Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'photography'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Frontpage, Forum Information and General LEGO Discussion
    • Guest Section - PLEASE READ BEFORE YOU REGISTER!
    • Frontpage News
    • Forum Information and Help
    • General LEGO Discussion
    • The Embassy
  • Themes
    • LEGO Licensed
    • LEGO Star Wars
    • LEGO Historic Themes
    • LEGO Action and Adventure Themes
    • LEGO Pirates
    • LEGO Sci-Fi
    • LEGO Town
    • LEGO Train Tech
    • LEGO Technic, Mindstorms & Model Team
    • LEGO Scale Modeling
    • LEGO Action Figures
    • Special LEGO Themes
  • Special Interests
    • Minifig Customisation Workshop
    • LEGO Digital Designer and other digital tools
    • Brick Flicks & Comics
    • LEGO Mafia and Role-Play Games
    • LEGO Media and Gaming
  • Eurobricks Community
    • Hello! My name is...
    • LEGO Events and User Groups
    • Buy, Sell, Trade and Finds
    • Community
    • Culture & Multimedia

Group


AIM


MSN


Website URL


ICQ


Yahoo


Jabber


Skype


Location


Interests


Country


Special Tags 1


Special Tags 2


Special Tags 3


Special Tags 4


Special Tags 5


Special Tags 6


Country flag

Found 25 results

  1. Hi Everyone I'd like to share my first MOC design which I've been working on over the past few weeks. I decided to set myself a challenge to see if I could create a Modular building using just the parts taken from 3 of my existing sets. All the parts I used were taken from the 3 Creator sets above, 31036, 31050 and 31065. The only extra thing I added was a green 16 x 32 baseplate but apart from that, everything else is taken from those 3 sets. So here is my very first MOC - The Modular Convenience Store As you can see the model is 16 studs wide and is designed to fit in with the Modular building series. There are 3 levels and although it's essentially one building, I wanted to give the impression from the outside that it consists of 2 narrow buildings side by side with the main shop on the left and the tall blue section to the right. Level 1 - The Convenience Store The first level of the building is the Convenience Store itself. Outside on the front we have a bench, street lamp, flower display and a fire hydrant. The main door at at the base of the blue tower gives access to the inside of the store. Inside the store there is a cash desk, fruit and vegetables and shelves with various items for sale. I also built a small shooping trolley for the minifigs to use with their shopping. A door at the back of the store gives access to the rear of the building. At the back is a staircase leading to the second level. Level 2 - Apartment On the middle level is an apartment / studio flat. On the outside is a large Bay window and a door with a Juliet balcony looking out on to the street below. The inside of the apartment is pretty small but I have managed to squeeze in a kithcen, TV, bed, lamp, shelves, table and stool. Level 3 and Roof Outside again the only way for the minifigs to reach the next level is via a ladder on the back of the building. The top level consists of a small building and a roof top garden. The roof top building is extremely small (6 x 4 studs) but the roof can be removed and inside is a table with binoculars, a lamp and a brick built sweeping brush hanging on the wall. A door from this small building leads out in to the roof top garden. Here we have a BBQ, seat, plants and a glass covered vegetable patch. Displaying the Model Here are a selection of pics showing the model on display alongside Parisian Restaurant and Assembly Square. Thanks for reading and I hope you like the model, feel free to let me know what you think. If you want to see more pics then head over to my Flickr page where I've added loads more. https://www.flickr.com/photos/140122416@N02/albums
  2. Homemade Road Plates

    Thought this might be of interest to anyone creating their own City layout or anyone who wants roads to go alongside their modular buildings or city vehicles. I decided to have a go at creating my own road plates as a substitute to the standard ones that Lego produce. You can find PDF patterns available online for printing roads but instead of using those I designed these myself as I wanted them to look pretty close to the real thing. I then used a high quality digital laser printer and printed them on to 400gsm card which is the same stuff often used by commercial printers for printing business cards. Each one is cut to the same size as a standard 32x32 base plate and I rounded the corners which helps to prevent them from getting bent or damaged. The finished roads are quite thick and sturdy but they are thin enough that the edges can be tucked under the base plates on Modulars and other buildings which helps to hold them in place. They can also be overlapped which is useful for fitting around awkward sized buildings that don't fit the standard 32x32 size. I produced quite a few of these and just like the official Lego road plates, they can be arranged in many ways to create different road layouts. They don't have quite the same appeal as the real thing but I'm pretty pleased with the end result. Considering the cost to make these was a tiny fraction of what Lego charge for real road plates, I think this is a good cheap alternative that works well for anyone who hasn't got the space for a large permanent layout. Below are some pictures of my printed roads being used on a small tabletop City layout. Let me know what you think. **EDIT** Please scroll to the bottom of page 1 to see my second attempts at creating a more realistic road design.
  3. The Hungry Golem

    “The man desperately scrambled up the rocks, hoping to escape the giant stone hand reaching for him. Golems are not typically hostile, but they are very possessive of things they believe are theirs. The red-cloaked warrior struggled to hold back his enormous pet, and with no small effort shouted some words of wisdom to the fleeing man - “just give him the apple!” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The final result of this build is very different from the original concept. With little success, I struggled for a while in my attempt to build a complicated bridge on the rock base. I always have table scraps of random things I've built at a whim - one of them was the golem creature. He's not very complex, but he looked so humorous with the odd body proportions and the hammerhead skull, so I've kept him built for a month or two. I finally put him to use! - Loreman The Hungry Golem_2 by The Loreman, on Flickr The Hungry Golem_3 by The Loreman, on Flickr The Hungry Golem_4 by The Loreman, on Flickr The Hungry Golem_5 by The Loreman, on Flickr
  4. [MOC] The Resting Tower

