Action figure photography, or toy photography, has become one of the most popular niches of photography in the past years. Both amateurs and photographers have embraced it, capturing photos of some of the world’s most beloved characters. It's results are often used as storytelling materials, and sometimes even as product photos for newly launched toys. One of its more popular examples is HotKenobi’s amusing collection of action figure photography on the social photo-sharing site, Instagram. In his series, he takes playful shots of characters from comic book universes to portray his imagined lives of superheroes and anime characters.
Just browsing the Internet will surely give you an idea of how fun it is to shoot action figures. It sparks your imagination, promotes creativity, and results in great photos for your portfolio if done right. It’s a niche that is very easy to get into, especially if you already have a camera and action figures available to you. To take it a step further, you can use a trustworthy and versatile camera trigger like the MIOPS Smart+ Camera Trigger. Its broad range of modes can help you with composing creative shots, while also making your shooting process a lot smoother.
If you’re wondering how you can maximize the use of your MIOPS Smart+ Camera Trigger, check out these four great ways you can use it to take action figure photos:
1. Use it as a basic remote camera trigger.
We know that this does not sound like the most exciting use of the camera trigger, but this is really useful. While taking pictures of action figures, your subjects will most likely be steady on a surface. You can probably get away with just your camera, but having a remote camera trigger can never hurt. Just the fact that using it instead of the shutter button on your camera can prevent blurs in your photos is already a plus. It also gives you the ability to step back and see the general scene, instead of just focusing on the small details in your camera’s viewfinder. So, go set it up on your phone, and enjoy triggering your camera through your smartphone from a distance.
2. Add a human element in the photo.
Just adding hands that are interacting with the action figure can make a great difference in your final photos. It gives off a relatable perspective, while also adding character to your images. Photos with human elements are more commonly used for product photography, but you can also experiment with your crazy ideas. A great example would be to stage actual interactions, like fight scenes or high-fives between the human and the action figure.
With a person in the frame, you most likely will be adding an element of movement as well. To ensure that your final photos will come out crisp and without shakes, take advantage of the MIOPS Smart+ Camera Trigger’s laser mode. Using this mode is fairly easy. All you have to do is connect the trigger to your camera, and make sure that it is in sync with a laser pointer. You can use any laser pointer that is available to you, and it also does not matter what color it is in.
The camera trigger’s laser mode will prompt the camera to take a picture as soon as something breaks the laser line. You can also use this feature for any frame that will require movement, including drops, lifts, and splashes.
Related Article: Laser Trigger Photography Tips: How to Use MIOPS Laser Mode Trigger
3. Play around with the HDR mode.
If your camera does not have a bracketing feature, your MIOPS Smart+ Camera Trigger can help you achieve beautiful high dynamic range (HDR) photos of your action figures. This is especially useful when you decide to shoot outdoors during an overcast day. Knowing that lighting is among the most important factors to consider in photography, you should know that excess lumination can cause harsh shadows and glare. By using your smart camera trigger’s HDR mode, you can even the lighting out and achieve better-looking photos that you can work on during post.
The trigger’s HDR mode can help you shoot photos between 1/30 and 30 secs exposure.
Related Article: The Guide To High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography
4. Don’t be afraid to add explosions.
Photographing stiff objects can get boring quickly. What you can do is combine your action figure photography with some knowledge of high-speed photography. With a MIOPS Smart+ Camera Trigger, it will be possible for you to add effects like explosions and water splashes.
An easy example is adding exploding colored powder in the background of your photographs. To do this, you can DIY a contraption of a balloon with your desired colored powder. Pop it with a needle or other sharp objects, but make sure that you are not within the frame (unless it is your intention to be in your photographs). To capture the excitement, set up your MIOPS Camera Trigger to Sound mode.
The trigger’s sound mode allows photographers to capture high-speed events like breaking glasses, or popping balloons. As soon as the device detects noise, it will prompt your camera to take pictures. What’s nice about this mode is that you can also customize it according to how many frames you wish to take, and in what time interval it should fire the camera.
There’s a lot of fun techniques that you can explore in action figure photography. With the MIOPS Smart+ Camera Trigger alone, you can already achieve creative shots that can trigger emotion from an audience. However, the device is only a tool, and it can only help in improving your photos. Your greatest asset is still your skills and eye for what makes a beautiful picture. As you master this niche, learn from those who are recognized in this field and have already made careers out of it. Review their work, replicate their technique, and see what works for you. Most importantly, find your own creative voice, and use this niche to express your most creative thoughts. Go, and have fun!
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