Monday, August 27, 2012

Decent Photos using Built-in Flash?

Is it possible for us mortal hobbyists?

YES! Built-in flash usually gets a bad rep for producing unflattering photos, but here's a neat trick I learned from my friends Trisha and Nix: use a handy dandy white card in front of the flash!

Like so! (Pardon the webcam photo, haha)

What the card does is direct the light from the flash to a different direction (depending on how you tilt the card), diffusing the light in the process. This is very useful for people like me who don't have a lot of lighting equipment at their disposal.

Here's a before and after example:

Not bad, right? ^u^

The downside to this trick is that it's very inconsistent. Sometimes it takes dozens of test shots before you finally achieve the effect you're looking for. However, inconsistency can also be transformed into flexibility! Just experiment! :D

Here are some sample shots taken using this technique, using various positions of the card. As you can see, the overall effect differs with the change of setting as well.

The card was farther from the flash in the second photo, which made the light reflect on the surrounding objects more than the first photo. See how the overall color of the second photo is affected because of the color of the surrounding objects?

The card was positioned farther from the flash in the first photo. There was a TV on the left side, and since its surface is glass, the light from the flash reflected quite strongly onto Blair. It actually looks almost like sunlight!

Some pointers:

1. From my experience, this works best when done indoors.
2. I find that doing this trick works best for tighter shots like macros and close-ups.
3. The size, color, positioning and tilt of the card can have varied effects, like using a pink card will give a pink cast to the photo. I prefer using a plain white card so it won't give off a colored cast.
4. The available ambient light, the color of the surrounding objects and how you hold your camera (portrait, landscape, near, far) also produce different results.
5. Patience is key.

I hope this helps even though I feel my explanations were a little vague. Feel free to ask if you have any questions. XD

Happy shooting! ^o^

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dolly Diptych Weeks 19 & 20

More photo spam of Blair and Miette today! I'm obviously having fun with my girls' new face ups (yes, I am now smitten with Blair's, too~). Besides, it's been a while since I last posted diptychs. ^^

Week 19: Quickly, before it escapes!

Week 20: Peek-a-Boo

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Miette's Second Face Up – Taste the Rainbow!

I am super pleased with how this came out! ♥  I've always wanted rainbow make up for Miette, but was too chicken to try it out the first time I did her face up. Actually I was still feeling chicken until I actually started with it because I still had some residual frustration left over from doing Blair's face up the other day. >_< Good thing it turned out great!

Of course, it's not perfect. I couldn't make the blue visible enough, her eyeliner is still messy and I used too much pearl powder all over her face (which washed out the blue even more), but that's okay. There's a lot of time to learn. Baby steps! ^^

Which Wig Works Best?

...with Blair's new face up? Help me out! I can't decide. She looks so different in every wig. :'D

Fancy comparison photo, just because I can. :P

Monday, August 20, 2012

Blair's Fifth Face up – an Experiment

Blair had been needing a new faceup for some time now. Her face was too red and did not match her body, and her bottom lashes were wonky. Since yesterday's weather was pleasant, I decided to go for it.

I purchased LUTS pearl powder and Tamiya acrylic semi-gloss earlier this month. I was excited to use them, but it took me the whole day to finally do so because I kept on making mistakes! GRAH! FACE UP FRUSTRATIONS. I had to erase my work three times. There was always a spot on her brow bone that won't hold pastels. Ugh. D8<

Anyway, I finished at around midnight yesterday (I started at 1pm, by the way >_>), and this was the result:

I'm pretty satisfied, but I still want to redo it. I used too much pearl powder and ended up erasing some of the details like the lip lines and bottom lashes. I'm also not that happy with how adding an upper lip to the Miyu sculpt makes it look more pouty. It's cute, but not what I want for Blair. But maybe it will grow on me? I don't know. We shall see. ^^

Part of the reason why I want to keep this face up is because I spent a lot of time layering pastel colors to achieve her eye make up. The colors look so simple and monochromatic, but I actually used black, brown, cobalt blue, sky blue, red and white to achieve that effect. I only have the 12-piece Mungyo Pastel set, so I had to make-do with the available colors. So hard. ;w;

The colors look so much brighter in person than on photos though. She looks so dark and sad in person, but she looks a little more neutral in photos. Weird. Or it may just be the diffused flash. Hm. I'm gonna need to find a balance between making her pretty in person and making her photogenic.