    “Weary from the long journey, our heroes find the toppled great tower looming before them. An unspoken question haunted them: had the daughter of the Duchess been in her quarters? Should she no longer breathe, the mission would be for nought. Once a floor hatch, now a door. Once a door, now a floor. Her room was on the 4th level. They entered the 9th.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My initial attempt at bringing the resting tower to life ended in ruins. I made it too large, and I began running low on the necessary parts. About a month ago I made the decision to tear it all apart and start afresh. It was a hard decision after all the hours spent on construction, but it was worth it! I had just received a much needed bricklink order, so the timing was good. The smaller size was much easier to manage, and I had enough parts to spare for the large chunk of wall the tower fell through. I would have loved to spend more time on it, but I knew I could go on endlessly, so I made the call after about two months of part time building. The big challenge on the second go at building this MOC was fusing the odd sections together so it wouldn't fall apart every time I touched it. Watch this short video to get a behind the scenes glance at how I build and document my MOCs: https://youtu.be/edeZsEzeXBA - Loreman RestingTower_02 by The Loreman, on Flickr RestingTower_03 by The Loreman, on Flickr RestingTower_05 by The Loreman, on Flickr RestingTower_06 by The Loreman, on Flickr RestingTower_07 by The Loreman, on Flickr RestingTower_09 by The Loreman, on Flickr RestingTower_10 by The Loreman, on Flickr RestingTower_11 by The Loreman, on Flickr
  5. I've been travelling round Asia with my lego Hiker, who shares a surprising similarity to me. (#LegoBobbles) thought people might enjoy. I've added a couple of my favourite but more on my instagram, hope you like them, didn't know where else to post so thought here with all the others collectors minifigure. https://www.instagram.com/Bobbles_G/
  6. Managing and storing photos

    Hello there, I’d like some help with managing photos on the computer. I take photos for my LUG, and upload them to the blog, brickshelf and social media. The problem I’m having is that I find it very time consuming - getting photos off my camera, sorting through them and uploading to multiple platforms. I use a Mac and I’m not a fan of how the Photos program manages all of it’s photos in a database, and how I can’t resize photos, only crop them. So far, I’ve just been copying the photos to my computer and doing most of the edits in Preview. Advanced stuff I can use Photoshop for. If you know of an alternative to Photoshop, please let me know! Can you recommend a program for managing photos? I have heard that Adobe Lightroom is a good program for managing photos, does anyone recommend it? If there's a decent program that works on Windows, let me know too, I can always switch to the PC. Or if you don’t use a program, do you just keep them in folders on your computer? I’d also like input on how you store your photos - on your computer or on a separate storage device? Do you keep the originals and edited photos? I create separate photos for the different places I upload to (i.e. a folder for brickshelf, one for flickr, etc) since I keep my photo sizes to a minimum and to make uploading in batches easier. Thanks!
  7. Importance of good photos

