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Cosplayers at the 11th ToyCon 2012-Day 3

19 June 2012

Cosplayers at the 11th ToyCon 2012-Day 3

It’s been 6 months since I’ve been to cons like the 11th Annual ToyCon 2012. Kept focusing on fashion and glamour photography to date, is why. There’s a huge difference, I realize, between the two despite both having people as subject(s). One is very calculated, planned, orchestrated, well produced, controlled, and well directed. Photographing cosplay in cons will test how well you take action very fast from requesting the subject for a shot, to preparing your light, timing for when the subject makes their signature poses, establishing rapport and trust, and everything must happen at blinding speed because everybody’s pressed for time. IMO, the best challenge (and the one I find most exciting) in taking cosplay photos in cons is to be able to come up with pictures where the subject can connect to the camera and, ultimately, the audience (context valid when motive of taking photos is to publish them in old media or online in blogs or your favorite social media sites).

Below are 29 photographs of 38 cosplayers from Day 3 (Sunday) of ToyCon. Some of the shots I’ve taken that day like that of Snow White with Lyron as Luffy and Ralph Villaluz as Raidou Kuzunoha are too blurred to save (so sorry, you guys! T_____T Will make it up to you next time, I promise). Gerard Sison’s Superman shot below is also quite blurred but I have an alibi for sharing it, still: I believe nobody at the con brought a camera or lens that’s faster than a speeding bullet ;) Gaaaaaaaaah, failed by taking just one shot of this (kicks self at the shins)!!! As for that Superman costume, I know I’ve already mentioned this in a previous blog post but I won’t tire of sharing again Gerard’s own words from last year’s ToyCon:

“I was offered that Superman costume the night before the Toycon. It is a limited edition Christopher Reeve replica and there are only 10 in the world. It is made in Argentina and was sourced from all over the world. But I thought it was too much to spend for.”

I’ll upload these photos in facebook shortly. In the mean time, here are the snaps. If you can ID the untagged photos (characters and/or personalities), do tell at the comments section. Thanks!

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Photos from the ToyCon 2012 Day 2 (Saturday, June 16, 2012)

17 June 2012

Photos from the ToyCon 2012 Day 2 (Saturday, June 16, 2012)

The 11th Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention or TOYCON 2012 is on its third and last day today (Sunday, Father’s Day, June 17, 2012), brought to us by Collectibles Unlimited. Head on over to SM Megatrade Halls 1,2 , 3 & Conference Rms A & B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong, Philippines for the country’s longest running and biggest pop-culture event.

Photos from the ToyCon 2012 poster

In store for today is the group cosplay competition where Alodia is poised to do an intermission number apart from being one its judges. We were also told that the Kamikazee band will perform onstage at around 2PM. From my experience during the second ToyCon day on Saturday (yesterday, June 16, 2012), although a good number of hobbyists, fans, collectors, and friends have spent what could be a big chunk of their mid-year bonuses on rares, collectibles, and novelty goods (toys, comics, memorabilia, and games) being mostly sold at discounted prices inside ToyCon, there are still a lot to be had and owned for those only planning Father’s Day gift spending rampage on Sunday LOL.

As a long time anime fan and crazy action figure collector, the exhibit area located in Conference Rooms A & B could be either a blessing or my ultimate demise. I can observe at close proximity already released figs that I had been eyeing for a good part of the year and judge whether lusting over them is overrated or not. What’s frightening is wanting to own other toy lines that I have no intention of ever collecting from what I have seen because drool worthy is what most of those amazingly detailed and expensive looking toys are. My friendly advise: let the faint in self-restraint beware LOL.

The exhibit area is where I spent most of Saturday, taking photos (shown below in the gallery) of huge sculpts (like the Sentinel), scale models (like FPJ as Panday), Hot Toys, dioramas, old and well maintained/loved collections, and even gashapons. A few meters away in the selling area is where you may find some of the not so rare toys from the exhibit.

