We have the follow up to last weeks Image Analysis from newcomer Alex Burchill and this time around he breaks down his photographic process in an exclusive look behind the scenes on one of his latest shoots.
“Having not much experience in studio photography I took a basic approach to taking my photos, but put a lot of thought into purchasing my equipment. Having subjects was a great benefit to me when I started. I already had so many things to photograph and share, but shooting with a phone camera in low lighting wasn’t capturing the creative vision I had, so I stepped up my game.”
When I first decided to share my photography I started with my phone camera, which was a perfectly decent 20MP Lumia 950. It captures great detail, and a lot my early work was sharp and crisp but it was missing something vitally important. Lighting. Lighting really opened up my photography, and I started to capture images I could be proud of and got to be more creative with my shots.
This was when i purchased my first studio lighting kit, it was a Polaroid table top kit that folded up into a carry case,but it came with a great set of lights and a tripod as well as colored backdrops, I loved how much better it made my photos. It allowed me to capture rich detail and light my subjects more adequately.
This is my current setup. Shortly after purchasing my new studio lighting kit I bought my first camera, it was a Nikon D3300. I had read this was the best in class for beginner to intermediate photography so I bought it after doing some research of my own. This is where it changed for me, because I didn’t feel like I was taking ‘just ok’ shots with my phone, I felt like I was unlocking a creative part of myself that I had yet to find, having tools can allow you to take photos yes, but having the right tools for what I wanted to show made a huge difference to my work.
My photography rapidly improved after this, and I was taking my photography to more creative places every time I turned my camera on, new ideas would surge into my head about photo series or cool ideas for posing my subjects. It was amazing
I use a AF-P DX NIKKOR 18–55 mm lens with my camera for the majority of my shots, and I have a spare 55-200mm AF-S Lens for telephoto shots, I find the 18-55mm lens works best for me since most of my shots are going to be at close range and I have recently purchased a Macro lens for getting even closer.
Taking a photo is another challenge in itself, you don’t want a bland subject and you don’t want a nice subject to appear bland by not posing it right. To add to the challenge you’ve got to balance your need to satisfy your creativity with shooting the positive side of the collectible, as well as taking into account the composition, lighting and theme of the photo, it’s tough, but if you follow your instincts it is achievable. I start out by posing my subject in an appealing way, something that compliments it as it is, and gives the intended impression of what I see when i look at it, what I’m trying to capture is the admiration I have for this piece.
After I take the photo, its still not job done, publish! No theres much more to editing than people give it credit. Some of my photos where the lighting was perfect, there was no noise, no bad aspects or it looked good right out of the camera, I would gladly publish it raw, but its incredibly rare when I would look at an image and say yes I’m happy with that, knowing what I can do with the editing process, for this I take my image to Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Two tools I couldn’t go without, they really bring my vision to life, and allow me to present my work in the best possible way.
What you see as a photographer and what others see when they look at your work are two different things, I want it to awe inspire the people who view it, to share in the admiration I have for this piece. When my image is on my computer and I start changing contrast, lighting, shadows and adding my personal touches to it, it starts to look like something I’m ready to share, and hopefully its something people will enjoy, for me as a photographer, that’s extremely rewarding!”
This behind the scenes look at Alex’s work coupled with his last feature analysing his “Avengers Down” series has proved to us that Alex has what it takes to really make it big within our Toy Photography community and has earned his title as one of this years Ones To Watch. Catch up with Alex’s work over on Instagram @toyssandstuff and leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts.
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