    Hello All, I consider myself somewhat novice in terms of building. Currently, I am in the process of moving my family, and therefore most of my LEGO is packed up. However, I still have my laptop and realized the other day that I really needed to update some of by old MOC's photos. I had already doctored my newer MOC's photos, realizing late in the game how important it is to take time to really do a nice job with photos, but my older stuff really needed some work. I have written about and posted all photos here: http://mocpages.com/moc.php/414606 Briefly, here is an example of what I discuss and posted in the link above. As can be seen, one photo gives a much better presentation of the model than another. To many, this may seem like a no -brainer, and in hindsight it really is. But from a somewhat novice's perspective, it is not. I began building with only the intent to build. Then came the desire to share (but without consideration of the importance of presentation). Later, came an appreciation for presentation. Evolution of an AFOL
  8. Would like to take some macro shots of my minifigs vignettes, and have seen some pretty affordable slip on macro lenses on eBay for iPhones for about 10 USD. Too good to be true? Can anyone recommend anything?
  9. So . . . by now some of you may have seen me lurking around here. I registered back in 2011, introduced myself and then didn't make an impact. Things have changed a little, especially with the acquisition of lots of late 1980's lego and very early 90's lego and my first new lego sets in an eternity. I got a pair of 60051 trains, I do already enjoy the RC trains . . .minus the batteries that they use. I'm a little unique as I grew up looking at those catalogues that came with the sets and wanting the 12V stuff, even though we didn't have it in Canada . . .where I'm from. So . . . starting around 1999, I just started piling up Ebay transactions from everyone world wide. I once got a feedback of: "Good to dial wet" originally I thought it was something really perverted, and refused feedback. 2 years later I realized that I was "good to deal with." I can't really complain, my German is rather non-existent and I have a good amount of German blood in me. I play a lot of ball hockey (not field hockey, it's basically ice hockey without the ice), that's me, I'm big, strong extremely agile goalie. That's what makes me unique in my eyes rare traits to put together . . . . that and my 5' tall box of Kraft Dinner. I do a lot of hockey photography (ice hockey), I'm no pro, I don't even own an SLR camera, but it's something that I enjoy. I love just about all things from the 1980's: Transformers, Lego, Hair, Music (specifically pop rock and hip hop). I also love my Grand Prix's, I have three in total. In 2013 for my birthday one of my closest friends treated me (at my request, you can request free crap) for a photo shoot of AJAM & AMY (below) later in the shoot we had a hot air balloon land in the background of a shot (I also requested this about 30 minutes prior to happening, but jokingly), I'm active on the car scene on the internet and attend 3 meets a year, all in the US. I'll blame my nephew for sparking my interest in Lego again lately. He loves the stuff, my home is like some kind of theme park to him!! It probably needs some work (lots of work??) but I made 90% of this car 20 years ago and then never put a front end on it. Not sure I'm happy with it the way it is, but much the passenger jet conversion of my 6544 plane, tonight it's a true sign that I'm back in the lego fold. There will be a Youtube channel . . . and it will be epic. This is me about 6 years ago. I had bought a wrench for the house since I didn't have a BFW, but was shocked to find it was no ordindary wrench (rated PG-13): Will have a new Youtube channel for lego related stuffs). Thanks for being so welcoming already, for me the best is yet to come . . .and "ALL OF YOUR IDEAS IS BELONG TO ME." Some sets that I have kicking around: Trains: 182 727 7715 7722 (partial) 7745 60051 X2 Town: 6354 6358 6375 6378 6380 6382 6386 X2 6389 6391 6392 6394 X2 6395 6396 6397 6398 (and wish I had a 6399 . . . . maybe some day)
  10. I created this topic so people can share pictures of Chima I recently bought the eagle legend beast DSCF3612 by camberry234, on Flickr DSCF3619 by camberry234, on Flickr DSCF3621 by camberry234, on Flickr This ones my personal favourite
  11. Didn't see a thread like this, so I decided to make one. The title is pretty self explanatory, if you have any pictures of constraction, whether it be dioramas, poses, seasonal, etc. Feel free to contribute. Something seasonal I put together. Here we have a small group of bionicle characters who have set aside their differences to celebrate Christmas. Experimentation with lighting effects. I kinda like it. So those are mine. How about yours?
  12. Friends, over the past couple of months I have been working to improve the photography of my models. Particularly, I hope to develop a consistent and excellent setup that can be used indoors to photograph my MOC at anytime of the day (or night). I am interested in any suggestions others use for their current photography needs. I suspect my needs at this time revolve around lighting. My current setup uses: Canon Rebel XT DSLR Camera A large posterboard Two midsize photography lamps (120V, 240W, 6400 lumen bulbs) Here is a shot with the current setup: Here is the lighting (and whiteness) I hope to achieve, albeit in an indoor setting. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  13. Disclaimer: I have no experience with professional photography, and use an awful camera. Hello, Eurobricks! Today I have come across an issue setting up a proper photography area, relating to the bulbs I use in my two lamps: Standard filament or fluorescent bulbs give my photographs horrible yellow tinge; this happens regardless of how the two lamps are positioned, or what other light sources there are in the room. Would daylight bulbs work better? LEDs? Halogen? Is it even possible to take decent photographs in such a setting, even if I were to get better bulbs?
  14. Just wondering if anyone has knowledge of this: the various images for LEGO sets on the official LEGO shopping site (S@H) - are they photographs of actual builds done in a studio, or renders, or some combination? How much photoshopping or modifications are done? What type of illumination is used - tungsten, halogen, or other. These are likely to be some of the best images obtainable for LEGO sets, with excellent details, good control of highlights and shadow areas. Would be nice to know some of the process that went into making these official images, as this would help the rest of us get better images also.
  15. Hey there, I recently started a photographic series of LEGO Batman travels & adventures and here I am introducing them to you. I will try to keep this side project alive as much as I can and I will upload all the photos to my Instagram account http://instagram.com/alexnocturnal I hope that you will like them, I would really appreciate to hear your opinions, ideas, suggestions, etc. Since the World Cup started few weeks ago, here we go Enjoying a beer at Australia - Olanda Enjoying a Sangria and wondering if Spain will go home so soon And ready for the last game of the day Friday games start. Warming up with a beer. Italy or Costa Rica? Will the Queen kiss Mario? Du fromage et du vin... Switzerland vs France. Already 0-3, any final predictions? Budweiser beer or Porto wine? I can has both? Let's see a good game: USA vs Portugal Explain to your girlfriend the offside rule... :D Chilling... ITA vs. URU Bud meet Krombacher, Krombacher meet Bud! aka USA vs. GER :) Brazil - Chile, 1-1, few moments until penalty shots Aaaaaand the winner is: Allez les bleus! #FRA vs #NGA :) A walk by in Timisoara (Romania) - notice the I (batman) TM - the city abbreviation - with Batman as a heart Working on a flyer design (since I am a graphic designer in my real life) "I'm your father" Because of the lengthy post and in case you want to follow the project on Instagram here is the link again http://instagram.com/alexnocturnal That's it for now, if you like them and want to see more I will keep you posted
  16. Avalonian Postcards

    The Burnby tourism office is proud to present their new line of collectable postcards, featuring iconic Avalonian scenes and vistas. New designs will be released sporadically throughout the month of February. Postcard! by Carson Haupt, on Flickr Feel free to post your own too, I think it'd be great if we had like a guild tourism push like the Kaliphlins did earlier.
  17. Minifigs in the Las Vegas Desert

    Hi there everyone, Whenever I travel, I usually bring a handful of minifigs along and take pictures of them in their "natural habitats." In January I had the chance to travel to Las Vegas, and each day I went hiking in the surrounding desert. Here are some of the better pictures that I took, including Indiana Jones, Prince of Persia, Collectible Minifigs and more. Check out the entire Flickr gallery for even more photos as well as larger versions of the pictures you see here. Also, if you haven't seen my other Minifig Adventures, check out the following Flickr sets: Minifigures at Point Lobos, California Minifigures in Hawaii Indiana Jones in Costa Rica Please let me know what you think of these photos! Thanks for your time. Inky
  18. What we are looking for: Dozens of brilliant LEGO Pirate minifigure photos for the exciting new LEGO Pirates Forum Skin. Minifigures include: Pirates (1989-1991, 1992-1995 & 1996-1997), Soldiers, Imperial Guards, Islanders, Imperial Armada , Pirates II and Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean. To qualify Please provide a sample of your work by posting up to three images in this thread. PhotographersPlease submit at least one LEGO Pirate photo you've taken for this project. Image EditorsPlease submit at least one LEGO Pirate photo you've edited for this project. Your images MUST be in PNG format with 8 bit alpha transparency. Transparent GIFs will not be accepted. Don't have a photo? Find one here. BEFORE YOU SUMBIT!!! Please read the terms & conditions in the Special Project Auditions - FAQ thread and ask any questions there. Keep this thread for image submissions only!
  19. Special Project Auditions - FAQ

