El Dave Photography

A photographer and his toys. Updated weekly.

Shooting toys outdoors (0)

4:00 PM by , under

Like I said last time, I want to talk a little bit about shooting in the great outdoors. As much fun as studio shots are, there is something really special about a sunny day and natural settings that make toy photography that much more enjoyable.

First things first, though, I wanted to thank my buddy Adam for the inspiration on this one. He has an almost identical photo that he posted last June. Unfortunately, I didn't realize until we were driving home from the Chicago Botanic Garden and I was trying to plan out what I wanted to say here that it dawned on me. I turned to my lovely assistant April and said, "I think Adam's already done this one. Like, exactly." And then it got cloudy and is going to rain all weekend so I can't really reshoot. So...thanks Adam and I'm sorry!

Let's get down to business, shall we?

That is the original image, with just a slight bump in Saturation. Not bad, but not really ready for publication. The setup was pretty simple, walk around the botanic garden looking for the one solitary flower that was Reflector-high that was also in a raised planter so I wouldn't have to get down on the ground and block off the entire path (I'm a big guy). After two hours of walking we found this spot. The clouds broke just long enough to give me GREAT light and illuminate the transparent plastic for his eyes. I tried to pose him so that he looks almost curious about the giant flower and is moving to investigate. One of the great things about these Real Gear Transformers is their articulation. You can get a lot of character out of these little pieces of plastic just by posing them a little differently.

Now let's look at what I don't like about the shot.

Most obviously, I see the spots on my lens (hazard of shooting outdoors, I'm afraid) that will have to be cloned out. The shot could stand to be just a tiny bit brighter, so that'll have to changed by tweaking Curves. I'd like just a little more contrast, so we'll overlay a black and white Layer. Finally, I want to add a nice "bloom" effect so there goes a Gaussian Blur.

Sheesh, sounds like I'm mixing drinks here. Let's see what all this work gave us:

Not too bad! Hopefully you'll be inspired to take your toys out and into the great outdoors. If you do, let me know! I'd love to see them.

Be good,

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