Figure/doll photography 121 – Blurry photos – How to tame the focus

This is another figure/doll photography 121 post. I’ve heard from many people as well as seen from many forum posters that they can’t seem to get sharp images for their figure/doll. Some of these people simply didn’t know to use the macro focus mode on their point and shoot camera. However, a lot of them are new users of D-SLRs or have switched from point and shoot digital camera to D-SLRs. In this post, I’d like to explore some of the difference between a point and shoot digital camera and a D-SLR that may cause new and unfamiliar user to get blurry photos. I will also explore a few things on the D-SLR and are specific to D-SLR that may cause blurry photos. I will be using nendoroid, standard PVC figure, as well as doll as my subject. As usual all photos in the post have higher resolution images linked so click on the thumbnail to see better details.

Be aware, this post is image heavy and may take a bit longer to load.

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Figure/doll photography 121 – How to produce black background

I’m going to call this a figure/doll photography 121. It’s not a 101 because even though what’s presented here is what I know of, it may or may not be correct. It’s not a 123 since I’m not really providing a step by step instruction. So some where between 101 and 123, I hope this becomes helpful to someone. And through that, the knowledge is transferred from one to another, and hence the name 121.

Black background, there are a lot of myths about it. There are talks about how to use black seamless paper, black cloth, or even black velvet behind the subject to create it. Then there are talks about using post production editing tools such as Photoshop to achieve it. However, neither of these approaches produces what I would call a true black background. Black background material is always visible due to light reflection, even black velvet shows up under some lighting conditions. And then there are many cases where the use of background material is just not practical or not possible. Photoshop on the other hand, will product a true black background, but typical masking technique to mask out your suject will produce an unnatural edge around it, this is on top of the amount of work needed to mask the fine details. In this post, I will try to walk through my technique in creating what I would call a true black background, just like what I have done below for Dollfie Dream Kanu Unchou. I’ve used this technique for many years now, mostly for floral photography but used sparsely for figure photography as well. however it can easily be applied to much bigger subjects such as dolls, real people and even other bigger subjects that you might want to photograph. And it’s all done straight out of camera with no background material and no Photoshop work.

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Chinese New Year – china dress duel

In cerebration of the Chinese New Year, my dolls are having a china dress duel to see who looks the best in their own china dress. The participants are Kanu Unchou, Saber, and Tohsaka Rin. Kanu’s wearing her brand new official china dress set from Volks. Saber’s see in her pure white long china dress before but she things that’s the best china dress for her. Tohsaka Rin’s been dressed in that pink dress for a while now, but she think that daily dress will make her the winner.

Here a little sneak peek for those anxious to see what the girls will be wearing. 😈
Please make sure you vote for the girl looks the best in china dress at the end of the post.

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Girls with guitars

With the growing popularity of the anime K-ON and its related merchandises, it seems girls with guitars are the hottest topics these days. And looking through the up coming figure releases from the Wonder Festival 2010 Winter, the large number of K-ON figures and dolls is a testament to just how well received these girls with guitars are. And now Volks apparently want to step on the bandwagon as well, announcing Dollfie Dream K-ON dolls at the Wonder Festival 2010 Winter. I, on the other hand, am not much of a K-ON fan. However, it doesn’t mean I don’t like girls with guitars. And so, here’s my girl with guitar — Dollfie Dream Saber dressed in the Black Skull Cat Dress Set (was showcased before by Kanu in this post) and of course a guitar. πŸ™‚

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New accessories for the new year

It’s a new year and I’ve got a bunch of new accessories for my dolls. SELEN doll stands, lots and lots of new clothing and accessories for my girls, and more importantly, I finally got a piece of furniture for my girls so that they have a place to sit. Here’s a preview picture:

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