How to use practical effects to create explosions for toy photography

Mar 6, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

How to use practical effects to create explosions for toy photography

Mar 6, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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When photographing toys, there are so many tricks that can make your scenes look lifelike and realistic. To add an extra kick to certain scenes, you might need to create mini-explosions, all of which can all be done with practical effects. In this video, Norm from Adam Savage’s Tested hosts toy photographer Johnny Wu. He guides you through his process for creating blast effects in his toy photography and shares some handy tips and tricks that you can use in your work.

YouTube video

Johnny creates a scene with Snow Troopers and snow. For the snow, he uses good, ol’ flour: he sprinkles it around the scene and uses a bit of canned air to even out the “snow.” For the explosions, Johnny uses sparklers. In the video, you can see that he uses the kind of sparklers that look like tiny tanks. I couldn’t find any of those on Amazon, but I guess you could go with the regular ones, too.

Other than the kind of sparklers, there’s one more thing to consider: their position. Johnny suggests that you don’t go overboard and let the “explosion” take over the scene. Let it be more of a “background” effect and not the main element of your shot.

Once you light the sparkler, you can also use some canned air to disperse the smoke in your scene, which will add dynamics to the shot. Also, don’t forget to set your camera to burst mode, so you have more images to choose from.

Finally, it probably goes without saying that you should be careful with sparklers and try not to set anything on fire. But I believe that you already know that. : ) So, if you’re into toy photography, I hope that you’ll try out this technique and have a blast!

[Creating Blast Effects in Toy Photography! via ISO 1200]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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4 responses to “How to use practical effects to create explosions for toy photography”

  1. Scott Valentine Avatar
    Scott Valentine

    “again”? Oh, right… because I did stop. Certainly. Long ago. Loooooong ago…

    :|

  2. Dave DeBaeremaeker Avatar
    Dave DeBaeremaeker

    Yeah, SgtBananas is an incredibly talented toy photographer.

  3. Klaa Avatar
    Klaa

    Photography + flour + fire = Click click….. BOOM!

    1. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
      Arthur_P_Dent

      My thought exactly. I aw a house with the front window blown out because someone thought throwing flour on a fire would put it out. If you had a non-flammable powder for the snow, it’s not a bad effect.