You might think, eyyyyy why? Of course I'm sure many of you guys know already^^ I'm saving up for my 2015 convention budget = ahoy Japan Expo and KitaCon :p and some upgrades to my videography gear - getting that dream wide lens XD Two weeks of hard work and hoping to cram lots of hours^^
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Short update but I gotta say it's a post Im so happy to talk about! I just wanted to say that I officially got my job back for the Christmas holidays :3 Just like old times!!! I'll be working at a certain fast food pizza place you all know about Ahahaha :) I'm starting this Saturday for the next two weeks - I'll be hard at work, trying for as many hours as I can - WHY?
Tuesday, 9 December 2014
This is probably one of (if not the most) awesome collection I've ever obtained in my life, no seriously. In the past 15months that I've been into Cosplay videography and photography - this makes me so happy that I have over 200 Cosplay cards and business cards of artists, expo traders, fellow YouTubers and photogs!
Now to actually find a nice way to keep it in an album perhaps? :D
Monday, 8 December 2014
I got asked this question on my Tumblr and Facebook and so I thought it would be cool to share some insight on how I do my cosplay photos. Im gonna walk you through the editing with the secrets being revealed :p LOL xD
Many people in the cosplay community here in the UK often think that "big professional looking" cameras is what takes good cosplay photos but in reality - photoshopping and editing is also a key part of it. This is to push the image and improve the base photo into the best possible image. Moreover, editing is also often done to achieve the desired effect that the photographer wants to create. The atmosphere and impact of the photo on your visual reception is all governed by the editing.
Many photographers take pride in their work via either showing off their talents with getting a strong base image first and then very little retouching or a basic shot that's practical in conventions but then transform the image into a masterpiece with Photoshop/Lightroom. Every photographer has their own style and methods and I for one works with a hybrid of the two approaches.
In context, I shoot my photos in a very flat manner, I don't add any artificial enhancements the camera has built in (such as auto add contrast and sharpness) I shoot my photos with the right composition and framing that I want at that time and with the background that Im happy with. Appropriate exposure and basic checks is all I prioritise while shooting. I ensure the background and framing is what I want, the focus is on the desired spot and the expression of the cosplayer is something that they are happy with. The magic then happens via editing! Read on^^
The basic idealogy of my editing is inspired by the "Asian" style of Cosplay photography (Nyan Type Photos and Shiro Ang Photography as prime examples)
They are focused on 3 key points:
1. The cosplayer has to look good as much as possible, no matter what. At all cost.
2. The overall shot has a vibe often full of vivid colours and appear bright and sweet.
3. Finally, certain photo elements take precedence: such as cosplayers being lightened skin tones (it's an Asian thing) and working to make them stand out. In addition, the backgrounds are not a big key factor as much as other factors.
For the main details of my editing ...
I start by working through the photo layer by layer. The bottoms layer is a plain copy of the image as a base. I work through the imperfections of the skin first, making sure there's no eyebags (from late night preparation for the photoshoot Ahahaha xD ) Removing wrinkles on skin (from working hard sleep deprived on the costumes) xP After that, I work on the eyes, I remove any redness on the white part of the eye and then I boost the sharpness of the eyes by roughly 25% and I make the contact lenses/pupils pop by making the colour vivid and stronger. Next step is the overall skin, I do a sweep, I remove as much skin imperfections on the face as possible (of course keeping/knowing the preference of the cosplayer) including spots and the like. In addition after that's been finalised in terms of the look of the face, I smoothed the skin on the face with a combination of Gaussian blur, glow brush, feathering and match the overall scene lighting. The face can't be too glowy if the overall photo is dark.
Next step is hair, I give the hair a boost in colour and minor sharpening adjustments. Once that's done, I do a sweep of the entire outfit of the cosplayer. Checking that any skin showing has the same glow and smoothness as the face and remove any imperfections the cosplayer doesn't want or common examples such as patches of unwanted shadow or maybe marks that they don't want.
