Knocking ’em out

I figured out a way to edit pictures much faster for YoJoe.  The tradeoff is that the images are slightly oversaturated, but it saves several minutes in the editing stages.  I’ll take it! Managed to upload 18 figures over the past 9 days this way.  Not a bad average at all. Now I just need to figure out how to speed up editing white-colored figures.

Finally

Cleared out a large backlog of figures I’d been meaning to photograph for about a year now.  That was one of those things that I put off again and again until it got to the point where I was embarrassed I still had them sitting around.  What made this worse is that these figures weren’t really mine!  They belong to a colleague from YoJoe who purchased them off ebay and sent them my way to photograph.  The new pics would be used to update the database.  Now we can finally get that part rolling!

Focused on the Beginning

I stumbled upon some ebay auctions where the seller had some rare GI Joe figure variations for sale.  I doubt the seller really knew what he had, as the prices were fairly low.  They’re variations found in the Stars and Stripes Forever set from 1997.  This set is what got me into actively collecting GI Joes.  Finding these variations has gotten me heavily thinking about this set again, and I sort of want to focus on upgrading their archive entries now.  If nothing else, it got me to finally add the included small playset to the archives.

Still Experimenting with the Camera

I’ve changed up the method a little in how I take my action figure pictures.  Instead of the regular white backdrop that came with my photobooth, I’m using legal paper the backdrop was really transparent and not all that white.  Plus, since it was fabric, it attracted lint all the time and wrinkled incredibly easily.  I’m also sticking a gray card in the background of all my pics.  I’ve had a gray card since 2003 or so, but I just haven’t incorporated it in my pics until now.  A gray card is what you use to color balance photographs for film cameras.  You would set your F-stop once, take a photo of the gray card, and then photograph what you wanted.  Any time you changed the aperture or lighting or film, you would photograph the gray card again.  I’d been wanting to use the gray card in my figure pics for a while, but since I was using the fabric backdrop, I couldn’t figure out how to fit the gray card in – my DSLR resets the color balance on every pic.  With the legal paper, I have enough paper to fill the background of the figure pic, but still have enough space to squeeze the gray card into every photo.  The Levels window in Photoshop has a dropper that identifies “middle gray” – which is what a gray card is.  That helps color balance everything.  I’ve photographed a few figures already this way, and I think it’s really helping.

Accomplished

I just finished up a long-term goal I had with the YoJoe database.  When we first overhauled the archives in 2012, one of the ideas batted about was updating the images of the 1982 figures.  The 1982 index is what you default to when you enter the action figure database, and it was thought that better pics would make for a better presentation.

Well it took over three years, but I finally did it.  All the 1982 archive pics have been updated.  As well as the 1983 version 1.5 figures, for that matter.  I’m feeling proud.  Also, poorer.

Not actually bronze

Got a hold of some rare G.I. Joe-ish figures.  I say “G.I. Joe-ish” because they aren’t actually Joes, but they do use their molds.  And it’s not from Hasbro, but they are legitimately created toys!

It’s the Bronze Bombers set from 1997!  *Pause while the crickets’ chirping dies down.*  They were produced in very low numbers, released for a very short length of time, and they’re still pretty obscure.  I hope to be able to boost YoJoe’s archive for them eventually.  On top of the 50 million other things I also plan to do.

Keeps me busy.

Scanning and Shoppin’

Lately I’ve been scanning some of my old G.I. Joe comic covers to replace the old ones on YoJoe. It’s been pretty sporadic, mostly issues that feature characters whose toys I’m working on in the action figure database.

Luckily, I should be getting help in that area soon! One of our old comics guys has volunteered to scan in his collection for us, which is no small feat, especially since he has one if the most elaborate collections if the comics!