I’ll be up front: I’ve never bought a LEGO Speed Champions set before. Nor, for that matter, a Ferrari. So my frame of reference is limited. But I know what I like, and this is it!
Released in January 2020, the Ferrari F8 Tributo is a 275 piece Speed Champions set that comes with 1 minifigure. Designed for ages 7+, this set is still available at retail for $24.99 CAD as of the time of writing.
This is not a review. The set has been on the market for over a year, and I suspect there’s nothing new I can add in this regard.
What I want to share is how attractive I see this vehicle:
The curves, the colour, the proportions… simply beautiful in profile.
This three-quarter view from a low angle shows a more aggressive look.
The clean and decisive lines continue to the rear, and I can almost hear the growl from the exhaust pipes.
I’ll stop here for now, but I expect to come back and add to this showcase.
Behind the Scenes
I enjoy sharing a look at the process behind my work and my creative journey.
Photography has long been my passion. With the level of technology now available to us, it’s easier than ever to take a technically competent photograph. And yet, some images still clearly ‘work’ more than others.
With LEGO photography, where we can often control almost every aspect of the scene, I believe that investing time and mental energy in the creative process can help make that difference. So I consider four fundamental things in making an image:
- The Idea
- Subject Isolation
The idea for the feature image was to simply introduce the set, showing both the minifigure and the car. But instead of documentary product-style photo, I wanted to evoke the beauty of the set.
My setup was equally simple: the minifigure with wrench in hand approaching the car, placed on a black ceramic tile and with a black background.
My preferred style is low key photography: predominantly dark and dramatic scenes, with only parts of the subject highlighted.
I used a LitraPro with softbox as my main light, positioned with a Platypod gooseneck arm and Ultra tripod base. A folded sheet of white paper served as a reflector to provide some fill.
The background light is bare LitraPro lying flat on the ground, shining onto a large piece of black foam core.
I considered the Ferrari the primary subject in this scene, and emphasized it with bright light and colour.
Given that I was showcasing the set, though, I wanted to include the minifigure. I chose to silhouette him with the wrench in hand, thus adding context to the scene without drawing too much attention from the car.
I try hard to get as close to the final image as possible in camera. To help with this I compose in live view with my mirrorless camera’s rear display, using a crop mask and grid overlay. It looked almost exactly like this:
Instead of the usual square format I use for Instagram, I shot this in the panoramic 24×65 XPan format for a more dramatic look. (the Hasselblad XPan was a revolutionary film camera that I’ve never had the joy to own. sigh).
I used the rules of thirds in composing, with the car’s front corner and the wrench as anchor points. I left the top third of the frame and most of the left third empty, as negative space to provide balance.
Instead of sharing the exact technical settings for this one photo, I’d rather share my standard operating procedure for LEGO photography, which can be applied to all of my shots with but few exceptions:
- Tripod mounted mirrorless camera set to ISO 100 and triggered with 2 second delayed shutter
- 120mm macro lens shot at f/8 and manually focused using magnified live view
- Aperture priority centre-weighted metering with exposure compensation to taste
- Post processing the RAW files with custom white balance, luma curve, saturation, contrast, sharpness, vignette, levels, and dust removal
Up Close and Personal
Macro photography allows us to see small objects in spectacular detail. For me, LEGO minifigures are perfect subject material.
For this shot, I’m showing the Ferrari logo printed on the side of a 1×1 plate – I’ve never seen anything like this done before. It may look a little coarse at this scale, but at normal viewing distance it shows really well.
Time once to close out with the before and after shots, showing the result of transforming my idea through deliberate lighting, subject isolation, and composition choices.