Photo Essay

Crazy. Close-up. COSPLAY

Crazy. Close-up. COSPLAY

It's been less than two years since I shot my first Cosplay event in July 2010.

Yet I thought it has already been three years. Seems so long ago because I have been shooting a good number of major Cosplay events, two or three times a year. Over the period, I have built up a sizeable collection of over 2,000 images. Not all are great, of course. But these were images I considered good enough to keep. I had deleted probably 2,000 more.

Still, I remain fascinated. Visiting a Cosplay event is like entering a new, surreal world. Hundreds and thousands of people - mostly young, some not so young and recently I saw some very very young, age 5 or 6 - put on multi-coloured wigs and costumes that come straight out of comic books.

They are supposed to be "animes" but my photography buddies and I call them "enemies", LOL!

My photo buddies - or "kakis" meaning legs, as we call them in Singapore - include one veteran photographer who shot his first pictures as a young teen and is today in his later 60s. He is among the more progressive photographers in his age group and, he, too, has been fascinated ever since I introduced him to Cosplay just over a year ago. I can still remember the look on his face during his first visit, like a child in wonderland!

Older folks like he and I, however, approach Cosplay somewhat differently. For us, Cosplay is about photography. And as both he and I are "uptight" shooters, tend generally shoot Cosplay with very long lenses, a Nikon 80-400 for me and a Canon 100-400 for him.

For younger people, Cosplayers and photographers alike, Cosplay is about Cosplay. In case you are not familiar, the word is formed from "costume play". So for them, it is important to show the costume, the character, the pose... never mind if all these inevitably come with distractions in the background.

Well, we view things differently. Here, then, is a sharing of how I view Cosplay. Images were taken at the Anime Festival in November 2011 and Cosfest X.2 in February 2012. As you can see, they are quite different from my first Cosplay images, which I presented in July 2010.


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