    For the first time ever YOU have the opportunity to contribute to a Eurobricks Forum Skin! We need dozens of Minifig photos for the exciting and innovative banner! We’re looking for: Photographers with a good camera and a wide range of LEGO Pirate minifigures Image Editors with the skill to remove backgrounds from photos You can DO BOTH but you'll need to audition for both! Your rewards for helping: Access to an exclusive hidden forum in which you will be amongst the first to witness this revolutionary new forum skin! An acknowledgement - everybody's whose work is selected will be fully credited. If you're a professional you can even include your website URL and contact details. A commemorative tag - the more you quality images you contribute, the more valuable tag you receive. BUT BEWARE! We'll place a voodoo curse on anybody who contributes a substandard effort, and trust us when we say you don't want to be wearing that tag!Learn more about the tag benefits. How to audition Read the information below so you understand exactly what is required. Ask any questions you have in this thread. When you are ready to submit, please do so in the Special Project Auditions - Submissions thread. What we’re looking for… Minifigures from LEGO setsPirates, Soldiers (blue coats), Imperial Guards (red coats), Islanders (natives), Imperial Armada (conquistadors), Pirates II (released in 2009-2010) and Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean. Custom MinifiguresThe Dutch, Portuguese, East India Trading Company, Colonisation of Central America, undead pirates, etc. Mesoamerican CivilisationsAztec, Maya, Inca, Olmec, Toltec, etc. What we’re NOT looking for… Sigfigs or avatarsit wouldn’t be fair to permanently feature somebody’s forum identity over others. 4+/Jackstone Pirates setsthose oversized pirates which were released in 2004. Although their accessories may work with standard SYSTEM Pirate minfigures. Pirates from outside the CaribbeanVikings, Space Pirates, Steampunk, Medieval Pirates, Barbary Corsairs, etc. Minfigs & Elements from Imitation/Counterfeit or Competing BrandsThe minifigures and pieces you use MUST be authentic LEGO, with the exception of elements from custom LEGO manufacturers such Brickarms, Brickforge, Citizen Brick, etc. These are acceptable. The blasted Rules The photography must be decent!We will NOT accept low resolution images nor include images which contain artefacts (graininess), aliasing (jagged edges), chromatic aberration (colour fringing), focal defects (blurriness), mismatched impedance (ghosting), oversaturation or any noticeable visual distortion. The image editing must be decent!We will not accept images if the background hasn't been cleanly removed. Each minifigure and any accessories must have a smooth edge with no obvious trace of the background remaining. DO NOT use Microsoft Paint! Edited Images MUST HAVE alpha transparencyThe background must be transparent in PNG format with an 8 bit alpha channel. NO transparent GIFs will be accepted! The minifigure/LEGO elements MUST be shown entirely within the photoPlease do not submit photos with minifigures/elements which cannot be fully seen. E.g. peaking in from the side or from the waist up. If they were to be added to the banner, whatever part(s) aren't visible would simply look cut off in the banner. The minfigure(s) must isolated against a neutral coloured backgroundBackgrounds with multiple colours can be a lot more challenging to edit. The background will need to be manually removed and this is much easier if it contrasts with the minifgure and is a constant colour. You may however, remove the background yourself, but be sure to save the image as a 32bit PNG file to ensure it retains its transparency. No lighting techniques or harsh shadowsPlease photograph your minfigure(s) in consistent lighting. No watermarks, logos, signatures or other brandingPlease ensure your photos are free from visual distractions. No Background Spill“Spill” is the term used in film and photography when a background colour reflects onto a foreground element. For example: a minifigure photographed against a blue background has traces of blue along its boundary. No flash highlights These are when the flash reflects off the minifigure causing white highlights or shines. Nothing too crude or offensive!Keep your minifigure’s anitcs clever and tactful. Our decision is finalWe decide which minifigures and edited images will appear in the skin and how they will be arranged. Acknowledgement Everybody who contributes minifigure photography will receive an acknowledgement in Announcement Thread when the skin is complete. Upon request additional information can be included such your website, Deviant Art account, Facebook Page or other contact details. Agreement By submitting photos you've taken or images you've edited you grant us permission to use them in anyway we see fit (relating to the Forum Skin), for an indefinite period of time without compensation, remuneration or reward.
  20. For the first time ever YOU have the opportunity to contribute to a Eurobricks Forum Skin! We’re looking for a wide range of LEGO Pirate minifigures in an assortment of entertaining poses. So, if you have an interesting minifigure or three, post photos of them in this thread. What we're currently looking for is minifigures in poses grouped according to their Pirate sub-theme, I.e. Pirates (1989-1991, 1992-1995 & 1996-1997), Soldiers, Imperial Guards, Islanders, Imperial Armada , Pirates II and Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean. What we’re looking for… Minifigures from LEGO setsPirates, Soldiers (blue coats), Imperial Guards (red coats), Islanders (natives), Imperial Armada (conquistadors), Pirates II (released in 2009-2010) and Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean. Custom MinifiguresThe Dutch, Portuguese, East India Trading Company, Colonisation of Central America, undead pirates, etc. Mesoamerican CivilisationsAztec, Maya, Inca, Olmec, Toltec, etc. What we’re NOT looking for… Sigfigs or avatarsit wouldn’t be fair to permanently feature somebody’s forum identity. 4+/Jackstone Pirates setsthose oversized pirates which were released in 2004. Although their accessories may work with standard SYSTEM Pirate minfigures. Pirates from outside the CaribbeanVikings, Space Pirates, Steampunk, Medieval Pirates, Barbary Corsairs, etc. Minfigs & Elements from Imitation/Counterfeit or Competing BrandsThe minifigures and pieces you use MUST be authentic LEGO, with the exception of elements from custom LEGO manufacturers such Brickarms, Brickforge, Citizen Brick, etc. These are acceptable. The blasted Rules The photography must be decent!We will NOT accept low resolution images nor include images which contain artefacts (graininess), aliasing (jagged edges), chromatic aberration (colour fringing), focal defects (blurriness), mismatched impedance (ghosting), oversaturation or any noticeable visual distortion. The minifigure/LEGO elements MUST be shown entirely within the photoPlease do not submit photos with minifigures/elements which cannot be fully seen. E.g. peaking in from the side or from the waist up. If they were to be added to the banner, whatever part(s) aren't visible would simply look cut off in the banner. No lighting techniques or harsh shadowsPlease photograph your minfigure(s) in consistent lighting. The minfigure(s) must isolated against a neutral coloured backgroundThe background will need to be manually removed and this is much easier if it contrasts with the minifgure and is a constant colour. You may however, remove the background yourself, but be sure to save the image as a 32bit PNG file to ensure it