Tutorial: How to take good figure pictures

As all figurine collectors know, you can’t buy a lot of things when you have 50-gagillion things on order. If you want to take good pictures, you have to have the right equipment. Today, I’ll show you how to take a good picture using materials you can find around your house.


Equipment and Supplies…

First of all, you’ll need a good camera and lens. Now, this can become expensive, so think about whether or not a DSLR camera is good for you. As I plan to become a Bachelor of Fine Arts, I had one already. DSLR camera range from $400 and up and can use a ton of different lenses. For this tutorial, I’m using a Nikon D3000 with a Tamron 90mm F/2.8 Macro lens. The aperture of the lens (the F/2.8) helps create a shallow depth of field, causing the background to become blurry (as seen in the photo above).

Now, if you already have a camera with a lens with a good aperture, you are now ready to set up your picture.

As  photos are more boring with nothing but the figurine in it, it’s always good to have a good background. Since your lens has a low aperture, you can create what’s known as a bokeh. You see the colourful circles in the background of the photo? That’s bokeh. To do this, you can place colourful lights in the background.

If you don’t have lights or you don’t have a lens with a good lens, I’ll show you how to create a bokeh background in the next tutorial.

Now for the foreground. Using fabric is an excellent way to go, as you can create texture by creasing the fabric. For this tutorial, I used a furry fabric that I had lying around.

As well, I used a “dead sakura tree” that I created for the Nendoroid Yuyuko Saigyouji review. I made this using clay and wood.

I also used cut-up fake flowers to create sakura leaves. This gave an excellent atmosphere to the picture.

To create lighting, you can use a cheap lamp you have lying around and a fluorescent light bulb, as they are brighter. Remember to never point the light directly at the figure, as it will cause the figure to appear too bright in the picture. You can also create a diffuser using a box and white cloth to reflect some of the light.

If you decide to take photos during the day, the best lighting is natural. Take your photo by a window!


    Getting ready to take the photo…

Remember a few things before you take your photo:

– Don’t point your figure at direct light if you are using a light bulb. Deflect it off some walls.
– If you are Going to create a bokeh background, make sure your lights is far away enough so that the lens can create the boken effect.
– Don’t be afraid of moving things around. Experiment.

This is how I set up my area:


And don’t forget to take a bunch of photos. It’s always good to have a lot of photos and pick the best than to take too little and have all crap photos.

Here’s the view I had of her in the viewfinder:


And when I took the photo, this is what came out:

And after some editing, here’s what I got:

Now you don’t always need to edit it. After looking back, the original still looks good. I chose to edit as I wanted to add a gloomy effect to the photo.

That concludes today’s tutorial. Next time, I’ll show you how to edit a photo so that you can get the same effect, but without the expensive lenses.

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