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Figurine PhotographyC&C Thread

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  • keychainVery Important Boarder
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    Let's get the ball rolling. Just to get things started, minimal pp and some dust I failed to notice. Some bad reflection on the right side of her face (especially on her eye), too. Members of this club I ask you for your words of wisdom!

    PICTURE #50317

    Flash down low, backlit with aluminum foil as a snoot and gobo, white piece of paper front and right to reflect light back up. Figure sitting atop a box to minimize harsh light down low. Light gold gel on the flash.
  • AshlotteFull-time ReviewerVery Important Boarder
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    I would but I'd say you know about 100x more about indoor shotting then me Key haha...Half the stuff you said just flew waaay over my head...Guess goes to show how amateur and haphazard I am when it comes to this stuff ahah... >_>

    Mind if I ask what pp is...or snoot...or gobo...and you mentioned flash does that mean you actually use a flash? Every time I did it came out like junk but I guess yours probably is nicer then the in-built junk one I have...

    Eh wait I think I'm making this topic go in the wrong direction... >_<
    "There are some people who live in a dream world,
    and there are some who face reality;
    and then there are those who turn one into the other."


    http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d14/Arkadyz/Heart_Music_by_AlexSatriani.gif
  • keychainVery Important Boarder
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    lol, my bad. Been reading too much of the lighting 101 section on the Strobist blog and am trying to encorporate the lingo into my vocabulary so I can remember it all. strobist.blogsp...

    Been taking a lot of indoor shots lately just cause I haven't had time to go out and take landscapes and urban shots. Still pretty new to it but with every passing day I feel more and more comfortable with it, but I really need somebody to critique my shots otherwise I feel like I might just be perpetuating bad habits or going down the wrong path.

    I just typed PP instead of post-processing out of laziness. My understanding is a snoot is something you strap onto the front of a flash to narrow the light coming off of it. A gobo is basically anything you place between the flash and the subject/camera to shape the light, or create shadows to limit the light hitting certain areas of the subject, or even project shapes using shadow. I think it's short for "Goes Between" or something like that.

    The flash I use is a Nikon SB-600 which works well with my D90 for wireless controls within line of reflected light.
  • copperchefRegular Boarder
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    I'd say its a nice shot. Definitely has a darker mood to it from the chosen expression to the background.

    I'm not seeing any particular bad habit in this shot. It looks like you're really experimenting with light and that's always a good thing.

    I kinda wish the figures had some gloss on the eyes so there would be a catchlight as in this case it makes it really flat and dark.

    Yup, Your explanation of snoot and gobo is correct. Bet your first day or two on strobist came at the expense of sleep ;-)

    The SB-600 is a great flash. I have one myself and have used it for years. The whole Nikon flash system is great.

    @Ashlotte I woudlnt use the built-in flash for most shots. It's only useful on certain situations. The SB-600 flash in this case was a flash unit used off the camera.
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  • najimi13Regular Boarder
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    keychainLet's get the ball rolling. Just to get things started, minimal pp and some dust I failed to notice. Some bad reflection on the right side of her face (especially on her eye), too. Members of this club I ask you for your words of wisdom!

    PICTURE #50317

    Flash down low, backlit with aluminum foil as a snoot and gobo, white piece of paper front and right to reflect light back up. Figure sitting atop a box to minimize harsh light down low. Light gold gel on the flash.


    Okay, going to try my hand some c&c since you went and made the thread.

    This is probably just nitpicking, but looks a little underexposed and her eyebrows are blue. lol Also, a single light from beneath is kinda weird, but that was probably what you were going for.

    Take my advice with a grain of salt, though. I'm also in the process of learning. lol

    Was going to post a pic too to be critiqued, but that'll probably be in another few hours before I do anything. ;;
  • keychainVery Important Boarder
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    lol, yeah that strobist site just fills my head with way too many ideas I want to try out or think about. Unfortunately I probably won't have money for light stands and umbrellas for a while, at least not until the flood of figures coming out in June is over lol.

