🎶… there doesn’t seem to be anyone around 🎶
Today’s loving couple is from the LEGO Ideas set 40448 Vintage Car. (hence the vintage lyrics) Released in January 2021 as free promotional item with qualified purchased, it was the winning entry from the LEGO Ideas’ Build a Vintage Car competition.
I offer something new today instead of going behind the scenes: a tip and a trick. I’ve been asked a few questions about my use of paper in my lighting setups, and wanted to share why. And in posing the couple, I discovered a trick that may be new to some people.
This was my lighting setup for the feature photo:
I used a single Litrapro with softbox, positioned with a Platypod gooseneck arm on an Ultra tripod base. I also used two plain white recipe cards, folded to stand upright and aimed to reflect light back onto the couple.
And that’s my tip: white paper makes a great reflector for LEGO minifigure photography.
It’s easily the most cost effective way which which I’ve improved my work.
Also known as “bouncing light”, the aim is to reflect light from the source onto the subject. Not only does this fill light make the subject brighter, it softens shadows.
Portrait, event, and wedding photographers will often bounce on-camera flash from the ceiling, portable reflectors, and/or an adjacent walls. For minifigure photography, I simply use paper: usually letter or recipe card sized.
By using continuous lighting and composing my shots in live view, I can see the effects in real-time and make small adjustments to get the effect I want.
Let’s have a look:
The only difference between these two photos is that the first uses bounce cards, and the second does not. Both are shot in manual mode at ISO 100, f/4, and 1 sec.
Let’s look even closer:
You can easily see the fill on both minifigures – quite a difference. And the overall scene is about a third stop brighter (my camera’s centre weighted metering indicated -1.4EV for the first shot, and -1.7EV for the second).
Hope you found this useful.
In setting up my shot, I discovered a posing trick:
I’m sure it’s not new, but I hadn’t seen this method before and wanted to share.
The secret ingredient? A single LEGO piece: Bar 1L with a 1×1 plate and hollow stud:
With the minifigure boy holding the bar in his left hand and the girl’s right hand upside down in the bar’s hollow, I was able to “lift” her.
Clasping their other hands evened her weight distribution, and by playing with the bend at their hips I was able to find a balance point.
When taking the photo, I turned the boy away slightly and framed carefully to hide the bar in the shadows.
Have any tips or tricks of your own to share? Let me know!