My (simple) LEGO Photography Guide
I have always wanted to write about making photos about my LEGO builds, but always thought it’s never going to be good enough. It’s still not good enough I believe - a long way to go, but I think it’s good to share so either someone can learn from it, and in turn I hope to pick up tips from the experts in this forum.
I share with you the journey of a photo, and the process to achieve the outcome.
This is the end product, a Batman Tumbler from Bat vs Bane 76001 that’s supposed to be in action. This was taken back in March 2015 shortly after I acquired a partial set (yes, I don’t have the rest of the set, only this Tumbler)
Let’s walk through some of the setups before achieving what you see above. Taking a good photograph is sometimes making a lot of mistakes in finding the right one. And through many mistakes do you finally get one that you like. That’s me, I don’t know what’s nice until I see something I like. I use "the force" mostly.
It usually starts with something in mind, but I never plan it out to the detail. All I knew is that I wanted a flashy photo of the Tumbler in motion. So I started to download a googled image for a backdrop, and that’s what you see below.
I started out with various angles, trying to find something that pleases the eye and framing the vehicle in a ‘cool looking’ angle. I just started taking shots and kept looking out for the view that I wanted.
You can see that I used the flash extensively to get a good shot. This was all experimental as well.
After a while, I found the right ‘pose’ but realised that the flash photography was not giving me the effect I was looking for.
I turned off the flash and found that it improved and getting closer to something I liked! You can see the bottom left where you can see my setup start to show my framing was off.
I finally fixed the framing, and felt that I got what I wanted. Which is the result you see below.
The final frame you see in comparison is me adding a Snapseed filter to give it a toned down look. (I’m sorry, I can’t remember what filter I used! This was over a year ago!). I use and highly recommend VSCO these days.
So, what’s the magic in all of this? Very little to nothing! Below are the tools of my trade.
Natural lighting - No Lightbox, photo taken at 3pm in the afternoon
Backdrop is my Mac (the very one I’m typing on this machine now)
Some books / paper to lift up the Tumbler to a greater height.
A shiny piece of art material to give it a nice reflection (I grabbed this from my stash of junk from a box wrapper or protection...
iPhone 6 Plus camera
That’s all you need.
In short, take a lot of photos, plan for it a little though - I do it in my mind. It's great to make mistakes! I took 20 odd photos for this (I’ve done some which had over 100 just get ONE that I liked). You don’t need anything fancy - no special camera, no special setup. Everything is around you! Get creative!
Best part? All this was done on my dinner table in the dining area.
If you have a passion for something, let nothing stop you from achieving it.