    Yeah, I tried to give it a dark feel as the expression has that "going psycho" yandere look to it. I agree that it could be considered underexposed but for some reason I felt it threw the atmosphere off from what I was trying to portray when I brightened it up even a third of a stop so I kept it pretty subdued. A dark, somewhat unsettling atmosphere was what I was going for in this shot.

    I'll keep experimenting with the light to see if I can breath some life into the matte painted eyes of my nendoroids.

    As for the eyebrows, I was wondering if somebody was going to bring that up lol. If I were going for something more serious I would probably take the time to photoshop the eyebrows to match her hair color but I wanted to present a shot that was fairly representative of what I've been working on and where my capabilities are.

    Looking at how the light is hitting her, it does look like it could use some tweaking to make it appear more natural. Looking at it again the angle is a little off, maybe I could try to add some fill on the left to balance it a little more. Another option could be to have it come more from the right and back, sort of like she was entering a dark room from a lit hallway, hopefully without a kitchen knife in her hands.

    Thanks for the comments so far and I'd be happy to hear more. Looking forward to your post, najimi, and anyone else that would like a little c&c on their pics.
  • copperchefRegular Boarder
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    Haha I hear you. I used to collect cameras, Now I collect figures. I think I'm worse off now money wise :-P

    Yea it is a bit dark but then again I figured you were going for yandere.

    As for any light that comes from below, it will never look natural. Our lights always come from above or from the side. Thats why underlighting has the disturbing effect it has. You could experiment with the way its bouncing back up with a larger bounce card maybe?

    The lit hallway idea would be fun to try out. You could also try the old standing in a dark room lit only by a crack in an open door setup. Now that would be a fun challenge. But let's not have a repeat of SchoolDays.

    Nice Boat.
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    copperchef
    Nice Boat.


    PICTURE #50512

    I wonder if anybody will notice Luka's arm falling off lol.
  • copperchefRegular Boarder
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    keychaincopperchef
    Nice Boat.


    PICTURE #50512

    I wonder if anybody will notice Luka's arm falling off lol.


    Subtle, I like that. in an evil way of course.

    Ok, of course there are some dust spots to get rid of. There's a bit of lens flare but I think it goes with this image even though its technically a mistake.

    I dont even know what to call her anymore since its such a mashup of various parts lol.
    The yandere, I'd like to see a little more separation from the background. Just that I would put a little bit of light on the background. Just enough to see the outline of the figure, not so much that it brightens the "room" too much.

    This is one case where I'd either take a second exposure so yandere's eyes are brighter and combine the images. Its really dark and gets muddy right now. Or lighten it up in photoshop . You *could* do it while shooting with a small piece of foil or a mirror but that is getting really complicated. One thought just occurred to me, a dab of clear gloss nail polish on the eyes might make it appear a little more lifelike. hmm . tempted to pick up a bootleg nendo just to try that in case the nail polish messes up the paint or something.

    You are using the in camera flash to set off the SB-600 right? There is a bit of reflection in the shiny surfaces of Luka. This can be avoided by using something in front of the flash to block the light from going forward but not to the side and reaching the SB-600. It can be really tricky unless you have the SG-31R IR Panel www.adorama.com... Or, you could take it out in photoshop. But since you wanted to get out of bad habits I'll point out the in camera way of avoiding these. Unless I'm mistaken and the shadow side reflections are from a silver card or foil youre using for fill. In which case photoshop will be the way to go.

    Those are just my opinions.

    Love the poses, expressions and idea.
    Keep shooting!
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  • najimi13Regular Boarder
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    Alright, finally got off of my ass and put something together. Quick warning though, these were taken at like 2 in the morning. Everything looks better to me at 2 in the morning. lol

    picture/50529&a...

