Category Archives: Photography

Anatomy of a Photo shoot: Kerrigan & Nova

5 May , 2013,
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Working with a company that you’ve fanboyed over is a geek’s dream come true.

In March  this was made reality when our team, together with our friends from The Art of Mezame, collaborated with Razer to create a series of images featuring Angelus’s Kerrigan and Jazion’s Nova cosplay together with Razer’s new StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm inspired gaming peripherals.

The team also got to play with the Razer Blade gaming laptop and Razer Edge gaming tablet, and the experience was pure heaven!

Nova and Kerrigan fight over phat Razer lewt!

It’s no secret that Angelus and Jazion were working on StarCraft costumes.

For Angelus, creating Kerrigan was both a challenge and an homage. The Queen of Blades was strong and independent, exactly the sort of heroine she aspired to be. What’s more, this was an opportunity for Angelus to step out of her comfort zone – to try her hand at creating a fully organic suit out of latex and silicone.

Nova’s tale was the catalyst for Jazion’s love affair with creative writing, and recreating the costume was a tribute to the psychic assassin that’s been her inspiration since childhood. Nova was also her most ambitious project to date, and a first when it came to experimenting with fresh techniques and materials.

*          *          *

Sci-fi is probably one of the hardest genres to shoot in Singapore. No matter how you frame it or light it, Singapore is still pretty much an urban sprawl with limited spaces that can evince the look and feel of a space port, an alien planet, or simply something that’s completely out of this world.

Our first choice for a venue, the gallery at Marina Barrage, was a no-go because they’d had bad run-ins with cosplayers in the past. That got us scrambling for a new shoot location, which was a warehouse in the East.

Dat excavator shot. :3

Turned out the warehouse was perfect!

There was enough heavy machinery and scrap lying around to simulate the interior of a ruined Terran depot, power so we didn’t need to lug batteries around for the lights, and get this, a frickin’ excavator so we could try something really cool and crazy.

Shooting two psychics in battle isn’t as easy as it looks!

Getting that top down shot.

“We experimented a lot with lighting, shadows and space manipulation to recreate a battle between these [iconic] StarCraft heroes. – Mezame, photographer and art director”

Mezame was a gamer too, so we knew we were in good hands. It’s also amazing just how he managed to achieve the things he did with just three LED  lamps, two flashes, and some filters.

Putting all the elements in the scene together.

And here’s how the final shot turned out.

We also used lots and lots of baby powder and spray bottles filled with water to create mists that simulated the psionic effects, which turned out pretty cool!

Overall, we’re really happy with how the shoot turned out, and grateful for Razer’s patronage. It truly was an honor to work with such a prestigious and established brand on this project!

Check out the rest of the shots in our gallery on Facebook here!

Also, don’t forget to visit The Art of Mezame. We’ll be collaborating with them on another project pretty soon too, and that’s gonna take place end May, so keep your eyes peeled!

You can also take a look at the images used on the official Razer page here.

We’d like to thank The Art of Mezame for the behind-the-scenes pictures used in this post. 

Demon Hunter Studio Shoot

31 May , 2012,
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Since it was Geek Pride Day last Friday, Angelus and I decided to get with the program and geeked out Diablo style in the green screen studio at Camwerkz. XD

I was itching to shoot my Demon Hunter in studio, since I wanted to work on some dynamic poses and to test out the suit’s flexibility and stunt readiness.

Since the Demon Hunter dual wielded crossbows I was also compelled to tote ’em gun kata style because it was the cool thing to do. (If you don’t know what gun kata is, just check this video out).

crimson, demon hunter, demon hunter cosplay, male demon hunter, diablo 3, diablo iii, d3

Gotta love the amount of space we had to play with.

Here’s another take.

We had a full 20-ft of space (that’s almost 17-m) to play with, and that meant we could do some really fun stuff.

It took us two hours, almost 400 shots, and some solid DI (thanks to our friend Conjurer CJ from Project Zen) to execute our vision, but here’s the end result.

When a Demon Hunter uses Strafe with the Equilibrium rune, this is what happens. Kinda. XD

Also if you’re curious, here’s how we did the lighting and camera placements.

Here’s how we did the light and camera placements.

The secret was to use bulb mode and multiple exposures to snag the action, and to do it as cleanly as possible. Easy enough, yeah?

Achievement Unlocked: Voted in Singapore Blog Awards 2012!

We hit more than 100 votes yesterday, and you know what that means, cosplay friends!

