The Contaminated

I know what some of you are thinking: “you’ve lost your mind Goldman, this isn’t even a build!”. What can I tell you, I’m a sucker for the hazmat-guy minifig and all things G.I.T.D. Somebody told me this site started as a bunch of figbarf anyway, so hopefully you will forgive this break in your regularly scheduled programming. So what say you, constant reader, is this kind of image appropriate fair for the big blog, or strictly small-time action?

The Contaminated

The image comes courtesy of delgax and if this kind of shot is your bag too, he’s got a photostream packed with very classy minifig-based photography.

Hey, at least it isn’t a storm trooper walking across a chili-dog.

9 comments on “The Contaminated

  1. Lyichir

    I’m fine with it, since apart from featuring excellent Lego MOCs, this site also features some of the best Lego photography. But on the subject of photography (and for future reference), does anyone have any tips on photographing Glow-in-the-Dark parts? For a photo like this, would it be better to set up the shot in a dark room and flash it with a blacklight before taking the picture, or is the classic “rush-the-model-into-a-dark-room” acceptable?

  2. delgax

    Thanks for blogging one of my photos.

    Personally, I’d love to see more fig-barfs/mini-fig photography, I only got back into Lego about a year ago and that was due to seeing some impressive shots of mainly mini-figs on Flickr, and I think it would be a shame to ignore or miss out on some of that (especially some of the fig-barfs “Hammerstein NWC” does).

    For this shot, all I did was close the blinds, and “charged up” the glo-heads with a blacklight torch (£5 from amazon). The torch shone on the heads for a couple of seconds and they glow quite strongly for a few minutes after. I took about half a dozen shots with different exposure times, and I think this was around 5 secs. As the room wasn’t pitch black you can still see the torso’s and other details. I did do some slight editing in photoshop (cropping/scaling and dust removal), but this is more or less what came out of the camera.

  3. Deus

    This is totally legit, but if you go out of your way to blog atmospheric photos, do it more often. Not TBB style, but if you blog more of them, it will become TBB style.

  4. Tigmon74

    Lyichir, nothing beats a neon blacklight for charging glow-in-the-dark parts. A little ambient light can help keep the picture from coming out too dark as well.~H

  5. Keith Goldman Post author

    Thanks for the feedback gents, and specifically to delgax for his insight on photographing G.I.T.D. elements. Nobody seems to be complaining as long as the image is strong so I will continue down this path in the future.

  6. CatJuggling

    Yeah, I really like this photo and didn’t blink when it appeared on TBB. Not like that SHIP you just posted. ;p I think clever photography of a small scale or minifig close up can be really interesting and tell a good story just as much as a giant SHIP photoshopped in front of Babylon 5.

  7. Catsy

    Oh I do love me some blacklight and GitD stuff. XD

    Regarding questions about the hows and whats: about a year and a half ago I ran a contest in the Lego Blacklight Photography group; there is still a lot of good information in the discussion threads there about which Lego colors are fluorescent or phosphorescent, and how to shoot them. There’s also a lot of great examples of Lego blacklight shots in the group.

    Generally speaking, I have found that longer exposure times and lower exposure compensation at the lowest ISO possible gives you the most clarity, least grain and least amount of “washout” effect. But sometimes the best approach for getting a feel for it is exactly what delgax said: take a bunch of shots at different settings and see how they look.

    Also, don’t be afraid to stand right behind your camera holding a blacklight above the scene for the duration of the exposure in order to provide constant stimulation for the GitD elements. You can also try using a large enough blacklight like a “flash”: begin the exposure, and flip the light on for a moment and then back off. You can try varying the amount of time it stays on to get the amount of glow that you want.

    The main thing to be wary of when doing it this way is the purple tint that you can sometimes get on the highlights and specular reflections, but personally I actually like the “twilight” effect that this can have on certain scenes.

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