Photographing Fairies

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(CC BY 2.0
(CC BY 2.0 | Source

This is one of the simplest and creative photography projects that anyone with a camera and some open space can do. All it takes is a garden or forest setting and some small fairies figurines.

Remember that sometimes all you need is a little narrative to get your creative juices flowing. If you’re into portraiture but are stuck for inspiration, start a project recreate scenes from fairy tales or subjects from mythology.

Mythological creatures are hard to recreate unless you have the help of a good makeup artist. So far as the costumes toga styles work fairly well with many but keep in mind that costume and props are important for this type of work and editing creatively can really help your pictures come alive.

Begin by researching stories you want to recreate, plan locations and props, recruit some willing models and get started.

Some of the best settings are found that provides some green shrubbery flowers, grass, fallen leaves, wooden lots, mushrooms, small brooks and so on. You place your figures carefully upon the ground and take their photographs That is it, simple yet pleasing.

But be creative with how you place your figures., It is not just putting them on top of a bed of leaves. It takes a bit more creativity than that. Place them in positions where they seem to be natural.

A good technique to use when photographing them is to get very low to the ground so that you are actually looking at them while laying flat on your stomach. Also use a macro capable lens but not one that only allows for macro shots.

A better lens would be one that allows you some leverage in how close you can actually come to the figures. Do not come in so close that you clearly show them as being just plain figures,plus images that are very close or magnified tend to show the workmanship which is often not that good for the majority of these figures.

This is not so if you get some samples that are hand made by true craftsmen. Their attention to detail and work makes them look almost like real people, just much smaller and with wings. However, these often demand a price worthy of a true work of art.

Leave some room in your photos to capture part of the environmental elements where these figures are. Show some of the scenery to let your viewer understand the setting where the photographs are being taken.

The best figures are those that are already painted. but sometimes the paint used is too glossy. Using a light mixture of paint remover and alcohol or water gently brushing the figure with a cotton swab will remove this glossy surface.

If you have some time to spend and are good working with small pieces, then you can get some fake hair and carefully glue strands onto the painted "hair " of your figures. This makes them seem more "real'.

You can also repaint the figures using a small painter's brush like an artist would use to make very fine lines. You may also consider doing the painting with the aid of a magnifying glass, much like what hobbyists use.

If you want to do some silhouettes then any figure will do. For this technique use a small back light and photograph as if you were doing a night shot; place your camera on a solid surface and depress the shutter.


Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) | Source

For the regular daytime shots use a diffused light source to avoid catching reflections from the figure's surface.

Placing a reflector, which can be as simple as a white card, on one side of the figure and away from the frame will allow some of the ambient or artificial light source to reflect back unto the scene and usually eliminates dark spots.

Adding some small white Christmas lights and placing them some distance away but within the scope of the lens frame as well as using a wide aperture on your lens will capture their brightness or glow but will show them as out of focus highlights.

This should be done at dusk or at night or if in the studio, then it should be dark enough.

© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez

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