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Dragon Con '13: The Best Cosplay, Part 1

Friday, September 6, 2013

I'm sorting and editing my DC photos in order, so here are my favorites from Thursday and Friday!

(Thursday is the new Friday at Dragon Con, by the way; more and more folks arrive on Wednesday now, so Thursday has plenty of pre-con parties and cosplayers out and about!)

My first cosplay shot of the weekend: my friend Christie as a mermaid!

(I've had a few people ask, and yes, that IS a Mertailor tail.)

This female Hellboy (Hellgirl?) and Abe Sapien absolutely blew me away:

Their costumes were stunning, and it was nice to get the chance to chat with them and grab a few close-ups. After Thursday getting more than a half second to snap a photo - much less TALK to the cosplayer - is a rare luxury.

I really like the way Abe's shot turned out; her pose is awesome. I'm trying to step up my game with cosplay shots, get some more interesting angles when I can. It's tough since most of these are night shots without nearly enough light (and I don't use flash), but I'm having fun trying!

Obligatory memes:


I love punny cosplays, so I'm ashamed to say it took me a solid 10 second to "get" this one:

Do you get it? Huh? DO YA?

(It's a clockwork orange!)

It can be a bit dizzying when you're crushed in a sea of people in the Marriott lobby, so if you ever start to feel claustrophobic, just look up:

Then you'll feel REALLY dizzy. :D
Oh, and if you enjoy the tickly feeling of your brain dropping into your stomach, then I highly recommend riding one of those glass express elevators up to the very top. (My knees very nearly gave way when we did a few years ago. HEAD RUSH!)

This guy was carrying around a steampunk Kermit, but I couldn't catch him from the front:

D'awww.

And this grumpy Tink is ridiculously adorable:



Coulson lives!

I spotted two fantastic Wonder Woman variations on Friday: the first was this Masquerade style:

How great is that mask?

And the second was this sensational Western Wonder Woman, who even talked the part with a drawled, "Thank ye kindly, ma'am."

 This is actually one of my favorite cosplays from the whole con; so original, and perfectly done.

Friday night there was a steampunk party in the Aether lounge, but it was so dark in there pictures without flash were nearly impossible. I geeked out when I spotted this steampunk Hatter, though, since I was drooling over his costume over on DeviantArt just a few weeks ago:

The hat has a lever on the side that operates the hinged opening and lifts out a teacup. SO COOL. His brass mouse toppled off his shoulder just as I was about to take his picture, so I got to pick it up - and I was THIS CLOSE to making a run for it with her. ;)

I spotted three or four Sherlocks over the weekend - at least one of which was running around in just a bed sheet, which was hysterical. (I heard on Twitter that he kept approaching people dressed as Bilbo and saying, "Oh, I thought you were someone else." Bwahaha!) These two made a great pair; you can just tell they're handcuffed together:


This astronaut looks like he robbed Cape Canaveral. Seriously, the suit and flag were that perfect up close:



Pretty girls in armor:

The one on the right has a color-changing orb floating above her hand - and I'm still not sure how it was attached.

This young fellow is actually an Epbot fan; he and his mom flagged me down in the Hyatt lobby:

The whole suit is articulated beautifully, and it was fun hearing them explain how they did it all together!

(Oddly enough, I actually had more young boys than girls track me down over the weekend - all with their parents, of course. Overall there aren't a huge amount of young kids at DC, though, except for the parade on Saturday.)

Had some fun playing with the lighting on this one:

 It's easy to get jaded about amazing cosplay when you're at Dragon Con - easy to forget these are fans just like you and me, making art and learning new skills all out of love for their passions. It's inspiring, really.


 Another reader, rocking a fab femme Riddler costume!

(Please forgive me for not listing names, guys; next year I need to carry a notebook! o.0)

I was surprised I didn't see more BioShock Infinite cosplay this year. I saw more Bookers than Elizabeths, and no other characters from the game at all. I'm desperate to see someone do the Statue of Liberty ghost soldiers - if I weren't so short I would be ALL over that.

Anyway, major props to this Booker for bringing... a major prop:
Awesome.


And now a blurry shot of some flawless body paint:

She must have been airbrushed. There wasn't a smear or streak on her! 

This gal wins most creative Doctor Who cosplay:

She was kind of like a walking parade float; the three pieces attached to a backpack behind her, and she tells me she made them mostly from foam and fabric. (The Ood is my favorite!)

Some Disney princesses:


And Dug from Up!