Yes, it’s a new campaign milestone , and that means we’ll be putting out something fun to thank you for your support in the Singapore Blog Awards.

We’ve created a special wallpaper featuring Crimson’s Diablo III Demon Hunter cosplay, and you can grab it right off our servers here [link]. 

Don’t forget, we’re dedicated to creating more quality cosplay and pop-culture related content, and your continued support will go a long way towards helping us realize this.

Please do keep voting for us in the Singapore Blog Awards.

You can do so simply by clicking on the Vote icon, or on this link now! XD

All Geek to me: Jay Tablante's Geekology 101 Exhibition

4 Dec , 2011,
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Saturday was a big day for the staff and crew of The Neo Tokyo Project.

Jay Tablante’s Geekology 101 exhibition was our first cosplay related gig (we’ve just ventured into the cosplay events management arena, woohoo!), and we decided to start it off with a bang by having everyone come in costume.

Guests started trickling in for the exhibition, which comprised some 15 pieces of his work, after 10 a.m., and just in time too, to catch Jay for some early print purchases and signings before his shooting seminar at 1 p.m.

That was when everyone packed it in together in Grid MMS’s cozy studio, where Jay was a veritable font of knowledge, sharing valuable insights on the methodology behind cosplay shoots, his techniques, and cheap ways to create some really stellar effects (a lot of it involved baby powder and the cunning use of multiple lights) with more than 20 members of the local photography scene.

Alodia Gosiengfiao also graced the occasion during our interlude, taking precious minutes off from her packed schedule to visit the exhibition, pose for pictures, and mingle with the fans. (Crimson managed to get a picture with her too!)

This was followed later by Jay’s shooting demo, where Vega Highwell (in her Lightning costume), Maverick Villenguez (Takuto Tsunashi, the White King at Cosplay Chess), and our very own part-time warrior Angelus (as Lady Mechanika) were nabbed for some snaps by the man himself.

It was a real eye opener to see Jay in action, and it was apparent from the deliberation he placed on illuminating the subject that to work some real cosplay photography magic, it was important to get the lighting right the first time round.

The event winded down after 6 p.m., but that didn’t stop Jay from spending more time with the fans, or from shooting our crew just for fun (thanks loads!).

All told, it was an amazing experience and a great honor to work with Jay on his exhibition, and we’re certainly looking forward to his next visit!

Here are some photos from the event:

We’ve also got some nice footage courtesy of our friends at Operation PAniC. Check it out below.

We’d like to thank Jay for his presence, our EightBit Media partners for making the event a reality, Red Dot Diva, Golgolak’s Den and Here Be Geeks for their coverage, our crew, and our guests for making Geekology 101 a success.

You guys rock! XD

Geekology 101 Give Away

Even if you’ve missed Geekology 101 over the weekend, don’t fret! We’ve saved a signed print featuring Alodia as Masane Amaha from the Witchblade anime for one lucky fan!

Simply tell us why you deserve the print, and why we should give it to you on our Facebook fanpage to qualify for the raffle.

Contest closes 19 Dec 2011, so if you want a shot at this, get to commenting!

A Q&A with Jay Tablante

30 Nov , 2011,
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For fans of comics and cosplay, Jay Tablante‘s something of a household name.

The internationally acclaimed photographer has worked with some of the greatest minds in comic book giant Marvel to craft stunning images that have brought characters like X-23, Emma Frost and Psylocke to dazzling life, and will be hosting his first ever Singapore exhibition at Grid MMS (*SCAPE) this Saturday.

Morrigan Aensland, by Jay Tablante. Used with permission.

Amber B-17 Decal, by Jay Tablante. Used with permission.

So what’s cosplay photography and cosplay like to someone who’s worked with celebrities like Yayahan, Alodia & Ashley Gosiengfiao? We find out.



Crimson: So Jay, why did you choose to hold your exhibition in Singapore, of all places? 

Jay Tablante: Singapore is a hub for a lot of things in Southeast Asia, and the arts is one of its growing strengths through out the years. It’s a good platform to get your works introduced regionally.

Crimson: I hear you’re big on comics. Who are your favorite characters? 

Jay Tablante: Firstly, Psylocke, because there’s something about hot female assassins that gets the fancy of a lot of fan boys. Elektra is also a close second to this criteria. Rogue. She’s similar to Psylocke – chicks who can kick butt are cool. And finally Gambit. His powers are just cool. I also like how Gambit retains his cool in a lot of situations.

