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How to take a “camel in the desert” photo without leaving your bed

For most of us, traveling has come to a halt again thanks to the latest variant of the coronavirus. Others can only dream of distant, exotic locations while getting bored in quarantine. But photographer Albert Balein still managed to take a photo of a camel in the desert sun – without even leaving his bedroom. He kindly shared his photos with us, along with some details of how he took it.

The setup for this photo is pretty simple and you most likely already have most of these items at home. You’ll need a camera, a light source, a blanket, and a toy camel. Okay, most of us who don’t have kids don’t have toys hanging around the house. Still, you can borrow one from your child, niece, or nephew, or just buy it online if you really don’t feel like leaving home.

Albert took the photo with his Fujifilm X-T20 paired with a 50mm f/2 lens. For the lighting, he used one Godox AD200 Pro with a 65cm softbox. Of course, you can experiment with the camera, lens, and lighting as you please, depending on the gear you own.

The “sand dunes” are made from a blanket, and “the camel” is, obviously, a toy. Albert placed the modified flash behind the subject, to get the feeling as if the camel was photographed in the backlight. You know, a classic photo of a camel in the desert in the setting sun.

As for the settings, Albert used 1/180s shutter speed, ISO200, f/16, and the flash at 1/16. And when it comes to editing, it was minimal – he only adjusted contrast and applied some dehaze. I’d easily believe this was the real thing if I didn’t know it was a toy.

When he doesn’t play with toys and turns them into FUNtastic photos, Albert also shoots film photography. So, make sure to check both his film and digital work on Instagram.

Albert gave me some ideas for experimenting with my camera while I’m in quarantine. If you’re sharing my fate, I hope you’ll have some fun with toy photography too.

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