Today I want to share with you models that you’ve seen before, but in a totally different way. Gritty, atmospheric, cinematic shots that will bring the hobby to life. More after the jump.
These pictures were produced using a DSLR camera on a tripod with a long exposure (shutter is open for ages to allow a lot of light to hit the sensor). I used an inexpensive LED keyring torch for my bright white backlight, a smartphone with a solid colour on the screen (purple in the example above) with the screen brightness set to highest possible and a smoke machine.
I’ve attempted to layer the composition to create depth. There are shadowy objects in the foreground and ruins in the background. The troops on the ground help to give the picture a sense of scale. While the low camera angle looking up helps to make these monstrous machines look massive.
Here you can see the teoxicrene towering over these poor Ultramarines who are about to sell their lives dearly. The strong backlight, is quite over powering but the lens flare effect it produces in the smoke really add an extra dimension to the composition which would otherwise be quite flat. The Smoke is also lit up with ah purple coloured smartphone screen making it feel alien and toxic.
This image I wanted to see less. I wanted it to be more horrific. The light and shadows playing tricks with your brain. Considering you can’t see much, it feels like a lot is going on.
Finally, here are a the shots with no smoke or lights and lit more evening with my flash heads. Whilst it’s great you can see the details and everything is in focus I personally think these don’t have as much “soul” as the previous images.
All of these images were caught in camera and had no photoshop tinkering. I feel this is how I gauge my photography skill now. I have a vision in my head of what I want the shot to look like. I try to achieve that the best I can with the camera and only resorting to photoshop if my skill with the camera isn’t up to scratch. This is one of the first times I’ve not had to use photoshop to get the image I wanted. I must be getting better!
The bright back light is deliberate. I was trying to hide as much of the model as possible. It's like the film alien. The more you can hide in the shadows and smoke the scarier it gets. if you can clearly see a well lit model (or rubber suit) there is nothing for your imagination to do.
As for kit I have a lot of kit. Two DSLRs, Two flash heads, to hotshoe flashes, wireless remotes to connect and fire all the flahses at the same time, tripod, fluid head, grey card, couple of 260 LED constant lights. Smoke Machine. 24mm prime lens, 50mm prime lens, 60mm macro lens, 75-300mm zoom, 18-55mm kit lens. Probably some other bits and pieces I can't remember at the moment.
As for tips for consistent lighting use flash heads and set your WB with a grey card. Guaranteed same results every time no matter what time of day it is.
Cheers for that, much appreciated 🙂
Just had a look at that pic again on a large HD PC screen rather than my (admittedly high res and fairly large but still not ideal for the job) phone screen and it makes a lot more sense now, it was probably just the smaller scale that made the light seem overpowering.
Don't get me wrong, it is overpowering. I'm not disputing that. I'm just saying it was a deliberate experiment. I'm not a fan of that shot particularly. But it's useful to try these things out.
These are great! Maybe this could be a weekly/bi-weekly feature of some sort?
I have definitely enjoyed the photo/video features that you have presented. It totally gives a certain feel to the figures themselves.
Great work man. Gonna have to step up my game!
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Lovely work there (though I would say that lights possibly a bit too bright in the last of the pics and obscures a little too much for me), I've really been enjoying the GW/FW set ups like these recently and yours are right up there with them.
Any chance of a rundown of the kit you use and some lighting tips?
My pics aren't bad but I do tend to need to use Photoshop to tidy them up and they aren't consistent in colour reproduction at the moment.