- 1. Use a seamless grey-colored
cloth backdrop, preferably without wrinkles to avoid distraction from the
main subject. Try to use the same backdrop for all of the photos to keep
them consistant. Don't use backgrounds that have a texture (such as carpet)
which will detract from the toy.
- 2. Be sure the backdrop is big
enough to fill the entire frame of the picture. When looking through the
camera, you should not be able to see the edge of the backdrop or the area
- 1. For the best results, position
your lights slightly above the object at 45° angles to the subject's
front. The key here is to avoid as many shadows as you can.
- 2. A good alternative to expensive
lighting is to take your subject outside on a cloudy (but bright) day and
shoot the photos with the available light. Use a white cardboard reflector
(poster board or the like will do) to fill in the shadows. This way, you'll
be able to see the results before taking the photo.
- 1. For most purposes, a straight
on shot from the front will yeild the best photos of the subject. Simply
place the camera at the level of the toy or just slightly above it. Taking
shots at odd angles will usually detract form the focal point of your photos
if you lack the experience to make it work.
- 2. But what beter way to gain this
knowledge than to experiment! Try shooting your subject from a variety
of angles to see what works best for you. For instance, if the toy has
a "nose" (like a car, boat, or action figure), take an angle
shot from each side of the subject.
- 1. Get close to your subject, but
be sure its entirity is inside the frame of the picture and not touching
the edge of the photo. For example, if a toy has a tail or antenna, be
sure it is also well within the frame. Give your photos a little room
- 2. When taking group shots, make
sure they aren't cluttered and every item is completely in the frame of
the camera. You may need to experiment a bit, especially with "point
and shoot" cameras. I've noticed that my point-and-shoot tends to
cut the head off of my subjects when taking vertical shots, so I had to
compensate for this... of course.
- 1. Usually 3200K films are best.
They able to shoot subjects lit with regular lightbulbs without producing
a warm or goldish hue to the photos. The film is bluer than more common
films and as a result compensates for softer lighting Such films are Fujichrome
64, made by Fuji Photo and Ektachrome 50, made by Kodak. But be advised
that these films require refrigeration until used and have a special processing
system called "E6 processing". They should be sent to a major
processor for development.
OFF THE CUFF TECH-STUFF:
- 1. Get the entire object in focus.
If you have a point-and-shoot camera, read the manual to see how close
you can get to an object and have it remain in focus Experiment and take
a number of pictures at varying distances and exposure lengths. Cloudy
day lighting works best for these types of cameras.
- 2. If you have a more advanced
camera, a 55mm close-up lens will produce the best results. To get the
entire toy in focus, use an aperture of F16 or less, if possible.
- 3. Use a tripod if you have one
available to you.
- 4. If you have some experience
in this field and want the best photos possible, use a "single-lens
reflex" camera. When looking through the viewfinder of one of these
cameras, you're actually looking through the lens that is taking the photo.
It takes the guess-work out of what will be displayed in the final photo.
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