Week 31 of the 52 Week Challenge: “Wings”

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I chose Wings as the challenge topic this week. I recently had a photo shoot in Drumheller with cosplay model Winterlights Cosplay in her fantastic winged Zapdos costume. For those of you not familiar with cosplay, it involves a person dressing up as a particular fictional character for photo shoots, videos, comic expos and/or role-playing. This particular costume was a cool interpretation of the Pokemon character Zapdos.

Here are some of my favourites:

A few tips from this week’s photo shoot:

Depth of Field

I used an aperture of f/2.8 on my Nikkor 24-70 mm lens to create a nice shallow depth of field in many of the photos. This allowed me to get my model’s face and costume in focus, while the background was a bit blurry. This helps focus the viewer’s attention on the model in the photograph. 


The lighting was a bit challenging since we had to shoot in the middle of the day with the harsh sun overhead. However, smoke from a forest fire was still heavy in the air and it actually diffused some of the sunlight so that the shadows were not nearly as harsh as they could have been.

It was also quite windy that day so I wasn’t able to use my reflector to remove shadows or my portable diffuser to soften the sunlight on Winter’s face. The large circular reflector really caught the wind and would have blown away. I didn’t use my flash with the large diffuser and stand either since I was worried they would blow over and get damaged. I’m looking into ways to secure my flash and reflector stands in windy conditions – bean bags or something to weigh down the stands might have helped. But it also needs to be something portable since there is often a small hike to the shoot locations. 

I was still able to reduce or eliminate some of the shadows by changing the angle I was shooting from as well as by getting Winter to turn her body in a different direction. 

The Wind As a Prop

The wind did have a positive side effect in that it did create windblown hair. Haha, in some shots that was a curse, in others a blessing! The key was turning Winter to face a direction where the windblown effect was a good thing…


Happy Shooting!




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