As mentioned, the group cosplay competition happens on Sunday. I have only taken photos of two cosplayers today, those of my good friends Monique and Lyron. Both, if I may say, are still very passionate about their craft. I promise to take more photos of the better cosplays at ToyCon 2012 today.

Note from the organizers: cosplayers are encouraged to go in the venue and utilize the “six huge themed exhibit spaces: The Anime Planet, Superhero Stars, Movie Nebula, Toy Supernova, Gaming Galaxy and Kids Constellation, all of which make up the Cosplay Universe.” From experience, photographers, the general public, and cosplayers engaging in photo ops in the corridors outside the Mega Trade Halls are being told by guards to vacate the area to minimize disruption of foot traffic flow.

The P100.00 entrance fee for ToyCon 2012 is so much worth the bargain, sights, and experience inside the event area. There’s also a gaming booth by Amped where registered players may get a chance to win in-game rare items. Below’s the activity schedule for June 17, 2012, ganked from the ToyCon PM website.

TIME DAY 3 (JUNE 17, 2012, SUNDAY)
10:00 AM Registration for COSPLAY UNIVERSE group competitions
Toycon AVPs
Emcees welcome & Sponsors acknowledgements
Raffles
11:00 AM Games – Bring Me /
Sponsor segments – ABS CBN Publishing
Panel discussion – GI Joe: 30 years (TS-118)
Band Performance
12:00 PM Film showing – Fan films
Band Performance
Games – Batman Trivia
Panel – Angry Woebots
1:00 PM Sponsor segments – SMART
Games – Hero Up Daddy
Panel discussions –  Toys for the Big Boys: Statues, Hot Toys, Scale Models (Pinoy 1/6)
2:00 PM Band Performance
Sponsor segment – AMPed Fest
Raffles
3:00 PM Band Performance
Sponsor Segment – ABS CBN Publishing
4:00 PM COSPLAY UNIVERSE group competition
Intermission – Alodia
5:00 PM COSPLAY UNIVERSE group competition
Sport That Dark Knight Look
6:00 PM Band Performances
Film Showing – Animation and Fan films
7:00 PM Awarding  of Cosplay and Contests
8:00 PM Raffle draws and games

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Glamour and Nude Photography Workshop (Philippine Leg) with Dan Hostettler on March 10-11, 2012

24 February 2012

Glamour and Nude Photography Workshop (Philippine Leg) with Dan Hostettler on March 10-11, 2012

UPDATE: Workshop price is now P15,000 instead of USD750. Contact Mike for details via the mobile number on the image below.

Dan Hostettler, Swiss “visualist,” Europe’s top notch Beauty and Glamour photographer, entrepreneur, and founder of (NSFW link) StudioPrague will be holding a 2-day, all-in, “Glamour & Nude Photography Workshop” in Manila on March 10-11, 2012. Limited to only 4 EDIT: 5 participants max at US$750 per person EDIT: PHP15,000, the workshop will showcase, foremost, Dan’s flawless technique and years of experience in teaching and practicing glamour and nude photography, 2 models (who have graced Playboy Philippines, no less, I heard), 1 hair and make-up artist, studio equipment, venue, and food and snacks.

Hover on the image below for an NSFW version of the poster (may take a few seconds to load):

I had my slot reserved, despite my knee-jerk remorse with the course fee. Did so after visiting the StudioPrague website, looking at their (NSFW link) regular workshop courses and course outline, reading about Dan’s credentials, seeing how carefully calculated and professional the nude shots looked, and after reading most of the (NSFW link) testimonials of past StudioPrague workshop participants the world over.