Not sure who this is, but I wouldn't want to cross her:


[Per the comments: "Looks to be a Femme Kabal from Mortal Kombat." Thanks!]


And this is one of my favorite cosplay groups:


SO PERFECT. And I love the girl Indy!

Just a few feet away was this group from Middle Earth:

Check out the Rider!


I think this next one needs a caption:

"Hey, man, we said no corporate sponsors!"

This group had color-changing weaponry, and if you look closely you'll see the pink-and-white one is Hello Kitty themed:
Hee!
[Lydia in the comments just pointed this out: That's HALO Kitty! AAAAH, SO AWESOME!]

Adventure Time prettiness:
It's hard to tell with the poor lighting, but their skin really was painted pink and orange.

This is our new friend JJ, another DC volunteer we first met on the media tour Wednesday night:


I snapped this in the vendor hall with a white column behind her, and now I wish ALL my shots had white backgrounds. (Also shows what a difference better lighting can make!)


This guy was stationed right outside the Vendor building, delighting all us passers-by:

 
I think you need a little video to really appreciate him, though, so here's a Vine I posted:


Talk about dedication; he has both arms inside the puppet.


And while I'm at it, here's another of three costumes I didn't get still photos of:

Ruby Rhod is da bomb. Love him.

Go, Go, Gadget Girl!

On a technical note: many of these shots were taken in shadows and dimly lit corners, so John suggested I put up a comparison so you can see how I'm adjusting them:

I've found that the Lighting Effects in PhotoShop (under the "Render" toolbar) are my new best friend; they can make a back lit subject like this Red Sonja pop forward without blowing out the background. I also use the Dodge tool to further lighten the faces, and then add a vignette. I'm just playing with sliders 'til I think it looks right, though, I really have no idea what I'm doing. ;) (And I've only adjusted about half of these photos in PS - the rest I just brighten up in iPhoto.)

Oh, and since I'm usually asked: I use a Canon 7D with a 17-50 lens for all my shots.

And finally, this steampunk Cyberman actually won one of the categories in the big costume contest, and it's easy to see why!
The detail on this costume is flat-out ASTOUNDING, and I can't even begin to guess how he made the rubber under suit with all the wires and tubing. Absolutely gorgeous.

Ok. So... that's Thursday and Friday. 0.0  Hope you guys enjoyed, and stay tuned for more!

Posted by Jen at 12:30 PM Labels: ,

62 comments:

  1. The Cosplayer you described as:

    "Not sure who this is, but I wouldn't want to cross her"

    Looks to be a Femme Kabal from the video game series Mortal Kombat.

    -G

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    1. That sure is. The mask is uncanny. Whomever did all the deserves some respect. The hook swords, the deterioration of the skin... it's all so good. I love seeing lesser-known characters being featured and she nailed it.

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  2. Great photos, Jen! I can't wait to see more! :)

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  3. Jenn I am so glad you go to the Cons and tell us all about them. The pics you get are wondermous and I can't wait to see more of DragonCon'13.

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  4. Ha! That Grumpy Cat cosplay made me smile. But I have to say those Wonder Woman costumes might be my favorites. There can never be too much Wonder Woman cosplay! And that Sherlock and John cosplay is A+.

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  5. These posts make me wish I was at Comic Con here in Salt Lake this weekend. Too bad my hubster put the kibosh on us going. I would have LOVED it!

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  6. Amazing costumes! I wish I could have been there.

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  7. Steampunk Cyberman...... My brain just exploded from the awesome!!!! And, he's pretty cute too! heh

    Also, found out recently that you know one of my coworkers! I think I squeeked heh Anyway, thrilled to have you back! I was missing out on the geeky girl awesomeness heh

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  8. Since I just finished watching Sherlock LAST NIGHT of course I squeeled at the Sherlock and John handcuffed together cosplay. Love it!

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  9. I was that SHeet Sherlock.
    And thank you for the compliment. I started actively looking for Bilbos to assault.
    "Watson, I... Oh, I'm sorry, I thought... Oh, sorry."

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    Replies
    1. You, sir, win one internet for that brilliance. Thank you.

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    2. I would like to concur with Jen on this one. Next year you shoud do Smaug in a sheet hehe would like to see how many people get that.

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  10. One of my good friends was there as Snow White in an amazing costume that she made. She also did some steampunk Supernatural costumes as well. Here's her blog: http://mynerdobsessions.com :)

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  11. I could be wrong, but I think the girl on the right of your two "pretty girls in armour", the one with the floating orb, could be a Morrigan from the Dragon Age series...

