What is Cosplay?

Cosplay is a pormanteau of the words “costume” and “play” which encompass the essence of this type of performance art. The participants dress up as a specific character and try to imitate the facial expressions, movements and speech patterns so it’s also a type of role-playing.

Types of Characters
Most of the characters that are imitated from from Japanese manga or comics, video games and animated television series or anime. But that’s not all. Fans also include real-life performers and characters from fantasy and science fiction movies, J-pop and visual kei music, and novels. The cosplayers or the participants spend time, money and resources to accurately portray the characters as close as possible.

Cosplay Categories
There are two types of cosplaying often seen during conventions today. One is called masquerade. Its objective is to act like the character being imitated. They memorize lines often attributed to the character as well as plan short skits and performances on stage. It requires the cosplayer to be familiar about everything that has to do with the character. The second type is called the basic cosplay. The participant looks like the character he/she is trying to imitate but there is no emphasis on the accuracy of the portrayal in speech and action. Often, basic cosplayers do not join the stage performances and formal contests and are usually part of the audience.

Costume Categories
Some cosplay conventions even go on to classify participants in the contest into different categories. Some classify based on the genre or the type of costumes. The genre is usually divided into anime or manga, gaming, and comics or Western. For costume categories, the participants are sometimes divided into cloth and armor.

Cosplay Trends
While a majority of cosplayers still pick characters from anime and manga, more and more participants choose characters from non-Japanese video games and fandoms like Star Wars and Warcraft. Other participants aren’t also picky about the gender of the character. It isn’t uncommon for a female to cosplay as a male character and vice versa. Some would attend as a group cosplaying characters from the same fandom and even historical eras.

Costume Creation
Cosplaying isn’t a cheap hobby especially if you’re planning to join competitions. Most of the participants make their costumes themselves. Some manufacturers sell packaged outfits but this is usually frowned upon by most participants. Artists usually create everything from wigs, clothes, body paint, jewelry, armor, weapons, accessories, and even vehicles. There are participants who don’t cosplay but specialize in creating outfits. Others also benefit by posing exclusively for photographers or working as professional cosplayers to advertise products. Some participants also make money by renting out costumes they have made or acquired.

Photography Trends Every Aspiring Photographer Needs to Try Today

As the award-winning photographer and globetrotter Chase Jarvis once said, the best camera in the world is the one that you possess. It is inevitable to get caught up in a competition as to who has the best equipment when it comes to photography, especially when factors like advanced specifications and megapixels come to play in the quality of your photos.

Regardless, it’s not impossible for you to take breathtaking snapshots even if you don’t have the latest camera model. Jarvis himself was able to publish a book of photos taken across the globe merely through the use of his iPhone. You may be no Jarvis, but there are recent photography trends you can try to take good photos. Exercise your creativity and photography skills by trying these out!

1. Drone cameras
Advancements in technology has equipped photographers to make use of drones when it comes to taking photographs or videos from how many altitudes in the sky. Drones, which are controlled by radio, successfully capture scenarios previously deemed impossible without having to cash out a ruinously expensive budget. Drone cameras are now used for documenting special events as well, such as wedding nuptials.

2. 360 degree photography
Spherical cameras are now available in the market, much to the delight of a number of photographers. It enables them to capture almost everything around them: the scene above, below, in front of them and behind. As a result, it produces images which are definitely considered unique and one of a kind. There are also 360 photographs which can be viewed using virtual reality goggles, allowing the viewer to realistically experience scenes as if one were physically present when it was taken.

3. Polaroids
Recent years has seen the return of instant photographs. With that, Polaroids have returned to the photography field in such a big way. Although most of us has turned into digital when it comes to processing our snapshots, there is still significance attached to instantly developed photos. Polaroids, which add a beautiful retro twist, are also considered a trend when it comes to fashion photography — as notably observed in recent Burberry and Boss SS16 campaigns.

4. The return of film
Contrary to popular belief, film isn’t dead. Veteran photographers have continued to work with film for reasons such as: it instills a discipline in taking photos and maintains a visual quality to film-taken photographs. The grain involved in film also makes colors bustle to life, something the flatness of raw digital pixels fail to adapt.

5. Fisheye lens
When it comes to camera lenses, owning a fisheye lens is one guaranteed way to take your photographs to the next level. The lens became popular to a number of photographers mainly because of their unique and fun usage, not to mention their iconic distorted lines. Using fisheye truly fosters one’s creative side!

