This is a behind the scenes post for the Lego photo: “Back alley ghost“.

Inspiration

Inspiration for toy photography can arise from anything. The past few years I’ve been reading all the stories of Tom Puss (Dutch readers will instantly know who this is). One of the stories, “Kwetal de Breinbaas”, published in 1949 had a panel which immediately struck my eye. As you can see in figure 1, the inspiration for the back ally photograph came from one of the panels in that comic.

Example inspiration for Lego photography
Figure 1. Tom Puss in ‘Kwetal de Breinbaas’ as inspiration for a Lego photo.

Setting up the Lego photography scene

The basic Lego setup can be seen in figure 2. Pretty straightforward.

Basic setup Lego stage photography
Figure 2; Basic setup of the stage

While building this Lego stage, I kept my camera close, so I could check and see if what I’d build was large enough. This way I could keep the building to a minimum.

Lighting the scene

It was to be a night scene. At night the main light source is usually the moon. So way up in the air I put my LED-panel at low light and at a color temperature of 5600 K (I used the same panel overhead in the coffeeshop-scene). Furthermore, I wanted warm light from the window as a means to light the front part of the image. In figure 2 you can see I used a simple tabletop light for that purpose. To keep the light from leaking into the scene, I used a few Lego plates to block the light where I did not want it.

Lastly, I needed a subtle lighting of the back part of the scene. If I made the moon too bright, it would have washed out the front warm light, so I put in a small LED light from Brickstuff behind the shed-wall for this purpose (figure 3).

lighting a lego stage
Figure 3; lighting the back part of the stage.

Populating the Lego stage

Though Tom Puss is prominently featured in the comic book scene, I did not want to put in a cat(like) person. I’ve been looking to feature Dwaas in one of the images so I first tried to put him in there. You can see some examples in figure 4,5 and 6.

Example minifigure placement Lego photography
Figure 4; Example of Dwaas in the scene
Adding minifigures to Lego photography
Figure 5; Example 2 of Dwaas in the scene
Toy photography and placement of people
Figure 6; Example 3 of Dwaas in the scene

Yet, for several reasons, I did not like the result, mostly because Dwaas blocked quiet a few parts in the scene or Dwaas pulled too much attention from the scene as a whole. So in the end I decided to add a subtle ghost. By the way, now that I see them again, I kind of like the first of these three images to be honest. 🙂

Post production

Of course I added the ghost to the image. You can see him standing on a Lego stick in Figure 2. I used a similar technique to the one used for the ‘into the sky‘ Lego photograph.

Lastly, I deepened the colors a bit and added some contrast. The resulting Lego image is below:

Lego photography - back alley ghost

 


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