I'd planned on taking some outside photos but with the awful weather that wasn't to be, so I decided to set up my indoor 'studio' lights and the second backdrop that I received a couple of months ago from Ebay. You may remember I posted about the first of the two backdrops here:
So the second backdrop arrived and was more similar to the first one than I remembered but that wasn't a problem as they are very cheap. It needed ironing as, like the first one to arrive, it had been folded down to fit into a smallish envelope. I used my iron on a cooler setting as the backdrops are sort of plasticised fabric, and I didn't want to burn it. This one is not as good as the first one though as it has paint/printing missing on the creases, but I guess for the cheap price, what could I really expect!
I have been changing some of my ball jointed dolls into warmer clothing, so thought I'd use the backdrop to take some photos of the girls in their winter wear. I attached the backdrop to the wall with poster tack and then, as suggested by Sandi of Xanadu Dolls blog I used the ironing board as the 'table' for the dolls to stand on, and I set up the two photographic lights on their tripod stands.
First to have her photo taken was my Fairyland Mini Fee tanned Chloe, with her German Shepherd dog.....I think there is too much light in this photo but when I turned off the lights, so there were shadows created which made the backdrop look very artificial. The backdrop has sunrays coming from the top left hand corner as you can see. This is supposed to represent sunshine coming through the trees. I believe it looks too artificial and unnatural....(any suggestions gratefully received!!!)
Next up we have Dylan, my Little Cosmos Dolls Robin, wearing a different wig. I'm not sure it's 'her' but will keep it on for a while. I think I'll probably go back to the red plaited wig in the end!
Riley Mai, (Ppinkydolls Malisa) hasn't had any camera time in ages, so I took a few photos of her too. I changed her eyes from brown to these two toned, blue/green eyes. I'm actually thinking of changing her body from her original resin one to a hard plastic Pure Neemo one....so watch this space!
This poor girl hasn't had a change of clothes in probably a couple of years!!! So I think that'll be my job for the next few days, find her another outfit that suits (and fits!) her!
Next up we have tiny little Marley, (Tanned Meng version 4 by Secretdoll) who I had been thinking of selling as I couldn't 'bond' with her. I decided to change her wig and eyes and as soon as I saw her in this wig so I realised just how cute she is, she just hadn't found her 'style'!!!.....she will be staying!!!
Finally we have Gala (Adori in Milky tan by Harucasting). Gala has had several changes of clothing over the summer but I kept forgetting to photograph her. But now she is in her winter outfit looking all cosy and warm!
I think what I've learned this photo session is that the studio lights are great for eliminating the shadows behind the dolls but I've come across other challenges. The dolls look a little bit pale and washed out and the colours do not 'pop' like outside photos do for me. Also, the tripods on the lights are not really tall enough for the dolls when they are standing on the ironing board, I need to take it all a little lower. So here we have two studio lights, one on either side of the dolls, and an overhead spotlight bulb in the ceiling. I didn't use the flash in any of these photos, so it really is purely the studio lights. I think I need to find a way of defusing them!
Well I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of my little girls today. I will change some more soon and take more photos....hopefully the weather will be dry and I can go back to taking them outside.
Have a great week ahead!
Big hugs Sharon xx
Reading your blog is always risky - I see so many different dolls that I'd like to have! Is Marley 1/8 or 1/12 size? I love Gala's boots <3ReplyDelete
Haha, I'm sorry to tempt you Tricia!!! Marley is 17.5cm tall so would that be 1/8th? I was never any good at maths :) She's Lati Yellow size.Delete
Thank you on Gala's boots, I got them on Etsy.
I loved all the photos Sharon, especially the sepia one of Marley. :)ReplyDelete
Pity about the missing ink though, but it usually happens when they are folded and the supplier is cutting corners by using a cheaper printing ink. Much better if you can get them sent rolled in a tube.
As for the fake sunshine, perhaps try lighting from that side only, allowing it to cast a shadow as it would naturally if the sun was actually there, you may find it works better that way (mind you this is only a suggestions and don't know if it will work).
Diffusing is easier, just use some fine white fabric over your lights, perhaps batiste or something similar . . . I have a light tent and that's great, but very rarely use it as I am just too slack to set it up.
It was a great post and I enjoyed reading it.
Sandi, hello. Thanks for your photography advise here as well.Delete
I wanted to let your know that I read your column also but for whatever reason I cannot leave a comment.
Thank you very much Xanadu, I'm glad you enjoyed them. Yes the missing ink is annoying but it was such a cheap backdrop, I guess you get what you pay for really :/Delete
Thank you for the advice on the lighting, I will definitely try that next time and see how it goes. As for the diffusing, I have one of those light tents too but I've only used it once I think, back when I got it. But I do have lots of fine white fabric so will try that!