To round off, I adjust the overall exposure, make sharpening adjustments, make colour changes and make sure it's vibrant and sharp. That is the quick overview! If you want to know more of stuff in detail and have questions, just shoot over and contact me :)
Sunday, 7 December 2014
Us gamers were spoilt this weekend - after Friday nights #theGameAwards we now have the PlayStation Experience #PSX event which had a keynote with some announcements and trailers. As for context - Sony is holding #psx as a full weekend 2 day event in Vegas where playstation fans can play the upcoming games for ps4 ps3 and Vita and be part of panels :3
Impressions? Nothing significant were at the event. It's not something that you missed out on if you didn't get to go. The main key points is like this event is a full open statement of Sony saying to gamers that they have stuff coming in the pipeline and why you should give a damn about them. Playable games and keynote trailers and announcements were part of this weekend.
Thoughts? Uncharted 4 gameplay, Order 1886 gameplay and Bloodborne with new slew of indie games like and cross platform content, FF7 port on PS4 plus game announcements like KillStrain, Forest and Street Fighter V. Overall, the announcements were nothing special but rather solidifying the position of playstation with PSX acting as a supplementary event. The stuff here is solid and known but it's about showing there is stuff coming and getting people excited to where the company is headed.
Criticisms? Sony is still tight lipped on their main first and second party studios and nothing really wow was present. Also ff7 port was a lazy move cmon now >.> Perhaps better announcements, less focus on indie games that look like Ps1 games please. To wrap up, Lots of positive feedback from people who attended in terms of the convention and there's room for improvement^^
Saturday, 6 December 2014
Admittedly, it's crazy to think that I haven't written a proper full blown blog entry in a couple of months so I'm a little out of it - but guess what? Here's one right now!
Reactions to #TheGameAwards - I stayed up last night to catch the live stream of the show from 2am GMT time. With the likes of Bethesda's Skyrim being announced a few years back at Video Game Awards (it's former name) you can understand that many gamers are extremely excited to be part of this event whilst anticipating some great news and surprises. However... What we got instead was a massive disappointment that did nothing for the fans and frankly, it was one of the most repulsive video game related events I have witnessed.
The problems sprawl from music acts that felt so forced and celebrities that come on stage and try to prove they are a gamer in a few seconds by making cheesy references to get gaming cred. Nope. This year, the awards were very weak in presentation, some awards were presented off stage with no nominees and proper announcement. The reveals were weak and the world premieres were even weaker. The most impressive thing about the game awards is that they managed to infuriate many people and disappoint millions of fans within the span of their very boring live stream. There's an award of trending gamer? WHAT? You get an award for being famous?
My list of complaints just goes on and don't think I'm the only one who is so angry about the horrible showing, twitter was full of people who were more furious and pissed than I am. In fact, the only people who had something positive to say were video game journalists who were part of the audience. Everyone else was left so confused with the whole awards and formats and forced music and let's not even start with the ads.
You didn't miss anything out if you spent your time elsewhere - I bet you, that the other activity you were doing at least gave you enjoyment and if not at least treated their industry with respect. It was a complete waste of time and I expected better. E3 from Sony and Microsoft were so meh this year and so is this awards show. Everyone knows the answer to redemption - the announcement of Fallout 4 in 2015
Friday, 5 December 2014
I haven't made a formal announcement via my Facebook page about this topic so only very few people know about it. Also anecdotally, I think it's a bit obvious that I have slowed down doing Cosplay photos Ahahaha :3 but I'll share it with you guys on what's the low down^^ As of current times - I am retiring Cosplay photography until further notice. I'm gonna take a break for a long while. Of course I know there's going to be questions as to why I'm taking a long break~
Allow me to explain, it's really difficult to justify this reasoning because I can't quite get a clear picture (no pun intended) as to how to describe it. Right, basically, I'm no longer happy with my performance, I think that I have plateu(?) plateaud(?) in my performance. Kinda like - I have peaked the limit of my ability inside me and I've felt that I don't wanna half ass things. The comparison Id like everyone to understand is that when I make videos - I can get the concepts of my Senpais all over the world and create my own and execute on a vision and achieve something and make like I've accomplished something and it feels good. In contrast, photography is very much different. I imagine something my Senpais have done in Cosplay photos and I can't execute it and feel happy about the results :3
Long story short; I'm not happy with my Cosplay photos as I think I'm shit at it and my editing skills is poor. The ideal situation is I get better equipment and learn some more but unfortunately I'm no longer happy with myself and I'm gonna take a beak so it's off my mind. I'm going 100% video at conventions/expos and will keep making Cosplay videos till 5eva :D
Thursday, 4 December 2014
Just like old times, there are certain times where a song hits the replay mash up from me^^ You have to thank Holly and Calvin for this fan service video that I am hooked into >.<
Wednesday, 3 December 2014
Who would've thought that id be spending more time fixing this blog? It's been a pleasure blogging from all the way back from 2007 and till recently. I know I've probably gone astray with blogging since it's a time sink that I no longer have a luxury of being a part of. However, I still wish to continue so in lieu of this and of course with some time I will continue to blog...