retains its transparency. No watermarks, logos, signatures or other brandingPlease ensure your photos are free from visual distractions. No Background Spill“Spill” is the term used in film and photography when a background colour reflects onto a foreground element. For example: a minifigure photographed against a blue background has traces of blue along its boundary. No flash highlights These are when the flash reflects off the minifigure causing white highlights or shines. Nothing too crude or offensive!Keep your minifigure’s anitcs clever and tactful. Our decision is finalWe decide which minifigures will appear in the skin and how they will be arranged. Acknowledgement Everybody who contributes minifigure photography will receive an acknowledgement in Announcement Thread when the skin is complete. Upon request additional information can be included such your website, Deviant Art account, Facebook Page or other contact details. Agreement By submitting photos you grant us permission to use them in anyway we see fit (relating to the Forum Skin), for an indefinite period of time without expectation or requirement of compensation, remuneration or reward.
  21. Low Light Photography and Practical Light Effects Advanced Photography Lesson Warning, this is not for the faint of heart, many of these results can be done by simple photoshopping, and it might be much faster. But do you get a better result? That's up to you, but I'm believe if you can do it for real, it looks that much more real (or even surreal). Much like how Lord of the Rings looks so fantastic is cause so many of the grand shots of castles and landscape were just that - actual shots of (large) miniatures and real locations, not computer generated effects. This also probably doesn't apply much to stop motion films, as the normalization process to get all your shots to be consistent may make even the most patient film maker go crazy. So to you, the comic creator (or simply photographer), I write this tutorial. How to create cool looking pictures and effects by taking a really good photo. Background/Streetcred Let me preface and admit that I am not a photographer, I have never studied photography, and while I'm somewhat familiar with the concepts and science - I am by no means an expert. What I am is lazy - I know the bare minimum to get cool pictures. I have been told I have a great 'eye' for shots, I might not know the science behind why, but I know what's cool when I see it. I also used to spend a lot of time doing night photography - I used to love wandering around with a tripod taking random pictures at night. Especially during fog: So what does that make me? I would say I have practical experience. I have a bag of tried and true tricks that have historically worked for me. The object of this tutorial is not to talk about the theory of low light LEGO photography, but to share my practical tips and a layman's how-to guide to shoot in the dark. Lighting Overview Before going in depth different ways to light (or lack thereof) your build, there are roughly 5 types of lighting strategies I will cover: Ambient light - This is the amount of light in the room anywhere from bright, to low to even none. Embedded light - lights that originate within your actual build. Directional or Spotlight - using an additional light source to provide light to a specific area of the build Special lighting - using coloured lights to change the mood of the picture. Black Lighting - special case of special lighting, with glowing results! More on these later! Your Build Wait, build? I thought we were talking about how to shoot and using fancy light? Well we are, but before you photograph your build, you have to build it! And before you build it you have to PLAN on how to build it. This is probably one of the more important keys to low-light LEGO Photography. You have to build your MOC to suit what method you may use. If you're going to use embedded lights, well you have to put them in ahead of time! Do you have small lights? or big lights? You obviously can't put a massive light into a micro, but you could put in small lights with wires hanging out (to Photoshop out later). Or if you're going to use black-lights, well you need to use one of the LEGO elements that glow! Other things to think about when you're building - which angle(s) will you be shooting from? Do you need to hide wiring? or even where the lights will be. Do you want to actually see the LED/Light bulb? or do you want it hidden/away from view? Don't forget that if you're shooting at really low light, even the weakest light will wash out all your other details - so light placement will be key. As you start off, remember: patience. This will take time for you to set up, to photograph correctly, and often rebuilding to get things 'just right'. Required items. Before you start there are few things you need to have, and know how use. Mandatory: Patience This is the most important thing to have. It takes time to set up, it takes many shoots, and it can be frustrating. So have patience and just know that it will look cool in the end. Camera! Most cameras, even the smaller pocket cameras have the ability to set the shutter speed - which is the amount of time your camera 'takes a picture'. This will become important, as the darker the room, the longer picture you need to take. Some cameras will have a "M" or Manual setting that lets you configure the shutter speed, as well as FStop (or aperture and other fun things). Alternatively you might have a "S" (Shutter priority) setting that controls just that, and the rest are automatically. Note that the FStop is also useful for certain effects (see DoF tutorial). If your camera doesn't have a "M" setting or "S" setting your best bet is "night time" or "stars" setting - that's the camera's setting for low light, not the best, but it can do in a pinch. Tripod! If you have ever tried to take a picture without a flash in a dark place, you'll know why you need a tripod. Simply put, our hands aren't steady enough to hold a camera to take shots in the dark. Even braced against something we vibrate the camera too much and it becomes blurry (unless you're into that). Any tripod will do, it doesn't have to be super fancy, or honestly you could use a stack of books, it just makes it harder to reposition and set up. But for me, I have cheap ball joint tripod that lets me quickly rotating the camera and change angles. Optional Light sources Depending on how you're going to light your build, you may need external light sources, you can use your standard lights, LED's, flashlight, laser pointers, black-lights IR from remote controls, whatever creates light that is visible to a camera. Try different things for different effects! Light Tent Ironic eh? But a light tent is still useful. The purpose of a light tent is to disburse light over your build, this rule still applies, you're just not applying AS much light. Lighting Explained I will now go through each of the different lighting techniques. Of course for maximum fun you could apply several of these techniques together to create a master piece! Ambient light This is the easiest and most important trick that you need to master. Simply put: turn down/off the light. This by itself isn't usually overly useful - if you set your camera right it is almost the same as taking a picture with the lights on. The key hear is to change the shutter speed of your camera to take a longer exposure picture. A regular picture is around 1/60 of a second. If you dim the lights, your picture might be 1 second or longer. Why this is so important is when you start using the other lighting tricks. You do this to make the OTHER lights seem