5 Ways to Take Level Up Your Photography Game Using Fisheye Lens

When it comes to camera lenses, owning a fisheye lens is considered one of the cheapest yet most creative choices. It’s no surprise to know much these lenses can cost, but using fisheye is remarkably accessible even to photographers who are merely starting out in the field.

First, the history. Prior to its creative contribution in photography, fish eye lenses are originally called as “whole sky lenses.” They were designed for meteorological use such as studying the cloud and sky formations, as well as the weather patterns.

However, thanks to the unique results of snapshots, this type of lens quickly rose to popularity even in general photography. The images they produce are considered one of a kind. Its iconic distorted lines provide another angle regarding how we view the world, and achieving such a shot is difficult (save for when you use a photo editing software like Photoshop, of course.)

1. Radial blur
This feature to using a fisheye lens is ideal if you’re taking a snapshot out of a moving crowd or in the midst of an ongoing event. Wedding receptions, in particular, can be documented in such a way as if you’re preserving the moment complete with all the spins and turns of people around. To do this, pivot the camera’s body around as you cradle the lens and take a shot. Spinning it counter clockwise may also just do the trick.

2. Impressively wide landscapes
Fisheye lenses are convenient at times when you desire to capture everything in a single shot. This kind of lens has a remarkably wide angle which helps in taking impressively wide landscapes. Positioning your horizon towards the middle of the frame can help achieve shots similar to that of using a wide-angled lens, without the distorted lines and angles of your usual fisheye images.

3. Capture entirety of ceilings
Absolutely massive shots of ceilings can also be taken through a fisheye lens. This makes it suitable for symmetrical architecture and colossal monuments. Most of the time, there is a marker on the ground in such buildings which signifies the exact middle of the place — of which you may use to your photographic advantage!

4. Exaggerated curves
One key thing about fisheye lenses is that the further you move the subject of your shot to the frame’s edge, the more distorted the image will turn out. Placing the horizon in the middle frame makes it perfectly straight throughout the image in general. Play around with the curves and exaggerate the distortion to your advantage by placing the horizon closer to the top of the frame instead.

5. Changed perspective
In general, fisheye lens are unique since it enables any photographer to change perspectives as well as experiment with different lines and angles in the process. Even if you choose to lay down on the ground or merely lean against a wall, the lens’ distortion will enable you to take unique and fun photographs.

Understanding How to Build a Minimalist Wardrobe for Men

Whether you’re really into minimalism, a clothing aficionado, or simply looking for a way to start anew and clean out, you’ve most likely asked yourself whether you really need all those piles of clothes in your closet.

Chances are that you’ve already answered it as well: you probably don’t. And no, you really don’t.

The good news is that you can still look your best while keeping your wardrobe to a bare minimum, as long as you keep the principle of interchangeability in mind. Ideally, all the clothes you have should work together.

The Paradox of Choice
This is the first, and perhaps the biggest, hurdle that you need to overcome when building a cohesive wardrobe. The more options you have, the less likely you are to choose – and the more likely you are to stick with what you “usually” wear.

This is what is known as the “paradox of choice” at work. Another instance of this paradox at play is when you are presented with a long menu at a restaurant, and you end up taking forever to order.

Getting past this hurdle may seem difficult when you first look at it. But when you look a little closer, you will find that a few of the many outfits you have are the ones you actually look – and feel – your best in. Keep only those and get rid of the rest.

How Great Style Starts With Fewer Clothes
The principle of interchangeability for your clothes goes like this: twenty percent of your clothes go with eighty percent of your outfits. Once you’ve tossed all the non-essentials, there are a few crucial guidelines that you need to follow when building your wardrobe:

Color – The foundation of your wardrobe should rest on solid, neutral colors. You can never go wrong with black, white, navy, and khaki. Get rid of the graphics, logos, and the unique patterns.

Versatility – You need pieces that can stand up to double, or even triple duty, especially when it comes to pants. In a minimalist wardrobe, special-use items (items for specific occasions only, i.e. tuxedos) have no business being here.

Appropriateness – As much as you think you need to pare down, you still need clothes that are appropriate for the occasion. If your job requires formal attire, you can’t show up in a shirt and jeans.
Your wardrobe might lean towards casual or formal depending on what your lifestyle and day job demands from you, but should ideally consist of not more than twenty pieces.

