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