brighter than they really are. So a very dimly lit fireplace, using normal room lights is barely noticeable turn off the room lights and set the shutter for 5 seconds and it becomes a roaring fire. Knowing how to set the shutter speed is also useful for every day MOC taking pictures. Many people prefer to take the MOC's outside to shoot, the sun provides extremely bright light. But if you know how to set your shutter speed accordingly you don't need to wait for a sunny day! I routinely use long shutter speeds even when I have my large photography lights and light tent... Embedded light I hope you were paying attention to the build section. Cause if you've gotten here without adding lights inside, it maybe too late Generally there are two types of lights that can add within a build: Small LED's such as the Power Function lights or third party Lifelites. Larger less specialized lights can also be used - these are far cheaper than the above and work far better lighting up large areas - downside is you need a lot of space to hide these. An example of a build that uses a standard LEGO light brick (in the hallway): An example of a build using cheap LEDs: Of course you can start combining tricks - such as lowering the ambient light level so that we maximize the lighting effect, the same temple, with lowered ambient light: Note how changing the ambient light changes the entire image feel. In a large enough layout you could even use a combination of smaller specialize LED's and cheaper ones, like here: The inner ring of the station is lit up by LED light bars that from dollar store. The rest are light bricks, and Lifelites. The key to photographing embedded lights is to do a proper light balance - between the ambient light and the embedded light. Here is an example where the embedded light is actually TOO bright relative to the ambient condition: I turned down the embedded light (switched from wall mount to battery power): Better! Now you can see that if I retook the second picture with a longer exposure, it'd be just about right. But the first shot, if I decreased the shutter speed (faster picture) it would be too dark, and the light would still be too bright, so I would have to turn up the ambient light to compensate. Black-Light My favorite trick is probably the Black-Light, it gives such a fantastic glow to an otherwise flat picture. Though not all pieces glow - mainly the trans-neon colours. Some pieces that you wouldn't think glow, actually do, take a black-light and go over some of your pieces, you'd be surprised When you build a black-light MOC - you should think about where and how the black light will be situated and where the camera will be. Another fun trick is to build chunk of the build in a clear brick - so that the black light goes THROUGH your build (see title images), or alternatively situate the light UNDER your build: The black light is actually sitting under a glass table, and there are 8x8 grill plates under each vat and a pile of neon orange dots and pieces to create the glow. Pro Tip: Get a good black-light. Stay away from the ones that fit in the light bulbs, they're rubbish (usually), get a good old fashioned tube one, they're by far the best. Directional or Spotlight Another trick is to shine a light on specific parts of a build. This obviously should be done in conjunction with low ambient light. You can use this to flush out or highlight the subject of your build, while not not ruining the lighting effect behind it. Here, because I had the gate glowing from black light I didn't want to wreak the feel by lighting it up too much. But I wanted to make sure the ship is the subject. So I took a little LED flashlight and lit up the ship. Pro Tip: When you shine a spotlight, make sure the light doesn't hit anything else! light up and away from your build whenever possible. The other method is using harsh light in one direction to forcibly create shadows. Not overly useful, but it can create some stark pictures. This entire build is light-bley but you can clearly make out the details. Special lighting Last but not least you can use some special coloured lights - like black light, or simply coloured filtered in front of lights. In the past I have used trans coloured LEGO pieces in front of a flash light to add a glow to a build. Or you could even prop up a laser pointer to create some pew pew pew action! One of my most ambitious shoots include all of these: This shot included every trick here, except black-light. It took me several nights to get this particular picture, by the end there was a entire procedure that took 60 seconds per attempt to align all the tricks: Laser pointer (not too long otherwise it over-saturates), No ambient light - pure darkness. Spotlight - to shine the ship and highlight the space marines Special light- the background (white backdrop) was actually lit with a light trans red plates to create a sunset type feel. Pro Tip - another way to change up the feel of your picture without changing the actual light, is changing the "AWB" or Auto White Balance of your camera settings (what your camera 'thinks' is white. An incorrectly set AWB can be useful, but most of the time annoying Conclusion So there you have it. Every single one of my tricks. It's not the easiest thing to do, but it's not really that hard either. The key is patience. Take the time to experiment and try new things. Assignment Use the skills you have learned here to produce a low-light photograph of your scene. Size doesn't matter, but ambiance does. Create a new thread in the Academy titled Student Enrollment: Low Light Photography to post your work.
  22. Whether we like to admit it or not, our photo gear does make a difference in our work. Not only can better gear produce better results, but having the right equipment can make the whole process more enjoyable. After all, we want to make comics and films, not mess around with our camera trying to get it to do things it was never intended to do. With this in mind, you may realize you need to upgrade your camera. You may have questions about features to look for, what all the numbers mean, and how much do you really have to spend? The goal of this tutorial is to take some of the mystery out of choosing a camera. I will be focusing on features needed for getting clean photos specifically to be used in creating films and comics, however, you should end up with a camera that is good for "normal" use like vacations and such as well. What Kinds of Cameras are there? There are quite a few different types of cameras available. Most likely anyone reading this has at least one of these and I'm willing to bet most of us have more than one. Before we talk about what to look for in a camera, I'm going to explain the different types and you'll see why the rest of this article will not be focused on the first three in this list. What does that leave us with? Well, now we have "Compact", "Advanced Compact" and "dSLR". In all honesty, if you can't afford at least a "Compact" camera, you should really start a plan to save the money for one. Anything lower than that will just mean you have to work harder and will most likely never get to the quality of photos that you want. It's a harsh reality, but sometimes we must spend money on the gear. Let's have a look at price ranges, they vary quite a bit depending on brand and features. It's going to be up to you to decide what features and price you are willing to handle. I'll be covering the most important features after this. I'm covering price first because if you don't decide on at least a price range first, you may get stuck in trying to get the "best" and end up not buying anything at all. I do want