How are you guys taking pictures of your figures?

Discussion in 'The Toyark' started by Pikatron, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. Pikatron

    Pikatron Well-Known Member

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    I tried taking some pics of my Movie Ironhide, but could never get them to come out as nice as the ones seen in the TFW Gallery or TFKenkon. Are they using a high-end professional SLR camera to take their shots? I'm using a Canon digicam and this is the best I can come up with. I'm thinking that maybe it could be the lighting. If I use flash, the light reflects too much off the shiny plastic. If I use my desk lamp instead of flash, the picture ends up looking pretty gritty.

    Short of investing in an SLR, what would you guys suggest?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. dgblast5

    dgblast5 Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty certain that you DON'T need a high-end camera (i.e. DSLR) to take
    nice pictures. From what I have seen, all you need is a good set-up. I've seen
    someone post up a pic of one with a white background and a lamp directed on
    top of it.

    EDIT:

    Here's a link to the reply in the thread.

    http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/showpost.php?p=1330732&postcount=4363
     
  3. Abrogate

    Abrogate Nondescript Former Poster

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    usually, they photoshop the pictures to balance the contrast and whatnot
     
  4. wheeljaxx

    wheeljaxx Banned

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    i'm spoiled and own my own studio. i shoot in there.
     
  5. Maboroshi

    Maboroshi Optimal

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    I go outside and put my toys in the sunlight and adjust them so the shadows look good. I take pictures out there. It works since I dont have a lamp of my own that will work like that. I then adjust them in photoshop a bit.
     
  6. planetjacker

    planetjacker Critters burn real good. TFW2005 Supporter

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    I have had great results with my cannon powershot a40 and it is only 2MPX. I suggest making a light box. Simple instructions can be found here. Also use of a tripod and the timer function on your camera will reduce blurry pics.
     
  7. Pikatron

    Pikatron Well-Known Member

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    Sweet. Thanks for those links! As soon as I can scrounge up a box like that, I'll get to making my own light tent.
     
  8. MACRAPTRON

    MACRAPTRON Well-Known Member

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    A proper illumination setup is everything.
     
  9. SydneyY

    SydneyY @syd_tfw Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yeah NF has a nice set up :) 

    I guess Ironhide is harder to take nice pictures because he's all black. A black figure is a bitch as a photo subject.

    In general, the lightbox helps a lot, just don't use the flash and take lots of pics. I take about 30 and use maybe 1 or 2 (yes, I suck).
    Also, as suggested, outdoor pictures are really nice, too (*nudges Abrogate*)

    Good luck! See you at Cool Stuff thread :D 
     
  10. shadow panther

    shadow panther Mechanically Insane

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    i use my real gear camera :wink: 
     
  11. misterd

    misterd Well-Known Member

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    You can get some good phototents cheap off eBay. That's what I use, plus a couple of lamps (one on each side) with very high-wattage bulbs.
     
  12. thepoetrydude

    thepoetrydude Well-Known Member

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    I don't take many pictures of my figures these days, too much else going on. But I use my Canon digital Rebel (SLR) when I do and they come out great. I've also in the the past got good results with a nikon 5700 and a Canon SD 500. I should take some more pics...: ), and lighting is always important.
     
  13. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    If you're considering photography as a hobby, I'll give you a few guidelines.

    1. Lighting is far more important than your camera.

    2. A good telephoto lense can save you a LOT of heartache, especially with small objects. Gets you further away, allowing you to focus better.

    3. Lighting is far more important than your camera.

    4. Megapixels mean nothing when you're taking photos for the web. You're going to cut them down to something less than 800x800 anyway. And while a higher megapixel camera can make things easier and allow you to take excellent poster shots, some people get so obsessed with megapixel count that they think it's more important than a good quality lense. Not so.

    5. LIGHTING IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR CAMERA!

    6. If you've got money to spend on a photo setup for toys, you're probably better investing in a good telephoto and lights and keeping your existing camera than buying the fanciest, newest, latest, greatest camera in the world. Though we'd all like that new camera if funds were unlimited.

    7. LIGHTING IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR CAMERA!!!!!

    8. Take LOTS of pictures. Each result I stick out there probably started as about ten different original pictures and was eventually filtered down to the one that was best. Different aperature settings on the camera, different lighting, different lenses, you name it.

    9. LIGHTING IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR CAMERA!!!!!!

    10. And in conclusion - get yourself some lights.

    And don't get suckered into believing that the most expensive lighting setup you can buy is always going to be the best. I get by with the equivalent of three work lights with photo bulbs in them. Three 250 Watt bulbs with reflectors and mounted on movable, adjustable stands give you a lot of options to work with. And you don't need to spend a fortune on a light tent either. Mine cost $25 with shipping off ebay. I almost wish I would have tossed on the extra ten for the next size up as shots like this would have been easier:

    [​IMG]

    Spend a little time getting to know your photo editing software. Sharpening plays a critical role in making any picture look MUCH better on a computer monitor. Unfortunately, every editor and sometimes even every user of every editor has a different way of sharpening. I use the Gimp, Van Gogh filter, then unsharp mask, resize, unsharp mask again to get quality like Metroplex up there. But that's far from the only way to do it.

    Didn't we at one time have a sticky about this subject?
     
  14. Chaos Muffin

    Chaos Muffin Misadventure Veteran

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    You could always try not holding the camera too close so it does'nt try to focus in on the foreground or background only.
    All levels will be more balanced that way, but the whole picture may not be as sharp
     
  15. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    This image is actually a pretty good one to start with. I'd imagine, given some time with the original large size, it could be tweaked into a really nice shot. Stick some posterboard behind a black figure and it really starts to stand out. However, even with this shot, there's a lot you can do with it.

    [​IMG]

    The differences are subtle, but detail starts to stand out a bit more. Basically, I slapped a blue layer over the image to filter out some of the yellow, brightened it a bit, and sharpened things up best I could.

    You need any hints on certain pics, hit me up. I love helping out on things like this. I'm not perfect at it, but I've spent enough time working on pictures to at least have ideas of what needs to be done.
     

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