LEGO. Batman. LEGO Batman. These are some of my favourite things. Here’s a gallery featuring some of my Batman LEGO Instagram images, followed by details about the tools and methods used to create them.

[Top left] City Guardian, is the  one I’m most proud of and is the picture most often liked on Instagram and Google+ which is pleasing. The process and tools used to create City Guardian are really simple. I started by capturing the minifigure silhouette with my iPhone against a plain white background. Using an app called Union, I was able to quickly layer the silhouette over an older image from my camera roll, taken during a visit to the top of the Empire State Building. Union let me set a faded gradient easily and, with a little experimentation, I was able to achieve a look I was happy with, entirely in-camera. I plan to produce a series in this style, so stay tuned if you like what you see. Want a copy of the Union app for your iOS device? Easy, grab it here.

[Top right]  Another super simple capture, The Brick Signal features the tiniest and cutest official Batwing set (polybag  30301-1) and salutes one of the greatest Batman movie moments of all time. A simple top down shot of the Batwing (again on a plain white surface, which really cuts down editing time) surrounded with a heavy vignette mask using the Tadaa app and, well, tadaa! Grab a copy of this free iOS app (which can do a whole bunch of stuff and is well worth adding to your mobile photography toolkit) here.

[Middle right] Titled The Dark Nespresso, this was the fastest image to shoot in this series, with very little setup or in-camera editing. (I think all I may have done here was apply Instagram’s native Inkwell filter along with a light vignette.) I had fun selecting an angle that exaggerated the scale of the foreground subject while implying a sense of height and distance. And it doesn’t hurt that the face of the Nespresso machine (a “Citi” model, inspired almost certainly by building-scapes of the 20s and 30s) suggests the truly excellent background artwork from the greatest cartoon of all time, Batman: The Animated Series. No really, the background art for that show was off the chain. Check out this excellent concept art gallery for some fantastically gothic-deco designs for Gotham.

[Bottom] This final shot, Winter Dreaming, was a little more complicated and involved freezing Bats and Robin minifigs in LEGO shaped ice cubes 😐 (I removed their tiny capes so that the submersion and freezing processes wouldn’t warp them.) Meanwhile, I took a shot of Mr. Freeze against an icy white background. Using the Union app, I combined Freeze with a shot of the now frozen heroes, creating a final composition that’s kinda fun, right? Some final colour grading in Tadaa to amp up the chill factor sealed the deal.

There you have it. A little insight into some of the tools (all free) and processes (all straightforward) I used to create these images. If you take similar pics or have suggestions of other apps that might be of interest to other readers, and to me, leave a comment below.