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I just have problems getting the right camera, let alone editing! What do I need, high zoom? How many megapixels? How about lighting? What would you suggest? I'm a bit confused. Any advice?
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| November 27, 2010, 1:23 am
I use an Olympus Stylus 1010 which has 10.1 megapixels. I'm sure it's not the best camera out there, but I think it is ample for my skill level(non-professional). The super macro setting is my best friend for focus. If your camera does have problems focusing close up, you can still take pictures from far away and crop them in a photo editing program so they look like close ups.

I do have a light box, but my pictures still come out a bit dimmer than I would want, I partially compensate by adjusting the brightness on the camera, and then auto color in photoshop to get rid of any unnatural colors.

Good Luck on your future mocs!
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| November 27, 2010, 4:32 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Matt Gutierrez
I just have problems getting the right camera, let alone editing! What do I need, high zoom? How many megapixels? How about lighting? What would you suggest? I'm a bit confused. Any advice?

I use a Canon Power Shot A200IS (inspired by Maria Sharapova)...Just realized it has 10 MP, too. Anyway, I bet even the cheapest of new digital cameras have a decent Macro Mode, the little Flower Icon. But lighting is a real tricky aspect to all this, because I never use the flash due to the reflection. I prefer natural, indirect light through a big window, except for evil Cylon Centurion raiding parties. For that I use my LLBean LED headlamp. But now's a great time to be looking for a new camera with sales and all. An SLR camera where you can switch lenses is nifty, wall eye, super macro, and stuff like that. Good luck!
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| November 27, 2010, 8:12 am
Thanks a lot! This will help when I buy a camera.
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| November 29, 2010, 3:47 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Matt Gutierrez
Thanks a lot! This will help when I buy a camera.

So, whatcha get?
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| December 1, 2010, 9:11 am
i found this helpful guide on taking pictures a while ago, maybe it'll help!

http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/151857
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| February 1, 2011, 10:20 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Luna Lea
i found this helpful guide on taking pictures a while ago, maybe it'll help!

http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/151857

Cool, never saw that before.
If you want to see an expert photographer, check this page out:
http://www.mocpages.com/home.php/38504
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| February 1, 2011, 11:29 am
Some features you'll want include a macro setting and a setting for adjustable exposure and apeture. Get a tripod as well, it'll let you use a tight apeture and long exposure for crisp, clear pictures without blurring.

Oh yeah, and zoom is generally bad for stills when you can simply move your camera closer to the subject. Zoom out as far as you can and put the camera itself closer to your subject, this will also cut down on blur. Good zoom is nice for other uses (photographing wildlife, relatives on vacations, something neat you saw), but it's pretty much useless when you're taking pictures of your LEGOs.
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| February 5, 2011, 3:33 pm
Quoting Matt Gutierrez
I just have problems getting the right camera, let alone editing! What do I need, high zoom? How many megapixels? How about lighting? What would you suggest? I'm a bit confused. Any advice?

I'm not an expert by a long sight, but I'll put in my $0.02 anyhow.

I've got a little Kodak 10.1-ish MP myself. I love that thing. I used to have a 5.2 MP HP; and it just didn't cut it at all. You can look back about a year ago and see the sudden improvement, makes quite a bit of difference.

So I would agree with Ced, and say that you should go at least 10 or more.

If you have autofocus, avoid zooming in too much, it will make your pictures blurry; or the camera will focus on something in the background instead of where you want it.

For a free & easy photo editor, try this download: http://www.getpaint.net/ I use a program called Microsoft PictureIt! which should come in you Office bundle.

Light is important, and often determines the 'mood' of the whole MOC. I have a small photo box that has the lights and all, but you could probably achieve the same effect with a sheet of wax paper to be honest (though it would have a slightly diminished effect). Try not to use flash, as it washes things out. Two lights opposite each other (with scattering material, as mentioned above) is what I find to be most effective.

