Something that hasn't often occurred to me is the photography skills I've gained through MOCing. Obviously the presentation makes the difference between 'this MOC is awesome' and 'I can't see anything'. And despite the fact that photos have nothing to do with the MOC, it has everything to do with how you experience it on the other side of the screen. Having my MOCs in my hands is such an intimate experience. Here it is, I've assembled this working form from chaos. There are so many stories and neat little tricks built into each creation, and ultimately the goal of my photos is to bring you as close to the MOC short of flying you down here to fondle it yourself.
For years now the goal has been how to do that best, I'll cover how I have done that, but right now there's a bit of a transition happening with my photos right now. For all of 2013 I've been doing collages with the white background and photo editing to make the background look whiter. Over this period I've gotten a plethora of complaints about colors, particularly the infamous blue-indigo problem. Between my extremely tight schedule at the time (I uploaded a MOC every day for 2 weeks) and genuinely being unable to fix the problem, it stayed like that. However as most have probably heard I moved which kind of upset all of my habits, so now was the best time to try new stuff.
My newest background was really just a spur of the moment decision for Burning Tree's background. But after some better lighting and a move to my bed (from my desk) it turns out that it looks excellent, and I don't anticipate changing for the foreseeable future. However besides the background, there's actually a bigger change on my new photos. No more collages, or at least none for single character MOCs. This was done for several reasons. Firstly my editor doesn't want to do editing anymore, and perhaps more important, I don't really have excess money. Even besides all that, I was starting to question the efficacy of collages. After all it shrinks every photo, and it can look bad (which I think was the case with some of mine). So of course, I'm now opting for a cleaner single shot per MOC policy. Although some of you have no doubt noticed that I'm using my stash to show supplementary photos. So it's worked out perfectly so far.
If you're all still awake, I thought that something kind of neat would be to take a walk through my photography skills. In fact I've kind of found out that I can group them by various attributes. So here are the eras in chronological order. I'm generally going to show one of the better examples to represent each era. For all those newer MOCers out there I'll also learn you some stuff about taking pictures.
-The Fuzzy Era (February 14, 2012- March 22, 2012)
My very first MOC photos had a distinctly fuzzy look. I have no idea what could cause this, but it wasn't the camera's fault as you'll see soon. To all the young-uns out there, don't do this.
-The Blurry Era (March 29, 2012- April 22, 2012
Truthfully this era is a mixed bag, some of the photos are dimly lit, some are blurry, but they all generally suck. However, I decided to represent it as "The Blurry Era" because of what these photos share. I made some really cool MOCs in this era, but you just can't see a lot of them, which is ashamed. Kids, balance your camera, and get near a window or something.
The Random Desk Era (May 31, 2012- August 1, 2012)
This is when my photos magically became good. I don't remember actually doing anything, however I'll just guess that I figured out the mystical forces of boxes to balance my camera. The defining trait of this era is the presence of a random un-clean desk, better photos, and the attention that I started to get. So kids, this is a great place to start. Just take my advice, and clear your desk first.
Fun Fact! The photos from this era are taken on two different yet identical desks, the one with a computer is my sister's, and the one with papers and Botshots is mine!
The Blackground Era (August 3, 2012-November 2, 2012
The Blackground Era is best discussed in 2 distinct sections. First was the sudden boom of popularity I got. Some of my MOCs from this time don't have immense stats by my modern standards, but it was a lot compared to my earlier MOCs which had barely gotten any attention. I attribute this mainly to an improvement in my skills (at least enough to get some of them in BML), and continued improvements in photography. This era also saw the first baby steps in photo editing. Pulse 2.0 and the Rollcage pioneered this field due to his blue being ridiculously off-color in the photo, however the editing was so seamless that no ever noticed. Suffice to say, most of my viewers likely saw one of my MOCs for the first time during this first half of The Blackground Era.
The second part is a totally different story, same camera, same black background, same me. But for some reason the photo quality had declined by this point. You guys have to understand that to this day, I'm at the whim of my camera. Imagine back then, I basically didn't know anything about photography. But this era also saw some improvements. My MOCs were starting to get intricate enough that I started to make collages. These early ones frequently featured a main, back, and supplementary photo. This Era is kind of a bummer, there were a lot of great MOCs from this time, but they're about my least popular aside from my pre-BML stuff. Kids, the lesson from this time is pay attention to your lighting. Well, by this point, I needed a change.
The White Era (November 19, 2012- May 20, 2013)
This Era Really marked a conscious effort to improve my pictures. Backgrounds, Lighting, Editing, Cameras. It was really an enormous production. Another thing that happened was I rapidly improved in my skill. Due to this being the longest era and the my enormous time spent MOCing, there's a large disparity between the earlier MOCs from this era, and the later ones. However I fought the urge to Make Esh 2.0 the thumbnail, and decided upon The Nameless, as he's a better representation of my MOCs from the era. However the voracious MOCing proved too much for me, and you could say I 'crashed'.
The Random Blanket Era (October 31, 2013- Onward)
I never truly recovered did I? My MOCs objectively aren't as good as they were. The Editing isn't as elaborate. But I think it all worked out pretty well. Not having the pressure and just having fun is great. Hell I just throw my blanket down and take a picture now don't I? It's 2014 now, which means it's been about 2 years since I started posting MOCs on the internet. And telling the story of my photos really just turned out to be the story of my MOCs. That's probably because like I say, the story of my photos is the story of me trying to bring you as close to my MOCs as I can.
So I hope 2014 is treating you all well, and I hope you all enjoyed this fun little journal. Bye everybody!
Also of interest, while doing research for this journal, I found that the instructions for the D6 Roadrunner included some alternate colors I built it in. They're pretty cool looking so check that out.