Photographic Essay - Cartoon Role-Playing Teenagers at Siam Paragon
By Graham K. Rogers
On Saturday, instead of a quiet sit after lunch, Siam Paragon had one of its regular invasions of teenagers dressed as cartoon characters. When I have seen these youngsters before, they immerse themselves into the preparations and bring along friends as support and, in some cases, to help with the final application of makeup.
Role-play is nothing new and as a child I would enter for what were called "fancy dress" competitions, although we never had the resources I see nowadays. These young people are dressed after the themes of what appear (to my knowledge) to be characters from Japanese cartoon series (and comics), as well as Star Wars.
As I had a camera with me, I walked around the area, before picking a spot and taking photographs of some of the young participants. There were many others with cameras in attendance, with a wide range of still and video devices: some for personal records, and perhaps some for professional use. One youngster, with a Nikon D7200 who was with one of the teens spotted my camera, came up and engaged me in a conversation about cameras.
Photographers at the Cartoon Event, Siam Paragon
As a technical note, I took the first couple of images with a 50mm lens, before making a conscious decision to switch to the Nikkor 85mm lens I was carrying. This brings the subject closer. I was also using aperture priority settings, which automatically changes ISO and time.
Two or three particular ideas had formed: enjoyment of those taking part; serious efforts, particularly with clothing and makeup for the best effects; the photographers; and Spiderman. There was quite a group of Spiderman clones together and they seemed to be enjoying themselves particularly. Of the others, their characters appeared to give them serious demeanours, but the moment a camera appeared they were in full pose mode and (indicatively) full smile mode afterwards.
Spiderman and Clones at the Cartoon Event, Siam Paragon
Using a cable connection I transferred the 202 pics directly from the camera to the Mac in 5 minutes. After a quick look, and before any serious work on the imports, I exported all the images to via USB-C to a Solid State Drive for archive purposes: that took 2 minutes
My first look through the imported photographs culled 116 images, leaving me with 76. There were some duplicate subjects in with those, so I selected the image I liked best, leaving 56 photos to edit. I wanted to bring it down to around 25-30 of the best images, which would mean some fairly good photographs would not be used (at least not initially). Those are shown on these pages, above and below.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)