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avatar_tyrantqueen

Photography advice

Started by tyrantqueen, December 31, 2012, 07:34:44 AM

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tyrantqueen

I hope it is not too much to ask, but perhaps it might be a good idea for other users who are confident in their photography skills to post some general advice in regards to taking the best photos possible? Issues like lighting and such. I personally know that my photos could use improvement :) In fact, I intend to re-do most of my photos sometime in future.

They came flying from far away, now I'm under their spell....


brontodocus

Quote from: tyrantqueen on December 31, 2012, 07:34:44 AM
I hope it is not too much to ask, but perhaps it might be a good idea for other users who are confident in their photography skills to post some general advice in regards to taking the best photos possible? Issues like lighting and such. I personally know that my photos could use improvement :) In fact, I intend to re-do most of my photos sometime in future.
A neutral backgroud (like a piece of uniformly coloured cardboard) can be placed so that it covers the floor but is fixed with removable adhesive strips to a wall or simply leans to it so you don't get a disturbing bend where the horizontal floor meets the vertical wall. It's a question of taste but I use no flashlight and the light comes from a single source from above (distance is mostly just about 50 cm), my photos are mostly imitating outdoor scenes so there should be only one light source from above, that's why often the undersides of the figures in my photos look considerably darker than e.g. in catalogue photos. But seeing your walk-around of the Kaiyodo Green Grass Lizard, those are actually very good! :)

animaltoyforum

Good idea for a thread, I split it into a separate thread :)


tyrantqueen


They came flying from far away, now I'm under their spell....

Ana

I tend to prefer natural light than from the lamp but it's matter of taste I think :)
Few advices in very short ;)

It's nice to have light from one side but, to avoid too deep shadows, You can for example put piece of white paper on the shadow side (this will reflect light almost like mirror but gives softer effects than real mirrors). Sometimes You can also try with light from above or from below, that may give You interesting effects. In catalog photos photographers use light tent to avoid any shadow, but figures look more flat then.

If You photograph in weak lighting conditions (during cloudy days or so) it's good to use tripod (or stabilize camera in different way) that way You avoid moving camera (if photos are moved they will loose sharpness). If Your camera lays on something or is on the tripod You can use remote shutter or shot with 2 seconds self timer - so You don't touch camera when it's shutting and avoid any moving.

Longer lens gives You less distorted images (so the shapes of figures are more real). Sometimes if You use wide angles lens shape of figure may look really strange. Longer lens (like 150mm or more) can give You also blurred background, that may be interesting effect sometimes.

If You want bigger depth of field (more objects will be sharp) You use aperture with bigger number and/or shorter lens. And if You want only some small part of object to be sharp (smaller depth of field) then You use aperture with smaller number and/or longer lens. But if You use aperture with bigger number You need longer exposure so You, most of the time, need tripod.

It's better to not use ISO value bigger then 400, this gives images with grain - not very nice effect.

If You resize picture in Photoshop and You would like to add some sharpness then use smart sharpness filter after resizing, this will work best. :)

Hope this help :)

brontodocus

Wow, thanks Ana, that's really comprehensive! :)

postsaurischian

Quote from: Ana on December 31, 2012, 11:40:46 AM
....... You can for example put piece of white paper on the shadow side .......

Here is an example for the 'white-piece-of-paper-showing-belly' trick. I use it quite often :).

Sunlight from above > belly is all black.




Piece of white paper (which you can't see of course) under belly > the mixture of green and white reflexions shows totally new colours (not the actual ones - but which colours are the actual ones anyway ;)? For example at night?).



Had I used a black reflection from behind and yellow from beyond, the result would have been different. It's a lot of fun to experiment with different colour reflections. Trial and error is my scientific precept :).

Ana

Great to see comparison photos, they explain more than many words!! :D :D

brontodocus

Ah, thanks! :) I never did that thing with the white paper... In many cases I prefer the underside to appear with a stronger shadow (it can imitate the effect of harsh sunlight a little) but for some, especially for figures in underwater scenes, I should really try this!

Jetoar

Amazing image with añot of details, well done  ^-^.
My website: Paleo-Creatures
My website's facebook: Paleo-Creatures

tyrantqueen


They came flying from far away, now I'm under their spell....

sbell

Part of it will always depend on the size of the figure--a Safari WW animal is going to require something different that a Schleich mini. Since we all use digital cameras, make sure to try the Macro or (if you have them) SuperMacro functions, as well as play a bit with flash settings.

I try to use a room light or natural light with a spot lamp or two. Depends on the figure.  The worst ones are the coiled ones, trying to get decent overall focus. Walk arounds make it easier of course, since you focus on a particular element.

postsaurischian

Quote from: sbell on January 05, 2013, 01:20:48 AM
....... Depends on the figure.  The worst ones are the coiled ones, .......

What is a coiled figure ??? :-[?

tyrantqueen

#13
Quote from: postsaurischian on January 05, 2013, 09:26:59 AM
Quote from: sbell on January 05, 2013, 01:20:48 AM
....... Depends on the figure.  The worst ones are the coiled ones, .......

What is a coiled figure ??? :-[?
Ones which are coiled up, like snakes...?

They came flying from far away, now I'm under their spell....

sbell

Quote from: tyrantqueen on January 05, 2013, 01:11:05 PM
Quote from: postsaurischian on January 05, 2013, 09:26:59 AM
Quote from: sbell on January 05, 2013, 01:20:48 AM
....... Depends on the figure.  The worst ones are the coiled ones, .......

What is a coiled figure ??? :-[?
Ones which are coiled up, like snakes...?

Yes, ones which have a variety of distances to the camera--it is incredibly difficult to focus in several distances at once (unless you have a really good camera or specialized lenses).  Also animals that are long in two planes.  Snakes are a common one, but it can be as simple as a figure in an S-curve with it's tail curving back and the head curving forth. Usually long bodied animals, like lizards, eels, sauropods, dragons, rays, but it can even be primate or rodent figures with long tails, or insects with wide wings!

Takama

Im not sure if this should go here but I want to ask.

I am looking to get a new camera. Now what ones do you all suggest? it has to be digital,

animaltoyforum

what's your budget? Are we talking 'compact' cameras only?


Takama

well im looking for something with a large round lens on it.

This is the one I have been using , im looking for something that would be a upgrade to this



Its a pretty old camera too. and the battery life sucks, the only thing I can do with it is photograph figures, but im going to need a new on to take to a museum that im planning on going to in a week


OkapiBoy

As you can see in my photos, I love to use a black background to really put the figures forward. I use natural light, overcast days are the best since the light is soft and filtered and won't give your figures too much shine. Lamps can work, but it can be difficult to get the correct color.
I have a Nikkon Coolpix camera that I use to photograph my figures, it's a nice camera for something that's not too expensive.

pachyrhinosaurus

Quote from: OkapiBoy on March 21, 2014, 02:13:44 AM
As you can see in my photos, I love to use a black background to really put the figures forward. I use natural light, overcast days are the best since the light is soft and filtered and won't give your figures too much shine. Lamps can work, but it can be difficult to get the correct color.
I have a Nikkon Coolpix camera that I use to photograph my figures, it's a nice camera for something that's not too expensive.

I have one of those as well (L810), and I also recommend it.