D*C 2014: Playing photo favoritism

Despite the fact that I’m overall less-than satisfied with the quality of the pictures I took throughout the Dragon*Con weekend, this doesn’t change the fact that all over the convention throughout the entire weekend, there was a lot of great costumes out there. That being said, of all the pictures I took throughout the entire event, I’d like to shed a little bit of light on some of my favorites.

Kayle, from League of Legends. Yeah, no surprise that I go with a LoL one off the bat. Unmasked Kayle, to be specific.

I’ve actually run into this particular costumer a few times now, like at the previous D*C, and once in MegaCon in Florida, but it doesn’t change the fact that whenever I see this costume, I’m kind of a little awestruck.

I play a ton of LoL, and there was a point where I actually really didn’t like Kayle. Before it was a regular mode in the game, ARAMs were concocted in custom games, where it was way too easy for people to dodge when they didn’t draw something they didn’t like, defeating the purpose of “All Random.” Needless to say, whenever I could actually manage to get into a game, I drew Kayle an inordinate amount of times. This may or may not have to do with the fact that I allegedly “own just four champions” while sitting on an alleged “120,000 IP,” but for whatever reason, I got Kayle a lot. And out of a lack of understanding of how to build her or use her, I had an irrational resentment for her.

I’m not saying the sight of this Kayle costumer changed all of that, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me look at Kayle with gentler eyes. Eventually, something clicked (I actually practiced Kayle), and I’m not so clueless with Kayle anymore. Subsequently, I don’t mind drawing her in ARAM anymore, because I know what to do with her now. And the funny thing is that I still do get Kayle precariously often (on account of my alleged four champs), but the difference is now I’m competent with her.

At this point, I don’t have to really say that I find her rather beautiful, and that I’m in great admiration of the construction of her armor, because this is probably like the third time if anyone were keeping count. And hopefully this isn’t the last time I see this wonderful costume.

More faves, post-jump.

“Nostalgia always wins.”

It’s really no secret that my photographs tend to lean heavily towards pretty girls, because I’m a guy who apparently has a deep down harem complex or something, or maybe I just like taking pictures of pretty girls. But an awesome thing about Dragon*Cons are that pretty girls have one formidable rival that sways my attention – things that tickle my nostalgia.

In no other situation should my attention be taken away from aesthetically pleasing women, but when you got guys dressing up as characters that are symbols of so much joy, entertainment and childhood innocence, all the tantalizing women in the world have a hard time drawing my awe as Data from The Goonies, Steve fucking Urkel from Family Matters, and Ivan Drago from Rocky IV do.

“You know what would be awesome to see?”

My friend Katie and I were catching up over burritos, and somewhere during our conversation it went to the topic of overzealous feminists on social media who have a tendency to go way overboard, and attack with fervor, vitriol and burning of a whole lot of straw men in the process. Eventually, I said that it would be awesome if a really hot girl showed up dressed like the comiquette Mary Jane Watson that pissed off a whole lot of feminists.

And it’s almost as if it were force of will, but more that it was Dragon*Con where any costume actually is possible, she actually showed up. Yowza.

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about how up to that moment in time, I hadn’t really seen anything at D*C that really called out to me, or pushed that trigger in my mind that made me really want to take a picture. I hadn’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy or Frozen, so I clearly don’t see the appeal in all the Groots and Elsas and any other characters from those current hotness properties, which may have had a lot to do with my general ambivalence.

But then I saw these guys walking around, and the trigger was pushed.

Street Fighter characters aren’t something uncommonly seen at any sort of nerd convention to begin with, but the integration of the staged defeat screen? That’s fucking innovation. Just seeing Chun-Li and Ryu with this get up immediately flooded my mind with very familiar visions of seeing the all black screen, bruised and beat-up opponent on one side, with Chun-Li’s ageless quote of “I’m the strongest woman in the world!” in orange type.

It’s a pity that I couldn’t do them real photographic justice, but my hat’s off to them nonetheless.

This Cheryl Tunt costume from Archer, was a photo of mine that I really liked.

Naturally, it goes without saying that the girl is cute as hell, and there’s something about her facial expression that I find really striking and attractive, but I also like the character. I’m not entirely sure if it’s just the pencil skirt office redhead thing, or that I’m also really crush-y on Judy Greer (voice of Cheryl), but there are lots of reasons why I’m partial to this picture.

I swear it’s not because I like choking chicks or anything so sadomasochistic.

A lot of which is the fact that it actually turned out fairly as I had envisioned it turning out. Obviously, there’s a world of difference in what you see in a viewfinder, to when you spit out the RAW file and see it on an actual computer screen, and in spite of my embarrassing inabilities to use my own camera, this one came out as pretty well as I would have hoped. I knew I was going to like it when I saw the preview in the viewfinder, and I was happy to see a positive end result.

“That came out surprisingly well.”

Kenny Fuckin‘ Powers from Eastbound & Down (Season 3).

Kenny Powers has to be one of the easiest and most entertaining costumes in the world to pull off. I mean really, if I were a tall, stoutly-built white guy, I would rock a Kenny Powers costume at least once a year.

Cuss everyone out, flip a few birds, slam a few beers, be as chauvinistic as can be, and bam, you’re “in character.”

Anyway, when I was processing my photos and came across this one, I was kind of surprised at how well it came out. I can cite rhetoric about how the Marriott is a terrible place to try taking pictures in the first place due to the abysmal lighting, but nothing changes the fact that I’m not a great picture taker in the first place, combined with the fact that I had all of a day’s experience with my actual camera while I was snapping away. Needless to say, in spite of having no stabilization turned on, I was kind of pleasantly surprised at how well-focused this shot came out, be it a steady hand on my part, or Kenny Powers being as still as a statue, I’m just glad that this came out the way it did.

Hopefully, next year will yield better photographic results for me across the board, but for what it’s worth, these guys are all my notable favorites from this year. Much appreciation to all of them for indulging a hobbyist and taking the few seconds to stop and pose for my camera.

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