Steal like an artist? I'm interested with what Shelly wrote at stuckinplastic.com. I don't deny it, at times, I copied some photographer's ideas and mix it up to create a new idea. It's not wrong to do that to be honest. But it's wrong if you copied it 100% and claimed it as yours. For me, I prefer to learn "Behind The Scene" rather than from the picture itself because you can do more with it when you know how it works. Thanks to those photographers that share behind the scene for every masterpiece artwork they produce. Here's some of the examples that I stole from them.
Before this I thought some of the professional Toy Photographers use expensive lighting, a big studio and other related expensive equipment. But as I blogwalking, I managed to learn that, most of them using DIY lighting and mini studio and several DIY props to make the pictures great. For example, I don't need a RM2000.00 external flash to get as per above picture, I'm using a LED light that cost me RM5.00 only. For the backdrops, it's just a DIY mini studio using a used box that I took from my office. I bought a white paper that cost me RM2.00 to wrap it.
Realistic Snow Effect
I saw some photographers shoot Star Wars Lego with snow effect. I thought they were using Photoshop to make the effect. I was like, wow, nice skill of editing. I look at their Flickr Account, and I noticed that, its not a photoshop editing. They using props to make it happen. They used Baking Soda most of the time with printed background to create a wonderful scene. I also managed to learn how to create snow effect using an aquarium with baking soda. The effect is awesome !
I also learned how to use printed background for indoor shots to make a wonderful scene. Not everything you need to build (DIY) for the props to make a scene, sometimes printed background is more than enough.
We can also use foods for the props such as poppy seeds to create a street look alike.
That's some of the ideas that I stole from the professional photographers. Its not the artwork that I stole, its how to create it. Easy to say, it's the knowledge that I stole. For me, that's the true meaning of steal like an artist. We respect their artwork.