My respect for face up artists just multiplied tenfold. Seriously, this can actually be crazy hard and frustrating. You guys are amazing. TT_TT

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ridiculously Cute Lati Shoes from iDollZoo

One of the shops I bought from when I went to Hong Kong for Dollism Plus 7 was iDollZoo. They have the cutest tiny shoes I've ever seen! I'm so glad I managed to get a pair from them. I would have bought more, but I placed myself on a semi-tight budget that time, haha!

Below are some of my favorites. They're all on my wishlist now just in case a friend opens a Taobao group order later this year. 8'D



Teensy Doc Martens in a rainbow of colors

Adorable fuzzy booties~

Love how retro these look!

Don't these look delicious? I got the tan ones for Miette. ^u^

Source: iDollZoo

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ten Things About Miette

It's Miette's turn! ^o^

Ten Things About Miette

1. She is French but does not know how to speak the language. She can only speak in English and Filipino.
2. Don't let those big doe eyes fool you! She is quite the prankster!

3. Like Blair, Miette also has a sweet tooth. She likes candy the most, particularly the gummy ones.
4. She doesn't want to grow up because "ewww boobs"!

5. She can be quite the bully, but she'd never really harm anyone. :')
6. She is obsessed with bunnies and anything that has a bunny motif.

7. Her favorite My Little Pony is Pinkie Pie! She loves to mimic how Pinkie talks and bounces around. xD
8. She hates the taste of pork, but she likes bacon.

9. She is afraid of the dark.
10. Her dream is to find a leprechaun's pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ten Things About Blair

Got tagged by some friends on Flickr to do yet another BJD meme! I was reluctant to do this because I've stopped treating my dolls as characters with stories. They still have personalities though, so I thought the meme was worth a shot. ^^

Ten Things About Blair

1. She is named after Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl. Blair also happens to mean "field" in Scottish Gaelic. I thought it was a perfect name for a mori girl.
2. She is Eurasian. Her exact ethnic heritage is unknown, but she considers herself 100% Pinoy.

3. She is asexual and may also be slightly aromantic.
4. She loves sweets. Cupcakes are her favorite. She will eat those super cute cupcakes without remorse.

5. She is a Virgo, which is an earth sign. Yet another mori girl reference!
6. Despite her shy and sweet disposition, she actually has a thing for the macabre, especially animal skeletons.

7. She has perpetual wanderlust, but she tries to hide it for my sake. ^^;
8. Her hands go to her hair or her bottom lip when she's thinking, nervous, or being coy.

9. She is mute, but not deaf. No one knows how or why. She somehow manages to communicate with her pets and me just fine though. Her eyes are very expressive.
10. She really wants to grow a garden, but she sucks at gardening. She takes care of cactii instead. :)

I tag anyone who's interested. :D

Friday, August 3, 2012

Latest Loves: Arbitrary Affection

Today's Latest Loves post doesn't have a theme; it's just a collage of stuff that I've been drooling over the past month. Unfortunately, I am broke from my HK Dollism trip, so I can only stare at them for now. xD

1. Totoro plushie from Dream Kitty
2. BEAST's Midnight Sun album from YESAsia
3. Teal cable-knit sweater from Goroke
4. Angela Clutch (Red) from Vesti
5. Limited Art Wig W127 by Leeke World
6. Martini Spiked Shoes (Red) from Jeffrey Campbell

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Popovy Dolls

Popovy Dolls is the brainchild of Russian twin sisters, Ekaterina and Elena Popovy. Both of them are passionate artists and fashion designers, and it is the same passion that led them to creating dolls in 2004. Each doll collection they release is centered around a concept, an emotion, or a personality, which they convey through their meticulous sculpting, posing, and styling. The result is nothing short of spectacular.

Below are some of my favorite creations of theirs, taken from different collections.

Model #11

Golden Horse

Model NÂș4


Pink Bird

Visit the Popovy Dolls website to learn more.
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