Photography at Knight Realms
Last Updated on Saturday, 29 September 2012 14:31
Written by GJSchaller (GJSchaller)
One of the great things about KR is all the fantastic imagery that you can see at event - the costumes, makeup, scenery, combat, and so on. While we try to capture as much of this as possible at each event, there is only so much that one person with a camera can do, and a lot of it is missed. Even when a player sets out to take photos, there is a lot they don't see, as so much is going on with over a hundred players at some events!
Because of this, we encourage players, parents, and bystanders to take pictures on their own, and submit them to us for use on the site. The more material we have to work with, the better the overall result will be. We understand that not every photo will be a masterpiece, but if more people take photos and submit them, we will have more quality pictures to add to the site.
We offer the following guidelines and suggestions for taking photos while at KR:
- Remember, the game comes first: Please don't disrupt play with your photography - be discrete, and unless you have special permission from the Director, be out of game when taking photos. We ask that you wear something unobtrusive (basic peasant garb is fine), a white headband to signify you are OOG (so you are not disturbed or disrupt the game), and please do not interrupt a scene or combat for your photography. If you wish to arrange a shot or a portrait, please do so quietly and to the side, where it will not interrupt the game as a whole. Also, please be careful about using a Flash, as it may distract some people who are trying to stay In-Game.
- Keep the quality high: Take a look at what you are shooting - there should not be jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, cars, or other modern items in the shot, if at all possible. Because you can choose to angle your picture to avoid such things, we ask that you take the time and care to do so. If a shot has serious OOG presence, we may edit or not use it, as it will ruin the atmosphere and image we are trying to create.
- Atmosphere: Your subject should not look like a high school yearbook portrait. If you can, have them look away from the camera, or be doing something at the time, so there is some action or drama to the shot. Take a quick look through the Citizen's Gallery at the portraits, and you can see which pictures are more interesting than others.
- Makeup and Costuming: This is a tough one, because of the activity of the game. If you are taking a posed or pre-arranged shot, take a moment to make sure the subject is in good makeup and costuming. If makeup needs touch-up, or a costume bit needs adding or replacing, do it before you take the picture.
- Scanning the Shot / Digital Cameras: Eventually, the picture needs to make it onto a computer somehow. We prefer JPEG format, although we can convert almost any other format into something for the Web. When choosing the image size and quality, it is always better to go with large images and high quality, because it can be reduced later to fit the needs of the website. It's much harder to take a small, low-quality picture and enhance it so it looks good. We recommend that a final image should be at least 800x600 pixels or larger (We typically use 1280 x 960), and JPEG Quality should be "Best" on a digital camera, or 90% on a Scanner.
- What to take pictures of: Characters, of course, are always welcome, either for us in the Citizen's Gallery, or for just the Scenes. If you need a shot for the Gallery, plan ahead with a friend to get the shot at a pre-arranged time. Take the time to get into full costume, makeup, and props, pose a scene somewhere, and take several shots so that if one comes out bad, you have other choices.
If you are looking for a scene, try to do these naturally, with a minimum of posing. This is especially true for combat - while you can pose two people as if they were fighting, it rarely is as good a shot as if they are actually in combat, and a candid picture is taken. If you have a video camera or a digital camera that will take movies, video footage of combat is always accepted.
If you know of a good potential picture (Major NPC, Monster, battle scene, etc.) ahead of time, please take a moment to take a picture of it, or ask someone else to. A lot of our most memorable makeup and costuming jobs have been followed by the wail of "I wish I had a camera!" If you plan on running a plot or mod for the weekend, please make sure someone will be able to take pictures of it. The Dark Naga in the Bestiary is a good example of a successful picture of a major NPC. Regular monsters (Goblins, Skeletons, etc.) for the Bestiary are always welcome as well, not only for the web site but for reference material for later makeup work.
- Lighting, Day, and Night: Because we try to not use artificial lighting during the night at KR, nighttime shots are difficult to light properly. Using a flash works, but at night in the woods it can be hard to fill the empty space around someone, and this may throw the lighting off. Daylight shots are usually easier to take due to the natural lighting. If you are a good enough photographer, nigh shots are greatly appreciated, but please be careful not to disrupt the game too much either with posing, or with a flash.
When you have footage to submit, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org for processing. It is recommended that you use Pando (http://www.pando.com ) to send the files - you can simply drag the folder of pictures into Pando, and send it off (there is no need to Zip them ahead of time). The Staff will be able to download the file and process the pictures for the website.