An example of a minimalist wardrobe can consist of two jackets, eight tops (t-shirts, polo shirts, and button-ups), 2 pants, eight pairs of socks and underwear, two pairs of shoes (one formal, one casual), bringing you to a total of fourteen pieces.

How to Choose an Air Purifier for Your Room in 3 Easy Steps

When it comes to battling smog, not all air purifiers are made equal. Not only are there models and brands in different sizes, but there are also models that sanitize the air in different ways. There are also additional features that come with the model, such as electric plates and activated carbon filters.

Fortunately, choosing an air purifier in Singapore is now simpler by following these three easy steps:

Step 1. Choose one with a reliable HEPA filter
A high-efficiency particulate air filter is the one thing that you need from an air purifier, as it can remove almost all particles that are too small for your body to filter.

While most particles can be trapped by your nose or your throat, other particles (such as particulates found in smog) are so small that they can pass through your body’s natural filters and lodge in your lungs, which can cause health problems.

Step 2. Choose an air purifier that can match the size of the room
An air purifier that’s built for the size of the room you want to put it in is crucial. Fortunately, some manufacturers list the recommended area size in a separate sheet, which makes it easier for you to know if a certain model is best for your room.

You should also keep an eye out on the CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate), which is a number often expressed in cubic meters per minute. The higher the number, the more air it is capable of filtering per minute. However, it’s likely to be more expensive.

Getting the right CADR for your room is a matter of doing the math yourself. Because the ideal ratio for your purifier is that it should cover at least two-thirds of your room, you will need to convert the CADR units to those of your room in either square feet or meters.

Step 3. Avoid ozone and listen for the noise
Contrary to what you’ve been told, ozone is actually bad for your respiratory system, especially if you have asthma. This is because ozone can irritate your lungs and cause symptoms such as coughing, chest pains, and sometimes, even difficulty breathing.

Even though most air purifiers no longer use ozone as a means to sanitize the air, some purifier models still use ion generators (especially electrostatic models) to filter particles, and these models may emit low levels of ozone.

When you do consider buying an air purifier that uses an ion generator, be sure to take a close look at the purifier’s ozone output and compare its levels to the output of other models that use an ion generator.

4 Common Laundry Mistakes You Should Avoid

If you’re one of those who are too busy to do your laundry yourself, commercial laundry services in Singapore that offer laundry pick up and laundry delivery along with wash and fold services might be the best option. However, not knowing what happens during the laundry service and not knowing which services you specifically need can potentially cause disappointment if your clothing and linen are damaged.

Whether you choose to do your laundry yourself or you prefer commercial laundry services, take note of these common laundry mistakes, so you can avoid them.

1. Not Knowing the Care Labels

Learn how to read the care label instructions found on the tags in your clothes, linen, and upholstery. This is crucial especially in items that are decorated, embellished, and dyed. For items that are frequently used such as uniform laundry, you should take care not to make the materials deteriorate fast by using the wrong washing method.

2. Failure to Separate Colors

Sort your clothes and linen before loading them in the washer, but if you don’t have time for this, don’t worry about the sorting because www.laundryfirst.sg in Singapore can do this for you. Generally, the following load sorting is followed: whites, light-colored clothes, medium-colored clothes, dark colors, towel washing, and jeans. It’s also a good idea to wash your undergarments separately or to hand-wash delicate fabrics instead of loading them in the washer. For wash and fold laundry service, don’t forget to leave specific instructions if you’re worried about an expensive clothing.

3. Not Checking the Garments

Before the items are loaded into the washer or dry cleaning machine, the laundry service staff will inspect the pockets, buttons, and zippers first to make sure that the items will not be damaged during the cleaning process. You should inspect your clothes and linen, too, before taking them to laundry services because you need to empty the pockets, zip up all the zippers, and unbutton shirts and trousers.

4. Using Too Much Detergent

Failing to read the care label instructions can result to using the wrong type of cleaning material or using too much detergent. Remember that when the instructions say dry clean only, it means the fabric is not supposed to be soaked in water or cleaned with a water-based detergent. For garments with this label, take them to the nearest dry cleaning laundry service shop in Singapore. This method uses a dry cleaning solvent, different from a detergent used for hand-washing or washing machines.

