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Taking MOC Photos at Home

csa_marvin on 08/19/2014 15:31

When it comes to “selling on an online marketplace”(showing off your MOC), having high quality photos of the product can mean the difference between making and breaking a “sale”(impression). Here are some simple tips that anyone can take advantage of while taking pictures of their MOC.

 

Create a seamless and empty background.

Nothing is more distracting in MOC photography than unnecessary things in the background. In order to make your MOC appear alone on a single background, we can create an infinity sweep. An infinity sweep uses a curved surface to give the illusion that the surface extends forever.

Requirements: Large piece of paper (ie. poster board), tape

The main objective is to tape a large piece of paper against a vertical surface and let it gently curve and fall onto a horizontal surface. In many cases, a wall and table will get the job done.

An example setup.

infinitysweep.png

If you don’t have an appropriate wall or would like to relocate to a better lit location, it is entirely possible to make a frame yourself. All the frame has to do is act as the vertical surface for the paper to attach to. For some inspiration, here are some excellent guides to take a look at:

Homemade Photography Sweep

A Portable and Inexpensive Seamless Background System

 

Stabilize your camera.

One of the most helpful things to produce a sharp and beautiful picture of your MOC is to stabilize your camera while shooting. Any kind of movement while the camera is in the process of taking a picture will cause the image to look blurry. This applies to any camera, even the ones found on smartphones!

While a tripod is the most recommended solution, anything that can reduce the amount of movement can be helpful. Rest your camera on a pile of books, another table, or even a structure made of LEGO® bricks. Be creative and utilize whatever you may have lying around to help hold your camera steady. The trick is to remove as much dependency on your hands and arms to keep the camera in place.

 

Make use of free photo editing tools.

Many times a simple touch up can really enhance your photo. Photo editing software like Photoshop are great but there are also many free tools available for you to try out right now in your internet browser.

Our recommendations are:

BeFunky

Fotor

Aviary (mobile option)

Some parameters to look out for:

Exposure: Control how much light is in the picture

Brightness: Control how bright the light is in the picture

Highlights: Control how bright the highlights are in the picture

Shadows: Control how dark the shadows are in the picture

If your photo seems to be off in color, try adjusting the Hue and Temperature until you are satisfied.  You can always start over so don’t be afraid to experiment and see what is possible!

 

Useful Links

“Three Stages to Better Photos of LEGO Creations”

A comprehensive guide by NXT Programs covering all the aspects of taking LEGO® photography. This guide is broken down into three stages depending on the effort and equipment required.

Make a Homemade Light Box

A guide by Darren Rowse for people looking for the best indoor light setup with a tight budget. With just a few free or inexpensive items, you can give your MOCs the lighting that they deserve.

Photo Basics

For people looking to better understand the camera manual mode and how to take advantage of it. This guide by Improve Photography goes through the basic principles behind photography and then proceeds to teach readers how to master their camera functions.

Balakov’s Setups

Famous for his LEGO® photography, Mike Stimpson shares his setups for his various shots. A great source of inspiration for ways to creatively take pictures of your MOCs.