Photography shouldn’t just be about art or making money. It should be fun as well. And by playing around with “low key portraits” of some of my Lego mini figures I’ve had a lot of fun.
This is a 2014 Storm Trooper. Probably one of my favorite results, the shape of their helmets with a lot of 3D details works really well for this kind of setup with just one light on the side.
The captain of the 2015 Brick Bounty.
This is the Admiral, included in the Brick Bounty set as well. This is something that makes me kinda sad though, as the bluecoat soldiers don’t have a ship. He’s basically the Admiral of a rowing boat… I like the light on his hair, but the rest of the minifigure lacks a bit of depth. It would have probably worked better moving the lamp more to the front, but at the end of this post I’ll explain why I couldn’t do it.
Boba Fett! This is the 2015 version from the Freezing Chamber set, really an awesome minifigure.
Lego Castle brings back memories of when I was 6. My very first Lego set was the King’s Oarsmen from 1987. Fun fact: I went to visit one of my classmates during the afternoon, to do our homework and play a bit together. Before leaving, his father had 2 small Lego sets for us, the boat for my classmate and a city car for me. We looked at each other for a moment and we decided to swap them around, as my friend already had a small collection of Lego City. When I went back home my parents noticed how excited I was about my small Lego boat, and from that moment on Lego sets have always been included in my birthday/Christmas gifts. This minifigure is the King from teh 2013 castle.
And this is the “evil” counterpart of the King: the Sorcerer! He’s from the set Dragon Mountain. I think that set has to be amazing for kids, with some very cool minifigures and a huge Dragon. As a display/collection set though it’s a bit lacking. The Sorcerer’s fortress looks really poor compared to the King’s castle. Is that the reason of their hatred? Is it a “the rich vs the poor” scenario? Is the King an oppressive capitalist landlord? We’ll never know.
And finally the Pirate Princess. Yes, I’m not kidding, she’s literally a princess from the Treasure Island set.
This kind of shooting for me is very entertaining. First of all, I can do it on the table next to my computer while I’m watching a movie or processing other images. Also, every time I point my table lamp at a minifigure, looking for a good angle, then raising it a bit, adjusting the distance, the settings on the camera etc etc, I start to think how that image would look if it was a real person, and I start to giggle.
a) I don’t have a studio for this kind of shooting. I’m using a table lamp for light and one of my speakers as the black backdrop. My tablet’s keyboard is being placed vertically to the left of the minifigures to block the light from the PC monitor.
b) I tried to place some cloth in front of the lamp to use as a diffuser, but it doesn’t work too well. The light is often too harsh but I don’t currently have anything that will work.
c) Due to limited space on the table the shooting distance is very close, minifigures don’t have much space between them and the backdrop speaker. This means that I’m not 100% free to play around with light, as it’s very easy to cast light on the speaker ruining the black background.
Fun times nonetheless.
All images shot with Olympus E-M10mkII and 12-50mm lenso in macro mode at 43mm. I could have used the focus stacking function to have the whole minifigures in focus, including their weapons or whatever they’re handling, but I think that having those objects slightly out of focus adds depth to the images and makes them look more real-life sized.
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