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Transformers Photography - Tips and Tricks

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Old 06-08-2010, 01:06 PM   #1
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I was just gonna post this in the Cool stuff thread but figured it was high time we had a thread devoted to the tips and techniques of Transformers, Toy and Macro photography. Gonna start off with this quoted from the Cool Stuff thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Night Flame View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SydneyY
This makes me think Batman for some reason. Love that infinity shiny background thing you've got going on too.
So Syd, how did you get the reflection along with the infinite background? I know I've tried using glass and polished granite tile and always end up with a horizon line to either Photoshop out or just get lazy and re-take the shot. What's your setup?
-G

I got the light box and tripod on lockdown. Built 2 of my own and they both sucked. I grabbed an eBay light box (same one process uses I think) for $40 it was totally worth it.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=270505941337

I've got the infinite background on lockdown.


Hell, I've even done reflections but you can still see the horizon line. That's what I need to learn to get rid of.


The above was shot with the figures sitting on a slab of polished black granite tile.

-G

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janitor
This thread was an excellent idea, OP! I've always wanted to take higher quality TF photos, and didn't wanted to be constantly bugging the peeps with questions in the "Cool Stuff" thread who kick ass on a regular basis.

Anyone know how to get rid of the yellowness that often shows up in my photos? I'm just shooting with a regular point-and-shoot, no special lighting or anything.
See if there's a white balance setting on your camera. Make sure to set it to whatever lighting you're using. Tungsten for normal household lights. Fluorescent for fluorescent. Daylight for natural day light. Other than that, you can usually take care of it in post processing with photoshop.
-G

Last edited by Superquad7; 05-07-2011 at 05:58 AM..
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:48 PM   #2
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Two words..... Light Box

Cardboard box with an open front, a circle cut out of the left and right side and a circle cut out of the top. Get a white sheet to line the whole box then get some clear plexi for the bottom to put the toy on.Get three lamps with bright white bulbs from a photography store for the cutouts and make sure they are behind the sheets for diffused lighting.



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Originally Posted by Auto Morph View Post
I don't own a lightbox or a decent camera. For someone in my position - who is interested in taking more 'professional' looking pics of their TFs in the future - what would you recommend?

For example, what's a good size for a light box, and what sort of spec camera should I be looking at?

Also, please be aware that I (and possibly many reading this thread) am not well versed in a lot of the technical jargon to do with cameras and related hardware, so spelling everything out in simple terms would be much appreciated.
I have a 250 doller canon A620 and a 3-8" tripod and take pretty good pics with out a light box....see my sig below for my gallery.

Just be sure to play with the Macro and manual settings to get the best pictures like flash power and exposure.

Shutter speed is usually between .5-1 seconds for good light and 8-10 seconds for low light.

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Old 06-08-2010, 01:53 PM   #3
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I don't own a lightbox or a decent camera. For someone in my position - who is interested in taking more 'professional' looking pics of their TFs in the future - what would you recommend?

For example, what's a good size for a light box, and what sort of spec camera should I be looking at?

Also, please be aware that I (and possibly many reading this thread) am not well versed in a lot of the technical jargon to do with cameras and related hardware, so spelling everything out in simple terms would be much appreciated.
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:00 PM   #4
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One of the most important things I found when working with digital or SLR was just investing in a decent tripod, and using the macro (the flower icon for non-camera folks) with a 20 second timer set on the camera on the piece/figure to photograph. That way I don't have to worry about blur or low lighting. I still have yet to throw my hand into trying a light box though.


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Old 06-08-2010, 02:26 PM   #5
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Joe Moore has a stickied post on our sister site ToyArk.com about just this thing

Supah Cleah Pics Tips And Tuorials
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:15 PM   #6
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:18 PM   #7
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Here ya go chrisr291. Exact same thing I bought.
Photo Studio Softbox Lighting Portable Tripod LS05 - eBay (item 250643338426 end time Jun-08-10 14:58:56 PDT)

$36 shipped!
-G
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:23 PM   #8
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My wife got me a lightbox on eBay, I'm getting it for Father's Day, I can't wait!

One thing somebody told me a while back that sometimes works for me, and sometimes doesn't, is to use the Night Portrait setting if you don't have a light box, because it changes something about how or when the flash flashes and helps lessen the shadows.
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:08 PM   #9
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It's all about lighting, one or two speedlight's off camera can do wonders for creating shadow,definition and soft light. Never use the pop up flash for a main light for table top photography. Below is a setup shot to how I did my poncho contest entry taken with my phone.




Also here's a link to a very good thread over at another message board dedicated to DIY lightboxes and tabletop photogrpahy. It's got over 3000 posts so theres a wealth of information that can be applied here.You can use a few pieces of white board for a great lightbox.It can be broken down very quickly for far less than buying a dedicated one if you won't be using it all the time.

Another DIY light box, with build and test pics - Canon Digital Photography Forums

Quote:
Originally Posted by simplygriff View Post
Nice. Is that just a straight up white umbrella or is it a fancy dedicated photography umbrella?

A speedlite is next on my camera list. That or a dedicated macro lens. I can't decide what's more important. Shooting with my 70-300mm from across the room is getting old.

Also to note, that light box I posted on eBay can be folded up and stored inside itself. It's a suitcase style. Also, it's big enough for G1 Scorponok to fit in and be shot.: Fort max on the other hand can only stand outside.
-G
I wouldn't call it fancy but it is for photo. 12 bux for it from BHphotovideo.com A speedlight will open up so much for you photowise. That and some ebay triggers or radiopoppers and you're set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanlb View Post
What is a speedlight? What are ebay triggers and radiopoppers?
a speedlight is a hotshoe flash like a canon 540ez for example or 580ex. Radio poppers are little radio recievers and transmitters that let you fire the flash with it not attached to your camera. so you can have more creative and natural lighting instead of it coming from head on. Ebay triggers are just cheap ones from china usually yongnuo branded. they work fairly well but it's really hit or miss. Great way to get started would be ebay triggers, a cheap used speedlight from ebay keh.com.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanlb View Post
All four pics used the same setup, I just zoomed in a bit more on Arcee in one. I used a light tent with a light on each side, and the camera's built-in flash was used.
When using on camera flash as a main source.The camera will ignore all ambient light(your hot lights on each side) so they didn't even factor into the picture you took. All the camera saw was the flash you used.
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:38 PM   #10
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Yeah, white balance is one of the important steps that often gets overlooked. Everyone mentions lightning, macro modes, and tripods, but white balance is the key to actually making your pictures look like they're in normal colored rooms.

Oh sure, I could go digital or buy the trades, but obsessively collecting Roche covers is half the fun.
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