Figure Photo Studio setup experiment

FlightNote: all photos in this post are linked to my flickr. Click on the images to see larger views

I am pretty much a frustrated photographer. I usually fail at taking decent photos (they end up mostly blurred, or just not good) and not having a camera of my own makes practice a bit difficult to do. Now that my brother has “permanently loaned” his old digital camera to me, I’ve been able to take more photos lately (although most of them are of Kagamiku). I know there are more people in the figure community who are more experienced and skilled than I am, so, if you can give any suggestions on how I can improve, please don’t hesitate to drop in a comment!

"Come with Me"

THIS, is my favorite pose for Kagamiku. You can even see it in my figma Kagamiku review (although it’s slightly different in this one). Is there any improvement from my first photo of her in this pose?

"Will you come with me"

Another waterloo that I have is being able to apply the rule of thirds properly everytime — or taking a photo without any odd things in them (like the first photo). I think this photo is better than the others… what do you think?

Holding out

The above photo is for something that you will see soon! ^^ I think Kagamin looks better in the pink backgrounds, everytime that I look into the orange ones, she looks a bit dark. Do you see the same thing too?

Soft seats closeup

Blurred photo, as a result of shaky hands… one of my major problems @_@; I haven’t seen my brother’s mini tripod anywhere, so I had to make my hand as steady as possible… it phails though ><;; I also didn’t use flash on any of these photos — which is why sometimes, I like the photos in my figma Kagamiku review more — I used flash (that’s covered with paper) and it resulted in clearer photos (although dimly lit ones). Do you always use tripods for figure photoshoots?

Kagamiku on grey background

This one, is pretty much similar to the previous photo — only this time, I used a grey-white background. It’s strange how the color dramatically changed and that Kagamiky suddenly looks yellow-ish here. Seems that the background colors affect how the light would affect the photo?

My setup

This is the setup I had for this photoshoot ^_^ Strangely enough, the light looks yellowish, but I swear it’s white and is flourescent. ><; Maybe it’s because the light’s pretty old and hasn’t been used for a while… or something. OTL

Any comments and suggestions are highly appreciated! Thank you for looking through the entry! :3

15 Responses to “Figure Photo Studio setup experiment”


  1. 1 LEon September 13, 2009 at 10:07 PM

    Hey that look PRO! I love your banner. I nearly bought this figure but since I got a new camera I have no budget to get this figure.LOL

  2. 4 zh3us September 13, 2009 at 11:16 PM

    nice setup! im still trying to find a setup to “work on”…

  3. 6 anonymous_object September 13, 2009 at 11:50 PM

    Your pics don’t look bad but I think using a tripod would help significantly. If you can’t find one, just set the camera on a table or boxes or something.

    I don’t use a camera flash, just some stationary lights and a tripod when I do figure photography.

    Also, be sure to watch the white balance when shooting a scene multiple times. Will help a lot with consistency.

    I like the one of Kagamiku holding out her hand :D

  4. 7 Otaku Dan September 14, 2009 at 5:24 AM

    use a reflector to give some light to any side that has shadows, fix the light balance and drop your ISO to the lowest setting. your should consider to use a tripod. I hope that helped.

  5. 8 animemiz September 14, 2009 at 8:19 AM

    Oh.. so this is actually an interesting set up, I am myself currently looking for a method of doing a background for photographing my figures as well.. interesting.

  6. 9 Haru September 14, 2009 at 8:42 AM

    I highly recommend you see Happy Soda’s tutorial ( http://www.happysoda.com/88 ) if you haven’t yet! Very helpful on figure photoshooting; especially on lighting. ^^

    Btw, I love the purple/pink bg on the first two pictures! New blog header looks great too! ^^

  7. 10 Ninjovee September 14, 2009 at 7:56 PM

    @anonymous_object: Thanks! ^^ I found a tripod, so hopefully the photos will be a bit better in future shoots ^_^ Hm. White balance… *needs to look that up*

    @Otaku Dan: Thank you for the tips! I was using… one reflector. ^^; will note your tips in future shoots ^^

    @animemiz: Thanks, actually I’ve seen other people use their LCD screens as backgrounds before so I decided to try it out as well. :) I think this kind of setup saves a lot of $$ and storage space XD

    @Haru: Thank you! :3 I actually read Happy Soda’s tutorial a while back, but I think I haven’t applied all of what has been there fully. Will attempt another photoshoot experiment soon enough ^^

  8. 11 Tier September 15, 2009 at 7:21 AM

    I’m not exactly experienced – I’ve been taking pictures for about six months and my early pictures are pretty embarrassing – but here are some thoughts:

    I think a tripod is virtually a necessity. One other thing I do is I use the camera’s two-second self-timer to take pictures; I set the shot up, press the button all the way down, and then take my hands off of the camera so that it’s not shaking by the time the timer elapses.

    If you have room to take pictures elsewhere, that might be worth a try. From what I’ve read and in my experience, mixing different types of light (different temperatures of light, I guess) makes it difficult to get the proper white balance. In addition, the brightness of your monitor may be overpowering your lamp, causing your figure to appear darkened. I shoot my pictures on my computer desk, but I always blank my monitor before I start shooting.

    I use up to five lamps for figure photography, which sounds a bit excessive (and it probably is). I only use two lamps for most of my pictures, though; one shining on the figure from above and one a bit to the front and to the side, as per the Happy Soda tutorial linked earlier.

    If you haven’t read your camera’s manual, it’s a good idea to do so. Your camera’s manufacturer ought to have a PDF file of the manual available for download on its website. In particular, you want to learn how to set the camera’s white balance (I generally keep it on auto) and if you’re using a point-and-shoot, whether it has a macro mode (usually indicated by a little flower icon) and how to activate it.

    • 12 Ninjovee September 15, 2009 at 7:56 PM

      Actually, I couldn’t really turn off my monitor because I was using it as my background ^^; I guess I’ll have to improvise on that.

      I actually read up on using white balance yesterday, and as for macro, I’ve been using it in this shoot. ^^;

      Thanks for all the tips! They’re quite helpful ^^

  9. 13 Tommy September 21, 2009 at 8:25 AM

    Super Rat’s tutorial is a really nice read. Get that set up first than experiment with it when you get the gist of it. Here’s the link: http://www.happysoda.com/88/figure-on-cheap-lighting

    The pink background works better because it’s complimenting Kagamiku’s green hair.


  1. 1 Mikuru Goes Sightseeing? « Tangerine Tango Trackback on September 24, 2009 at 12:44 AM
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