However, if the item can be washed in water, check the instructions on the detergent label for the correct amount that should be used for a specific number of clothes or for hard water. Some detergents are concentrated, which means that rinsing the excess suds can be difficult. This will not only damage clothes, but will also become a breeding ground for bacteria.

The Advantages of Hiring a Freight Forwarder

Whether your business is small or large, if you are dealing with the transportation of physical goods, you have probably thought about using logistics services. While many people tend to underestimate the importance of a logistics company like freight forwarding services, those who employ the services of a good freight forwarder already have an advantage over their competitors. Whether through local freight or international freight, there are many ways that a freight forwarder can benefit your business.

1. Flexibility
In the fast-moving business of transportation, being able to change your decisions to accommodate new information is necessary. Flexibility can make sure that your decisions are the best for-profit and productivity; hiring freight forwarders mean that you can change your choices about shipping companies or methods without too much of a hassle.

Flexibility is especially important for companies and business that have yet to understand and pinpoint their shipping needs. Freight forwarders like freight master in Singapore can give new business owners a low-risk way to figure out what shipping methods and techniques work best for them.

2. Versatility
The transportation business requires a lot of moving parts, all of which magnify the possibility of a problem occurring. The expertise of freight forwarders allows them to quickly mitigate transportation problems when they arise, which is an invaluable skill in the business of shipping where missing deadlines could mean lost profits.

Good forwarders have the experience and know-how to quickly react and solve issues the moment they appear, like air freight delays or rerouted sea freight shipments. Without a freight forwarder, you would have to deal with these issues yourself, taking your time away from more profitable and important tasks. It makes sense to leave logistics to a logistics company, so let freight forwarders in Singapore do the job for you.

3. Cost-effective
Freight forwarding services allow you to save money on your shipment. Since the shipping company transports items in bulk, freight forwarders can negotiate lower terms with carriers, whether your shipments are via air freight or sea freight. Freight forwarders can also have other financial benefits, such as providing you with knowledgeable advice that is beneficial for your customers.

Hiring a freight forwarding company in Singapore can give you have the knowledge to confidently talk to customers about their shipments on matters like fees, insurance, and port chargers. Freight forwarders also give you insights on market fluctuations, allowing you to make the appropriate changes to your business.

4. Hassle-free
It is the responsibility of a freight forwarder to take care of all types of documentation, from bills to bank payments, to contacting your shipping company. They can assure you that all documents have been filled out and sent to the correct people on time. Having someone else do your documentation for you can have a lot of advantages.

First, you could save on costs, as experienced freight forwarders already know the ins and outs of most documents needed when moving items from one place to another, so they don’t have to spend as much time with documentation as you would. Second, you could also save money and time, as the knowledge forwarders mean that they will most likely create fewer errors than you. Finally, you could also save energy as you don’t have to worry about various deadlines and regulations.

5. No more dealing with customs
Considering the rules and regulations of customs can make freight forwarding confusing and complicated, especially for new business owners. As every country has their own set of rules and regulations, shipping can require you to keep track of a lot of things. Especially if you are shipping your items to many different countries, taking note and keeping track of all the different rules and regulations can take a lot of effort.

However, if you use a freight forwarding company, you don’t have to worry about international freight; freight forwarders can keep track of the different requirements and regulations of different countries, making sure that your items can go through borders without issue. Even with local freight, a forwarding company can make sure that your shipments adhere to the rules and regulations of Singapore.

6. Provide additional services to customers
Freight forwarders can allow you can give you customers value-added services that give you a leg-up on your competitors. Some freight forwarding services give you details that, while not completely necessary, may be beneficial to your customers. These services can include purchase tracking and on-demand reporting. When choosing a freight forwarder, it would be helpful to note if they offer these additional services.

7. Manageability
It is important for businesses to be able to manage all the information that is necessary to their business. Being able to manage information, like stock numbers and arrival dates is necessary to help you optimize your business for a smooth and profitable operation. A general logistics company offers services that are too broad, giving you information that you don’t need from multiple departments. Freight forwarders, however, focus on getting your packages from one place to another, and can quickly get back to you should a problem arise.

Of course, there are disadvantages that come with working with freight forwarders. This includes losing control of your packages; once you give your packages to a freight forwarder, you are no longer in control of it. There are also freight forwarders that are unregulated, depending on the country from which they hail. However, when you consider the ease and flexibility that a freight forwarding company can provide you, the advantages they provide can greatly outweigh the disadvantages.