Big hugs xxx
Dear Sharon, hello. I really enjoyed your photo shoot. I learn so much from seeing what others do. I am still trying to figure out how to use my camera. At least I don't cut off people's (dolls') heads anymore (laugh).ReplyDelete
I like the backdrop. I have two that are from American Girl but they don't have an extended floor, or any floor for that matter.
Thanks also for sharing information about your range of dolls. I love the Little Darlings so much that I forget there are other dolls to learn about.
The Adori doll is a cutie. Is she a BJD?
Thank you very much Dorothy, I'm glad you enjoyed the photos in this post. I hope you figure out your camera really soon as I would love to see your dolls :)Delete
Yes Adori is a bjd and the artist, Haru of Harucasting in South Korea, sculpted her as a likeness to his little SON who's name is Adori :) I really like the Asian aesthetics these days!
I always struggle with internal lights so I tend to just photograph during the day. I like the way natural light looks on dolls. I still think your photos turned out pretty good though and the backdrop is really nice. I keep meaning to buy myself one but never get around to it. Making dioramas is another option for those days when the rain keeps you indoors! It was nice seeing more of your dolls.ReplyDelete
I know exactly what you mean! My indoor photos with flash, well I really don't like them at all, but then when I turn off the flash, so they're grainy. I've tried a tripod but then the colour is out too. I definitely prefer to just take photos during the day, outside, in natural light.Delete
I'm glad you enjoyed seeing some of my dolls, thank you!
I still haven't figured out how to properly take photos in artificial lighting, but I plan on buying at least one light next winter, so I can practice and keep taking photos despite the awful weather. Since summer is almost here I still don;t have to worry.ReplyDelete
As for the first photo, maybe it looks unnatural to you because the right part of the backdrop is pure shadow, and the doll is lit on that side as well. Maybe instead of using 2 lights, one was enough. Working with 2 lights has the effect of making weird shadows. If you need to give more light to another place in the photo, and you are using one light, a bouncing card (or any white surface that can make the light bounce) could be helpful.
And yes to the diffuser, it will make less harsh lighting overall.
That's what I've picked up so far from watching tutorials anyways, still haven't put much of that into practice lol.
Cute dolls though! I really like little Marley, such a cutie!
I think you're right, one light may well have been enough. It was such a dismal day, the rain was so heavy which made everything so dull and miserable.Delete
I'll definitely be trying the diffuser next time I take indoor photos :)
I'm glad you liked my dolls though, thank you very much!
These are all too cute!ReplyDelete
I love how subtly the colours in Riley Mai's outfit work with the tiny flowers in the backdrop just to her side. :)
Thank you very much, I'm glad you enjoyed the post.Delete
Another wonderful post and I love to see your beautiful, unique dolls. I particularly like Gala and her warmer outfit too. I have not tried backdrops yet but I plan too one day since we have many non sunny days. I like yours very much but cannot offer any suggestions. I think you are doing a great job of photographing your sweet dolls. Thank you for sharing dear Sharon. 😊 xxxReplyDelete
Thanks very much dear Ginger, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I would recommend trying the backdrops, they're useful but I think I'll try something less 'green' next time!!!Delete
And thank you for liking Gala, she is probably one of my favourites!!
Very intresting post to read, thank you for sharing. :)ReplyDelete
I think this backdrop looks really nice. Great alternative when the weather is bad.
And your dolls are wonderful. Especially Gala cought my eye.
Thank you very much Kamelia, I'm glad you enjoyed reading my post.Delete
Yes the backdrops are useful for bad weather, and my goodness we did have horrible weather yesterday!!
Gala is proving very popular, I really love her myself too :)
Thanks again xxx
I know what you mean about the balancing act of indoor photography! I struggle with making the lighting realistic as well as I get either the "washed out, but everything is equally lit" to the shadows that don't match up to the background. I love Sandy's idea of putting the light source where you'd expect the sun to be based on the background shadows! Outdoors is just better, anyhow. Besides all of that I really like how your photos came out! I love seeing all of your different dolls and many I wouldn't have known even existed. I think I like Gala the best as she reminds me of my youngest. :) xoReplyDelete
I'm definitely going to try Sandy's idea next time I take indoor photos Farrah, I think it makes sense and hopefully I'll get a better depth too. I hope that I'll not have to take indoor photos very often though because I so prefer outside anyway...I'm just not that adventurous these days!Delete
Thanks on Gala, she is a cutie isn't she! And so is your little girl :)
Great photos! Never thought that backdrops could be such effective way to go - even if I do like the outdoors more. But at some point you just can not make it to the forest or the city, by the way and then these backdrops can work very well.ReplyDelete
And Marley is so cute!
I'm with you on preferring the outdoors too Niina and hopefully these backdrops will be a last resort, but we had such horrible rainy weather recently that outside was just a complete no-no.Delete
Thanks on Marley, I certainly like her more now with this change of wig :)