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There are better and worse photos of LEGO creations out there. What techniques give better photos? It seems hard to photograph LEGO blocks because they are shiny.

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migrated from bricks.stackexchange.com Oct 28 '11 at 16:10

This question came from our site for LEGO® and building block enthusiasts.

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I'm a little surprised that none of the articles (in the two answers from the Bricks site) mention a polarizer! It's a good way to reduce shine under certain lighting circumstances. –  anon Oct 28 '11 at 16:39
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Wait, there is a stack exchange site for legos?! –  dpollitt Oct 28 '11 at 17:24
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Yes, but before you go there, you'll have to unlearn writing "legos". Think of it as a rite of passage. –  Joubarc Oct 28 '11 at 17:55
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We're all weird, I'll grant you that. But in all seriousness, it's in private beta right now, so you'll have to wait a few days. And you'll be more than welcome, whether you say LEGO bricks or Legos. –  Joubarc Oct 28 '11 at 19:44
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Two of my loves combined, photography and Lego. swoon :) –  BBischof Oct 29 '11 at 6:03

3 Answers 3

The important thing is to use a bounce flash (indirect flash) to avoid reflections, which is what makes the most photos look so unprofessional and ugly.

There are some good explanations and tutorial on how to use a bounce-flash correctly, which would be way too much here:

In addition, when photographing small things (minifigs, for example) a very small depth of field sometimes looks good - take a look at these examples.

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I agree about the bounce flash, but softboxes and lightboxes are other indirect flash methods that I think are super relevant to Lego. At any rate +1 –  BBischof Oct 29 '11 at 6:03
    
I cannot seem to agree that shallow dof is always good. It is actually one of the major headache of macro photography - too shallow a dof. –  Gapton Nov 24 '11 at 6:31

There are some articles online specifically oriented towards taking photographs of LEGO creations. Indeed, the reflectivity of the plastic imposes some additional difficulties which you have to be aware of (especially black flat surfaces).

Here are a few tutorials and other general articles:

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Mike Stimpson (balakov on Flickr) is an absolute maestro of Lego photography, and best of all he maintains a separate account - Balakov's Setups - where he shares his behind-the-scenes shots, showing his full lighting setup and more.

Here are a couple of examples:

Simple Trooper Simple Trooper Setup

Lunch Atop a Skyscraper Lunch Atop A Skyscraper - Setup Shot

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Stimpson is TRULY a wizard!! His work is amazing! –  jrista Oct 30 '11 at 17:12
    
That lunch on top of a skyscraper shot is epic. Wow. –  dpollitt Nov 10 '11 at 1:43
    
@dpollitt It's part of his series of classic photos remade in Lego. Check it out, you'll love it! –  Mark Whitaker Nov 10 '11 at 8:21

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