to make one thing very clear: Do Not Buy Based on Brand . No brand is worth your loyalty, you need to pick a camera with the features, feel, and price point for YOU not because your friends use Canon or you use to have a Sony or you heard Nikon is the best from Ashton Kutcher. Let's Talk Features Photographing for either Brick Flicks or Comics all comes down to taking still images of LEGO scenes. Luckily that means we don't have to consider different features for each thing. Right, so there are a lot of features of modern digital cameras. I'm going to create this list with the "Most Important" features for our purposes at the top, moving down to the "Least Important". I will not cover every possible feature of a camera because, honestly, most features that are hyped by advertisers do not matter at all for what we are doing here. When considering cameras, you can find most of these feature details for the camera on Digital Photography Review as well as staff and user reviews, sample photos, and lots of comments. Flash Control Number One, you need to be able to turn off the flash. A bare flash with LEGO elements always results in sub-par photos. Having a "hot shoe" is also very helpful for adding an external flash and for other uses such as holding "flags" and "reflectors". Macro Mode Unless you really enjoy cropping photos, you'll want to get close to your figures. Take a look at the "minimum focus distance" in the features list for the camera you are considering. The smaller the better, I would stay away from anything over 10 inches though. Manual Mode Most of these types of cameras will have a manual mode of some sort, but not all are created equal. If the controls for manual aperture and shutter are buried in menus, stay away from the camera. You will have nothing but frustrations with these, it's much better if you can find a camera with these controls on a dial or a combination of dials. One of the other things to look for is true manual control for ISO, which should always be set at it's lowest setting but auto mode likes to set it high). Being able to control the aperture and shutter and ISO manually is also very important for getting a consistent image and avoiding "blinkies" when editing your images together in an animation. Manual Focus This can be handled a few different ways. With anything under dSLR, it is unlikely you'll get a true manual focus (like manual on the lens or even choosing a very precise focus point). However, some advanced compact cameras do have the ability to choose a focus point. This is very useful because (as discussed in the Depth of Field lesson) sometimes we want to give focus to only one item in the scene and we don't want to always have that object in the dead center of the frame or the "closest" to the camera. When looking up specs for the camera, look for keywords like "Manual Focus", "Multipoint Focus", and "Selective single-point" (the last one is the very best). Filter Compatibility With a dSLR, you'll be able to put filters right on the lens. This can be very useful for in-camera effects (like using a star filter) and for corrections (such as Circular Polarizer). The more you can do in-camera, the less you have to fight with in editing. For compact and advanced compact cameras, the manual and tech specs should tell you if it is possible to use filters - usually this will require an adapter collar (sometimes even included with the camera). Megapixels This is dangerous ground. It's a huge selling point for many cameras, touting more and more MP. The thing is that the size of the sensor isn't getting any bigger, so they are cramming more and more pixels on the same size sensor. What does this mean to you? It means that the more pixels that are packed on that tiny sensor, the more likely you are to get "noise" or "grain" in your images. When looking at the reviews for the camera you are considering, take a close look at the "High ISO" and "ISO" performance, there are usually 100% crop images in this section of the review. The thing you want to understand about noise in your images is that it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to get a clean background removal. So if you want to drop in a digital background, something like that, you'll need to start with the cleanest photo possible. Another thing to consider with MP is that for this type of work you don't really need more than 8MP. For the most part, we are only displaying these things online and even then they are cropped down to no more than 1MP in actual use (not always, but usually). Even if you were printing a page of your comic, you are still looking at each image in the page being very small relatively speaking. Tripod Mount The ability to mount your camera on a tripod is extremely helpful, especially in the case of animations. I'd say most of the cameras in this range will have a tripod mount, but if it comes down to one that does and one that doesn't, pick the one that does even if it costs a bit more. Well that about covers the features that are important for our purposes. It will take some research to find the right camera, but if you take the time to do it right you will be much happier. The more work you can get done in camera the better. I'd rather spend 30 minutes setting up a shot and 5 minutes in post to crop it than spend 5 minutes setting up a shot and 2 hours in post fixing it, but that does take a camera with certain minimum of features.
  23. Working with LEGO has always been fun, but LEGO is shiny and more often than not, there is glare from a light source when we photograph them. There are several ways to remedy this. One option is to place the lamp in a different location so the light reflected is hidden from the lens of the camera. Another option I've heard of is to use pencil erasers to dull the shiny brick. The least invasive way to remove glare from your set is through a circular polarizer. What is a Circular Polarizer? A circular polarizer (CPL) is a filter that only allows a certain angle of light to pass through it. Here are two articles that go into depth of the physics behind a polarizer. To put it very simply, scattered light passes through the filter and either the vertical or horizontal band of light will pass through. The angle of which the source light hits your object is important, and usually a 45 degree angle to the object will get you the best results. Most circular polarizers are also Neutral Density filters (filters that darken the shot without affecting color) and are usually graded to stop down an image by 2 stops. So if you have an f/stop of 4 on your lens, it will result in an f/stop of 8. You will need to add more light if it makes the scene too dark. A CPL will not completely remove a glare, depending on the angle and strength of the light, but it will cut it down a lot. This is the circular polarizer I used for this topic. I had a better one (which had a smoother rotating ring), but that got stolen . These things range from $6 to $200. The one I used is from the lower end. The price doesn't affect the effect, but you'd probably get a better quality, longer lasting product going for a medium to high range polarizer. A side view of the polarizer. Here you can see that this is a two piece filter, one that screws onto the lens and the other that can rotate freely, changing the angle of light that passes through. Here are some photos of the circular polarizer in use with LEGO pieces. The first picture is to demonstrate how much light is cut out from the neutral density aspect of the filter And now it's not over-exposed. The next two pictures will demonstrate how well the CPL removes glare from LEGO pieces As you can see in the above