather than using two Orlit Rovelights because I wanted the images to still be a bit dark. Frank Castle is not exactly the nicest of guys and I wanted to make the images a bit darker even if it was only one side.
Going with the dark mindset, I opted to take some photos that were similar to a silhouette. This was actually my first time creating these types of images and they were surprisingly difficult to create. You have to first illuminate the subject then lock the focus on that subject, tell them not to move turn off the light and then take the picture. This sounds complicated but after a few tries I’m sure you will have it down in no time. But I’m not going to lie, it was a pain in the ass to get the subject in focus. The camera would, of course, lock when the lights were on but if I wanted to change it after the lights were off I had to do it manually.
Lets just say a lot of images turned out to not be in focus. So we discarded those and will not talk about them. Once I finished shooting the Punisher we moved onto Falcon. This cosplay was done by the lovely @Beautybee_95. She made this cosplay from scratch using Eva Foam and tons of time. One of the most notable aspects of this cosplay is the collapsible wings. They were absolutely massive and took up far more room than we had. We actually ended up heading outside to try and capture the wings fully spread. Definitely check out the images below to see the wings in full effect.
For Falcons shoot, I really wanted to emphasize the colors of this cosplay. They were absolutely stunning. The red and blue combined with captain America’s shield and a fighting pose really made the shoot pop. Similar to the punishers shoot, we had to reference good old google for some poses as once again we were tight on space. I believe we really made the space work and created a nice mixture of both cute and serious poses.
All of the images that have a colored background required the use of two Orlit Rovelights. To create this effect, we would place one light on the cosplayer and the second light behind the cosplayer. So, in short, we made cosplay sandwiches. This way, the blue would not be on the cosplayer and only illuminate the background while the white light would actually illuminate the cosplayer. It’s not so difficult once you play with it a bit. I did have to set each light to different power levels as the same level would cause the gel blue light to be far too bright. Once again, it just comes with trial and error.
I used my 50mm Lens for most of these images with an iso of around 500. We were in complete darkness outside of the lamp mode used on my Orlit Rovelights. I opted for an F-stop of around 4 as I generally apply the rule of 2 times the number of people. Meaning 2 people times an f-stop of 2 equaling 4. This will help you keep everything in focus. Of course you can opt for that 1.8 f-stop but getting everything in focus is definitely going to be much more difficult. Maybe when I get my new mirrorless camera with its eye-tracking system ill opt for that 1.8 f-stop.
Finally, you know we had to take some images of the cosplayers together. I, unfortunately, do not read the comics so I’m not sure if these two characters have ever had any type of interaction but we decided to take some images of what we thought would look best. A few images of them as allies and enemies were taken. These images combined with the final silhouette images of them back to back completed the cosplay photoshoot.
I really tried to capture the awesomeness of both these cosplayers and am overall very pleased with the way the images came out. This is definitely a reminder that I need to bring my black backdrop and stand to AWA. You never know when inspiration will strike and the time to take images will be upon you. Thanks, everyone for checking out my post. I want to say thank you again to @jaysanity55 and @Beautybee_95 for doing this shoot, I greatly appreciate it. Well that’s everything for this post. For more awesome cosplay images and posts click HERE! Until next time, stay BOUNDLESS!!!