12 wonderful toy pictures with no AI

There’s a variety of AI artwork on the market and plenty of wonderful digital creators, however we wished to pay homage to create artwork in-camera. (Even when a little bit of Photoshop is concerned). What can be a greater manner than utilizing toys to take action? Being small and wonderous, you possibly can create complete universes with toys and inform wonderful tales.

Because of this just a few weeks in the past, we began our Toy pictures contest with Zhiyun, our sponsor, and two wonderful judges: Anna Bitanga, a.okay.a 4 Bricks Tall, and Jason Yang, a.okay.a @workmoreorless. We had over 420 entries so the competitors was fierce, however right here we’re with a ultimate choice.

Lego class winners

For the profitable LEGO picture, I used to be searching for photographs that present good choices about digicam gear and settings, fascinating lighting, sturdy compositions, and unique ideas.

LEGO minifigures and fashions might be robust topics to shoot as a result of the fabric is a really shiny plastic and the surfaces are planar or cylindrical, making reflections and glare an enormous downside. Controlling these distractions with cautious digicam angles, gentle placement, and/or CPL filters is paramount.

LEGO toys are largely bricks and plates so getting the traces straight might be fairly tough too. LEGO minifigures are iconic and have a variety of expressions to select from, but in addition very restricted in articulation so posing can be an enormous problem.

There have been a variety of pictures that met all 4 standards and the challenges particular to LEGO pictures, so it was robust to decide on the first-place winner amongst these.

First place: Ryo Tomita

The primary place goes to this unbelievable picture of a warehouse employee fumbling with a loaded forklift.

Nice, enjoyable idea and I really like the dynamism on this scene: the falling crates, the toppling forklift, and the barely-holding-on operator. That in all probability took a bunch of putty, wires, and articulating arms to rearrange.

Ryo constructed up the scene to maintain us engaged along with his picture: nice use of foreground parts, shapes, and heights from entrance to again.

The hotter topic in opposition to the cooler tones of the warehouse works very properly to isolate the topic. I additionally admire the laborious gentle– it’s not used a lot by LEGO photographers as a result of it’s tougher to regulate reflections with, however that’s additionally what makes Ryo’s picture stand out among the many relaxation. The highlighting across the edges of the topic additionally makes the topic pop.

This picture ticks all the standards packing containers for me plus it exhibits the light-hearted humor of LEGO.

Second place: Arek Truszkowski

Arek’s picture is an excellent instance of embracing shadow in toy pictures with out going darkish in idea. There’s a variety of texture right here from the greebling (LEGO jargon for detailing) within the partitions right down to the tiny particles of mist suspended within the gentle.

The topic is posed merely however purposefully in the direction of the sunshine. I really like how small the photographer selected to border the minifig– once more, bucking a development of fill-the-frame usually utilized in LEGO pictures.

Crimson isn’t the colour alternative I might suppose to make however the white/blue astronaut in opposition to it’s arresting. It additionally makes me query if it is a hopeful or ominous picture. I don’t know however it made me suppose, which is a feat in our days of the limitless scroll.

Third place: Kenton Anderson

Kenton’s picture stood out due to the bizarre digicam angle he used on this picture of a little bit child flying over town streets in a tiny crimson airplane.

Talking of crimson once more, that’s a shade that pulls consideration. Right here, it’s used in opposition to one other crimson object that’s transferring in the other way– a pleasant implied line there.

There are extra sturdy traces on the street that make my eye transfer diagonally throughout the body and linger a bit longer

Motion class winners

I used to be utterly blown away by not solely the variety of entries for this toy pictures problem but in addition the extent of high quality within the submissions. With 428 submissions from 133 artistic photographers, selecting my prime 3 was a problem! Happily, I used to be capable of focus solely on the Motion Determine class, nonetheless, there have been nonetheless a handful of photographs that integrated each LEGO and Motion Figures.

When critiquing the pictures, I relied on just a few standards to assist with the general course of:

Idea: A well-crafted story can encourage and delight. A nonetheless picture, or {photograph} in our case, has the problem of telling a narrative inside a single second in time. Inside that story, I’m drawn to ideas which can be distinctive, emotive, and wealthy with element.

Creativity: Artists who problem themselves are to be admired. Whether or not it’s creating with an genuine fashion or fixing issues in a intelligent manner, creativity provides depth.

High quality: Producing any sort of artwork requires thoughtfulness, intentionality, and function. When it’s achieved with excellence, the standard is obvious. I admire an artist’s consideration to element and an illustration of high-level execution inside their work.

First place: Roger Gonzales

What an absolute TKO for this problem! This idea was good in it’s simplicity with a masterful composition. The unfavorable area across the topics gives a unbelievable sense of scale and distinction. The great use of shade together with the intentionality of focus attracts the viewer into the story, making this the highest contender for me. I additionally give Roger bonus factors for implementing each motion figures and LEGO for this submission. Congrats!

Second Place: Danny Koh

I’m all the time impressed by toy photographers that suppose outdoors the field. This hilarious mash-up of Marvel’s Captain America utilizing DC’s Superman as a bulletproof protect is extraordinarily artistic! This dynamic composition and cautious use of shade mix to create each motion and readability. Utilizing sensible pictures together with wonderful digital compositing, Danny is ready to inform a singular story with each pixels and plastic.

Third place: Jeff Junatas

It’s obvious that there are not any strings holding Jeff down in the case of toy pictures! This shot is an ideal instance of how sensible and digital compositing can coexist and make one thing that completely rocks. The lighting units the tone of the story and provides focus and hierarchy for the viewer.

