I came across a video on youtube a couple of days back featuring a guy named @sgtbananas. He's pretty well known in the toy photography genre.
Now thats not something that i've really considered before, but it looked like loads of fun, plus it was a legitimate excuse to buy some action figures!!
So, armed with a 6" Captain Marvel figure of Carol Danvers, i gave it a go.
We're approaching this from the opposite direction to many toy photographers it would seem. They were collectors that moved in to take pictures of their figures, Whereas we're starting with a photography background.
We've got our figure hot glued onto a slate base and covered with orchid medium that we happened to have in the studio. Its not going to be seen too clearly in the final image so it wasn't really important this time. We'll shoot a fairly large aperture, so the depth of field will be quite small. Pretty much only the figures head and shoulders will be in sharp focus. We added some other bits that were laying around to give some foreground and background interest.
Our light setup was similar to that we'd use for dark food photography. The scene was flagged with black card on 3 sides, with just a small slot on the left for the main light to feather across the subject. The 2 snooted lights added colour spots to the background and the right side of Carol Danvers.
after few adjustments we had a light balance that we could work with, then set about adding some movement. We throw/dropped the orchid bark at the figure as we released the shutter, which gives the effect of an explosion going off to the left of the camera.
We chose a couple of shots with different amounts of flying debris and made a composite in Photoshop. Then added a little smoke effect and fake lens flare and one of Photoshops LUT's to add the cinematic colours.
Its nowhere near to the standard of Sgt Bananas work, but tremendous fun and definitely something we'll be doing more of (i predict it'll be Star Wars next time!).
There are more action figure photographs on our toy photography page