HelloStoreUSA Flickr Contest

30 05 2010

So not too long ago, HelloStoreUSA (henceforth known as H!S, I’ve seen HSU, but I like H!S more) made their own official group pool for pictures on Flickr. They were to select their favorite picture for official goods in an arrangement (room, etc) and also fan with official goods. I was pretty excited about it and made plans to take pictures. It took a little more than an hour and a half to get two acceptable pictures XD

The very first and worst pictureThe end result which was my second to last attempt

All the pictures seen are the original un-edited, un-cropped pictures. Read on for the grueling process this was.

Unfortunately, I had to take all the pictures by myself which really complicated the set-ups and the overall process of getting acceptable pictures, as you just saw. My set-up for my camera was a desk… with a lot of papers and folders from school to elevate my camera’s height. I then added a textbook. And then another. When all was said and done, I had 4 textbooks stacked up on all the random paper and also a random plastic package that I had ripped out earlier for that little bit of height. Based on my estimate my camera stood at a height of nearly five feet off the ground.

Highest point Some adjustment and we have the height where I took my shots from

Since the contest was for a fan “holding” their official goods. I wasn’t technically confident that I would even be considered with my idea. I figured if I was smiling among my goods that was good enough. So I overlaid my mom’s old Chinese calendars with Morning Musume’s recent 2010 calendar, yay! Had to make sure the one I’d be next to had Gaki-san so there it is. Unfortunately, I lacked Scotch tape so I had to use my dad’s tape from the hospitals. Overall, the background set-up imo, looked really shoddily done. You can still see the bottom of the Chinese calendar and the medicinal tape. For my purposes, it was late and I was running out of time. I accept. Now onto getting me into the picture.

Preparing to yo-yo

The main focus of my entry was performing a heart trick with my yoyo along with my goods. In a way, I just wanted to express my love for Gaki-san, in a unique and non-creepy way. I don’t think yoyoing is creepy, unless someone out there wants to tell me otherwise. So I wore my Nine Smile Part2 Gaki-san T-shirt for this picture. Now I have a lot of yoyos. And with a lot of yoyos comes a lot of different shapes and colors. And with all those yoyos comes a lot of string. What goes well with green? No idea really, but I eventually settled on using a purple yoyo. I have several purple yoyo’s but I figured a special occasion like this deserved something really special. So I broke out my extremely rare AYYA vs CLYW Bear Vs. Man yoyo. For yoyoers out there, there exist only 55 and a half of these (maybe 54.5). It is a Bear Vs. Man anodized but not bead-blasted. But it has a really special purple-white splash which looks amazing. See for yourself.

Simply beautiful

Performing the trick is rather simple. Breakaway-> Motorcycle-> Flip the top length of the string down so that it holds the yoyo. The true hard part of the trick is good positioning to make the shape look like a heart. If you don’t do it quite right, then it looks more like one big triangle or a misshapen heart. And they do not convey my love for Gaki-san.

Start with a Motorcycle Jump the yoyo and land on the top string on the bottom


By this time, you may have noticed that I added a towel (from Platinum 9 Disco!) and changed my string to an orange color. I felt that the yellow didn’t contrast enough with the green, so I switched to my favorite color orange. In my opinion, orange looks great with my AYYA, plus it’s my favorite color and all. Also, keep in mind all these pictures are taken from auto-timers. My camera has a setting in which it would auto-timer one shot and then follow a couple of seconds later with another shot. I had to click for the shot and then run over to the mirror closet, aim and throw, perform the trick and wait. If I was fast enough, I might’ve managed to get a heart for the first shot but I would start losing the angle by the time the second shot came. This is how I managed to get a lot of shots of me messing up/performing the trick. The following pictures show you how much work it took me to get the right positioning and even just keeping the trick at the right angle long enough. Read the alternate text for why these were rejects. Although, most are generally obvious.

I managed to cover Gaki-san in the background behind me -_- Again, covered her head this time

The yoyo fell off the string and my fingers were once again blocking Gaki-san -_- I managed to accidentally knot my string and had to sidewind to correct my tension for future attempts

Took a while but I managed to get a good acceptable shot. I entered this shot into the group pool for the contest. And I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a tweet next morning congratulating me. I won yay! Thanks to all the wotachatters who recommended color combinations and cheered me along! Here is H!S’s livejournal post on the winners of the contest.

As an aside, here is also my entry to the strictly goods division.

My eyes go immediately to the left... XD

It started with just my Amanatsu and Isshun photobook. Then I added in Gaki-san’s Platinum 9 Disco muffler towel. For good measure, I dropped in her handheld smiley from the Nine Smile tour too.

Love it!

Then I just said, let’s go all out. And I brought out my entire solo collection of Gaki-san. Took a while to get all of it and arrange it, but there it is! Including the things I mentioned earlier there are photosets from: Nine Smile, Ai/Risa solo dinner show, Mobekimasu, Osaka Koi no Uta, Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai, Nanchatte Renai, Shouganai Yume Oibito, Pika Pika, Platinum 9 Disco, Resonant Live, a miscellaneous shot of her in a blue Chinese dress, and I want to say Iroppoi Jirettai for the last picture there. Also, the wristband from Nine Smile and the Platinum 9 Disco cellphone strap round out the rest of the picture.

Congratulations to all the winners! Especially CharlesNguyen, who I personally know. Readers may recall he was the excellent photographer who took pictures of the Kago event at Mitsuwa last fall. The first prize is a choice of an official A4 photo binder along with some L and 2L refills. Unfortunately, I already bought Gaki-san’s, Takahashi’s, and Airi’s photo binder. The binders are group specific, meaning that I had 2 Morning Musume binders. So I decided to be neutral and fair and overall a good Hello! Project fan. I got Yurina’s binder so I could have a Berryz Koubou binder, in the event that I will have pictures of them someday. And I will… I have Buono! pictures and I’m sure I’ll get something from Berryz sometime.

Overall, it was fun. I’m glad that I won another Hello! Project related contest with my yoyo. But if H!S has another contest, I won’t be able to use my yoyo as a trump card. So I’ll have to come up with new more creative ways to express my Hello! Project fandom.

~Siggy, who needs to find affordable L and 2L refills~




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