TF Photography Tips & Tricks

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

  1. Scarlet knight

    Scarlet knight Emergency Food Connoisseur

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    I just did.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
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  2. Lukelbs

    Lukelbs Well-Known Member

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    This is great!
    Something that I like about taking pictures is getting poses that look nearly impossible. One footed or ones that convey motion. I also use the one third rule and almost always take my pictures horizontal.
    Here are a few of my favorites:
    20181002_184751.jpg 20190105_132021.jpg 20180524_120003.jpg 20181215_125944.jpg 20181130_213339.jpg 20181020_193034.jpg
     
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  3. Shmoptimus Prime

    Shmoptimus Prime Za Warudo! TFW2005 Supporter

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    I've always loved your "impossible" poses! They've often inspired me to try some of my own. It makes me realize how important ankle articulation can be.

    Do you have any tips on outdoor photography?
     
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  4. Lukelbs

    Lukelbs Well-Known Member

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    I am honored that you would ask. I'm by no means a professional, but here is what I like to do.

    When I take photos outside, I try to do it in the morning or evening when the sun is lower in the sky. It is less likely to wash everything out like midday pictures sometimes seem to do. I also really try to pay attention to my background so there is little to nothing that could give away that the subject is a toy.
    I like to use the sky as a good backdrop, so I try to be attentive of the clouds and how they look. (Clouds at dawn and dusk add a lot if color).
    For editing I actually up the saturation so it looks closer to how it looks in person or to make it look hyper real. That is just what I personally like to do.
    Here are some mostly non-transformer examples.
    20191109_173414.jpg 20191109_171735.jpg 20200601_211446.jpg 20190325_133232.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
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  5. Scarlet knight

    Scarlet knight Emergency Food Connoisseur

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    Those Raptor pics are amazing.
     
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  6. Shmoptimus Prime

    Shmoptimus Prime Za Warudo! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Awesome photos! This is an especially important tip. Perspective and background are definitely key! It's why I generally don't take photos around my house unless I'm feeling super lazy. Too easy to tell it's a small object.
     
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  7. Mister D

    Mister D Bloosh Compatible TFW2005 Supporter

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    I haven't done any toy photography in a long, long time, and am itching to try my hand again. Any recommendations for desktop lighting?
     
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  8. Shmoptimus Prime

    Shmoptimus Prime Za Warudo! TFW2005 Supporter

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    I'd like to know as well, since I use either natural light or the LEDs in my light box. The lamps I have around the house really suck, cause they're either way too yellow or way too white.
     
  9. artimus prime

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

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    Small tip. Once you have a pose (and setup) you like, take pics from several different perspectives to get "different" pics from one pose.

    This pose was done by @Dachande with MP-49 originally. I liked it so much that I did it with MP-44. The first pic is close to the original pic that he posted.
    20200809_112238.jpg
    The next two pics are of the same pose, I just moved the camera.
    20200809_111729.jpg

    20200809_111348.jpg

    I always go natural first, but that's my preference. Sgt. Bananas takes amazing toy pics from a tabletop that mimic all times of the day/night and weather conditions. Even if you don't go top tier, these videos are excellent watches... if not just to appreciate the artistry.



     
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  10. Scarlet knight

    Scarlet knight Emergency Food Connoisseur

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    I use this trick a lot when I'm shooting pics for my photocomic.
     
  11. Shmoptimus Prime

    Shmoptimus Prime Za Warudo! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yes this is a great tip! Thanks for posting. This is especially helpful when you have something envisioned in your head, you pose the figure and it looks great, and somehow the pic doesn't come out how you'd like. Try another angle! Try several angles!