Think about it. In order for us to enroll into a semi-private masterclass of this caliber, we’d need to haul our collective arses to Europe or the US, spend for visa, airfare, lodging, living, and course fees (aaaaaaaaaaand tour packages and shopping expenditures, of course LOL). In Prague at the Czech Republic, a similar workshop at Dan Hostettler’s StudioPrague costs €1,950 per participant. The discount on workshop fees alone makes attending the Manila Workshop a keeper (with already around US$1,900 savings, mind you). How much would attending an “open shoot” cost in Manila? 1,500 to 2,000 inclusive of lighting, model fees, and just some time to shoot the model shared with at least 10 other photographers (most of whom would get every opportunity to get as much time shooting than the rest). There can only be very little to no structured learning in such avenues (I’ve attended a couple, so I’d know). Now, compare that setup with a semi-private, four participants-max class with Dan Hostettler.

I just recently attended a Product Lighting workshop with Jo Avila and Cesar Caina last Sunday. For a maximum of 15 participants, workshop fee is P6,000 (was lucky enough that there were only three of us who registered for the workshop, at the same cost. Had a fun time learning that day). With PCCI (Philippine Center for Creative Imaging), Nudes and Glamour are taught in two 2-day courses that costs roughly P7,000 per course. Point is, photography classes will cost you and attending good quality, read tried and tested, classes will cost you more. The fewer the participants, the higher the cost.

Reading this from StudioPrague sealed my decision to sign up for the “Glamour & Nude Photography Workshop:”

An EduShoot is a learning workshop.
EduShoots are where the REAL learning begins!
EduShoots (known as “workshop”) was created for the simple reason:
WE TEACH GLAMOUR & NUDE PHOTOGRAPHY!!

We have noticed over the past years, everyone offers so called “workshops”. At these “workshops” there is little or no instruction going on, just people shooting models. We wanted to get away from that and establish the fact that at our workshops, there’s actual education happening!

I’d pitch this 2-day course to hobbyists, advanced, and pro-photographers alike, if only to pick on Dan’s mind, his European (photography) industry insider pro-tips, and know what it is that makes him take consistently good glamour (and of course nude) photographs. Heck, I’d even egg on fine arts students to go, if they have the means and the earnest interest to pursue glamour photography as a career after graduation. It’d also be quite snooty to claim “I’ve attended a StudioPrague Workshop” (better if it shows on your output, too, hehe, which is why we’re taking the class)!

On a lookout for short courses to help enhance my skills at photography, I turned to a good friend Michael Sy Yu of iSnap Creatives for ideas and guidance. And guide me did! Thanks, Mike, for pitching the workshop idea to Dan and thanks, Dan, for giving us the rare chance to learn from of your genius.

To reserve for a slot and for sure participants, please contact Mike at 0917.8906053. Feel free to share this like to anyone who you think would be interested.

DISCLOSURE: This is not an advertorial. The author and site owner did not receive any form of compensation and neither free nor discounted training course fees for publishing this article. Header image and workshop poster taken from Dan’s and StudioPrague’s website

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Alodia’s Fantasy Live Online Show Event Recap in Photos

24 October 2011

Alodia’s Fantasy Live Online Show Event Recap in Photos

Prepare for an Alodia’s Fantasy event photo avalanche! Hover on the pics for captions. I enjoyed the program immensely with friends Kring Elenzano, Winston Almendras, Faith Salazar, and Coy Caballes. The cosplay competition segment is the best that I have seen so far from among the cosplay competions I’ve attended through the years: schedule is tight but just right, sound accompanying the performances are all high quality BGMs, finalist line up are truly worthy to be called best in class, and the cosplayers gave it their all to justify their character portrayals. The event was held in the ICON at the Intercontinental Manila Hotel. Usually a bar and lounge for a CBD night out, it was for the night transformed to stage the live online show. I heard from Marcelle, the host for the evening alongside Alodia Gosiengfiao, that the number of online views for the program reached more than 10,000 and at one point, there were around 700+ simultaneous views. If broadband in the Philippines weren’t so darn slow, I bet there would be a lot more people staying in their homes to watch the show. Still, amazing!

