Post by AK_Brickster on Jul 27, 2016 12:59:02 GMT -8
Hi There MB'ers!
We have a lot of new people joining the community, and if you're like me when I started posting my MOCs online, you have absolutely no idea how to photograph or edit your photos to make them look good!
This will be a tutorial / QA topic where we will discuss the following:
Photo Setup Lighting - Natural and Artificial Backdrop Angles Camera
Editing PC Software SmartPhone Apps Online Hosting
Post by AK_Brickster on Jul 27, 2016 14:28:13 GMT -8
Photo Setup Lighting - Natural and Artificial Backdrop Angles Camera - Selection and Settings Lighting
To begin our discussion, we'll start with what is, in my opinion, the single most important aspect of taking good photos: Lighting. Lighting is critical because the camera needs adequate light to "see the image" and take a good photo. Even if you have a really nice camera, insufficient lighting will likely cause your photos to come out blurry and/or grainy.
There are two types of lighting: Natural and artificial. In both cases, you'll typically want to utilize indirect lighting.
Natural Lighting For those of us without access to a nice lighting setup, utilizing natural lighting is generally our best option.Somewhat opposite of nature photography, when taking pictures of Lego, you aren't necessarily looking for lots of shadow or contrast. You just want a nice clean photo of the subject material. Since we are looking for indirect/semi-flat light, your best lighting will come on a bright, but overcast day. A white/beige room with plenty of windows is good for an indoor setting, but the best when using natural light would be to take the picture outside. Try to take the pictures near midday, since that's both when the light will be brightest, and also when the sun will be most overhead, which will reduce the amount of shadows on your MOC. If you have some white posterboard that's large enough to serve as a backdrop, that will help to bounce some of the light onto the MOC as well (more about backdrops further below).
Artificial lighting is the preferred light source for most FOLs, because it is consistent and not weather/time-dependent. A good lighting setup can be as inexpensive or as pricey as you want to make it. For the purposes of this tutorial, we'll stick with just providing some tips that are applicable for any budget level. The main factors you want to consider for artificial lighting are what type of bulb to use, and how to achieve the proper light levels. First, I recommend investing in a pack of "daylight" bulbs, which have a more natural white light "temperature" compared to your average light bulb. Your normal household light bulb typically has a warmer yellowish tint, which will affect the color of your MOC in a photo. Personally, I like to use LED daylight bulbs, because they are cooler and seem to give off a more diffused light (and are also more energy efficient). For most MOCs, you're going to need a minimum of two light sources. Three is better, and four is best! The idea with multiple light sources is that you're trying to light the MOC from multiple angles to eliminate shadows. Here is a photo showing a common and simple lighting setup:
Notice that the lights are pointed at the sides of the light box, which lights the model indirectly. This helps to reduce glare, and creates more even/diffused lighting (similar to shooting on a cloudy day outside). Using a white box will help to maximize the amount of reflected light. Note that this user appears to be using warm lights instead of daylight bulbs. I prefer the starker white of daylight bulbs, but that's personal preference. Now, some models are not going to fit inside a light box, so you can try other options like putting some tissue paper in front of the lights and pointing them at the model from several angles (left, right, and above from the front are suggested). If you do this, be careful that your lights are not hot and will not create a fire hazard! (a good reason to use LED bulbs).