    Another tip is if you're shooting more than one figure at a time, try taking the same pic but focusing on different bots in the frame. Sometimes the overall effect of the story you want to tell is more important than having everything perfectly in focus. Good example is this pic I took recently. First round had SS in focus and Sam blurred out, but I found it had a much greater impact (and made it stand out from the other pics I took) with SS being out of focus, as if he was a giant monster chasing a tiny human (which he is!):

    4155E6C9-F321-4CC6-83FB-5BE58C911F63.JPG
     
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  12. Mastermix

    Mastermix Well-Known Member

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    I don't have much more to add to your posts other than focus on posing. I said it previously that posing makes or breaks the photograph. I've seen some spectacular photos of a figure in an action pose despite the crappy image quality. The opposite is also true, I've seen a pic with great quality but terrible posing, which makes it immediately uninteresting. There are various aspects of photography like framing, composition, lighting, etc., that don't help bring a toy to life if the toy is posed like a toy. Me personally, most of my pics tend to be from below from a relative low "human" POV to emphasize the size of the robots. Also, because I work in Architecture, when we do renderings, we do POV images because it helps provide a reference for people to have an idea how a building will look like from the street.

    I think that once you nail posing, then you can focus on making your figure pop out more. I use Lightroom to edit my photos to make them pop more. I have lighting that is on the yellow color spectrum and I prefer more of a white/bluish hue. With lighting you get different shadows, and in the case of the movie bots, you get a lot of interesting shadows due to the jagged pieces of metal. I play around with the brightness, contrasts, shadows, etc. to get the look I want. Lightroom is free to download but there are features that require a subscription. If you don't want to spend money on it, there are other free alternatives that are almost as powerful, such as Google Snapseed. Below I attached a pic of Ratchet before and after editing in Lightroom.
    more_posing.jpg pses_Copy.png 20201003_160918 (1).jpg 20201003_160918.jpg
     
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  13. HolyCulture

    HolyCulture Well-Known Member

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    I just bought my first light box. I'm not even sure why I want to photograph my toys, or if I'll enjoy it, but I want to try. Thanks for the write up. I'll use what I read here to get started. :) 
     
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  14. ThunderDestron

    ThunderDestron Vast predatory bird

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    20200601_211446.jpg 20181215_125944.jpg
    These two dont even look like toys
    Insane
     
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  15. Scarlet knight

    Scarlet knight Emergency Food Connoisseur

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    In one of my more recent photoshoots I used darkness to try and portray a sense of terror. 20201114_132451.jpg 20201114_132459.jpg
    20201114_132617.jpg 20201114_132718.jpg


    And tips on how to improve this?
     
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  16. Mastermix

    Mastermix Well-Known Member

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    20201114_132451.jpg
    The answer depends what story you want to tell and what your personal tastes are. Like I took a shot at editing your first pic. So for me I wanted to contrast Cliffjumper from the dark background. But because I don't want a full red saturated contrast, I increased the blue hues, and exaggerated the contrast and blacks to accent the shadows. For me, I also sharpened and increased the details of the image while reducing the noise. Again, my interpretation of the photo combined with my personal taste in photo editing.

    Though per what you currently have, I think maybe you want to darken the background even more and maybe reduce the detail and add some haze? I like your lighting in the photo though!
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
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  17. Scarlet knight

    Scarlet knight Emergency Food Connoisseur

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    That definitely improved it!
     
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  18. ThunderDestron

    ThunderDestron Vast predatory bird

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    I have a tip I'd like to add.
    Some people post customs with digital screen backgrounds and stuff.
    20201111_225052.jpg
    Here is one I recently did of Prowl. The backdrop is a computer screen. Look at how blue it is. The easiest fix for this is to go into your device settings and turn on blue light filter. In real life the screen looks yellow but in a photo that cancelles out.
    20201111_225343.jpg
    Then its just a matter of editing saturation and other settings until you like the look...

    Or you could just go all out and ignore all that to do a laser grid:
    20201111_181323.jpg
    The screen's lighting actually comes in handy for this by illuminating the figure with various shades of blue and red.
     
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  19. Courtneypaul

    Courtneypaul Member

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    Good thread.

    Be sure to check out the Photography section of Tutorials as well :) 
     
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  20. Zogliatti

    Zogliatti Well-Known Member

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    Can you please share the link to the tutorial section? I couldn't find It!