Editor’s Note: (Anybody wanna cosplay one of these characters on Saturday? XD)

Crimson: So, what kinda qualities do you look out for in a cosplayer? 

Jay Tablante: It’d have to be someone who is meticulous with the details, and will not settle for anything less in quality. I am not looking for a model, but more of an actor, who could let themselves go and become the character they are cosplaying. I also like cosplayers who are very open to exploring new techniques, art direction and composition; the ones who would entrust me with the images, as much as I entrust them to produce the best costume they can.

Crimson: What’s cosplay photography to you, really? 

Jay Tablante: Illustrating has been a personal frustration of mine since I was a kid. I wanted to draw, but I couldn’t. What I imagined in my head simply wasn’t what my hands were doodling with the pencil. The closest I ever came to doing so was graphic design.

Back in college, I was introduced to photography. Being a geek and frustrated painter / illustrator, photography paved the way for me to realize my imagination. It was an immediate medium for me to come up with images. I started out with portraiture, eventually ended up doing fashion as the bulk of my workload.

But the geek in me never died. In fact, it grew and started to assert itself over the years. So I sought out a way to satisfy the inner geek – of trying to illustrate with my new found skill in taking pictures; if I couldn’t draw superheroes, I would make images of them with a camera.

Crimson: And you’ll be publishing a photo book about them too? Can you tell us more about it?

Jay Tablante: The book is called Geekology 101. I thought of using the same title of this exhibit in Singapore as a prelude to something bigger in 2012. So it becomes Geekology 101: The Book. It’s mostly made out of my personal portfolio over the years, but there’s a special emphasis on cosplay photography. It was this sub-genre that made the most impact in my work, hence the tribute.



Catch Jay Tablante at the “Geekology 101” exhibition this Saturday, 3rd December, at Grid MMS (2 Orchard Link, #04-01, GRID New Media Studios, Singapore 237978).

Doors open from 10 am to 9 pm, and Admission is free.

Other highlights also include a Seminar by Jay Tablante at 1 pm, and a Shooting Demo at 5 pm.

Registration for Seminar and Shooting Demo

We’ve heard your queries, so we’re opening pre-registration for Jay Tablante’s seminar and shooting demo. Places are limited (since the venue’s pretty compact) so register now to avoid disappointment.

Simply send an email to with the Subject Header “Registration for Jay Tablante’s Seminar” or “Registration for Jay Tablante’s Shooting Demo” with your Name, NRIC and Contact Number to apply.

Geekology 101: Jay Tablante's Cosplay Photo Exhibition

11 Nov , 2011,
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The Neo Tokyo Project is proud to be the official media and co-organizer for Geekology 101: a 1-man cosplay photography exhibition cum mini-workshop by internationally acclaimed cosplay photographer Jay Tablante.

If you’re a cosplayer or photographer in the local scene, be sure to check it out! It’s a rare opportunity to pick the brains of the man who’s taken the photos of Alodia & Ashley Gosiengfiao, Jinri Park and Yayahan, and worked with Marvel to produce a series of exclusive pictures featuring their characters.

Jay’s also conducting a photography workshop, and will be taking the opportunity to meet and snap local cosplayers.

Date: 3rd December, 2011

Time: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Venue: Grid MMS @ *SCAPE, 2 Orchard Link, Singapore.

Geekology 101: Promo Poster! ^_^

World of Warcraft: Rogues Studio Shoot

23 Jul , 2011,
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Joey and I had a great time setting up, styling, and modelling for our second World of Warcraft photography session yesterday.

It was fun to be behind the camera again, and nothing beats the kind of control you have in a studio environment – it’s so easy to bend light to your will, to determine every angle, and shape every variable to craft a pretty picture.

Since we were both rogues this year, we decided to go with a black backdrop, the better to simulate the rogue’s ability to blend into and step out of the shadows. We also decided that we would try something a little more experimental, illuminating only one side of the body, while leaving the other obscured to heighten the dramatic quality of the shoot.

To execute this concept, we went with 2 flash units in soft boxes – one (1) was a vertical strip light, while the second (2) was standard fare. A black bounce (a large, rectangular styrofoam board, painted black on one side) was placed parallel to the strip light, to absorb excess fill from our light sources.

Here’s a diagram showing the studio set-up:

Our lighting setup.

In many of the photos, the second light was either dimmed, or triggered only when there was insufficient light cast on the face. It was switched off otherwise.

