Taking on Tips

I don’t just write posts. I also read them. And then I write about reading them. Today I put some of Shelly’s tips into practice. And wrote about it!

Beating Baader-Meinhof to the punch!

I’ve written about Baader-Meinhof before, the term coined to describe a concept or a thing you just found out about, suddenly popping up everywhere. When I did, it was about a photo I took that I noticed a lot of Shelly’s “the basics” contained in it when I was editing.

Shelly has recently shared her tips about photographing toys in water, and written about turning any lens into a macro with close-up filters.

So, before I weirded myself out by discovering Shelly’s tips jumping out at me from my photos again, I decided to take some of her recent tips and purposely go out and put them into practice. Take that Baader-Meinhof! Continue reading Taking on Tips

The Basics – Photographing toys in water

I’ve been taking photos in and around water for as along as I’ve been a photographer. There is something magical about water; the movement, the sound, the reflections. Being in and around water feeds something basic in my soul. Because of this, it’s only natural that water would make it into my toy photography. Some of my favorite toy images have been taken in water.

While water is beautiful to photograph, it’s not easy to work with. It can be unpredictable; water can steal your LEGO and it can leave you soaking wet. But even with these hazards, the final results are often worth it.

I prefer to photograph in the great out doors so when I talk about water I’m referring to rivers, lakes, puddles as well as the Puget Sound. I have found that the edges around any body of water is usually rocky, muddy, sandy or all three. Not exactly an environment that invites getting down on your knees or stomach for your typical toy photos. Over the years I’ve learned a few tricks about working in and around water plus a few tips to make my life easier. Continue reading The Basics – Photographing toys in water

The Basics – Selective Focus

Selective focus is another tool you should add to your photographic tool bag. When you’re a landscape photographer being able to focus to infinity is important, but is that skill really important for toy photography? What happens when you play with the focus point on your toys? Can you tell a better, or different story? In the fast paced world of social media, can you create an image that stands out when it’s initially hard to read? Lets find out… Continue reading The Basics – Selective Focus

The Basics – Your Own Web Site

Do you have your own web site?  I was recently surprised by the number of toy photographers in our community who don’t. I feel strongly that in the shifting quicksand of social media platforms every semi-professional photographer and artist should have a personal home on the internet. A place where you can control how your work is viewed, present a carefully curated representation of your work as well as supporting information. A personal web site can also act as a central hub for all your social media accounts and can grow and change with your own artistic needs. Continue reading The Basics – Your Own Web Site

The Basics – Close-up filters

What is a close-up filter? Close-up filters are basically reading glasses for your camera lens. They are a nifty, and extremely inexpensive, way to turn any lens into a macro lens.

You heard me right. You can change the focal length of your lens by simply screwing on a close-up filter. Think of them as reading glasses for your lens.

I love my 90mm Sony lens. In fact I adore it, but it never seems to get me as close as I want to be to my subject. While I love the incredible details in LEGO mini figures, i’ve been unable to capture them adequatly. It is these small details and flourishes that inspire me to photograph these toys. Continue reading The Basics – Close-up filters

Who is your audience?

Who is your audience seems a rather silly question to be asking. Obviously if you’re posting your photos to social media your audience is your followers. Two years ago I wrote a post called An Audience of One. This was a post reaffirming that the most important person that I’m taking photos for is me.

In that post, I also gave a passing nod to my followers who enjoy my photos and comment on them. But honestly, I would not have considered the reactions or needs of these fans when I set up my photos. Recent events have made me reconsider this position. Continue reading Who is your audience?

The Basics – Breaking Rules

I remember when I first met Kristina she was looking for a fellow photographer who liked breaking the rules. My reaction at the time was confusion, because I didn’t know what those rules were. Recently I came across a list of basic photography ‘rules’ and I was pleasantly surprised. Both by what the rules are and were I fell on the spectrum of rule breakers. Continue reading The Basics – Breaking Rules

The Basics – Exposure Compensation

Every DSLR camera owner has his or her preferred camera settings. Many photographers swear by the Manual setting, while others love to use Shutter Priority or Aperture Priority. They each have their advantages depending on what your personal creative vision is. Continue reading The Basics – Exposure Compensation

Forced Perspective?

Um, I think it’s just perspective when you’re lying in the dirt photographing toys?

The forced perspective technique sways our perception with the use of optical illusions to make objects appear larger, smaller, further away, or closer than they actually are. It manipulates perception through the use of scaled objects and the correlation between them and the vantage point of the camera. Continue reading Forced Perspective?

A Reminder To Remember

Baader-Meinhof? I’ve been seeing a lot of that lately?

Your friend tells you about an obscure “mathcore” band they’ve only just discovered.

Later that afternoon, you stumble onto one of their albums as you flick through vinyl at your local record store. Then you see a poster for their upcoming tour through the train window on your way home that evening. Hang on a minute, that’s them playing in that car commercial on TV, too! Continue reading A Reminder To Remember