Tips on How to Upgrade Your Wedding Flower Business

As a wedding florist, whether you are aspiring or professional, it’s important to know which flowers are suitable as wedding flowers, which ones are good for the bridal bouquet, which ones are better off as wedding car decor, or are best as general floral decor.

Not all flowers can be used after all, and some carry special meanings that may not be appropriate for the occasion. And because Singapore is a multicultural country, it’s important to know which ones are best to use and best to avoid. Here are some tips when it comes to flower arrangement in the Lion City:

Wedding Flowers

• Arrange flowers in odd numbers – to be safe, arrange them in groups of three. This is especially true for the bridal bouquet, as even-numbered arrangements are often used in funerals in many cultures. This is especially true in Singapore.

• Three is a stable number and is considered perfect geometrically. If you’re into math, you can use the Fibonacci sequence as a guideline to arrange the wedding flowers or even the wedding car decor in unusual but cool ways that are sure to impress them.

• Remember this rule of thumb: the big flower will always catch the most attention in any floral decor arrangement. It is then supplemented only by the smaller flowers at the the wedding flowers shop at Singapore and then the foliage. This is true for both Western and Eastern arrangements.

• Peonies are a local favorite in Singapore; however, they may not always come in season. Introduce the customer to tropical flowers instead, and always have an alternative in case the customer doesn’t like a specific flower.

• Different cultures are predisposed to liking and/or avoiding different flowers. For instance, ethnic Chinese look to orchids as lucky flowers that symbolize friendship and integrity, while Indians prefer their floral decor or bridal bouquet to be as sweet smelling and colorful as possible.

• You as a wedding florist should know the language of flowers. Different flowers mean different things and can impact everything. If your client has a specific theme or subliminal message that he/she wants to go for, it might be a good opportunity to break out the book on this occasion.

Foliage

• When it comes to floral decor, make sure that you use foliage to your advantage, especially if the client requested for only a few flowers to be used. In some cases, your client won’t be using floral decor except for maybe the bridal bouquet or the wedding car decor. If this is the case, now’s the time to break out the greenery.

• Make sure to get a good look at your client’s venue before you decide to use foliage –unless you want to risk using greens that aren’t suited to the location.

• Using plastic foliage is okay, as long as it’s free from dust, which can trigger allergies among the guests during the ceremony/reception. As much as possible, use real greenery.

Western vs. Eastern Arrangements

• Wedding flowers can go a long way and are an important cornerstone of any successful wedding, but even you don’t have to splurge on too much – as much as possible, tell your client that there are other alternatives that you know.

• A good rule of thumb when it comes to Western arrangements (it’s likely that your customers will go for this one) is that they utilize horizontal space. This is because traditionally, vases are used as containers in these kinds of floral decor.

• When it comes to Eastern arrangements, vertical space is utilized and divided into three specific heights – “heaven”, “man”, and “earth”. Make sure that each flower or twig used is proportionate to the container, and use vertical containers for these kinds of arrangements.
• Any good flower arrangement should follow the proportions of its container. However, your arrangement of wedding flowers should not be defined strictly by these. Feel free to experiment with different combinations to show to your client!

Containers

• As a wedding florist, you have the creative license to use anything, from mason jars to even used tin cans. There are also many different kinds of vases that you can use to store flowers in, and these can usually be found in many supermarkets for good prices.

• If it turns out that your client insists on using their own vases that turn out to be rather unflattering, you can cover it up with a large leaf tied with jute string, or even kitchen twine.

• Make sure to explain this to the client in a nice way instead of outright saying that it would not go well with the rest of the floral decor.

Shipping and Pre-ordering

• Keep a list of local vendors in hand that sell the flowers that you need for your client’s arrangements.

• Know the prices of all the flowers that you have and are able to use. Chances are, they might be different from vendor to vendor. The same could be said if they are imported, except that you have to factor in the wait time from the shipping.

• Do not make the pre-order unless you’re sure that every decision that your client makes is final. Nothing is more annoying to a wedding florist than having to change something to the arrangement within less than three weeks before the actual wedding.

Being a wedding florist can be challenging – from the client’s requests to the pre-ordering, shipping, and the actual arranging, the number of tasks can be endless. If you’re not sure what to do, follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to making that big break in the industry.