    Taken on a board on a chair that I put some bricks and plants on. lol

    Feel free to add something about the others. And yeah, I realized how distracting the plant coming from the top on the others are. Lesson learned, I guess.
  • keychainVery Important Boarder
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    This is a tough one lol. Gave it another try, bit brighter and more vivid. You were right about the onboard flash casting some residual light on Luka's face. Cut a piece of paper and used some tape to redirect it upwards lol. At first I liked the lens flare but after moving around my "reflectors" I couldn't recreate the effect. I think it helped clean up some of the muddiness though.

    PICTURE #50536

    Might try this shot again tomorrow but upload to my private webspace if that happens. Here's a shot of the setup in case anybody's interested. dl.dropbox.com/...

    C&C always appreciated!
  • keychainVery Important Boarder
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    picture/50529&a...


    lol good shot in my opinion. Some things I would do a little differently is have the subject on the right side and let the background falloff to the left but that's probably personal preference. Nice bokeh, and an interesting scene without being too busy.

    If it were me I might underexpose it a bit, maybe 1/3rd of a stop, to bring out the flesh tones and give the colors a bit more saturation in the highlighted areas of the face and hair. Colors seem just a bit washed out. Also, maybe shift the primary light source a bit to the left as well.

    All in all a good shot. Interested in hearing what others have to say or hear your thoughts on my critique. I think this is the first time I've really ever critiqued a photo lol.
  • najimi13Regular Boarder
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    Thanks for the tips. How about this? lol
    picture/50542&a...
    Since I already threw out the plants, I can only re-edit. The problem with putting her on the right side is the way she's looking, but I guess flipping the image works? I was trying to avoid burning out any retinas with too much saturation and added a little soft focus. Always conflicted on how contrasty to make an image.
  • AshlotteFull-time ReviewerVery Important Boarder
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    Mmm I have to say I like the first one better. Since its an SD-ish figure without alot of details I thought the understaturated colors gave it a nice cute dreamy feel paired with the background.

    I have the same bad habit of over contrasting that I've been trying to stop lately myself so I can feel your pain. >_>
    "There are some people who live in a dream world,
    and there are some who face reality;
    and then there are those who turn one into the other."


    http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d14/Arkadyz/Heart_Music_by_AlexSatriani.gif
  • AmishpriestRegular Boarder
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    keychainThis is a tough one lol. Gave it another try, bit brighter and more vivid. You were right about the onboard flash casting some residual light on Luka's face. Cut a piece of paper and used some tape to redirect it upwards lol. At first I liked the lens flare but after moving around my "reflectors" I couldn't recreate the effect. I think it helped clean up some of the muddiness though.

    PICTURE #50536

    Might try this shot again tomorrow but upload to my private webspace if that happens. Here's a shot of the setup in case anybody's interested. dl.dropbox.com/...

    C&C always appreciated!


    I think this looks great! I really like the way you used the lighting here. Subtle, but to great effect IMO.

    I'm going to try to take some experimental photos over the next few days, playing around with the camera settings and maybe some post processing. I'll let you all know when they're up (please don't be too harsh lol).
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    najimi13Thanks for the tips. How about this? lol
    picture/50542&a...
    Since I already threw out the plants, I can only re-edit. The problem with putting her on the right side is the way she's looking, but I guess flipping the image works? I was trying to avoid burning out any retinas with too much saturation and added a little soft focus. Always conflicted on how contrasty to make an image.


    A bit contrasty for my tastes. I like to see a bit more midtones in my images unless I was going for a more posterized look. Regarding the placement of the subject in the frame, personally when I take shots of people or figures I like to leave the side they are facing as open space rather than have the picture cut off. So in the case of your mirrored image, I would place the subject on the left half of the frame as long as her eyes were looking towards the camera. This may just be personal preference, but this is how I tend to see things.


    A bit off topic but maybe worth putting out there since you mentioned the dreamy effect.

