Hey Gunpla lovers,
AllDaLazurs here, otherwise known as Adam K. I’m here to show you a way to make your photos of your Gundam models (and other laser shooting, beam-sword wielding mecha) stand out in a very unique way. Forget about plastic effect parts – how about having your models shooting beams of actual light?
There are some pretty cool and somewhat advanced photography techniques here, but with some practice, you will end up with some pretty awesome photos showing off your models in a totally new way, like this:
In this series, I’m going to give you the knowledge, as well as show you what materials and what equipment you will need, to make Destiny Gundam wing effects, beam sword effects, and beam gun effects. There will be three more tutorials on how to accomplish the specific effects, so this introductory post will be more theoretical.
As I said before, this is somewhat advanced photography, so a knowledge of shooting with a camera in manual mode is important.
In terms of photography gear, what you will need is a DSLR camera with a lens (or any camera that includes a manual mode), and a tripod. Your setup will look something like this:
The Photography Technique: The photography technique being used to make these photos is called light painting photography. Basically, you wave lights in front of your camera to get light streaks in your photo. But to get nice, big, bright streaks like we want, you have to change the settings on your camera. Usually photos are taken in a fraction of a second, anywhere from 1/60th of a second to 1/4,000 of a second, which is way too fast for this. To get the streaks we want, we have to let light into the camera for much longer: for 30 seconds to be exact.
This is called a long exposure. It will allow you to create light effects in your photo for 30 seconds. For many effects, that is plenty of time. For those of you who know how to change settings on your camera, these are the settings I used for all my shots:
Here, my camera shows a 30 second long photo (see number on bottom left), an ISO (sensor sensitivity) of 100 (top center), and an f-stop of 18 (see bottom center number).
Lights and Other Materials: Here are the lights and other materials you will need to accomplish the effects in the way I am going to show you. There are a million possibilities when it comes to light painting photos, so you can probably get similar or better effects with different lights and materials, but here is what I used:
On the top left is an automotive work light, and to the right are cardboard stencils I cut out, along with sheets of tissue paper in different colors. These are used to make white light coming from your flashlight any color you want. Below and to the left is a red laser pointer, a pair of rubber bands, and a small white LED flash light.
That is all you will need. To learn how to harness this information and these materials, check out my other posts, where I will walk you through how to make beam gun, beam sword and Destiny wing effects. However, I encourage you to try out light painting and see what effects you can make yourself as well.
Remember, these effects are tricky, so experiment a lot!
A knowledge of photoshop or other editing software will be helpful as well, as you can clean up some of your mistakes, digitally remove stands, or even put in a starry background.
I can’t wait to see what other Gunpla lovers come up with when using these light painting photography techniques, so feel free to share!
Thanks again for reading, and stay tuned for Part 2! I’m Adam K, aka AllDaLazurs.