TF Photography Tips & Tricks

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by Shmoptimus Prime, Jun 2, 2020.

  1. Shmoptimus Prime

    Shmoptimus Prime Za Warudo! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Hello everyone! Here’s a little handy “how-to” to get some more exciting and natural-looking photos from your figures I wrote up. It is also posted on my instagram. I really wrote this to give some basic tips to amateurs such as myself, but I would love for everyone to share and discuss more advanced tips for better photos if people are interested! What a "good" photo is can be subjective, but there are some things you can do to make it much clearer and easier to convey what you want and take a "good" photo.

    I used MPM-6 Ironhide here just cause he's one of my favorites and quite photogenic (he has a modified DNA kit on). For reference I am using an iphone XS Max, and in the last couple photos I'm using a 20" x 20" light box with LEDs.

    Photo 1: Yuck! The figure is mistransformed, not posed at all, not framed well, and the lighting is not good. Try not to have them “just standing there”, and especially with transformers, making sure all the parts are correct is important! Also, using flash is generally a bad idea unless you're really just trying to show a specific part or some damage or something. Natural lighting is best, although a lamp or two pointed in the right direction (and not behind the figure) can also work great.

    IMG_2869.jpg


    Photo 2: This is a little better
    , but still feeling lifeless. The figure is properly transformed, centered, and in-focus at least.

    IMG_2870.JPG


    Photo 3: Better.
    The figure is in a natural and fun pose, conveying action and life, but the photo itself is still feeling a bit dull. Plus it’s not framed well, there’s too much space at the top! Properly cropping your pics is important. When your pic is 30% figure and 70% wall/desk clutter/whatever then it is a pain to look at. Also if you're photographing something horizontal like a car bot in vehicle mode, take the pic horizontally.

    IMG_2871.JPG


    Photo 4: Getting much better!
    The unique camera angle helps a lot, and the framing is better. This is really starting to tell a story. The lower angle makes him look bigger and conveys motion, like you’re a puny human looking up at a big alien warrior fighting and running. He’s starting to look less like a toy now.

    IMG_2872.JPG


    Photo 5: NOW we’re talkin!
    Good lighting and a good background make a huge difference! I use a light box, but your backyard, buildings in your town or city, or even a fake or printed background can help tell the story. Combine all these elements and see what happens! Lighting should show off the details of the figure, or obscure them if that is what you want to convey. Either way they should enhance the shot and help focus the viewer on what you want them to see.

    IMG_2875.jpg


    Photo 6: Hell yeah! I have fallen in love with blast effects and other props! They can really enhance the visuals and help tell the story. What do you think? Are you feeling inspired?

    IMG_2878.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
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  2. Lockon Prime

    Lockon Prime Get a eye full of lid when I slight ur lights out

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    Again, awesome pic!! I took some pics using my black backdrop, but like yours, it had the light shining off of the back of it.

    I didn't like how it looked, but looking at this pic, it actually doesn't bother me at all!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
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  3. Sayan Rahman

    Sayan Rahman Well-Known Member

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    Appreciate the tips Shmop!
     
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  4. Shmoptimus Prime

    Shmoptimus Prime Za Warudo! TFW2005 Supporter

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    I was conflicted about it as well since I have exclusively used the white background up til recently. I was more careful than usual about the exposure and black levels, especially since he's a black bot on a black background, so washing out the darker colors wasn't going to help me any. In truth, rotating the color of the background to complement the specific figures I'm shooting is my dream, I'm just too cheap to buy a bunch of different colored backgrounds haha! But when I'm doing location shoots I try to think of which bot(s) would work best in which environments.
    Awesome, hope these help!
     
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  5. SuperRock7

    SuperRock7 Gone for some milk

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    Great tips!
     
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  6. Shmoptimus Prime

    Shmoptimus Prime Za Warudo! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Thank you! Feel free to add your own based on your experiences or to ask questions!
     
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  7. Zogliatti

    Zogliatti Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate your tips! I'd really hope to see many others tips and cool pictures here! And Shmoptimus, your Instagram is great!
     
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  8. Shmoptimus Prime

    Shmoptimus Prime Za Warudo! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Thanks so much! I try my best to have fun and deliver fun pics. Is there anything you'd like to see me improve on or a figure you'd like me to showcase more?
     
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  9. Zogliatti

    Zogliatti Well-Known Member

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    I'm an Overall fan of the bayverse Designs, so anything related to them is ok for me. I personally collect the os mpms, and my prefered is the BA Prime at the Moment. I know you're in Love with your mpm Ironhide, but I can only Imagine the Pictures you could take to the two Black Apple creations, when BA Ironhide will BE released!! Are you planning to buy him? If I remember right, you we're quite hyped about him!
     
