An Exclu Tutorial by guest writer Norbert Bajandi.
We welcome Norbert Bajandi to the platform as he breaks down his process with a Funko orientated shoot complete with step-by-step insights into the set-up and tips on how to increase the potential of Funko Pop Photography.
Hi guys, I’m sharing with you the behind-the-scenes of my Funko Yoda photo.
Funko toy photography is really fun and challenging to shoot because of the very limited articulation of the figure. My goal is to shoot the figure using composition and lighting techniques with Digirama and practical effects to produce an interesting Funko photo.
For several days I was thinking of ways to shoot Yoda ; shoot him Star Wars prequel style or shoot him based on the original trilogy – Dagobah scene wins.
I visualized the scene with a low key lighting.
- I used a black illustration board as the base.
- A Dagobah photo from the internet for the background.
- Clay adhesive are used and molded by hand to mimic stones.
- My dilemma now is how to produce the heavy fog that surrounds the scene like in the movie. First I tried using an essential oil diffuser to produce the smoke but failed. Then I recalled a video from the internet of vapers doing smoke tricks. I need a vaper asap! Good thing my brother is a vaper and he helped me with the shoot.
- One light source is used using led lamp covered with blue coloured acetate.
- One simple and effective technique to make the photo more interesting and also helps to balance the composition is adding the foreground and other elements. The hand molded clay stones are carefully positioned in front and at the back of the figure away from the focal point, so when figure is focused, the stones will be blurred thus adding dimension and depth to the photo. “Frame within a frame” composition technique is also used.
- The Led light is positioned slightly off center to produce good highlights and shadows. The thick smoke bounced back the light thus producing the highlight on Yoda’s lower jaw. The bounced light also softens the shadow on Yoda’s face. It also gave good catchlight on Yoda’s eyes.
- The smoke is slowly introduced using a rolled paper shaped like a big straw. Only the lower part of the floor needs to be covered with smoke. The rest of the frame must be clear.
- Aperture f2 is used for good depth of field and shutter speed adjusted manually. Shoot in burst mode. ISO 200.
- Basic post processing and lightsaber effect done using Photoshop. For the overall colour and feel, I used a preset in VSCO app.
- You can reposition the Funko’s head for a more interesting pose. I use the sticky clay to hold the Funko’s head to its desired position.
- Experiment with the camera angles.
- Be observant on how the light affects the subject and its surroundings.
- Catchlight are awesome in the Funko’s eyes.
- If possible, use camera’s live view during shoot.
Thank you so much Jack and the Exclu Collective team for giving me the opportunity to share my toy photography techniques to the toy community.
A huge thank you to Norbert for taking the time to share his process and contribute to the Exclu Tutorial Resource. You can catch more of his work over on Instagram under his handle @doc_bertus and for more photography breakdowns and all things toys, stay tuned to Exclu.
Dagobah Dark Side Cave reference image courtesy of Starwars.wikia.com.