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  12. The white and pink Hello Kitty themed halo character my husband and I realized was "HALO Kitty". LOL.

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    1. OH. MY. GOSH. How did I miss that pun?? BRILLIANT!

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    2. Halo Kitty is awesome and her ODST escorts ROCK. Thanks for sharing :)

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  13. SO COOL. Wish I could go. I did make a Hobbit outfit a couple years ago - next part in the movie comes out and I'll have my own mini-con (I bet I can get some family members to go along with it...)

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  14. Ahhh, I love them all! By the way, it's because of YOU that I decided, regardless of my anxiety disorder and panic attacks, to attend TWO cons in two months! (Anime Midwest and MetaCon) You inspired me to get out there with my fellow geeks and nerds, play dress up and have fun. I even went in cosplay: Ness from Earthbound.

    I just want to say thank you for giving me the confidence to go for it!

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  15. Ruby Rhod!!! AHHHHHH! So good! More people should dress as him, he's fabulous! Love him so much :D Great photos! Love coming back and reading/seeing about your adventures!

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  16. A. White backgrounds, so true. I think this is why going to cons would drive me nuts, too many patterns, too many people, too much everything! White background ftw.

    B. The Dr. Who "parade float" woman looks like the garbage heap puppet from Labyrinth. Love it!

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  17. Nice! Love the wild west Wonder Woman, she looks awesome! I would so rock that Mad Hatter hat! More exclamation points!! ahem, looking forward to more pics...

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  18. Wow - so much eye candy by way of great costumes :)
    I think that ariel in the sail has to by my favorite though
    Looking forward to more!

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  19. Seriously love these photos! Thank you for letting me live vicariously through you :)

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  20. Steampunk Kermit? *arm flail* Oh please let someone else have more pictures to share. kermie is one of my faves.

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    Replies
    1. I have a few from the front on my facebook page, I will upload so i can link them here

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  21. Eeek, I'm the girl Indy! Thank you so much! Henry Jones Sr is actually my dad and the Grail Knight is my husband. (Sallah is our good friend, with the help of a large pillow.) I wish I had recognized you when you took our picture! :D

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    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh, I love your Indy interpretation. I was thinking of doing female Indy for my Halloween costume this year and now I have some inspiration!!

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    2. Thank you! There's a full-length shot of the costume (I call her Indy Anna Jones) on my blog here: http://bright-copper-penny.blogspot.com/2013/02/costuming-year-in-review-2012.html

      I made the skirt but everything else was bought or borrowed. With a dad, brother, and husband who all costume as Indy, the accessories were the easy part. :)

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  22. I did an Elizabeth cosplay! (My name is also Elizabeth, so it was a little confusing walking around with strangers shouting my name :p) Wish I could have shown you it, since you're a big reason I went to DragonCon and tried cosplay. I had a lot of fun trying to interpret 2-d details with real materials, and the props were super fun as well. I bought a lock pick set and got a cardboard ammo box to toss in case I encountered any solo Bookers (alas, I never got the chance). And my purse for the day was a hollow "Principles of Quantum Mechanics" book. I'll definitely be wearing it next year, so hopefully you'll be doing a panel so I can show you.

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  23. I can't fathom how people lasted in those costumes without dying from heat stroke!

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    1. Most of the larger and more constricting costumes don't come out 'til after dark, and even then some never leave the hotel lobby, since lots of cosplayers stay on property. That's why the night life at DC is so amazing!

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  24. I'm amazed at how many people I missed. Thanks for sharing these.

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  25. I enjoyed muchly! Looking forward to seeing MORE!

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  26. Those are such cool pictures! I am always astounded at the creativity of the geek community! Anyone who says we aren't awesome is just plain wrong! :)

    Can't wait for even more pictures! I was so looking forward to your DC posts that I dreamt I asked my husband if we could go next year (and then asked again in real life)!

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  27. Grumpy gal behind Steampunk Cyberman is quite grumpy.

    Love the pics!

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  28. Thanks for the pictures, I am on the far left in the Halo Kitty Pictures, as "HotPockets"

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  29. Great pics!! And thank you for posting your PS process. I'm trying to get the hang of it myself!!

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  30. The Sherlock and John are my favourites - especially your story about Bed Sheet Sherlock. Love! It's coming back for a 3rd season soon...but not soon enough!