Here’s a look at the results of the shoot:

A Location a Week: Old Water Tower

10 Jul , 2011,
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In Wessex Estate, an adjoining area just past the railway tracks I wrote about in a previous entry is an old water tower crowning a hill next to a block of black and white buildings that house studios and artists in residence.

1. Water Feature

This water tower stands atop a small hillock, ringed by trees and greenery. It provides an idyllic setting for photo shoots that play up the state of urban decay, or perhaps for a dystopic vision of the future, where nature has run rampant. Just mind your step though, because getting up there in heels or elaborate costumes could be a bit of a hassle.

2. Getting there:

This location is accessible only by a single bus – 191 – and you’re in for a long walk after you make your way into the heart of the estate. There’s a quicker solution though, and that is to take either buses 51, 61, 93, 100, 123, 147, 153, 196, 198, 642, 855 and 961 and alight at the bus stop 11041 (after Commonwealth Drive).

It’s just a short walk from there past the Blessed Sacrament Church and the Sri Muneeswaran Temple into Commonwealth Park. Follow the wrought iron fence, and when you locate a break in the fence, odds are you’ll also locate a crossing to the railway tracks, as well as a flight of steps leading into the heart of Wessex Estate right across.

Where else will you find an antique like this?

A Location a Week: Rail Tracks

19 Jun , 2011,
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In my previous A Location a Week article, I mentioned an alluvial, green expanse along Queensway. Now, not more than 400 meters away, tucked away at the terminus of an overgrown parking lot, is a connector to the KTM rail tracks.

1. Railroading

These tracks extend into the horizon, converging at a single point. It’s flanked by greenery – trees to the left and right, and gravel. It’s an optimal location for scenes depicting waif-like runaways, grunge fashion and emo characters, as well as a prime spot for a combat or chase scene.

2. Getting there:

This location is accessible by buses 51, 61, 93, 100, 123, 147, 153, 196, 198, 642, 855 and 961. Look out for Bus Stop Number 11021, right after Queensway Shopping Centre, and the Alexandra Fire Station . The nearest MRT station is Queenstown, and you can take bus 51 from Queenstown MRT station, from the bus stop at Exit A (to the left, exiting the control station gantry).

Once you’ve reached the area, follow the tarmac path. It navigates through an area that was formerly a car park that’s also not a bad location at all for a cosplay photo shoot, and past that, a small construction site. You’ll eventually come to a roundabout with a wrinkled old tree near it, just to the right of that is the rail track access.

Railway tracks that seem to go on forever! XD

Here's where you get off the bus. XD

You want to take a left here. It's only several meters from the bus stop.

Go through here, and follow the path to the very end.

A Location a Week: Queensway

12 Jun , 2011,
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With Singapore’s heavy residential and industrial build-up, it’s sometimes difficult to find ideal locations for your cosplay photo shoots, especially areas that complement your costume.

In this new column, I’ll be featuring places in and around Singapore (with several off the marginally beaten track). Some of these places are in the heartlands and within your very own neighborhoods, such as the subject of our very first installment today.

1. Glittering Green Fields

There’s a patch of verdant green tucked away behind a lone bus stop at the very edge of the Queensway Flyover, across from the slip road into Queen’s Close.

This immaculate green space is large and spacious, with tall grass and stands of gnarled trees, as well as foliage that vanish into the skyline, creating a nice backdrop uncluttered by the HDB flats, vehicles, and the like.

It’s a great location that catches ample light during both morning and evening hours, especially the two golden periods at sunset and sunrise, and optimal for shooting characters in sylvan settings, such as elves and forest dwellers. It’d also make a viable location for period shoots, especially for fight scenes and confrontations on open grassland.

2. Getting there:

This location is accessible by buses 51, 61, 93, 100, 123, 147, 153, 196, 198, 642, 855 and 961. Look out for Bus Stop Number 11039, Block 19, as well as the marker that says Queensway Flyover. The nearest MRT station is Queenstown, and you can take bus 51 from Queenstown MRT station, from the bus stop at Exit A (to the left, exiting the control station gantry).

If you drive, there’s ample parking space at the open air carpark just inside the slip road at Queen’s Close, and the field is just across the road, accessible via a traffic crossing.

Here are some pictures of the location.

The field, in all its splendor.

Another angle.

From a height.

Here's a landmark to look out for.

Keep an eye out for this sign, especially.