Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It only takes one person

       I've heard about a cosplay held in SETEC, Gyodae, Gangnam.  I've heard about these events happen in other places but I never knew I could have the chance of seeing one.  So I got a bit more info about the place and time, prepared my gear and asked around how to do picture taking in such occasions.

       Now I have been a fan of some anime and comics when I was a kid.  I never had the resources nor the funds to delve much into it though.  So with regards to what's happening in these types of gathering, I really have no clue but some youtube videos of vloggers talking about these stuff.  I'm pretty excited, despite not knowing what's out there.

       Saturday, it just so happened that I'm to buy a laptop that afternoon.  So I really was on a tight budget.  Starting with the "buyer's remorse" I can't afford to spend much for anything.  So yeah, I get to brave the heat this day and just hope me going to the cosplay is worth it...
It wasn't at first.

       So I got to the place too late.  I was planning to look at how things are done that Saturday and then come back the day after, ready and less ignorant.  But alas, I was late.  The time I got there, everyone's going out already.  I just watched the people who surprisingly look like they're on their day-to-day clothes.  Ah well.

       Sunday, ready and gone.  I got to SETEC at about 11 am (cosplay starts at 10 am) and there are many youngsters in and out of the convention.  Playing cool, I bought a ticket, got in, looked around, and just readied my camera for anything candid that might happen.  I don't see anyone holding SLRs.  Mostly just kids with their phones.  It feels awkward but somehow the people aren't bothered, except the occasional disapproving look when one assumes I'm about to take their pictures... just the ordinary spectators though.  Inside the convention were booths here and there.  I see kids in the corners, grouped and helping each other out on wearing their costumes.  It's nice to see these kids in this attitude.  I bet after today, they'd be spitting on my face in the subway again.  So booths with lots of different things to buy.  Tokens, hairclips, comics, nugs, shirts, you name it.  As long as it's anime themed, it's there.

Although, in a xenophobic and homophobic country as South Korea is, I find it ironic that most of their local comic contents are of homosexual nature.  It is not pornographic at all (duh!) but it has a lot of content deemed taboo in such a conservative country.

       I couldn't last inside the convention for too long.  The air was so dense that I often pant a little.  I was drenched in my sweat with the heat and the crowd and this heavy gear I'm carrying with me-- and still get no pictures.  So I went outside to get some air, but on my way saw the first robot posing while people take pictures with their phones.  Seeing this, I assumed this is how it goes.  Just look for characters posing and it means I can take pictures of them.  But with my current lens and tight crowd, I couldn't take a decent shot.  Just a rushed snapshot would do for now.  I bet there's more of them now that someone initiated it.

Outside, I saw a girl posing with her fake gun while some people take her pictures.  I joined in a bit but by the time I got close enough to get a decent shot, the group was done and so was she.  Oh well.  So I sat by near a shed and took a video clip outside of the convention.  The girl with a gun was passing by as I pan my phone (and so I did make a comment about me liking her for posing without care) and she noticed.  I realized she was irritated by it as she just stared at me rudely and screamed, "Mwo Hae?!" (What are you doing?).  Startled, I lowered my phone and smiled with a bow and just looked away from her.  The group taking her pictures were apparently her friends, rushing to gather around her and cover her from my view... I'm like WTF?  Celebrity much? 

       That was just the start, though.  The day gets worse as the heat gets stronger, yet outside, is still random from cloudy to a little sun.  People dressed up in character allowed everyone else to take their pictures except me.  I was forced to take candid shots.  A field I've never touched and honestly not a fan of taking.  Mid of the afternoon and photographers with impressive gears started appearing.  With the day and aches, I'm feeling more and more shy and really regret coming to this event.  All my excitement was washed out and I got nothing to do but rant to myself on a video.

       I could only speculate what happened next.  From feeling down and considering packing up, a girl posed in front of me and for some reason, I couldn't help myself.  For some reason, my mind shut off whatever I was thinking and just focused on this girl.  For some reason, I zoned in on her.  Not caring whatever I felt a while ago, not caring whether she'll shoo me off like the rest of them, not caring on looking at the settings and lights and what not.  Not caring that I have but a mere kit lens while the others are strutting their "L" lenses.  I just didn't care.  I just want to take pictures of her.  And it got better.  She was posing for another guy and I was just there "stealing" some shots.  But when she was done with the other guy, she looked straight to my camera and went on posing.  Moving slightly yet fluidly.  She made me feel like we're in a real studio on a real photoshoot.  She made me feel like Nigel Barker on an ANTM episode.  I mean really!  She made me feel like a real photographer.  I am in love!

The rest of the day went much much better from the moment this girl happened to me.  I was able to get pictures left and right.  My body is worn out but my spirit helped it go through the day.  It is strange that I had my confidence built up so high, I think it showed, and no one shooed me away.  Should there have been, I might have not noticed... All thanks to this girl.  My Red Angel.

       I was so happy that I treated myself some keepsake from this event.  A t-shirt, 2 gay comics, and a mug.  More than a week has passed by.  But even now, looking at her divine image, I feel touched by an angel, and inspired to better my skills, with the hope that I see her again for a proper session.

Facebook album to the cosplay.

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