Sunday, 2 September 2012

More Lighting Shenanigans

Just a quick post.. a return to work, coupled with a totally nuked PC (I mean how hard can it be to install windows seven? turns out, very) Mean not much time for modelling and not much ability to make posts.. still I played with the camera some more and got these:

This one was taken with some available tungsten lights

This one was taken with the only light source being the single LED in the cabin
I'm a fairly experienced photographer, I know what I need to do to get my pics looking like the ones on that flickr account I posted about. What's holding me back is the Kit..

See, I have lighting for bright, daylight neutral close up mini photography, and what I need is very adjustable lighting for low light ambient colour and fill. I also need more in-scene lights, such as LED's or dollhouse lights such as JonTLaw uses.

I also need to either a) photograph in water.. or b) use smoke. for the atmospheric density to help fool the sense of scale. I don't have ready access to either not wanting to immerse my lil plastic dudes.. and having given up smoking over ten years ago.

So for now, I'm going to try and get hold of some more in scene lights.. and look for a cheap source of smoke on ebay. mainly because I like the possibilities presented by all this, even if it is just my own little crazyness.

thanks for reading, and I promise, more articles as soon as my PC is back on it's feet.


  1. Never realised folks immersed their photo setups in water... O_o

    Seems a little over the top to me?

    Your lighting effects are rather spiffy though. Is it hard to set up?

  2. Joss sticks.

    And chanting, I'm sure chanting will be important and make for better photos.

  3. I'm sure not many do Dai, it's just an old reliable way to get atmospheric density. there were some awesome snowy Lego minifig shots doing the rounds a few months back that had been taken that way. I'll see if i can find them.

    The stuff you see here is dead easy, you just need the wee lights, and a tripod, you have to use a long exposure as nothing in the scene is very bright, which makes it susceptible to blurring in you breathe on the camera. I also set mine up on a time delay, so the shutter doesnt even trigger while my hand in on the thing.

    Zzzz... I am Incensed!...

    oh, and I always chant.. don't you? tantric photography is the only way to go, man.

    now excuse me, I have to go an align my chakras.


    here we go, another amazing miniature photographer.. but he uses a water tank.

  5. Karitas

    That's a great post! I emailed Jon T Law a while back about how he got his frankly astonishing results. He was super-helpful and a real gentleman - Jon used a disco smoke machine apparently, but I REALLY like the joss-stick idea from ZZZZ. I wonder if you can get cordite fragrance? I'd be really interested in any follow up posts on photography - especially with the smoke effects. Oh, BTW, the lighting effects you got on the photos you posted look excellent already!

    1. I think I will give the incense a go, although what my photography brain is telling me is that the particle size may be too large. the disco smoke machines use vaporized oil, which would be much finer..

      actually more like photographic fogger...

      I will, of course, continue to share my experiments in this direction.

      once I am happy with what I am acheiving in the lens I may start with photoshop too.

  6. Nice work on these. Water _might_ be a little much. Are there any post effects you can use that don't make the whole thing look like instagram?

    A side note - red might look better for inside the rhino. My experience is from my dad being in the Navy (RAN), and red lights in their ops rooms. Here's a some photos from German forces in Afganistan Very tempted to do this to the Valkyrie I'm building :-)

    And have you tried adding a lot more resistance before the LED to get the brightness right down?

    1. Yeaa... not going to be soaking my minis :)

      I could use photoshop.. I teach it, so I know my way round, but I wanted to do as much as possible in the lens, more of a personal, old school visual effect thing than it is about the end..

      I have red LED;s and they are all dimmer, this was just a quick shot with the high intensity one I already had soldered up to a battery clip. I agree. red will be better :)

  7. How about dry ice? I'm not a photographer, so I have no idea how well that will work. Just a thought :)


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