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  10. Shmoptimus Prime

    Shmoptimus Prime Za Warudo! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Here's another fun basic tip for you guys:

    Have your figure looking in the same direction that they're shooting their weapon, unless it's part of the story you're trying to tell that they're shooting while not looking cause they're just that cool. Sometimes when the camera gets too close you might have to adjust the angle of the gun or the figure's head so that it LOOKS like they're pointed in the same direction, even if they're not, so check your shot!
    Heck yes I'm super excited for him! Looks great so far, although I'm hoping his articulation is as good as his looks and accuracy.
     
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  11. Optimistic Prime

    Optimistic Prime Waiting for ROTB...

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    Same here!
     
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  12. artimus prime

    artimus prime Articulation Junkie... I'm a poser TFW2005 Supporter

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    Having a good light source is the best way to get a good start. Posing and focusing on the transformers happens after you make sure that we (audience) can see what you're trying to share.

    20200604_112618.jpg

    A pic of my magical photo "studio." The top of my fridge. The main source of light is the window. I also use a 75 watt daylight led bulb for the main kitchen light. All of the other lights are cheap and can be found in the camping or lighting sections of Walmart, Target and Home Depot.
     
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  13. Shmoptimus Prime

    Shmoptimus Prime Za Warudo! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Thanks for sharing! It's good that you showed that multiple light sources usually works better. I usually don't have to worry about that since for real pics I use either natural outdoor lighting or my lightbox, which not only has multiple LEDs but has reflective sides and a diffuser cloth that helps spread the light around.
     
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  14. Superquad7

    Superquad7 OCP Police Crime Prevention Unit 001 Super Content Contributor

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    Good thread.

    Be sure to check out the Photography section of Tutorials as well :) 
     
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  15. Shmoptimus Prime

    Shmoptimus Prime Za Warudo! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Oooh nice do you have a link? I can put it in the first post.
     
  16. Zogliatti

    Zogliatti Well-Known Member

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    I'm quite sure this is not the right thread but here there's some creative and competent people and I have no idea where else to ask... So: I'm looking for advices for posing and display my figures to make them look better on photos.
    I have a Detolf where I installed some led lights and a display that I made myself.
    My main problems are that I haven't much space and I can't find dinamic poses that I like.
    Suggestions? What would you do? How could I make better pictures?
    Here just two example to show you how my detolf looks like
    IMG_20200611_190629.jpg IMG_20200611_190816.jpg
     
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  17. Shmoptimus Prime

    Shmoptimus Prime Za Warudo! TFW2005 Supporter

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    That's a great detolf setup and this is absolutely the place to ask for advice! The main issue I see with your setup in terms of lighting is that they're right in front of a window. For good lighting you don't want a powerful light source BEHIND the figure, unless you specifically want it to look washed out. It probably looks better at night. Even the LEDs I can see here are behind the figures, so the cool diorama elements are well lit but the figures themselves are obscured.

    In terms of dynamic poses, I usually think of manga and comics I like. Manga especially has really over-the-top dynamic poses and angles which help to emphasize the speed or power or whatever motion they want to convey. When thinking of posing try to think of what the character would do in whatever setting you want them to be in. Do you want Prime to be fighting? Or do you want him to be standing valiantly like he's giving an inspirational speech? Do you want him to be standing and shooting, or lunging forward with his swords out? All depends on the story you want to tell.
     
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  18. Zogliatti

    Zogliatti Well-Known Member

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    Yes I know illumination is a problem at the moment, the detolf is not meant to remain next to the window, we bought this house two years ago and we're still buying forniture, so I hope I can move it
    s else in the next months.
    The Led lights are also something I installed myself with what I already had at home, I think I will change it with the Detolf lights from IKEA as soon as possible.
    These are some great tips about posing! I like my figures to look like they're ready to fight against the enemy (that should be you, looking at them) and I appreciated your tip tip about weapons and head looking at the same direction (very useful with brawl cause he has a ton of weapons!!) it would be cool to also look for something different like speeches or play times. Also try to recreate scenes from the movie could be cool (Jazz and Brawl or Barry and Bee).
    What's your favourite manga? Can you give me some names, so that I can search for some poses on internet? I really have no idea, manga are not my cup of tea!
     
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  19. Scarlet knight

    Scarlet knight Emergency Food Connoisseur

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    Hey, @Shmoptimus Prime. Thank you for the photography tips, because of those I shot one of my best fight scenes for my photocomic.
     
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  20. Shmoptimus Prime

    Shmoptimus Prime Za Warudo! TFW2005 Supporter

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    In terms of perspective and action really any of the popular shonen (boys) manga would be good. Dragonball, Naruto, or something like Berserk too cause it has big swords haha! My personal favorite is Jojo but that doesn't really translate to transformers.
    Awesome! That's great! Did you post any in the movieverse thread?
     
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