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  31. You should try shooting your pics in RAW format and invest in Lightroom, which is a much easier software for that kind of correction than Photoshop. It is a lot quicker and you can correct a lot of files at once and it is non destructive. Believe me, I have iphoto and Photoshop CS6. Lightroom is the way to go!

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  32. OMG the guy before Ruby Rhod is dressed as the Sharknado! That's brilliant.

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  33. Steampunk cyberman picture has a grumpy princess photobomb!

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  34. I saw that very same steampunk!Cyberman. He was with a Dalek girl and the Eleventh Doctor.

    http://flic.kr/p/fJs5LY

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  35. oof. I was the Hellgirl. And I looked really tired. I think my black makeup had slid down furhter under my eyes than normal. Stupid heat. Awesome shots though!!!

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    Replies
    1. No way, you looked FANTASTIC. Both of you! Glad you found your pics here!

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  36. For Photoshop know-how-to, try The Adobe Photoshop CS6 Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby. You'll get your pictures looking tip top shape in no time. He's 'the man' when it comes to Photoshop.

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  37. do they still do the Dawn contest? if so, did you get any shots?

    haven't been to DC in so very long, i miss it

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  38. Fantastic photos! Brilliant costumes! Incredible makeup! I love it all!

    Western Wonder Woman is HOT! Amazing cosplay! (And cowgirls always make me all squishy and fluttery.)

    Sorry about all the exclamation points!!!! I'm just THAT excited!!!!

    Thanks for the pics and the reporting, Jen. Can't wait to see the rest.

    KW

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    1. Eek! I'm the Wild West Wonder Woman! Thanks so much for your compliments. All I need now is a whole Western-themed Justice League!

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  39. The spinning guy in the video... Is he cosplaying SHARKNADO?? O_o

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  40. Ah! Someone linked me to your page, here, I am the Fire Princess and my good friend is Princess Bubblegum! Thank you so much for the photo and feature, I love your shots here!

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  41. I'm the John Watson half of that Johnlock. Thanks for taking our picture!

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  42. Also, I had completely forgotten you were going to Dragon Con, and I didn't recognize you when you asked for our picture. I follow your *other* blog, and I'm so sad now I didn't get to say "hello".

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    1. Aww, that is both sad and kinda awesome! Don't feel bad, though; no one on CW really knows what I look like, so I wouldn't expect you to recognize me - BUT - we'll be back next year! Maybe I'll see you again then?

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  43. Oh dear me, you're back!

    *does the happy dance*

    I had apparently misunderstood your taking a sabbatical as you closing down the blog :-(
    So it was only out of "nostalgia" that I clicked on the epbot link over at cakewreck.
    And you're back! Yay \o/

    *more happy dancing*

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  44. So, no joke, these posts are some of my favorite posts out of any posts of any of the blogs I follow. I've never been able to make it to one of these wonderful events and I'm thankful that you take time to snap photos, edit everything, describe the events, add funny running commentary, and share the whole experience with all of us! Thanks!

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  45. Ah! What a great shot you got of our Adventure Time princesses! I was the Princess Bubblegum and my friend AmazonMandy was the Flame Princess. Thank you for including us on your list.

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  46. Thanks for the latest dose of dragon con goodness; i love the way you frame your shots so well. I consider it a special slice of awesome that my normally-not-that-geeky mother recently said, "Hey, wouldn't it be fun sometime if we went to dragon con and tried to catch up with jen? She's so cool!" And you are. :)

    Also, i've found a couple things that help me with lighting troubles sometimes and might work for you, if you're able and not already using them. One is that if i use an external flash in rooms that don't have a crazy high ceiling, i can turn it upward so the light bounces off the ceiling and produces a nice diffuse glow instead of a harsh direct light. The other is that i've started using lightroom in conjunction with photoshop, which allows me to play with settings in a non-permanent way and to get warnings about parts of the photo that are clipping (disappearing into glare or shadow).

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    1. I've *just* started researching external flash options, since I think that might be a good option for the dim lobbies of DC. Tricky, though, so I'll have to work on it! And Lightroom is on my list of Things To Get ASAP. We had it a year or two ago, but I never learned it properly, and then we swapped computers and lost the registration and.. yeah. Need a new one!

      Thanks for the advice!

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  47. I was the femme Riddler! Love these posts! It was awesome to meet you at DC. :)

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  48. Oh wow, thank you so much for including my Ariel! I only wore her for a few hours so I'm surprised I actually found a photo online. :)

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  49. Loved the sharknado and the adventure time!

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