    One method I use to get some glow, soft focus, type effects in post-processing is to create a duplicate layer, use gaussian blur on it to taste then change the layer blending mode to screen. You can then play with the levels of that layer to increase the contrast and highlight the bright areas, and even play with the saturation a bit (sometimes I totally desaturate the soft layer) then adjust the opacity of the layer to change the level of the desired effect. I used this method a bit on my BRS pics if you want an example of what kind of results it can give.

    Here's another couple of pics where I used it a little more: picture/49642&a... picture/48207&a.... Hopefullyl you can kind of see how the light radiates off their face and hair.

    Keep in mind this method will brighten your image, which is probably why I tend on the side of underexposure, both to protect highlights and increase saturation. My D90 is a lot better at bringing up shadows than it is at toning down highlights. It's also a lot easier to decrease saturation than it is to increase it in my opinion. Not sure if anybody else uses this method but the effect can get pretty close to using a soft focus filter on the lens. It works well for portraits where you don't want a million pores showing up sharply on the subjects face lol.
  • AshlotteFull-time ReviewerVery Important Boarder
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    Hmmm interesting I'll have to try that next time I do a review...I've done alot of things in the past to try and make shots more soft and fuzzy looking, but not that one!

    I know you didn't request any CC but can I just say that BRS/WiM shot is incredible Key...inspirational even. Made me want to go out and try some multi figure shots myself just to see what I might get. :p
    "There are some people who live in a dream world,
    and there are some who face reality;
    and then there are those who turn one into the other."


    http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d14/Arkadyz/Heart_Music_by_AlexSatriani.gif
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    AshlotteHmmm interesting I'll have to try that next time I do a review...I've done alot of things in the past to try and make shots more soft and fuzzy looking, but not that one!

    I know you didn't request any CC but can I just say that BRS/WiM shot is incredible Key...inspirational even. Made me want to go out and try some multi figure shots myself just to see what I might get. :p


    Yeah you should give it a try, there's a lot of interesting effects you can get with it just by tweaking values.

    Thanks for the comment on that BRS/WiM shot. Once I opened that WiM box I felt like I needed to try and get a good shot of her. It took me about 40-50 shots before I got one I was comfortable with; moving reflectors, adjusting the flash, trying different angles, it was all a pretty fun experience. I actually had to crop the final shot a bit because the Elmer's label on the back of one of my foamboards was showing in the corner of the shot lol.

    There are some things I would try to do if I were to redo the shot. The main one would probably be to get a bit more light up on BRS's arm and gun on the top left to give it some definition. Another would be to try a smaller aperture. I took that shot F13 and BRS's face is a bit out of focus. I probably should've tried F16 and just upped the flash power a bit to eek out a bit more depth of field and even out the sharpness a bit across the frame.

    Glad to have inspired you to go out and take some shots! I'm pretty limited with the small amount of scale figures I have which is why I do a lot of Nendo shots but with your collection you could probably shoot something a lot more interesting.
  • AshlotteFull-time ReviewerVery Important Boarder
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    Ah I can see what you mean about BRS' face.

    Shooting two figures at once proved rather...hard to say the least ahah. Ofcourse I had to go and try it indoors...If I get something that I even mildly like I'll make sure to throw it up here and ask for some CC. :p

    Thanks again for the blur tip though key...I'm thoroughly abusing and tweaking it constantly now. *cough*
    "There are some people who live in a dream world,
    and there are some who face reality;
    and then there are those who turn one into the other."


    http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d14/Arkadyz/Heart_Music_by_AlexSatriani.gif
  • keychainVery Important Boarder
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    Yeah two figs is pretty hard. I got lucky when WiM Miku fit on BRS's base and the angle helped hide the fact that her hair is pretty flat since she's supposed to be lying down.

    Glad to hear the blur tip is working out for you. When used subtly it's pretty good for cleaning up sensor noise or hiding overly sharp details. Used at it's full power it could probably make a pic look like it's trippin' on LSD lol.
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