Hope that helps!
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| February 5, 2011, 7:51 pm
I learned something from my recent foray into making a comic and I would like to share it with the group. Too often we try to set up a scene like it would appear on stage or on TV with the characters up front and the back drop behind. I see this quite a bit in vigs and other similar builds. Centering the action in the middle of the base plate rather than on the edge helps in that it works with the camera and the way they generally focus rather than against it.
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| June 8, 2011, 8:11 pm
I have a 14 megapixel Canon that's been great. However, I have found that the secret to good photos is not megapixels, but simply your lighting, the exposure that you shoot at, and where and how steadily the camera is held.

For close ups, always use macro mode and get really close to what you want to photograph rather than going way back and then zooming in.

Also, shooting at just a slightly higher exposure than normal, maybe +1/3, can really help to eliminate shadows and will make the image brighter as well.

For lighting, ideally you should get lamps with diffusers. I use just a long fluorescent light bulb that's in one of my closets though, and that works very well, as it's long enough to light the build from both sides. It's not quite as good as diffusers, but it certainly works.

For editing, I would suggest GIMP, which is free and open source under the GNU license. If you want to shell out some money (checking now, it's about $80), Photoshop Elements (PSE) works very well as well, and has a few features that GIMP lacks, although the opposite can also be said, as GIMP has some features that PSE doesn't have as well. I use both so that they compensate for each other's weaknesses. Also, if you can afford to spend quite a bit (around $200), there is always the gold standard for photo editing, Photoshop CS5, which has all the features of both PSE and GIMP plus some.
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| August 26, 2011, 10:39 pm
I use a Canon PowerShot SX120IS which has 10.0 megapixels. I use the Macro setting A LOT in my photos. You do not really need an elaborate set up to take quality pictures. I just use some posterboard as my background, open up the window for lighting in my dining room and snap my pics. As far as editing goes, I do not have photoshop or Gimp so I just color around some of my MOC's with the program Paint which comes standard on most PC's. I really want to step up my editing and photography quality a bit though.
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| September 8, 2011, 1:46 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Eric W.
I use a Canon PowerShot SX120IS which has 10.0 megapixels. I use the Macro setting A LOT in my photos. You do not really need an elaborate set up to take quality pictures. I just use some posterboard as my background, open up the window for lighting in my dining room and snap my pics. As far as editing goes, I do not have photoshop or Gimp so I just color around some of my MOC's with the program Paint which comes standard on most PC's. I really want to step up my editing and photography quality a bit though.

Well, you've come to the right place! Time to get those fighters of yours into space. Camera and lighting sound fine, might want some secondary light sources, though. Start trolling for some background pics, and download Gimp. You should be good to go!
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| September 8, 2011, 2:43 pm
Quoting El Barto !
Well, you've come to the right place! Time to get those fighters of yours into space. Camera and lighting sound fine, might want some secondary light sources, though. Start trolling for some background pics, and download Gimp. You should be good to go!
Sounds great! Yeah I definitely need to check out gimp

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| September 8, 2011, 3:16 pm
thanks guys for all the comments on how to take better pics. this will help me on future mocs.
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| January 1, 2012, 12:21 am
Hey, does anyone know the best way to take pictures of a white lego vig? The vig is going to have a 1x1 black border. Is it better to take them on a white background, or a black one?
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| July 18, 2012, 11:11 pm
Quoting George Staples
Hey, does anyone know the best way to take pictures of a white lego vig? The vig is going to have a 1x1 black border. Is it better to take them on a white background, or a black one?


I wouldn't go with the black background if I were you. I haven't seen that many MOCs with it before, with good reason too. How about a maroon or dark blue?
-LB Senior
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| July 19, 2012, 12:02 am
Quoting Lego Builders

I wouldn't go with the black background if I were you. I haven't seen that many MOCs with it before, with good reason too. How about a maroon or dark blue?
-LB Senior


Thanks, I tried a dark red, and a blue, but they took too much light away. I ended up just having a off white background.
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| July 22, 2012, 1:53 am
 Group moderator 
Quoting George Staples

Thanks, I tried a dark red, and a blue, but they took too much light away. I ended up just having a off white background.

