It's been a while since me and Crystal last shot together-- the last time we worked together was back in July 2013 of last year to shoot her Powergirl cosplay around the time of Comic-con. Tomy from anatomic-latex crafted an Asuka plugsuit for Crystal to wear and we'd planned to shoot this together for a few months.
I honestly was really crammed with my other job and had literally shot Sinne and Kana right before this shoot up in Orange County, so I didn't really have time to research any areas fit to shoot Asuka at. Ideally, I wanted to find some run-down blown-up looking buildings to portray that apocalyptic-the-world-exploded-because-of-you-baka-Shinji feel, but we weren't able to find any on such a short notice. Crystal suggested we try shooting down at an aircraft carrier museum since they welcomed cosplayers during nearby conventions and we actually got some really awesome shots~~
Attempting to shoot inside the ship... fail. Too many onlookers.
Right when we entered the museum we saw a bunch of planes we could actually step into, so I tried to shoot without even taking test shots-- but there were so many people staring at us I started to really feel nervous. It wasn't so much of being stared at but more of trying not to cause a scene and get kicked out or constantly get Crystal stopped by onlookers to take a picture with them.
We wound up going right outside to the desk area and found some more nifty stuff-- it wasn't hot but it sure was sunny and so I wanted to shoot quick to get Crystal out of the sun since latex is a really crappy unbreathable material and mixed with sunny and warm weather, is a disaster.
Despite the fact that we were working with harsh lighting again (and the day before this I shot Sinne and Kana at the beach in direct sunlight also), I was able to manipulate Crystal into the shade by shooting her inside the planes. I didn't bring my reflector or diffuser since I wanted to stay as low-key as possible in public, but I made it work.
The top lid door thingy was just enough to shade Crystal's face--otherwise the harsh sunlight would have been horrendous in photo and details would have been blown out. For this image I actually shot pretty underexposed to make sure I got all the detail and then raised the exposure in Lightroom since I shot in RAW anyway.
I also really liked how the sunlight broke in through the windows of the planes when we shot inside them--it wound up making this beautiful lighting inside that just photographed so well. *crying tears*
"Crystal pretend there's turbulence"
I also just love how the latex material photographed so well. I was worried the red would really throw off my white balance and I'd have to use a grey card to set a custom setting... and I lost mine somewhere when I moved 2 years ago. But every detail on the plugsuit showed up on camera flawlessly.
I actually did a looot of post-work on this image. There was a lot of red duct tape I had to edit out. Quick video clip of the process in Photoshop here.
Since I was really familiar with Evangelion I had a general idea of the feel I wanted to capture for this set of images... the Midway was a perfect backdrop. Of course we have no Eva IRL to really shoot with but I was able to incorporate that mecha feel by utilizing a lot of the stuff that was on the carrier.
I mean, this sort reminded me of the facility they stored and repaired the Eva at.... it works...
We also wound up going below desk and following the tour and ran into a lot more really cool stuff. Sort of reminded me of the control center where Misato usually barks commands lol~
Just screwing around at this point lol.
The images I took below deck wound up being extremely yellow/red in white balance since I didn't use an external flash nor grey card to balance the color. No big deal though since I worked on that in Lightroom. Thank goddddddd for Lightroom.
No overly yellow hues here, despite the fact that the lighting was pretty much just yellow bare lightbulbs overhead.
Aside from this being my second shoot in direct sunlight, this was also my first shoot that was mecha-themed. I really shy away from both things as the stuff I'm comfortable with is really just shooting in shade and lots of greenery with very soft, feminine subjects, so this was a very different style of portraiture I wasn't used to doing. I'm really glad I've been straying away from my normal style as this is really giving me more opportunities to expand and try out other stuff.
Maybe I'll shoot some armor on male cosplayers in the future?