Motion determine class prize: Zhiyun MOLUS X100

Superb for studio, movie, TV, and particularly location capturing, the 5.7 x 3.7 x 1.4″ MOLUS X100 Bi-Color Pocket COB Monolight from Zhiyun has COB LEDs and boasts a number {of professional} options in a really small package deal. The X100 has a large variable shade vary of 2700 to 6500K with excessive CRI/TLCI 95/97 scores and dims from 0 to 100%. Colour and brightness might be adjusted on the fixture, however you may as well make modifications wirelessly utilizing Zhiyun’s app. A bonus characteristic is the sunshine’s Music Mode which is a recording operate that permits automated lighting management together with music rhythm to create a particular environment.

LEGO class prize: Zhiyun MOLUS G60

Superb for studio, movie, TV, and particularly location capturing, the three.8 x 2.6 x 2.6″ MOLUS G60 Bi-Color Pocket COB Monolight from Zhiyun has COB LEDs and boasts a number {of professional} options in a really small package deal. The G60 has a large variable shade vary of 2700 to 6500K with excessive CRI/TLCI 96/97 scores and dims from 0 to 100%. Colour and brightness might be adjusted on the fixture, however you may as well make modifications wirelessly utilizing Zhiyun’s app

The judges

Jason Yang – Motion class

My identify is Jason Yang, however chances are you’ll know me as @workmoreorless the place I exploit pictures to discover the great world of toys and collectibles. Outdoors of my artistic outlet by toy pictures, I work professionally as a designer, animator, and illustrator by my artistic providers enterprise, Invisible Element. I’ve had the distinction of working with firms of all sizes, together with Google, McDonald’s, Hasbro, and ESPN. My 25+ years of business expertise and data have allowed me to method pictures with a singular perspective.

Over the previous a number of years, I’ve used toy pictures as a medium to understand artistic ideas on a smaller scale. In doing so, my involvement locally continues to develop. The relationships I’ve constructed personally with different artists and professionally with quite a few manufacturers have develop into an vital facet of my life. In actual fact, I’ve partnered with a staff of toy photographers and buddies to create a community-focused collaborative referred to as The Figment Five.

My aim with Work More Or Less is to encourage, encourage, and train others how you can use toy pictures to discover and understand their very own artistic concepts. Free assets can be found on my web site for these desirous to study and prepared to spend money on their very own private development and improvement.

Anna Bitanga – LEGO class

I’m Anna Bitanga, higher identified within the toy pictures neighborhood as Four Bricks Tall. I’ve been a photographer for over 20 years, capturing environmental portraits (of people!) and experimenting with all types of genres like product, editorial, macro, architectural, panorama, and documentary. You’ll discover these influences and experiences in my LEGO toy pictures.

I handle the most important LEGO toy pictures neighborhood, BrickCentral, which recurrently runs picture contests, I function its ambassador to The LEGO Group, and I’ve judged the Flickr x LEGO picture contest. I’ve been featured on Sony Alpha Universe and within the LEGO In Focus guide about LEGO pictures.

I additionally train and write about toy pictures and philosophy on YouTube and Substack.

Honorable mentions:

Jonas Vargas

I admire when toy photographers construct scenes with LEGO bricks, and infrequently that simply means a easy building as on this picture by Jonas.

One enormous benefit LEGO photographers have is the power to create the setting and props they want in system. Like a painter, this photographer’s scene was made as a composition alternative: desaturated tones as a backdrop for the colourful hero, handrails as main traces, sample in unfavorable area for curiosity, and so forth. Even the small element of the mouse pointing in the direction of the motion is clearly a alternative of eyelines.

Numerous artwork data right here mixed with easy however efficient lighting and a touching idea.

Adam Burke

I really like the creativity and total idea of this picture that options certainly one of my favourite animated characters, the Iron Big! By means of refined and easy posing, Adam offers a real-life really feel as he bodily interacts throughout the scene. The lighting and wonderful framing make this really feel much less like a photograph and extra like a portray, making Adam a grasp of each gentle and magic!

Benedek Lampert

I really like medieval themes and this set particularly is certainly one of my all-time favourite LEGO fashions. I’ve shot this outdoor as properly so I do know what a problem it’s to move (with out breaking!), discover a becoming location, and battle mosquitoes whereas working shortly in opposition to a transferring solar and breaking your again to get down low.

Not many LEGO photographers try to shoot buildings, a lot much less within the wild, however Benedek does this with aplomb. On prime of that, the tiny lights within the mannequin and environment to convey them out extra actually makes the picture come alive!

Tung Pham

This can be a tea social gathering I’d like to be invited to! Tung shows an unimaginable ability of drawing within the viewer by stunning lighting, composition, and storytelling. The pure gentle throughout the body has an virtually magical aesthetic that compliments the figures throughout the scene. Each factor within the shot feels intentional and exhibits a excessive stage of competency.

Sergi Paredes

And at last, generally a easy minifigure with only a few brick parts could make for an efficient picture like this one by Sergio.

It’s tempting to all the time shoot with the topic’s face seen, so it’s a welcome break from the standard to see one utterly turned away. Whereas I’m not a selected fan of utilizing IP in pictures (though LEGO is one enormous IP itself), it’s tougher to acknowledge Disney’s Coco character Miguel when posed like this, subsequently it helps me purchase in.

Lovely colours, sturdy main traces, a number of texture, and a few small particulars actually helped this picture stand out.

Pradono Kusumo

It’s great when an artist creates artwork that provides you perception into their character. With this fantastically meta picture of a toy taking an image of toys, Pradono does precisely that by bringing a pleasant and humorous idea to life. I admire using varied scales and characters together with the layered storytelling – did you discover Darth Vader within the background?