Before I get into the details, a photographer called Andrew Whyte inspired me with this idea. He is a photographer based in the UK and he specialized in long exposure photography. Long story short, it started off from my previous post on 8 creative photography ideas you can do at home right now. In that post I mentioned about toy photography and I always wanted to step up the toy photography experience. As I was doing researching I found Andrew Whyte’s website and I highly recommend you checking his work and be inspired like me right now.
Anyway, here are the steps I took:
1) Buy a Lego Minifigure
As easy as it sounds, you need to buy a Lego minifigure to start with. This is the only time you need to spend money for the whole process but you don’t have to buy it if you already owned a lego minifigure. For myself even though I’ve a few minifigures I still like to have a lego cameraman so I brought the Lego traveller 7567 from amazon.
2) Upgrade Lego Traveller’s camera lens
This step is totally optional. After I received the Lego cameraman I felt his camera doesn’t look like it has any lens on it. So I grab my ironman’s blue thruster and stick it on the lego traveller’s camera. Now my cameraman has a blue lens! Haha Poor Tony Stark!
3) Find a meaningful scenery
Now to the actual photography techniques, make sure you find a meaningful background/subject/object. One of the hardest things about Legography is that you can basically shoot anywhere. Due to its size you can find great backgrounds that you can even do at home. But does that reflect the story behind your photo? If not, don’t just snap the shot but find a better location.
4) Get down low
The real tick to get the best shot is to get down and shoot low. If you shoot from eye level it’ll be the same as all other pictures. Have an interesting angle and try to work around the environment to achieve the shot.
5) Focus well and great bokeh will come
If you are wondering what boken is, it is the out of focus area of your photograph. In another word, the creamy background that you see from portrait where the person is tack sharp and the background is a little unfocus, that is bokeh. With Legography, it is really easy to achieve great bokeh. In fact, you may want to reduce it a little bit sometimes so people can see what the background is. The closer your lego is to the background objects, the more focus you are going to get.
Well, that’s all I did to start Legography. One thing I forgot to mention is I use my iphone 5S to take the photos. There are many camera apps out there and you can buy camera apps like 645 Pro MK II and Pureshot. But I found the normal camera app work just fine and you can edit the picture in snapseed afterward. Read my previous post here for a list of great smartphone apps for photography.
Here is my quick summary about Legography:
Easy to carry – There is no excuse not to bring it with you everywhere.
24/7 portrait model – Again no excuse to say you are too busy to take pictures each day.
Great scenery anywhere – You just need a fraction of a great background to take awesome pictures.
Hard to stand up the minifigure – With just a little bit of wind this little guy will get blown away. Consider bringing some tapes with you.
Hard to focus – You need to know your phone camera’s limitation. Your iphone’s camera isn’t you DSLR. It will lose focus easily so take extra care when focusing.
Don’t lose the lego camera – Yes don’t lose it, it’ll be a pain to find replacement! You can buy it in ebay for a few dollars but with shipping it can easily get up to the price of the minifigure!
I hope you enjoy this post and please check Andrew Whyte’s website here for his amazing pictures. If you like what I’m doing follow me on Facebook and subscribe below. Oh one more thing! I’m trying to give a name to my little cameraman. What name do you think I should call him? Please comment below!