29. March 2017 by · Comments Off on Figure Fight 40: Alter Popura & Yamada · Categories: Photo Shoots · Tags: , , ,

For the fortieth Photo Fight, Jeff and I each had challenges involving shooting two figures from the same show. In my case I got to use my awesome Alter figures of Taneshima Popura and Yamada Aoi from the show “Working!!”. This time the challenge was,

Shoot these two figures in an arrangement that is complimentary to each other (more or less) with nice neutral lighting, then composite that shot on top of a background derivative of [the style of the geometric backgrounds in the show].

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16. November 2016 by · Comments Off on Figure Photo Fight 39: Persona 3 – Aegis – 1/6 – ART WORKS (Alter) · Categories: Photo Shoots · Tags: , , ,

Warning: saturation abuse ahead.


Neil’s challenge:

This figure has a lot of subtle detail in the shading in the face, the sparkles in the hair plastic and the printing on the eyes. Your task is to do a portrait shot with high contrast, saturation and sharpness to make those details POP.

I asked him if I could add creative lighting to the toolbox to make the face on this figure jump out and he OK’d it, so I employed a trick I learned a long time ago with this figure – the addition of a fluorescent “black” light has a tendency to make some of the whites and reds really scream. It was also responsible for that purple cast on the back of my lightbox, but fortunately I think it mostly worked out.

Most of the work happened in post, though, which I suspect is what Neil had in mind. The contrast here is about half as amplified as I usually go with when touching up every day photos, and likewise the saturation is high enough to make me want to stare down my nose and sneer. The irises especially – for whatever reason they just wanted to come out flat, so I selected them individually and really kicked them in the ass, it’s about a 50% boost. As for sharpness – I added very little. The sparkles in the hair came out on their own, as much as they were ever going to (as mine, at least, have faded slightly over time), and the addition of sharpness beyond about 2% served to do nothing other than introduce grain.

If this is his revenge for my asking him to oversaturate his last photo fight shot, man did he ever get it.

27. July 2014 by · Comments Off on Figure Photo Fight 9: Working!! – Taneshima Popura – 1/8 (Alter) · Categories: Photo Shoots · Tags: , ,


Neil’s challenge for me this week was:

“Wagnaria!” You can figure out how to interpret that, but basically the shot should remind one of the restaurant with more than just the figure.

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28. June 2014 by · Comments Off on Figure Photo Fight 5: Alter KOS-MOS – 1/6 – Swimwear Ver. · Categories: Photo Shoots · Tags: , ,


This week’s challenge involved Alter’s 1/6 KOS-MOS Swimwear ver., and the hook was “Wetness. The figure doesn’t have to have water on it, but the photo must evoke the concept of water or wetness.”

This was kind of my plan C, so I don’t have a lot to say about it. I used a mister loaded with distilled water to get the drops on the figure and gently used a cotton swab to remove them from the swimsuit (where water would not naturally bead, were this a person). The takeaway for the week is that water is really, really hard to work with.


14. June 2014 by · Comments Off on Figure Photo Fight 3: Fate/Hollow Ataraxia – Saber – 1/6 – Maid ver. (Alter) · Categories: Photo Shoots · Tags: , , ,


I have never taken a good photograph of this figure.

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10. June 2014 by · Comments Off on Figure Photo Fight 3: Alter Aigis · Categories: Photo Shoots · Tags: , , ,


For our third Figure Photo Fight, Jeff threw me a curve ball. All of my photos are cleaned up in Photoshop to some degree, but this time Photoshop was a requirement for the challenge. For my figure Jeff picked Alter’s very excellent Aigis. I think that the camera just eats that figure up with it’s subtle contrasts in paint types, translucent hair, etc. The difficulty was in what I had to do with it. Jeff told me, “Your challenge is that the final product must be desaturated/greyscale except for one color. Which color you choose to leave is up to you, but remember that red has been done to death.”

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19. April 2014 by · Comments Off on Figure Unboxing: Ano Natsu de Matteru – Tanigawa Kanna – 1/6 (Alter) · Categories: Unboxing · Tags: , , , ,

So just in case you’re new to this, here’s the thing with Alter. Typically in mid summer or winter, right around whenever Wonder Festival hits, they’ll release one or two sets of prototype photos. These prototypes usually look completely finished, and if it’s a character you like, or associated with a series you enjoyed, that prototype will knock your socks off. The projected price, if any, will be reasonable, and the release date will say something innocuous, like “After June”.

The thing is, “After June” includes July, August, September, October, November and December, as well as five other months in the following year until they have to change that release date to “After June” again. Oh, they’ll take pity on you and change it to say “After July”, “After August” et cetera. You’ll keep moving the cost of the figure in your budget, occasionally cringing when it makes a month really expensive, and then, out of nowhere and in the middle of a month, an in stock notification from your retailer of choice will land in your Inbox.

And then you get the figure and it’s absolutely perfect and you forget all about how angry the constant delays made you and you stop calling them “Later” for at least the next few weeks.

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