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Wide Angles At Wizarding World

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Here's a first for me: I have two "internet friends" visiting right now from two different states. Both are very dear to me, and I'm glad they could see through my introverted, work-obsessed, hermitage-loving social awkwardness enough to say, "Hey, we want to visit. Cool? Cool."

We all went to Universal on Friday, and I brought along a new 2.8 11-16 wide-angle lens to experiment with. I thought you guys might like to see some of my favorite shots!

Because you have to take a picture of the dragon. HAVE TO.

 The stage shows in Diagon Alley are just phenomenal, and I can't recommend them enough. Especially the puppets!

I keep trying to get some decent shots of my favorite shop, Wiseacres, but even the wide angle can't  seem to capture the magic:

 I guess I'll just have to keep trying. :)
 (My lens is about two inches from that Slytherin plaque here.)

I'd love to fill my house with all the steampunky telescopes and astrolabes ringing the room:

Another pic I've never had much luck with is this owlery tower:

I'm looking almost straight up the tower here. So far, this is the best I've managed of that owl, since he's usually lost in deep shadow.

 The wide-angle also let me capture this whole suit of troll armor; usually you can only see the feet from the window:

 I managed by leaning waaaay in and craning up.

 This dress in Madam Malkin's has a subtle projected pattern of cascading flowers on the skirt:

A colorful street scape:


 And possibly my favorite of the day:

  I like how off-kilter and monochromatic it feels. 
(I didn't edit the color at all; that's straight off the camera.)

 In Diagon Alley you'll also find Knockturn Alley, which is so dark you tend to stumble around until your eyes adjust, and even then, you can't see most of the buildings around you:

 Off to the side of one of the paths is a small iron gate, with a barely illuminated alleyway leading away from it.

On a whim, I stuck my lens between the iron bars of the gate and fired off several shots, no flash. 

Amazingly, one turned out pretty well!

Very little of this can be seen with the naked eye. Cool, right? (The sign reads "The White Wyvern.")

And finally, not the best shot, but LOOKIE:

I was chosen at Ollivander's! Woot woot!

This is right at the big dramatic moment, with the angelic music playing and the rushing wind blowing my shirt around. Hee. And while all of Ollivander's wizards are great, this guy was particularly awesome. His inflections and mannerisms were so, so good.

Well, guess I better get back to MegaCon photos now, huh?

Happy weekend, everyone!


Note: My camera is a Canon 7D, and all of these photos were edited in either iPhoto or Perfect Photo Suite 7.

Posted by Jen at 8:30 AM   |  26 comments  |   Labels: , ,

MegaCon 2015: The Best Cosplay, Part 1

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Alright, cosplay fans, let's dive right in with some EPIC ADORABLENESS:

Look at this cutie patootie little Frozen girl! With her Olaf armbands! Squee!

[Correction: Oops, right out of the gate I get one wrong, ha! She's actually Annie from League of Legends:

Thanks, commenters!]

And over on the other side of the spectrum:


Yep, this post is gonna be a roller coaster, my friends. Buckle up.

...but mostly it's gonna be epic awesomeness like this:

That's Katniss from Hunger Games with a picture-perfect Agent Carter.  Love it.

 And another fun pair: a roller derby Eowyn with a sweet lolita Alice:


Fun to see a post-haircut Rapunzel:

 And not far away, Cindy's fairy godmother!

A Guardians of the Galaxy trio:
 You probably recognize Starlord, but that's also the Collector with his assistant, Carina:

This Elizabeth from BioShock:Infinite's DLC is spot-on:

And she's with a gender-swapped Booker - complete with crow hand & the Murder of Crows bottle!

Here's a comparison shot for Elizabeth:

Speaking of BioShock: Infinite, I flipped. OUT. over this Boy of Silence, here with a Zealot of the Lady (both enemies in the game):

Game reference:

A moment later this Booker joined them:

And the next day I found a motorized patriot, you guys. FOR REALZ. I realize most of you have no idea what that is, but trust me, it's super cool. I'm posting these pics roughly in the order I took them, though, so you'll just have to wait on that one.

Next up, a pint-sized Master Chief:

And a Cyber-styled Finn & Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time:

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. "Jen," you're thinking, "I don't recognize ANY OF THESE CHARACTERS. Show me something I know, for filth flarn's sake!!"

Your wish = my command, my friends.


It's also one of my top favorites from the whole weekend.

That's right: it's a Star Trek/Gilligan's Island mashup, you guys. GILLIGAN'S TREK.

Check it out: they have phasers made of bamboo and sea shells!

And the Skipper is holding a shell communicator! Ha! SO GOOD.
Seriously, creativity like this is what makes me love cosplay photography. I rode that high all weekend, and I'm still buzzing from it. Can you tell? [bzzz bzz] Aw yeah.

I also tried to get a little more creative with some of my shots this round: playing with perspective and composition and such.

I really like this one.

And for this big War Hammer guy I tried to get down as low as I could:

I've decided I need to make some armor like this for me, just so I can wear stilts to a con once and FINALLY know what it's like to see over peoples' heads. (If you're new here, hi! I'm very short.)

One more Big Armored Dude, I'm guessing also from War Hammer:

This next one is kinda NSFW, so, you know, scroll faster and/or hide the kids:

Say what you will about the appropriateness of the venue; that is BRAVE.

And I know it's an actual character cosplay, because I spotted another lady in the same outfit - only with a bikini top underneath. The coward. (I'm totally joking.)

At lunch I spotted them eating a few tables over, and I was tempted to go ask her if she'd had any trouble from other con-goers. I didn't want to interrupt, though, and from what little I saw, everyone was being respectful.

I bet brandishing a knife helps. :)

Next up, a lovely Belle:

Belle is John's favorite princess. He's always trying to get me to wear more yellow. Heh.

And speaking of my hubby, here he is evilly photobombing Sora from Kingdom Hearts:

That's the Christmas Town variation of Sora, along with a Heartless:

(I couldn't find a good screen grab of Sora, so that's an official figurine.)

See the Jack Skellington on his key blade? And the sand worm? That's from Halloween Town, which is based on Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas.

Which is an excellent segue to...


I've seen a lot of Sallys at cons, but the props really bring her cosplay to the next level. That "flying" Zero is amazing! Plus she has the potion ingredient bottles in her basket!

Just gorgeous.

And finally, continuing the Tim Burton theme, here's another of my top favorites from the whole weekend:

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice!!

Specifically, the Beetlejuice from this scene:

Did you ever notice the Batman-esque bats on his hat carousel before? Or the Jack Skellington head on top?

Gotta love Tim Burton tying all his films together like that.

Check out all the little carousel animals; he sculpted them himself from lightweight clay!

Ahhh, gotta love it.

Ok, guys, that does it for this round! As with my last Dragon Con photos, I'll be spacing out these posts so neither of us get too burned out on cosplay pics. Besides, I like taking my time and really having fun with editing, and rushing makes it feel too much like "work." (BOO.)

'Til next time!

Posted by Jen at 8:00 AM   |  43 comments  |   Labels: ,

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