How do I take good toy pictures?

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by LoneDragon, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. LoneDragon

    LoneDragon I dare to be stupid!

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    I'm using a smart phone and my main problem is whether or not to use the flash?
    When I use the flash, 4 out of 5 pictures come out in focus, as opposed to maybe 2 of 5 without, and it picks up all of the little details. The problem is, whenever I use the flash, there is always a glare on the figures, the background or both...
     
  2. Scarlet knight

    Scarlet knight Emergency Food Connoisseur

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    I never use flash and the photos looke 10 times better without
     
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  3. imfallenangel

    imfallenangel Well-Known Member

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    You should look up photography links, there's so many factors that just a "for toys" isn't really different from taking any pictures.

    The two main factors to start for ANY subject is lighting and a decent camera.

    I've taught photography for many years, and it's not a few replies on a forum that's going to help you more than the basics.

    So get a decent lamp that has some flexibility for positioning instead of using the flash which should help for inside shots, otherwise, consider doing outside shots, by a bright window, don't have the light behind your subject but on it's side of front, as the third factor will be the composure of your shot.

    With a cell phone camera, you'll be fairly limited in control, so it'll be all about taking lots of practice shots until you see what works the best for it.

    If you can tap for centering the focal point on your screen, that should help, but without proper lighting, you're not going to get much out of it. The quality of cell phone cameras go from absolute crap to pretty good, but the age of the phone, it's price/quality will make a huge difference.

    Note that you need to make sure that your lens is clean, and that you don't end up putting a finger or another object close to it.
     
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  4. LoneDragon

    LoneDragon I dare to be stupid!

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    Seems like most of my best shots were taken with the flash on:
    ShootYourEyeOutA.png
    I guess I just need to invest in better lighting? I don't know what to do though because every lamp I have now give subpar lighting but adds a glare. It seems like I especially catch the face details with the flash.
     
  5. imfallenangel

    imfallenangel Well-Known Member

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    I did a quick and dirty setup a few months ago with printed backgrounds (if you've seen my pictures), and I kept it simple for now.

    For my lighting, I got a few of these:
    Commercial Electric 8.5 in. LED Portable Task Light-WHQ20-40 - The Home Depot

    Wireless, charge last a loooooong time, three brightness settings, provides fill light....

    I have 3 of them, but many times only need two, I place them on the sides standing up, different settings as needed for shadows and effect, etc.

    Examples:

    DSC05065.JPG DSC05253.JPG DSC05197.JPG DSC05329.JPG DSC05087.JPG DSC05098.JPG


    Note that I am using a DSLR, but it's fairly older model now, I'm not 100% happy with it as it's focus is a bit off (I need to get it looked at), but overall, this is to give you an idea of the lighting of these portable lamps.

    But any decent lamp that can provide a wide distribution of light should give you decent results. Your goal is to illuminate the subject well and evenly.
     
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  6. imfallenangel

    imfallenangel Well-Known Member

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    Another quick trick:

    If you want to limit the glare if you use your flash, cover it with a thin piece of paper tissue (Kleenex) that you can hold in place with a bit of easy to remove tape.

    This will act like a diffuser, soften the light, "spread" it more, and reduce the glare by a fair amount.
     
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  7. kneero

    kneero Well-Known Member

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