Photography Techniques Part 1: Tools & Nendoroid Joints

Hello everyone! (・ω・)ノ

A big thank you to everyone who reads the blog! It means a lot to me!

I wanted to write something interesting, but I wasn’t too sure what I could write up on, but I finally decided to write up a blog post on taking photos! The blog does mostly cover reviews of prototypes or product releases, and I often get asked how I take my photos in emails and on twitter, so I figured I’d try and answer some of those questions with a blog post!

This post is really written in my own style and explains how I take the pictures for the blog. Gou-kun on the GSC Newcomer’s Blog is also doing some photography lectures, I think I kind of stole his post for my own blog, sorry!!

If you have the time, be sure to check out his posts as well!

GSC Newcomer’s Blog:
http://ameblo.jp/blog-shinsotsu2012/ (Japanese)
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My camera is a Sony Alpha 350!

Well, I say ‘my camera’, but the truth is it is actually Aki’s camera that I’ve been using for on the blog for 4~5 years now… I think it’s pretty much become my own camera now! I’m sure there are a number of updated versions of the same series of camera by now as well.

On that note, I should mention that I know nothing about cameras!!

This camera automatically gets into focus for me, and all I really need to do is press the button!

I also always uses an SLR as it blurs out the background nicely!

With the background blurry, the figures come out looking much nicer to me. I believe some other reasons for using an SLR would be that it decreases the noise on the photos, and makes the picture look lighter. Maybe something more advanced would provide better quality photos in the end, but in the end the SLR makes it nice and easy to just take photos!
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This is how I normally take photos!

The SLR is actually quite heavy and holding it with just one hand tends to make the pictures blur, so I actually sit with my knees up and use them to support the camera and keep it still. Having the extra support really helps keep the figures in focus nicely!

I don’t use a tripod… it’s too much work! (`・ω・´)

This does mean that taking photos for a long time tends to tire my arms out quite a lot, but I’m used to that now! I don’t use a tripod because firstly it takes up a lot of space, and secondly because I just want to take photos when I want to, without needing to set up a whole tripod each time I take photos or change angles.
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I do make use of this piece of cardboard!

I think this is the first time I’ve ever shown this outside of the offices. ^^;

It’s been though quite a lot over the years, but the gloss, feeling and thickness are all perfect for me!

…but perfect for what, exactly?

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I use it to make a shadow over the figure!

It means I end up taking pictures with just one hand, but it really has become a really important part of my pictures! Mind you, I didn’t do this at the start of the blog… it was a technique I developed along the way. 😛

I don’t use any lighting either… it’s also too much work! (`・ω・´)

There are actually a few other reasons for this too though – a photo booth area with lighting takes up a lot of space, and in most cases figures are displayed without any lighting anyway, so I think the photos act better as review material without any extra lighting – it shows what they truly look like!

When I want to take pictures, I like to have my setup and and easily available, which is why I keep it simple like this! Holding the camera with one hand does tend to cause a few more blurry photos, but I just retake any that don’t come out nicely, plus balancing it on my knee really does help avoid this problem to a degree. Obviously you don’t need to use your knee, you could easily find something else to balance it on as well!

Anyway, let’s make some comparisons now!! ヽ(゚∀゚)ノ
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Without the cardboard, so no shadow!

Today’s model is the recently rereleased Nendoroid Saber Lily! This photo of her certainly isn’t bad or anything, but let’s add the shadow and compare!
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With the cardboard and shadow!

You can see there is more of a shadow on the bridge of her nose, as well as on her armor! I definitely feel like you get a lot more depth with a shadow cast on the figure – just a sheet of cardboard can make quite a substantial difference!
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Next up, let’s look at poses!

When taking photos of Nendoroids, the joint angle is important!!

When you first buy Nendoroids, you’ll often see that the head joint will have the join facing the front – by that I mean the red line you see in the picture here is facing forward.

The joint moves along this red line, so different poses require you to make sure the join is facing the right direction! (If you try force it to move to the sides while it’s facing the front, it’ll just get stuck and risk breaking the joint.)
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Let’s try changing the angle of the join!

If you move the join to a little bit to the left like this, but not quite the full 90 degrees, you’ll be able to pose the Nendoroid’s head…

・ Tilting to the left.
・ Tucking in at the chin.

You can change the angle of the joint quite easily with some small pliers!

I’ve explained this using the joint for the head, but obviously the same applies with the leg or hip joints as well! Try playing around with changing the angle of the joints next time you’re taking photos!

Let’s try a pose with the joint at this angle! (・ω・)ノ
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“Hmm?”

the tilted head makes for a pose that makes it look as if she is questioning, or confused about something! You can also make use of this for poses with upturned eyes for great effect!!

Little adjustments to the joints that allow things like a slightly tucked in chin can really make for very cute differentiation in poses!

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Lifting the chin up isn’t the best idea!

It exposes the joint which tends to look a bit strange, however I still think that Saber looks rather cute even with the joint showing! In the end, although it might sound a bit silly, I really think that…

The #1 ingredient of good photos is love!!

I’m really not skilled with a camera at all, but I do my best to make the figures look as cute possible whenever I’m taking my photos for the blog!

The things I’ve shown are really nothing amazing, but I hope that this post has been of some interest for those of you who love taking photos of figures like I do!
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Last but not least, a little bit of advertising! 😛

From Fate/unlimited codes:
Nendoroid Saber Lily!

 
She is currently available for purchase!! (`・ω・´)

Get in contact with our partner shops if you have any preorder or sales queries!
But that’s all for today!

I hope to see you all again tomorrow!! (・∀・)ノ゛

 
(C) 2002-2006 TYPE-MOON