Thursday, 15 November 2012

New Setup

Movin' on up!

Another month since my last post?  What does it take to get me to talk about toys?  Turns out, the way I take photos makes a big difference.  Up until this point, I've been using an incredibly low-tech setup for taking the pics I use in my toy spotlights.  Check it out.

Oooooooooold schoooooool!

It's just some fabric draped over a bi-fold board.  I'd have to drag a lamp out into the middle of the room to get some decent light, or wait for a sunny day and try to cram a bunch of pics into one photo session.  It got to the point where either it felt like too much of a hassle to set everything up, or the days just kept getting darker.  Hence:  No updates.

Well, now I've hopefully put that excuse to bed.  I've upgraded to something a little more... intended for photography.  Presenting the Optex Portable Studio & Lighting Kit!


Check 'er out!  Oh baby.  No more dragging a floor lamp into the middle of the room.  Heck, even sunny days are no longer required.  Now we just switch on and go!

Despite the hassles of setting the old "studio" up, the pictures came out decent enough.  Nothing special, but it did the job.

Old setup

The Optex set comes with two backgrounds: A light gray one (not much different from the one I was using before), and a deep blue one.  The differences between the old set and the new gray background are subtle, but still an improvement.

New setup

You used to see the texture in the fabric, which kinda bugged me.  I mean, I'm not a professional photographer in any way, but the old sheet always felt a little cheap to me.  And it was pretty cheap.  I used to have to run the fabric sheet through the drier to get the wrinkles out.  That also ate into my time.  The new set can be folded away into an easy-to-store case, and the backgrounds roll up and stay relatively crease-free.

The lighting that the Optex set comes with makes the biggest difference.  Even on an all-black figure like my trusty Snake-Eyes here, the details still pop.

The second background will also come in handy.  One of the problems with my old fabric background was that it was too light.  I'm a sucker for glow-in-the-dark figures, but it was always a struggle trying to get them to show up.

Old setup

With the blue background, that problem's solved!

New setup

My old set was huge.  If it had anything going for it, it was that anything I wanted to shoot would easily fit inside the boundaries.  This new set is quite a bit smaller, but I can still shoot the larger figures with room to spare.

I may have to bring out the old set from time to time if I need to take large group shots, but I can live with that.

There's still a few kinks I need to work out.  As far as the new lighting setup goes, I have to play around and find the angles that complement the figure best (but I should be able to pick that up as I go).  My all-black Snake-Eyes comes out gunmetal gray on the blue background.  Obviously certain figures will work better on one background than the other.  

I still have bunch of pics that I took with the old setup waiting to be used in spotlights, so there will be a mix of the old and the new for a little while.  Then these will be the standard backgrounds for the foreseeable future!

Now that's a sharp pic!

1 comment:

  1. Turns out the Optex set has FOUR backgrounds! There's blue, light gray (almost white), dark gray, and green. Don't know how I missed there ones. Something to do with the placement of the velcro...