Over quarantine I was tasked with adapting my photography to the situation of lockdown by being able to find interesting photos while being limited to my home. I took this opportunity to explore product photography, by taking photos of and capturing various videogames and videogame related products, which would especially be useful with my documentary now being changed to a smaller scope project.
Sonic Mania Vinyl
For this photograph I really wanted to tell a story. The soundtrack itself is very colourful and full of energy, so I wanted to capture this in the image, working with a higher contrast and using a Higher Dynamic Range setting to capture as much detail in colour as possible and really make it Pop! I used the leading lines of the record player to point and bring more focus to the main subject and make the Vinyl artwork really stand out, using a shallow depth of field with an aperture of 1.8 to leave the record and player out of focus while also letting their colours still pop and be visible to make it visible. This is why I focused on high key lighting, as it helps keep the subject in view and keeps visibility high as with product photography and advertising.
For this second photo of the vinyl I wanted to get more in focus, both the Record art, the player and Record so I shot at a more open aperture of 5.6, while also wanting to be a bit more experimental overall with the whole photo. The Record Player still has leading lines towards the album but it’s a lot less pronounced now with the main subject still being the art as it now projects a sharp reflection on the plexi of the player. I shot at an ISO of 400, to help ensure the photo was bright while also keeping a good amount of sharpness while having a shutter speed of 1/50th, being fairly slow and letting in a lot of light while delivering a “dreamy” appearance, complimented by the reflection as well as my editing to try and remove some contrast and focus on a slightly more washed out look. I feel like this darker tone contrasts a lot with the theme of the soundtrack though and while more visually interesting, the colours don’t lend themselves well to the theme
Downwell Collectors Edition
For these two images I wanted to try a more traditional shoot, standing the boxes up and showing the front and back as you would traditionally see in advertisements both of these were shot in a lower light at an aperture of 2.8 but I decided to experiment with the ISO a bit to capture some grain to add a “textured” look to the cardboard box, and I feel like it turned out well and sharp thanks to using a tripod mount. I used the rule of thirds to position both images to the left and right lines to make them the focus of attention and bring them to the viewers attention as well as lowering the contrast in post production to allow for a cooler look to the reds as well as capturing less shadows in the games and distancing them more easily from their backgrounds. These are very fast paced games though so I feel like I might have desaturated the colours a bit too much, not letting it pop as much but I feel like this lends it a more professional look.
Deltarune is a very mysterious and secret filled game, with the soundtrack portraying this, with the use of monochromatic colours as well as a very simplistic design. I wanted to capture the dream like feeling given from this game so I shot with my 50mm at f1.8 to get an extremely shallow depth of field while getting as close as I could while still keeping some details in focus.
Undertale Collectors Edition
For this photo I wanted to go for a professional look an feel, opting for a mostly black look as well as using the Rule of thirds to help frame the subject of the games and make sure they’re the main focus as well as the display which contrasts well against everything else due to it’s lighter colours. I also opted for a slight side view over a front view as I feel it leant more to fitting more into frame.
Pokémon Heart Gold Version, Boxed
Pokémon is a game about adventures, travelling the world and the great outdoors so I wanted to capture this photo out in the open to try and recreate that feeling of exploration. For the photograph, I wanted to get the wild feeling of the game, Grass is dangerous, huge and everywhere so I shot from a low angle to portray this and give a bit more danger to the grass using perspective and making it look longer through the angle. I shot this at an aperture of 2.8 to get a shallow depth of field as I wanted to leave the focus on the main game while still showcasing the other aspects, as outdoors the DS screen was too dim to show anything else as well as that, I shot at an ISO of 100 to ensure the image was extremely sharp and detailed which wasn’t a problem to get at a high shutter speed of 1000 due to the light present outside. I framed it so despite the angel focusing on the far right, the rule of thirds would ensure the main focus was still the boxed game but also highlighted the case and DS. One of the final things I did was change and tweak the colours to give it a vintage look, making the colours slightly more washed out to give that old time feeling as the game uses a classic pixel art and is now 11 years old. I also added to this feeling by applying a slight grain on top to try capture the nostalgia.
Photography in The Creative Media Production
One of the big benefits of photography during the process is building up a portfolio through taking photos of your work, briefs, real world productions can really help build one up. Then working with the digital photo manipulation software such as your digital darkroom and applications like Photoshop, can help you build up skills in photo manipulation as well as design, working with colour, file formats including RAW and compressed file formats. The theory behind photography, including framing of shots, lighting control, as well as how to analyse structures and apply creative techniques in other subjects.
Sometimes photography can come in handy for independent artists whether they’re musicians and making their own music and can supply their own album art as well as book covers, posters and more. Recording the film process through photographic snapshots can be useful to remember exactly where crew and camera were set up during recording. Photography knowledge and camera control knowledge as well as framing transfers right over to video, with all the same controls such as ISO, shutter speed, aperture, exposure and more being all used to create and capture the intended look.
Equipment, Techniques & Processes to support Photography.
The most important piece of equipment in photography is the Camera. This consists of the sensor as well as a Lens. the stock lens is usually enough for the user to learn how to use the camera as well as get some basic shots out of it or sometimes amazing shots if the user really knows how to work with the restraints offered by common 35-55mm zoom lenses. Lenses are the second most important, allowing various new shots to be captured depending on the lens chose, such as a lens with a closer range but shorter focus range being able to take good closeups, especially if it has a good low aperture such as 1.8, allowing for a shallow depth of field, or a wider lens which allows for a much higher aperture, allowing for a lot less light to get in but also being better for star photography due to the more light that can be let in by a longer shutter speed. The various types of lenses can change how you use your camera, with each having it’s pros and cons.
A tripod is also an important part of photography for those who want to get still shots and want to work with a smaller aperture and higher shutter speed, to let as much light in through the lens hole as possible, leading to lots of detail but requiring no movement as the slightest shaking of the hand can really throw off the sharpness and result in a shaky photo. Flash is also a prime piece of camera equipment for some people, allowing for nigh time portraits, brightening up the subject and allowing the camera to capture detail which would usually get lost to a high ISO due to grain and softness.
Techniques are extremely important in terms of how you get a shot and line it up as taking a photo without thinking of these can end up with a shot looking off or something being cut off or not being framed properly such as what you want the subject focus to be.
Firstly would be The Rule of Thirds. This is one of the most useful things to learn with photography as it helps create well balanced pretty shots. As it’s only a rule though it just acts as an easy guide to follow and can often be broken to still great shots. The Rule of thirds breaks an image down to thirds so you have 9 parts (Seen above). This can often easily be turned on in your camera or phone settings to help frame your shot. The points of interception are seen as where the main focus of the image should be, with multiple helping frame a shot easier
Another technique is leading lines. This is a technique in which the attention of the viewer is drawn to lines which lead to the main subject. This can be a pathway leading down to a person, tree branches leading to a log or clearing and so much more with Roadways and paths being the most common. This helps create a sense of motion as these lines lead to a point or infinity. In the photograph underneath, I used the pathway as they act as leading lines up to the archway/crossing. The wide angel look of this makes the path look a lot wider but as it gets further, it shrinks drastically. There are many more rules out there but these are the two main ones in Photography.