Alodia's Fantasy with Alodia Gosiengfiao herself and Marcelle Fabie as Host

Below are photos of the cosplay participants during the show’s competition. First up, the Male Cosplay Category.
Alodia's Fantasy Male cosplay competition  Cykah Malagad as Ashtaroth
Alodia's Fantasy Male cosplay competition Ryan Simbul as Monster Hunter Freedom Unite Blademaster with Dragon X Armor
Alodia's Fantasy Male cosplay competition Mark Celtic Buenaventura as Warlord Predator
Alodia's Fantasy Male cosplay competition Mark Celtic Buenaventura as Warlord Predator 02
Alodia's Fantasy Male cosplay competition Dennis Madarang as Pyramid Head
Alodia's Fantasy Male cosplay competition Dennis Madarang as Pyramid Head 02
Dennis Madarang playing Pyramid Head, a violent monster from the hit game Silent Hill 2, is the winner for the Male Cosplay Category. If you look at his skirt closely, you’ll observe that he brought along his arcane posse. Talk about detail!
Alodia's Fantasy Male cosplay competition John Ezekiel De Guzman as Sajin Komamura
For non-otakus, Sajin Komamura is the captain of the 7th Division of Gokai 13 in Soul Society in the anime series Bleach (if the robe does not give that away yet lol).
Alodia's Fantasy Male cosplay competition Eddieson Jaluag as Red Hawk (first phase)
Alodia's Fantasy Male cosplay competition Eddieson Jaluag as Red Hawk (second phase)
Eddieson goes onto the stage with a folder covering his face. Put down, he reveals a cylindrical-ish Red Angry Bird mask and starts throwing birds to the audience as the Angry Birds theme played in the background. Then suddenly, he yanks away the pants, throws down the mask, and pulls off the black shirt to reveal Red Hawk. OutSTANDING in creativity!
Alodia's Fantasy Male cosplay competition Christian Teofisto as Dreadlord Nightstalker Balanar
Alodia's Fantasy Male cosplay competition Nico Regulto as Tidus 02
Alodia's Fantasy Male cosplay competition Nico Regulto as Tidus
Alodia's Fantasy Male cosplay competition Jo Marcel Navarro as Mamoru
I apologize to Rubinstein Ebuenga who played Kamen Rider Dark Kiva with the song number because my shots of you are all dark. Failure from my end, sorry. Plus I’m quite peeved by the color of the lighting in the venue. Too magenta for my liking and white balance presets. Again, I’m sorry.

Up next are the ladies from the Female Cosplay Category.

Alodia's Fantasy Female cosplay competition Chienna Filomeno as Cloche Leytal Pastalia
Alodia's Fantasy Female cosplay competition Chienna Filomeno as Cloche Leytal Pastalia 02
Alodia's Fantasy Female cosplay competition Monique Dimanlig as Geiko
Alodia's Fantasy Female cosplay competition Monique Dimanlig as Geiko 02
I have been taking photos of Monique in various cosplay conventions but it is only during Alodia’s Fantasy that I have seen her do the geiko dance. It was nothing short of stunning: her facial expression show pride, control, and a calm vibe showing in her calculated and fluid movements that she must have perfected through years of cosplaying a geisha. Great job, Minique! Mighty proud of you, my friend! EDIT: So I found out that Monique was played the wrong background music for her number. Double the props to you, my friend for pulling that dance off like that with professional reserve. Shame shame on the audio people. Shame!
Alodia's Fantasy Female cosplay competition Hye Marie Nim 02
Alodia's Fantasy Female cosplay competition Hye Marie Nim
Alodia's Fantasy Female cosplay competition Myrtle Gail as Grand Archer Rena
Myrtle Gail won in the female cosplay category by playing Grand Archer Rena from the MMORPG Elsword.
Alodia's Fantasy Female cosplay competition Isabel Cortez as She-Predator
Alodia's Fantasy Female cosplay competition Isabel Cortez as She-Predator
Alodia's Fantasy Female cosplay competition Czarina Bisda as Yoko Kurama 02
Alodia's Fantasy Female cosplay competition Czarina Bisda as Yoko Kurama 03
Alodia's Fantasy Female cosplay competition Marienela Chanco as Suigintou of Rozen Maiden
Alodia's Fantasy Female cosplay competition Shiela Navarro as a Ragnarok Royal Guard
Alodia's Fantasy Female cosplay competition Shiela Navarro as a Ragnarok Royal Guard 02
Apologies to Catrina Anne Lazaro who played Black Rock Shooter because my shots of your performance could not be salvaged owing to the erratic and magenta saturated lighting :( I’m so sorry!

