I normally don’t spend any time retouching my photos. There’s something very satisfying about composing a shot, lighting it just right, and snapping a great picture. It’s those rare moments that I think that maybe I should start using the nofilter hashtag. But increasingly, I find myself taking the quick and dirty shot – the one where I’ve set up a figure in front of my computer monitor in my poorly-lit home office, holding an LED light in one hand and my camera phone unsteadily in the other. It usually takes five clicks to find a pic that’s even in focus.
It’s those shots that sometimes need help, and the tools, like Adobe Lightroom, are getting better and easier to use. Previously, I’d only used Lightroom to process pictures taken at events on my DSLR in RAW format. It makes the tedious work of cropping, adjusting exposures, and watermarking a little less so. And because I’m a self-taught amateur, I didn’t even know I could use Lightroom to make quick adjustments on the JPG files that my camera phone shoots.
Now, because I want to stay true to the “quick” here’s three Lightroom tips that you can use in just a couple of minutes to clean up that “dirty” shot. I’ll use Jitsu, shot one-handed with my camera phone, as an example. (I recommend maximizing your browser and clicking on the photos, to view them at their largest, with the fewest artifacts from JPG compression.)
I’ve been a fan of ActionFigurePics.com for a few years. I’ve mostly kept up with news and pics of Marvel Universe 3.75 figures as they were issued. What inspired me to do my own custom was a post on editing the Magneto figure that came in a 2 pack. I have that figure as well and plan on making my version soon. As you already know, too many of the Marvel Universe figs have first issues that have stunted or deformed bodies. Wolverine was my choice for my first custom because I still believe they have yet to make a completely satisfying figure of him. They are either too small or hunch-backed with a stunted torso.
If you have NOT seen the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, here is the required SPOILER ALERT… and please note that for future reference we have added you to our List of Raccoon and Tree Haters. Now, if you have seen this fantastic film, then you know that the credits include an awesome scene that’s spawned a slew of animated GIFs and the opportunity for the cutest product tie-in ever.
As someone who never got to collect Star Wars action figures as a kid (I was so deprived, right? ;-)), it’s been a real pleasure getting the Hasbro Star Wars Black Series figures. With Gentle Giant acting as the design studio much like the Four Horsemen have from DC Universe Classics, what the first wave has given us is a very good mix of detailed sculpt and articulation, with serviceable paint apps. The result is a group of action figures that look great and are very photogenic, and I’ve enjoyed snapping pictures of them.
One shot I wanted was Luke and Artoo in a flight hangar, before their run at the Death Star. I think the shot of the figures came out nicely, but the backdrop was only a limited success. In this post, I’ll share how this shot was created.
Once this was pointed out to me I just couldn’t unsee it – a regular Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man can’t hold his sword straight up in his iconic pose when HE HAS THE POWER! He can get pretty close, but since he just has an ordinary swivel wrist, he’s perpetually stuck holding the Power Sword nearly perpendicular to his forearm.
The latest He-Man variant, New Adventures He-Man doesn’t have that problem. In addition to the wrist swivel, he also has a hinge in each wrist. On his right wrist, the hinge allows him to move his hand back and forth, like a conductor tapping his baton against his lectern, or a politician gesturing emphatically that he did not have sexual relations with that woman. In other words, that means that NA He-Man can point his sword straight up.
If you’re like me, you’d rather the real regular He-Man be able to do the pose (did Mattel call it Grayskulling?) – in this post, I’ll show you how I gave He-Man the New Adventures He-Man hands. And don’t worry – even if you’ve never customized before, you can do it too – there’s almost no way you can screw it up.