pictures, the glare on the eyes and nose, as well on the side of the black body, has been removed significantly. You can also see that the glare on the seams of the LEGO bricks and around the studs on the floor has also been removed. Two more examples: In the previous examples, I showed you how the CPL worked with figures and objects. In this next example, I'm using the very shiny bricks in the background. Straight on, like in the previous pictures, provided little effect in removing the glare. Changing the angle of the set, with the source light directly in front produces a dramatic effect in removing the glare. I've recorded a video of the CPL in action so that you can see exactly is happening when the filter is rotated. Take note of the frog, the eye of the panda, the handlebars of the motorcycle (and the blue plastic of it, as well), and the minifigure's hair, head, and leg. The back wall and LEGO studs are also affected, but not as much as the other pieces. Like I noted in the above example, the reflections in the back wall are hardly removed by the CPL, which you can clearly see my hands rotating the CPL on the camera lens. Sorry for the shakiness. VIDEO In conclusion, the CPL is not a necessary part of your photography set up, but it does help reduce unwanted glare/reflections on your set. Without the glare, the LEGO pieces are no longer washed out and have more contrast. Obviously, not every camera will have a CPL that will fit on it. There are other ways to attach a CPL to the camera and different types of CPL's (like a square plastic gel, like the polarized lenses of 3D glasses). Just holding it with your hand will work just as well,. One last interesting tid-bit about the polarizer: If you put two CPLs in front of each other, it is possible to completely block out light.
  24. Controlling Depth of Field What is Depth Of Field? Depth of Field (DOF) is the depth in front of and behind your focus target that is also in acceptable focus. A shallow DOF means that there is very little distance in front or behind the target that is in focus, deep DOF means there is a lot of distance in front and behind the target that is also in focus. Another thing to keep in mind is that DOF is slightly shallower in front of the target (toward the camera) then it is behind the target (away from the camera). For some real in-depth information, see the entry on Wikipedia. Prerequisites (things we will not be covering) Know how to use your camera and it's available manual settings. Know how to choose what you want to focus on or use manual focus. Know how to set up your lighting for the effect you want. Why should I care about DOF in my comic or film? Controlling the DOF is controlling what is in focus in your photo. The items that are in focus are the ones the viewer will (obviously) focus on. Keeping unimportant items blurred will keep your frame cleaner and less confusing for the viewer. All images shot with Canon G9 on manual, macro mode, no flash, ISO 80. Focus point is always the face of the motorcycle cop-zombie. Camera was not moved between shots, but the first two shots were cropped to match the general field-of-view of the third photo. Aperture: f/8 Shutter: 1/10 second Aperture: f/2.8 Shutter: 1/60 second Aperture: f/3.2 Shutter: 1/60 second Additionally, the background zombies were moved back (~3 inches) and the zoom was used. How do I control the DOF? What does Aperture have to do with it? Not only the depth of field, but also the amount of blurring your out of focus areas will have can both be controlled by adjusting the aperture or f/stop of your lens. The wider open your aperture is, the shallower the depth of field will become, and also the more blurred the out-of-focus areas will be. What does Focal Length have to do with it? The more you magnify your subject, the shallower your depth of field will be. What this means is that the longer your lens' focal length, the shallower your depth of field. It is very difficult, for example, to get a deep DOF using a 100mm lens and, inversely, to get a shallow DOF using a 24mm lens. Of course, it is all relative to the actual magnification of your subject and the distance between the lens and the subject. What does Shutter Speed and ISO have to do with it? Absolutely nothing. Shutter speed is the amount of time the shutter is open and letting light hit the sensor. ISO is the light sensitivity setting of the sensor. Can I fake DOF control? As great as DOF control is, we are limited by the gear we have available. Luckily there are ways to "cheat" so that our end product comes out looking the way we want. Blurring in post production One of the most common solutions suggested is to blur areas you want blurred after you take the photo, using software such as Gimp or Photoshop. This can be an effective solution, but it is not something I recommend. For most folks, the image will end up looking edited and unnatural (because it is). Another reason to avoid this method is the time involved. If it takes you an hour to edit one photo, how long does that add up to when you are working on a film? Hint: there are 15 to 30 images per second for a film. Stretching the set With a lot of small cameras, the problem we run into most is that everything is in focus. For most scenes we want shallow DOF but these small lenses don't do it so well. We can fake it by expanding the set and then zooming in. The lengthening of the set will mean that even with a deep DOF we can have our background out of focus. Utilizing the optical effect of zoom compression, by zooming in, can in turn compress the set so that it appears to be not so stretched out. This is the method I recommend because you only need to set it up once for each scene and shoot as many photos as you want to, no extra editing time in post. Assignments For these assignments you will be posting images. Be sure to keep your images at or below the 800x600 pixels limit, I'd like them all to be at least 640x480 though. Assignment 1 Create a small scene with foreground, middle-ground, and background. Your focus target will be an item in the middle-ground. Keep the same target and angle for each photo, preferably the same focal length too, if this is possible with your camera. If you are having trouble with this, take an overhead photo of your set and post it in your student thread, I will help you out with some tips. Submit three images for grading: 1. ONLY your target in focus (shallow DOF) 2. Foreground AND Middle-ground in focus (mid DOF) 3. Everything in focus (deep DOF) Once this assignment is passed, move on to Assignment 2 for final grading. Example Assignment 2 (final) Using the skills learned above, create a 4 to 6 panel comic that imparts a story to the reader WITHOUT using any text call-outs or speech bubbles. Use post-production techniques sparingly, this assignment is about controlling the Depth-of-Field to convey the message, not about text and special effects. You can move the camera and objects in the scene just like any comic production. In your submission, use the spoiler tag to describe what is going on in the comic. If the idea came across in the photos you pass, otherwise you'll be given changes and information as to why the task didn't quite work. Example Image is a link to a super-sized version. More sizes on Flickr You can see the actual stage setup on Flickr
  25. Star Wars LEGO Photography

    Hey all, Thought id share some of my photographs of some of my Minifigs, really gotton into photography the last year or so- and my star wars lego has been really fun to shoot 'The Duel' 'Imposter!' 'Uncle Owen!... This R2 unit has a bad motivator!' loads more up on my flickr & RedBubble pages