Next up is the Mecha Cosplay Category.
Alodia's Fantasy Mecha cosplay competition Jonam Baladad as Mobile Suit Girl Gundam Wing Zero 02
Alodia's Fantasy Mecha cosplay competition Jonam Baladad as Mobile Suit Girl Gundam Wing Zero 03
Alodia's Fantasy Mecha cosplay competition Don Robert Torio in an Iron Man Mark V 01
Alodia's Fantasy Mecha cosplay competition Don Robert Torio in an Iron Man Mark V 02
From the rehearsals earlier Saturday, Don Robert came in a Stark jacket for the run through. Near the end, he did a back flip much to the surprise of everybody in the set. The question in my mind was will he do it during the actual competition with the Mark V on. He didn’t. I must say the online audience just missed a singularly awesome moment in Philippine cosplay history.
Alodia's Fantasy Mecha cosplay competition Bolen Lareza as Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn MSN-06S Sinanju 01
Alodia's Fantasy Mecha cosplay competition Bolen Lareza as Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn MSN-06S Sinanju 02
Bolen Lareza playing Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn’s MSN-06S Sinanju bagged the grand prize in the Mecha cosplay category. I suddenly remember something I heard from a friend during a con a loooooong time ago: “we are no match with chibis. They come out and they wow and make everyone swoon and gush with little or no effort.” Haha. Bolen, however, really worked the stage. Her moves are in sync with the background music and sound effects. The mecha is also exquisitely made. My favorite detail is the etched insignia on the MSN-06S’s left shoulder.
Alodia's Fantasy Mecha cosplay competition Gibs Sagun as Kamen Rider Oz Latoratah Combo
Alodia's Fantasy Mecha cosplay competition Abraham Cruz as Zodiac Twelve from Exteel 01
Alodia's Fantasy Mecha cosplay competition Abraham Cruz as Zodiac Twelve from Exteel 01
Alodia's Fantasy Mecha cosplay competition Richard Cheng as a EZ-021 Deathsaurer from Zoids 01
Alodia's Fantasy Mecha cosplay competition Richard Cheng as a EZ-021 Deathsaurer from Zoids 02
Richard Cheng’s Zoids mecha is probably the biggest mecha I have EVER seen around. It’s just HUGE! Just look at that photo where he’s fighting with a human who looks like a mouse. Not in this picture is the tail detail of the mecha. It’s LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG AND HUGE, TOO!

For the other things that happend that night, check out the following. click on the landscape oriented photos for the larger image.

Alodia's Fantasy 143 performing a Harana cover
Alodia's Fantasy with Ashley Gosiengfiao singing a cover of John Mayer's Back to You
Alodia's Fantasy Somedaydream aka Rez Toledo performs
Kel Fabie with Alodia Gosiengfiao
Alodia's Fantasy Kring Elenzano in an impromptu interview
Alodia's Fantasy Gerard Sison giving Alodia Island Roses
Alodia's Fantasy Gerard Sison as Christopher Reeve Superman
Kel asked Gerard what his name is to which Gerard answered, “a friend.” His answer brought the house down. Well played.
Alodia's Fantasy Alodia Gosiengfiao during the Island Rose Winner Reveal
Alodia's Fantasy Alodia Gosiengfiao during the Island Rose Winner Reveal
That’s it. The Alodia’s Fantasy program in photos. Great job flippish and everyone who made this event possible and the sponsors, of course. Thanks Kring and Chris Tan for the invite! Will there be an Alodia’s Fantasy Encore any time soon? :)

