GSC 1/7 Saber Lily ~ Afternoon Break

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Last Sunday was basically Saber Lily ~ Distant Avalon Day. It rained heavily in the afternoon but I was planning to try an indoor shoot anyway. Lesson Number One: You can never have too many lights [but only if they are all the same type to avoid white balance problems]. Indoor lighting just doesn’t give an image the same richness as diffused morning/evening sunlight. I basically conscripted every movable light (and broke one in the course of doing of so. orz) Lesson Number Two: It can be surprisingly dusty in what seems like a clean room. I often had to stop halfway and use the little rubber blower to remove some errant piece of dust just floated by and then just happily attached itself to the lens. After a while, I just gave up. (15 large images follow)

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Aah, I do so love her trio of black ribbons.

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I used a blue vanguard sheet as the background during the morning shoot. But inspired by kodomut’s amazing review (via radiant dreamer), I went out to buy a larger black mounting board to use as the background for this shoot.

But it still wasn’t quite big enough. So I had to chop up and crop a lot of the photos because every so often some part of the figure would stick out of the background and the rest of the room intrude into the photo. But cropping is an interesting (if time consuming) activity in of itself and I can’t say that I’m completely displeased with having had to do it.

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Side and back profiles. The latter, methinks, emphasizes another one of my favourite aspects of this figure which is her petite little waist – emphasized every time when I pick her up.

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Besides her waist, her upper torso’s exposed areas really stand out. I particularly like how the curve of her pectorals melds into the swell of her bust which is then tucked under her armour-dress, a perfect and very sexy combination of princess and knight.

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I’m pretty sure Saber would not be pleased at all with this shot but it seems to me that no review is complete with a tj_han shot. Though everyone at the shop took a peek at her pantsu when I took her out of the box immediately following my purchase.

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These two photos really drove home to me how my position, and thus the angle of the shot, could affect the result [only because the unadvised mix of incandescent and fluorescent lighting, my bad]. The one on the right is more elevated than the one on the left but, even with the lighting setup being exactly the same, produced quite different results.

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Vivid demonstration of the More is Merrier it is when it comes to lightning and its end result after some basic Photoshopping; left (top + bottom) are without Photoshop’s Auto Levels and right (top + bottom) are with – almost the same for the top row but quite a difference for the bottom row.

The lighting setup was four ceiling lights (two warm white incandescent and two daylight energy saving) with one fluorescent desk lamp for right-side illumination and a large halogen standing lamp (titled precariously and propped up by random furniture) at 45 deg which was the illumination source from the left and also the brightest of the lot. The top row had this last light turned off compared to the bottom row which was on. Besides banishing the shadow over her face, it also allowed the Auto Levels to give a much more even feel to the whole picture. Would have been even better if I could have rigged up a diffuser to shine on her front though.

Last installment will be the outdoor late afternoon/evening shoot.

7 thoughts on “GSC 1/7 Saber Lily ~ Afternoon Break

  1. Wow, another very well done photoshoot for the lovely Saber. Ah, if only they had a Tohsaka Rin figure that was this beautiful… it might get me to finally take my first dive into figures.

    Looking forward to seeing how you do the evening shoot, could get some really fantastic pictures from that.

    1. I love Rin as a chara but her chara design (normal and Magical Girl for Fate/Hollow) just doesn’t make for an epic figure like Saber’s. But the anime gods may have heard your wish and something might just come up to tempt you into the world of figures in the future :D

  2. hi! Thanks for the linkback! I’m curious to know what kind of camera you’re using. Changing angles should not affect how the lighting changes, unless your camera is on full auto and it’s trying to compensate. It seems your white-balance control is inaccurate. That or you have both incandescent and natural lighting at the same time. From the looks of it, you’re using an incandescent desk lamp on the left, and maybe a window or a florescent on the right. Don’t mix the two. Your camera won’t be able to figure out the white balance.

    You must be using an auto ISO/exposure as well. When you change your position, the camera picks up more “white” and compensates by lowering the exposure (resulting in a darker image).

    If you want to go pro, consider getting a DSLR, or manually adjust the features of your camera.

    Anyway, good start. Some of your photos in your other post look really good.

    Adding you to my blog roll!

    1. Doh! Yes, you’re exactly right – incandescent (halogen) on the left and flourescent on the right. I did read about how one needs to change white balance settings in different indoor lighting conditions but it completely slipped my mind that a mix would confuse fully auto (P) mode. Thanks so much for your advice!

      I’m using a second-handed and pretty battered old Nikon D200 with Nikkor 18-200 VR lens (latter already had to be repaired once).

      1. I used florescent and incandescent lightings on my shoots too since I don’t have other lighting sources. I use RAW editing to compensate the WB.

        Thanks for the link!

      2. Currently RAW and RAW editing is still a bit beyond me but thanks for sharing your experience.

        Thanks also for adding a link in your marvelous post!

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