Figure Photography Diary | Minami Kotori | 04.01.2020Figure Photography Diary | Minami Kotori | 04.01.2020Diary

CitrinyaCitrinya5 månader sedan
Hello hello, and welcome to another blog post of mine!
Today's edition features something that I really love to do- figure photography! This will be part diary, part process, and part tutorial, so I hope y'all enjoy as much as I did making and putting everything together. This is also a bit image heavy, so do be aware of that as you continue!

I'm also using a new image host, so please let me know if the photos have issues!

My work has temporarily shut down due to COVID-19, so I've found myself with quite a bit of free time, which I've been filling by playing the new Animal Crossing, drawing, and staring lovingly at my collection (as I'm sure some if not most of you have as well). Today's the day, though, that I finally got the motivation to do a figure shoot with one of my newer additions to my collection: White Day Kotori (ITEM #742658)!

As soon as I got her in, she became one of the centerpieces to my Kotori shrine collection, and I've been wanting to do some photography with her for a while. Her dreamy expression, elegant pose, and absolutely stunning outfit make this a very fun figure to shoot (and just enjoy too, of course).

With that being said, I wanted to make a small set to capture that dreamy aura that this figure has. Overall, I wanted a bright image with pinks, blues, and whites to mimic the figure's coloration, so I did have to gather a few items. Keep in mind that this is completely for my own enjoyment and nothing fancy whatsoever (I don't have the space as of the moment).
-- Pt. 1 : Materials --
The Base
Literally just a blanket


For the base background of the set, I simply draped a blanket over the back of a chair and called it a day. The vertical height that the chair back has gives a good background to work with without getting unwanted objects in the shot. I faced the set towards a window for that natural lighting (and also because I didn't feel like getting out my good spotlights). Its soft, plush texture was the main inspiration for using this particular one, even though the texture itself isn't seen much in the final images.

Peonies and Hyacinths


These are just dollar store fake flowers I had lying around from previous decor-making, and I thought they complimented Kotori's color scheme quite nicely! Originally I was only going to use the peonies, but I'm glad I found the hyacinths as well for an extra pop of color.

The Base pt. 2
Extra fluffy edition


Because Kotori is an angel in this outfit, and quite literally, I used some cotton stuffing to act as clouds for quite a bit of the rest of the base, as well as adding some behind her on the blanket as well. This gives the final shots a bit of a haziness and more of a soft feeling than just the blanket and flowers by themselves.

Everything together!


I'm already expecting a "Wait, what's that blue disc behind her??" - that's actually Kotori's base! I thought the gradation looked nice, so I stuck it in there too.

-- Pt. 2 : Actual Photography --

Finally, right? I have an old Cannon I like to take photos with because my phone is garbage and I actually had the motivation to bring it out today! Yay me! For those of you just getting into photography, don't be discouraged if you find yourself taking 100 shots and only liking two of them. That's the life of a photographer, lol and also pretty much what I did. For the simplicity of this article, I'll just be showing the one that I liked the most out of my mini shoot (and also because it directly relates to the next part).


This is a camera RAW, which means it hasn't been edited at all. I didn't use a flash for this image, but I did with some of the other photos in this shoot.

When picking your favorite images of the bunch, be sure to look for things like focus, framing, and overall composition. Things like lighting and color can be changed easily, but the former three things are the most difficult to alter or edit out. You might be tempted at this stage to call it quits, especially if your photos don't look like what you often see posted on here, but that's the magic of photo editing!

-- Pt. 2 : Edits and Touch-ups --

So, you made it all the way through to part three! (Why does everything I write end up so long?) Editing is actually one of my favorite parts of photography in general, since it's where I get to really make the final product look super pretty. I use PaintTool Sai to illustrate, so that's also what I use to edit. By all means, use the software that you're most comfortable with, though! I'm pretty sure that photo editing isn't Sai's intended use anyway.

My Workflow (generally)

1. Import image into Sai.


This should be obvious, but you never know!

2. Copy original image twice.
3. Lock and hide the first copy (I put it in a folder since Sai doesn't actually have the option to lock layers the normal way).
4. Set the second copy to overlay at a low opacity (generally between 19-30%).


The first copy is just in case you accidentally do something with your original base layer. Believe me, it's just easier making this a habit instead of trying to find and import the original file when you do happen to mess up!

The second copy is to sharpen and saturate the image a little bit more, so use your own discretion when it comes to exact opacity.

5. Create a new layer.
6. Eyedrop the closest color to what is supposed to be white in your image. You should get a color that isn't pure white.


I eyedropped where the red circle is.

7. Using the color wheel, change your eyedropped color to its compliment (that's halfway around the wheel). Don't mess with the saturation.
8. Fill your new layer with this color, and set it to overlay at a medium opacity (50-60%).


By using the color's compliment, you neutralize any color cast that might be present. If you like the color cast (for dramatic lighting, for example), you can either skip this step or add it back in later. The overlay layer here also adds sharpness and lightens things up a bit too.

9. Create a new layer and set it to screen. Color in what you want to be the lightest portions of your image with a light neutral grey.


If you're feeling adventurous, you can add a color tint here instead! Don't feel the need to be extremely neat or anything here. A couple of color blocks will do just fine.

10. Blend and set to a low opacity (19-30%).


That looks better!

11. Create a new layer, and set it to overlay at a medium opacity (50-65%).
12. Eyedrop the darkest part of the skin and color over the face/surrounding area.


This counters how screen layers tend to wash out the face and eyes.


After this, you can continue to mess with screen and overlay layers in different opacities to create the look that you like best! Be careful not to overexpose the face though, since it will wash out and make the finer details of the figure harder to see.
And we're done!


The other few images from this shoot can be found on my profile, so feel free to take a look if you'd like to see them!

Thanks for reading! ♡
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Perky_Pat5 månader sedan#77157635I've never thought about colouring over my images during editing. I tried this using GIMP and it was pretty fun ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ Thank you for introducing me to a cool new technique!

Overlays are a really common technique in digital illustration, and I’ve found them to be quite useful during photo editing too, so I’m glad you enjoyed it!
5 månader sedan
I've never thought about colouring over my images during editing. I tried this using GIMP and it was pretty fun ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ Thank you for introducing me to a cool new technique!
5 månader sedan
Cloudberry5 månader sedan#77114313That's pretty neat that you snuck in Minami's base into your photography...
And I was looking for photography editing tutorials and you just made one that's pretty convenient... I just wish my laptop could run Sai though :{
Gonna bookmark this as reference when I get a new computer

Thank you! I thought she needed something extra in the background and her base was conveniently right there, lol.

You can really use any software that you like for editing, I just happen to use Sai! The main steps are pretty much the same with whatever you use, and that includes your phone’s built in photo editor too! Sharpen > fix color cast > brightness is pretty much what it boils down to no matter what you’re using. (´v`=)
5 månader sedan
That's pretty neat that you snuck in Minami's base into your photography...

And I was looking for photography editing tutorials and you just made one that's pretty convenient... I just wish my laptop could run Sai though :{

Gonna bookmark this as reference when I get a new computer
5 månader sedan
Pre-owned figures in top quality and good value

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