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23

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:


21

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: Lighting tip - 4 ways to bounce a flash Homemade Bounce Flash instructions In ...


15

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: Three Stages to Better Photos of LEGO Creations LEGO photography ...


15

Optically, all this should do is reduce the output power of the flash. The filters on the sensor itself are going to make it so you only get the red green and blue on each pixel. This device would just absorb a bunch of the light that could reach the subject. For example, some of the light to bounce off a red part is going to reach a blue sensor and not ...


15

Put a white sheet between you and the trophy - some distance from the trophy, but basically "all around". Cut a rectangular hole in it that is about the size of the trophy. Use a long lens, and shoot the trophy through the hole. Now most of what is reflected will be "white sheet", with just a small hole in the middle where you were standing. If you further ...


14

Studio strobes are actually much, much, EXTREMELY MUCH more powerful than any remotely sane continuous lighting setup (at lighting scenes for photography). This is because a strobe delivers its ridiculously high intensity light only for a ridiculously short time - usually shorter than your shutter speed. For example, the AlienBees B400 provides 7000 ...


12

You could use an ND filter or even a polarizing filter (which you probably already have) to give yourself another couple of stops.


11

Hard light (i.e. a single bare lightsource) from underneath. Look at any old black and white horror film and you'll see this technique used. Or for a more modern example of the [mis]use of this technique see Jill Greenberg's photos of John McCain: http://www.rachelhulin.com/blog/2008/09/pdn-on-jill-greenberg-the-atlantic-and-john-mccain.html


11

To get the "blown out" white background you have to overexpose the background. You have no choice, in order to over expose the background you need a very powerful light aimed at the background. If you have two flashes place one of them behind or to the side of the subject aimed directly at the background behind the subject (unmodified, without an umbrella),...


11

Note: the content originally written for Stack Exchange is also published on my own website photo.pelicandd.com. Although the content is the same, the website contains interactive illustrations which enable to see what each light adds to the setup, as well as the list of books which served as sources. The lighting setups shown below describe different ...


10

You WILL have reflections - the question is: what would you like to see there? Seriously. Because 1. You will have to put that there or 2. Do that in post-processing. Both is painful, #2 is a bit less money-wasting, but more time-wasting. :-) You could use a polarizer to remove reflections, if that helps. Makes the object look dull though... Also, you can ...


10

Editing out the eyes removes a metric tonne of information that might have been helpful in answering your question — please don't do that if you're asking about studio lighting problems — but there is still something to be seen in the photos you have posted. Apart from the makeup and post-processing that have already been mentioned in the comments, it's ...


10

It's hard to say which is the best approach because, as usual, it depends on what you're trying to convey. However, I think the book Light—Science & Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting is a great source for learning lighting in general, and specifically for tips on how to light glass, how to highlight the borders, how to create intended ...


9

Two things seem apparent to me looking at this setup. First, the position of the subject appears to be a little further from the camera than the lights. Before you fool with the position of any equipment which can take hours to do or : ( re-do, move the subject slightly to and fro. Once you get the optimal contrast in the edges, you could move your lighting ...


9

Essentially this is product photography. I doubt bones require special treatment since they are not very specular. The easiest way it to use a light tent over a glass table with a light from below and diffused lights from the side or falling over the light tent at an angle. The camera and lens really makes little difference. You can buy light tents in ...


8

Passive lighting is reflected light, such as with reflectors. Active is the opposite, an actual source of light, such as a light bulb or flash. But I must say these are terms I try to avoid since many people have different views on this. I really only use the term Passive lighting when I am outside and use a reflector to bounce the sun. I am not sure if ...


8

I think the main problem is your packaging, as Stan mentions in his comment. The packaging is wrinkled such that, no matter where you place your lights, you are going to have some surfaces reflecting onto the camera. If you try to move your lights closer, to make the light softer, you'll have light bouncing off those things at literally every possible ...


8

The halo you describe is actually a reflection either from the background or from the rearmost umbrellas. (The silver lined ones in the picture). Remember that when light bounces off a surface it leaves the surface at the same angle that it came in. This almost rules out the umbrellas as being the culprit, as they are higher than the object, so light coming ...


8

There are two basic connectors you will generally find on light stands. First, a 3/8-16 UNC thread (that's 3/8", 16 threads per inch). This is, fortunately, basically standardized in all such gear. Second, a 5/8" stud, usually meant for clamping things to, or often attaching things via a socket with a screw on the side. This socket is often called a "...


7

You can use continuous lights to shoot sports in a studio but you're going to have to up the ISO a lot to get a fast enough shutter speed. A better solution however is to use flash. The shortness of the flash duration when using a flashgun that uses trail trimming (where a transistor cuts power after a certain delay when lower power is required (thus giving ...


7

There are several kinds of artificial lights - fluorescent, tungsten, LED, halogen, xenon, explosives, electric arc etc. And there are also several different kinds of natural lights - sunlight, moonlight (sunlight reflecting from the Moon), light from other stars, fire, lightning, volcanoes, aurora borealis, glowworms etc. Obviously, both classes contain ...


7

You can get a flash meter, which works just like a light meter but detects flash pulses. Alternatively film photographers used to use Polaroids to check both the exposure and the general effect of the lighting setup. A cheap digicam with manual settings would be the modern equivalent of this.


7

If you want maximum contrast then a single light with no modifier is the way to go. However the shots you posted don't show that sort of contrast and have a lower contrast smooth transition from highlight to shadow, which is the hallmark of a large diffused lightsource, such as a softbox or shoot through umbrella. Definitely go with a strobe over a ...


7

Just to add to what Nlr was written: You have no choice, in order to over expose the background you need a very powerful light aimed at the background. Instead of "very powerful", what should actually be said: two stops brighter than the exposure of your subject. So for a given ISO and shutter speed, and (say) f/5.6 for the subject of your photo, you ...


7

Round metallic subjects inherently reflect all of the surroundings, and the camera will always appear in the reflection. The best you can do is control the environment to make it reflect what you want. If your studio is large, lighting only the subject, and making sure the camera and surroundings are dark may be sufficient. Black cloth or paper with a hole ...


7

I don't know your special situation, you did say high energy, but I don't know scale. You want a fast shutter so I assume you want a high speed photo. Perhaps you may need significantly greater power, but in contrast to your stated goal, I can tell you about photography. One problem with a fast shutter speed is that it decimates the longer light, which can ...


7

You need to disable exposure simulation. The EOS M doesn't have a menu option for this but it is disabled with an ETTL flash or ETTL trigger in the hotshoe. (actually any Canon "dedicated" flash will also communicate with the camera and disable Exp Sim) You could also install Magic Lantern as it includes a menu option to disable Exp Sim.


6

I really doubt it's oiled, though the model may not have washed his face right before the shoot, so he might have some natural skin oil. But I think it's mostly due to the lighting. What I see is fairly hard & directional lighting. Note the shadows from his nose, cheeks, & glasses. The key light is positioned way off to camera right (perhaps between ...


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