PS: I apologize to the Haga Twins Miwha and Michiko, too. Looking at my photos at home, it appears I did not have a great shot of them other than what I took during the rehearsals. Bawi ako next time, I promise >.<

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Cosplayers of Cosplay Mania ’11 Day 2

3 October 2011

Cosplayers of Cosplay Mania ’11 Day 2

Wasn’t able to drop by Day 1 but didn’t let Day 2 of Cosplay Mania ’11 just happen without me meekly (lol) requesting for photos from the better cosplayers of the day. Was told by Lyron Aquino last night that Kristel Lim will showcase something BIG for Day 2 (which also happens to be her birthday. Happy Birthday Kristel!). And in a great big armor she came! Saw a lot of familiar faces in the crowd the likes of Samantha De Guzman in armor, Jia Gold Bustamante doing Shaiya Light (a very wholesome rendition, mind you. I would not have thought it possible for anyone to put together until today), Lyron was of course around in his version of civilian clothes (lol), and Jayem Sison as a Black★Rock Shooter dude, complete with abdominal stitched-up lacerations, a badass katana, and bright blue right eye. And of course, abs.

Like you’ve read what I’ve written anyway. You just scrolled straight at the photos, didn’t you? I do that all the time, too. Guilty as a death row inmate. Overall, Cosplay Mania ’11 was pretty organized. Sure, there were three long lines moving at a snail’s pace at the entrance but that was because the security folks were pretty thorough with the bag inspection of both participants and spectators. Security minus the irony. Great job! SMX was also pretty lax in letting cosplayers and photographers just hang around the lobby area of the Function Halls which is a first for the cosplay cons I’ve gone to in SMX, so far. The result was an event that is not as crowded, though I think there are more people who attended this year than last. I had so much fun that I could not be arsed to watch the TOrCH Finals, although I did buy tickets LOL.

Ok, on to the photos! Just like old times, left click to view the larger image. Feel free to grab and post on your facebook but please do not remove the watermark. Linking back to fritzified.com is not required but I’ll love you more if you do lol. If you know the characters that I haven’t named and the names of the cosplayrs featured here, do call me out on them by the comment area so I can properly label the photos in return for their indulgence (for graciously letting me take their photos). Great job for this year’s con, guys! If I may say, participants are SERIOUSLY getting better and better each con!

EDIT: as this is too good to not share. Added Gerard Sison’s cosplay of Superman. Know why that costume looks so finely detailed? Here’s the story straight from Gerard:

“I was offered that Superman costume the night before the Toycon. It is a limited edition Christopher Reeve replica and there are only 10 in the world. It is made in Argentina and was sourced from all over the world. But I thought it was too much to spend for.”

AMAZING!

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Cosplay Mania ’11 TOrCH Manila Preliminaries Winner

2 October 2011

Cosplay Mania ’11 TOrCH Manila Preliminaries Winner

Before the grand showdown today, Sunday, October 2, 2011, of the Cosplay Tournament of Champions aka TOrCH II 2011, preliminaries were held in Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Davao, Cebu, and three other SM locations around Metro Manila. The winners from each of the locations get to compete against each other during the TOrCH II Grand Finals. The finals will be held at the SMX, SM Mall of Asia during Day 2, that’s TODAY, of Cosplay Mania ’11. The Grand Prize winners will only represent the Philippines in the AFA ’11 Regional Cosplay Championships. Very VERY snooty.

A week ago, I was in SM Manila to watch the Manila preliminaries. Team Vostel who cosplayed Voltes V and Baizanga emerged victorious with Team Lion Rush who cosplayed Chun Li and Ryu coming in second with a fraction of a point difference in the score. That Voltes V cosplay sure looks like it jumped straight out of the animated series and everyone agrees. Contestants are asked to do a skit complete with sound bites from their chosen anime, manga, or game. How well shall Team Vostel and all other finalists fare in the Finals? Stay tuned for that and more on my update soon after the event.

See you at Cosplay Mania ’11!

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