Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Old Photos- My Photo Archives From Before My Blog!

Today I looked at some old disc of photos I have taking over
the years. Most of them fall in the three categories.
Plants/gardening (there are more of them than anything
else.) Family and dolls.

I thought I would show you where I began. Not that I
have come such a long way but I lot of times you don't get to
see the beginning of things. When I started purchasing dolls,
I had doll couples but not families. I purchased guys to go
with girls or visa versa. The Laurents were my first family in
dolly land. (Although it was a while before they got their last
name. )

Here is a picture of KiKi with the first Terrence. I always
saw KiKi's husband having a beard.

He is now Terrence's best friend Menelik, the father of Malik.
I wasn't taking photos with much background back then.

Here is one of the first shots I took of the new Terrence and
KiKi as a couple. I have to give this new Steven doll a beard and
some gray hair.

I really like what I did with him and he inspired a family
and my blog.

As you can see, I even restyled them and took more pictures.
To me, they looked soo cute together. I could see the chemistry
in the photos even with the very poor camera back then!

I knew I wanted the Happy Family Grandparents as his family.
I thought he looked like a combination of their looks.

Did you know that grandpa had dimples? He is the cutest
thing! I knew he would be a pilot and I purchased this uniform
for him.

I did remove some of Grandma's wrinkles. I thought they
went a bit overboard with them.

Here is a shot of the Laurent men! Two are missing. LL and Termaine
are missing.

Above: Terrence, Toure' Steven, Tre' Grandpa Stephan and Terrell.
this is the first group photo I did. It was before I learned to change
the lighting! LOL!

This is I character haven't introduced really yet. I guest It is a preview.

Rafael DeSante'


Black Doll Enthusiast said...

What do you do now to minimize/eliminate shadowing?


Ms. Leo said...

Hey dbg of BDE, I wish I could tell you I did something! I have learned to use the macro setting on my new camera but that is all I know. I don't even think the camera used for these pictures had that setting. Taking better pictures and learning to use photoshop are on my do to list for this year.

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

Okay, thanks! I thought maybe you had developed a special technique to prevent it.

I use an overhead pole lamp that I have to move around to prevent the shadowing effect when I use a light background. Sometimes I either turn off the lamp or the camera's flash with the lighter background and adjust the color of the photograph using my image editor. I don't have to worry about the shadowing when the background in dark or black, but sometimes the dolls, especially dark skinned dolls with black hair, tend to fade into the black background.

I'd like to learn to use Photoshop, too!


Frannie said...

What did you use to get rid of some of the wrinkles on the Happy Family Grandpa?

Ms. Leo said...

Hey dbg of BDE, I mostly take pictures using day light. Sun light is my friend! I don't take pictures at night so I don't often us additional light. I will one day get lamps to bump up my picture taking but not yet. My biggest problem it taking pictures of very dark dolls too. I think the camera does focus well when I take pictures of them. I may need to ask around.

Frannie, I too use the professional stength acetone nail polish remover and a Q-tip. I make the point on the Q-tip and removed just a few of the wrinkles but not all. There were to many on the forehead for me.

Georgia Girl said...

These are nice pics. I like to see "how it began" pictures. My first pics of my dioramas are so bland. Lol! Your pics are not bad at all.

Hey, It's Muff said...

Most of these dolls are totally new to me. In the 7th photo, is that guy in the green shirt human? I'm not being funny, it's just that he has a look of an elf or something.

limbe dolls said...

Thanks for sharing your early photos. You have many different faces. Mattel dolls can be very homogeneous so your collection is very interesting.

As for photography, the autofocus feature on digital cameras is designed to take the lightest area of the image as the focal point. If you have a dark skinned doll against a light background, the doll will be out of focus. Turning off the autofocus will help, but digital cameras generally do not handle high contrast well so using a light gray background can improve the focus. Sky blue also works well for most skin tones -- notice that many drivers' license and ID photos have a blue background.

Like you I prefer to use daylight. You can minimize some of the shadows by experimenting with the position of your subjects relative to the light source.

The time of day also affects the angle of the light and consequently the shadows. If I position my diorama opposite a south facing window, in the morning the light will slant in from the east and in the afternoon it will slant in from the west which will create shadows on one side or other of the scene. The angle of the light will change with the seasons so that the shadows you see at 9am in October will be different from the shadows you see at 9am in April. Once again changing the position of your scene relative to the light source will reduce some of the shadows.

Artificial lights always cast shadows. Once you bring one in, you almost always have to use two or three more to balance the lighting. In film and television the key light illuminates the whole scene and sets the level of brightness you want. The back light is focused on the background and helps separate the subject from the background. The fill lights focus on the subject at angles that kill the shadows from the key light and the back light. You can use small LED lamps or flashlights to light your scenes.

Finally, for those who cannot afford Photoshop, there is a free program called Gimp that does most of what Photoshop does.

Hope this helps. I'm planning to make some tutorials on shooting doll photos and videos but I probably won't have time to do them until this summer.

Marta said...

Hello from Spain: I love the Happy Family grandparents. I used to create the blog also made them pictures of my Barbies with their families. I also bought the Ken or Shellys as the resemblance to Barbie. Great! Keep in touch

Ms. Leo said...

limbe dolls, this is why I like the net and doll people! You put questions into the universe and you get an answer! Thank you so very much for you answers to photo questions. I am sure many who read my blog wil benefit from your comment!

Ms. Leo said...

Thanks Marta! It is good to know that great minds think alike! I will stay in touch!

D7ana said...

Hi Ms. Leo! Nice to see your earlier photos. I, too, did not and sometimes do not use much for background. Sigh. I need to get more free space so that I can set up better photos.

Interesting to see your people and to hear about their evolving relationships.

Ms. Leo said...

Hey D7ana! Thanks for commenting. I decided about a year ago to only to minimal backgrounds for doll comparisons. That way the background doesn't compete with the point I'm trying to make (the differences of the dolls). I have found that lush photos make them more interesting to look at. So that is what I try to do if it is not a comparison. I have, I think like you, a lot of doll items that may never see the light of day if I don't photo them. I realized that there is already one doll museum in Philly and my dolls and items should be for my fun.

I do think you have waaay more doll items than we have seen on your blog, so I'm waiting to see more! ;)

Vanessa said...

You know I've always admired your male collection. I love what you did to all your men. And Rafael looks like someone I would date, probably because he reminds me a little of Indris Elba (last name not right. Don't want to look it up and get sidetracked).

Ms. Leo said...

Well Vanessa!, I love me so Idris Elba! I like look of Stinger Bell better than John Luther but I love him too!

I never realized that I changed my men up that much until I found those photos. I changed and gave both versions of Terrence gray hair and I painted a beard on Terrell-Rio Steven. I think he was the first to get a repaint. I really need to learn to tips for Chyna dolls!

I wil try to post more of my men this year. They don't do anyone any good sitting in a box. You will see more of Rafael.

PS, I will be happy when comments section has spell check!