I tend to take lots of pictures with a light blue background. It works pretty good with almost any color.
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| July 26, 2012, 12:35 pm
I've just built a MOC using a couple of the bubble canopies from the "Alien Conquest" sets. They were a real pain to photograph.

I take my photos in a room with big windows on 2 sides, to get lots of natural light. With the bubble canopies, this meant I had to be really careful of the shooting angle, so as to avoid refelctions.

The other problem was what to have as the background, as I cut and paste my spaceships into space backgrounds. In the end, I put some white paper behind the canopy to get a sort of grey, smoke effect inside when pasted onto a space background. The rest of the background was just my wooden table, as this provided a contrast to cut out the ship in Photoshop.

Two questions. Any tips on the photography, please? Please does anyone have tips for making the canopies transparent(ish) and showing the background through them using PSE?
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| September 3, 2012, 6:06 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting David Roberts
I've just built a MOC using a couple of the bubble canopies from the "Alien Conquest" sets. They were a real pain to photograph.

I take my photos in a room with big windows on 2 sides, to get lots of natural light. With the bubble canopies, this meant I had to be really careful of the shooting angle, so as to avoid refelctions.

The other problem was what to have as the background, as I cut and paste my spaceships into space backgrounds. In the end, I put some white paper behind the canopy to get a sort of grey, smoke effect inside when pasted onto a space background. The rest of the background was just my wooden table, as this provided a contrast to cut out the ship in Photoshop.

Two questions. Any tips on the photography, please? Please does anyone have tips for making the canopies transparent(ish) and showing the background through them using PSE?

Those are tough, Dude! When I've done canopy shots where I want to see the pilot, I cheat and make sure I can't see through or past any part of the ship. It's difficult to focus on a fig through the glass, too, so I often raise the canopy, focus, then close it again without moving anything else. What a pain! Anyway, I'd say a black background, at least through the canopy would suffice for a space pic. I don't think anyone would really notice that there weren't any stars.
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| September 3, 2012, 8:35 pm
Quoting El Barto !
Those are tough, Dude! When I've done canopy shots where I want to see the pilot, I cheat and make sure I can't see through or past any part of the ship. It's difficult to focus on a fig through the glass, too, so I often raise the canopy, focus, then close it again without moving anything else. What a pain! Anyway, I'd say a black background, at least through the canopy would suffice for a space pic. I don't think anyone would really notice that there weren't any stars.


Ah yes! Black card would work a lot better than white card and be a lot less shiny & reflective. Your double exposure technique is really clever. I don't own a tripod but might have to buy one for Lego macros and the skiing shots I want to do this winter.

Thanks for creating this group. There's some fascinating ideas and advice in the various threads.
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| September 4, 2012, 3:11 am
 Group admin 
Quoting David Roberts

Ah yes! Black card would work a lot better than white card and be a lot less shiny & reflective. Your double exposure technique is really clever. I don't own a tripod but might have to buy one for Lego macros and the skiing shots I want to do this winter.

Thanks for creating this group. There's some fascinating ideas and advice in the various threads.

I just use whatever might be sitting around for a tripod; a book, some Lego pieces, whatever.
You're right, there is a lot of info in this group, and some of the tips have saved me a ton of time and effort.
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| September 4, 2012, 7:46 am
Many thanks to El Barto for setting up this group, it's full of useful advice! As a fairly inexperienced photographer I think I'll be posting here a lot...

At the moment I am planning a night-time MOC, so I want my photos to be sharp but the end result to look as though it is moonlit. Is my best bet to photograph in normal light and then darken all the colours in GIMP? Or would you recommend a special lighting set up? Any pointers would be much appreciated!
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| September 11, 2012, 4:15 am
 Group admin 
I suggest trying a variety of set ups, and see what you prefer. Having uniform lighting can be problematic in that all the surroundings might show. You'll need walls and other barriers to block views beyond the set, and be mindful of camera angles. The lone spotlight technique in a darkened room eliminates those issues. In my last two episodes, as you may know, I've done both. But I haven't really attempted anything with GIMP, so that might be worth a try.
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| September 11, 2012, 7:41 am
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