Just give me time to make more posts and I definitely know that it won't be as often as before that I blog but I'm making the commitment to make sure that I will have a up to date blog with some of the most favourite content you guys come to expect from me ever since :)
Till next time :3
Monday, 1 December 2014
Remember that old laptop with Disney stickers I used to own and make blogs and YouTube videos with? Ahahaha :3 hey that crazy thing still lives to this very day in one of my drawers but unfortunately due to water damage one year ago the screen of that is broken with no display </3 but that's besides the point...
One of the most awesome memories attached to that laptop is the hours upon hours I played of Guild wars 2. And yes this blogpost is confirming just something like that - I have patched and downloaded guild wars 2 for a soon enough comeback to the game :) I'm gonna jump back into guild wars 2 in the near future during my free time and I will take a break from final fantasy 14 since it's going nowhere for me LOL
So the future of my MMO gaming will be Guild Wars 2 (again) and bye bye final fantasy 14 just after 2 months of subscription (that thing is overpriced)
Friday, 28 November 2014
Cosplay highlights of the MCM weekend xD ahaha^^ so much derps with my friends :3 Filled with smiles and skits :p Bring it on 2015 for another con season as this is my last convention of the year so a bit of a break but back in action soon enough =)
Join Team Smile250 for all the fun:
Music by Katy Perry "International Smile"
Don't miss out on the next video, please subscribe to my channel =)
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Full concert footage of Hatsune Miku Vocaloid in London - Watch in HD and Live recording during performance, fan cam.
Join Team Smile250 for all the extras and updates:
Don't miss out on the next video subscribe to my channel =)
Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Cosplay Fun at the Christmas market - tiny con but big in terms of fun :D Who cares about it making sense, we all had fun making it and pffft bad lighting at the lcoation doesn't matter - the memories stay with us forever :3
Join Team Smile250 for all the extras:
Don't miss out on the next video subscribe to my channel =)
Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Saturday, 25 October 2014
This post is dedicated to the man that started it all. The man responsible for starting all the Cosplay videos on the internet. The original Senpai since 2009 and has gone on to make 117 Cosplay videos. Ackson.
One year ago, ackson has published his last ever Cosplay video after announcing his retirement in early 2013. Its been a mystery why he stopped making Cosplay vids but at the same time incredibly heartbreaking that he stopped. He remains to be an inspiration to me to this very day and I hope to capture te magic of cosplays like he does. Attached is a quick behind the scenes video so you can see him in action!
Thursday, 23 October 2014
One year on and still a rookie :3 this is a mildly sentimental post hahaha :p Today I am officially one year into making Cosplay videos around London/England and man has it been a super journey! I could simply not sum it up in a few sentences. From the amazing people I have met and had the chance to work with to the awesome cosplays people have put their heart into. This community is still young in many ways - we have plenty more years ahead of us and millions more memories to share.
All this is only possible because of you guys. You guys are my friends, this is just the start, thank you for helping me make this dream reality and rest assured I will continue to strive to get better and we are in this together <3 Smile250 will be nothing without you guys and so I will never stop saying thank you Ahahaha thank you for putting up with my derps, the many takes we do for filming and thank you for being part of my life.
I'm so grateful for this turn of events and it continues to sprawl and I promise to keep making more videos well into the future. The goal remains the same, make videos to showcase cosplays and capture moments. Always and forever community driven.
We have thousands more selfies to take^^ See you guys soon!
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Cosplay Video from the Winter edition of London Film Comic Con, thank you to everyone who helped me in making this video a reality :3 I did so many things in this video behind the scenes in order to practice and improve since I am still a beginner at this. Thank you so much for your support! hope you enjoy the fan video of cosplaying and just capturing moments =)
It would be very awesome if you could please subscribe to my channel and share the video^^
For everything else - this is the handy link: