Mas­ter toy photo scenes

James Pater­son ex­plains how to paint toys with light to cre­ate a minia­ture scene on an epic scale

NPhoto - - CONTENTS -

Learn how to light paint an epic toy war­fare scene

Most of us prob­a­bly have a few old toy fig­ures tucked away that would be per­fect for a fun project like this. But this isn’t just an ex­cuse to get out some cher­ished play­things, it’s also a les­son in the power of mood light­ing. By il­lu­mi­nat­ing a table­top toy scene with a cou­ple of torches, we can evoke a pow­er­ful, cin­e­matic at­mos­phere. Over the next few pages we’ll ex­plain how it’s done, us­ing a long ex­po­sure so that we can ‘paint with light’. If you’re not into the war theme, then look at this as an ex­er­cise in light­ing. These tricks could be used to cre­ate a Juras­sic scene, or bring a Lego land­scape to life.

Our fin­ished im­age here is a com­pos­ite of sev­eral frames. By do­ing it like this we can have as many at­tempts at light paint­ing as we like. So we can per­fect the light­ing and the dis­tri­bu­tion of smoke in one area, then move on to an­other. This in­volves us­ing Pho­to­shop or a sim­i­lar im­age edi­tor to com­bine frames. It’s eas­ier and quicker than you might think, be­cause the bulk of the work is done in-cam­era.

Be­fore we get crack­ing we should say that we made use of a vape to cre­ate our bil­low­ing smoke ef­fect here. Al­though we used nico­tine-free liq­uid, this method will not be to ev­ery­one’s taste. If you pre­fer not to use a vape then there are al­ter­na­tives men­tioned over the page.

These tricks could be used to cre­ate a Juras­sic scene, or bring a Lego land­scape to life

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