Me hunt beast food all day

Caveman Batman Hunts beast
Me hunt beast food all day

via Instagram http://ift.tt/2jPvLP7

Out on the hunt for Lego photography locations!

Yesterday, I took my boys with me to sell Wowflutes at the Tuacahn Saturday Market.   There were a few vendors there enjoying the perfect weather.  No wind, no rain; just sunshine and some whispy clouds.

After our morning of selling we headed over to target so they could pick something out with the money they earned helping me.  Target had no Lego Batman Minifigures… 🙁  They had a whole bunch of the series 16 CMF though.   I guess they were trying to move those before putting new stuff out.

So we went over to Walmart and they had the big display in the aisle with a bunch of Batman Movie CMF.  I picked up this Clan of the Cave Batman (above) along with the Mime and a Catman.

We then set off to find a good hiking location and photo spot.  We drove around Quail lake to a spot on the north end I used to raft when I was a kid.  Quail lake catches the runoff from the Pine Valley Mountains to the north after it has carved it’s way through the slot canyons of Redcliffs desert reserve.  The water flows slowly into the lake through a covered lazy river.  In the summer it is heavily shaded and is the perfect swimming hole.   There was about  four inches of dead leaves covering the entire area.  We hiked around a bit and then headed towards Redcliffs.

Redcliffs was blockaded for construction on the access road so we headed down a dirt road north of Leeds, UT.  It was such beautiful scenery all around.  I love taking my boys out in the hills where they can hike without trails and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.  We hiked up to a mining dump and I was hoping to show them what a mine shaft looked like, but the opening had been sealed with a rock and mortar wall.  My boys were still curious about it.

While up on top of the mine dump we heard what sounded like distant barking – lots of it.  We looked everywhere for dogs, but then the barking slowly morphed into honking.  It turned out to be a flock of geese flying over the desert.  I snapped a quick shot.  Overall, today was a nice relaxing Saturday!

geese flock over the desert
Flock of Geese over the desert, Leeds, UT

 

There are ways of making you talk – BTS

Joker in the spotlight
Joker in the spotlight

via Instagram http://ift.tt/2l4rT9d

There are ways of making you talk…

This shot started out as a completely different idea in a completely different location.  It’s interesting how the creative process works in that way.  You come up with something and you start working on it, and it just isn’t that great; but then because you started you are led on a process that concludes with an outcome that is generally more awesome!

The secret is to start.

Starting is the best way to develop your creativity.  I find that when I have an idea and act on it almost immediately I get more and more ideas.  If I don’t write down my ideas when they come – they go.

So for me the start is writing down the idea.  Then I have some time to mull it over and think outside the box for effects and lighting and figures and sets.

With this particular shot I first set it up randomly on top of my jewelry kiln that I use to make my Relic Wowflutes.  The top of this kiln was the cleanest spot in my office, so naturally it has become my spot for taking indoor shoots.  I could not get the lighting just right because there’s a window behind it that brings in lots of natural light; but it dims the shot and turns it into silhouettes.

So I decided to move my shot into the kiln!  It has a fireproof material that is sort of fuzzy on the walls inside and gave a nice texture to the “room”.  The advantage of moving my shot into the kiln is it gave me complete control over my lighting.  It removed any outside source of light.  The only light I could see was the ones I put there – a high powered 300 lumin led flashlight!​​

BTS inside the kiln
BTS inside the kiln

I used several different lighting techniques that gave me many different results to choose from.  I use some translucent Tritan material samples to place in front of the flashlight to get different colors in the kiln/room.

1st shot - too far from ceiling
1st Shot – to far from the ceiling

This first shot looked sort of plain which was perfect for Arkham Assylum, but I just thought it was a bit boring with a lot of empty space above the figures.

Added the commissioner
Added the commissioner

So then I brought it in tighter by raising my platform (books, blocks – whatever was the right thickness).  I also added a few more props so it didn’t look as bare.  The story also changed a bit when I added commissioner Gordon with a syringe.  I still felt the ceiling was a bit too far away – so I added to my stack.

Tightened up the scene
Tightened up the scene

Once I was happy with the structure of the scene and the ceiling height I then added a few more random props and then it was time to play with the lighting.

Lighting through red Tritan
Lighting through red Tritan

The red filter on my flashlight warmed up the scene a bit too much for my liking.  I kind of wanted a scary scene that was a bit darker.  The red also limited the greens which I wanted to highlight especially with the jokers hair style.

Through the blue Tritan filter
Through the blue Tritan filter

A blue filter added a bit too much coolness to the shot and made for a somewhat purple hue on the ceiling that I wasn’t too fond of.  Out with the red, out with the blue.  I found that the best solution for the effect I wanted was just the pure white light of the flashlight.

Final shot before editing
Final shot before editing

The final step was just a small adjustment in Lightroom with the application of a cross process that added a bit more blue to the greens to match the hue of jokers hair.  I also thought that the red of the hand truck was a bit destracting so applying the cross process finished putting the focus I wanted on the joker.

Finished shot
Finished shot

 

Lone Juniper near Lund, UT

Lone Juniper on the horizon
Lone Juniper on the horizon

via Instagram http://ift.tt/2kld4jv

Lone juniper near Lund, UT.

As I drove out to Lund to get a couple road shots with my Lego I noticed several lone juniper trees on the horizon.  Luckily I had my old MF Minolta Rokkor 200mm lens.  It is the equivalent of around 400mm on my Olympus EM5.  The EM5 has a great artistic function that creates dramatic black and white shots.

I originally took this shot in black and white and I liked the look of it, but I felt I have been taking too many black and white shots as of late so I transferred the image over to my phone using my Eyefi wifi sd card.

Lone Juniper before color
Lone Juniper before adding color

I used the Mextures app to add color to the black and white shot. I’ve done this quite a few times in the past – I think it’s a great effect adding the color. I like how this shot turned out as well. Much better than the original.

What do you think about adding color to a black and white shot? 

Powerful Chi – Chima Lego

Who drank all the Chi!?
Who drank all the Chi!?

via Instagram http://ift.tt/2jD9lf8

Who drank all the Chi!?

I have not been much of a fan of the Legends of Chima Lego line, until yesterday. I guess the Chi finally woke me up.  My boy had a parent teacher conference scheduled for after school.  I arrived to pick him up about 45 minutes before the appointment when he got out.

Elementary schools are marketing geniuses!  They conveniently created their book fair around the conferences week.  They know lots of parents will be at the school with their children – and parents have money and care about reading.

Children are very good at manipulating their parents to buy them things.  Mine are no exception.  Especially when there are “educational” Lego books, and it’s buy one get one free…  So, yes, I ended up getting my boy a Ninjago book that came with a black ninja.  I picked out the Chima book just for the bird figure that looked like it would be great for winter shots.

I gave the book to my boy and was helping him read it later.  That’s how I was introduced to the storyline of Lego Chima.  I think it is pulling a lot of its rhetoric from eastern cultures that believe in a spiritual power called Chi which the animals in Chima battle for.

From what I understand of Chi, it is not necessarily something you can handle physically, but more of an inner spiritualness and mindfulness.  As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormon, I feel there are many similarities to the idea of Chi.  Chi is sometimes referred to as the breath of life that God gave to Adam in the garden of Eden.  I look at chi as our soul. Mormons believe in an afterlife, but they also believe in a pre-existence.  We believe that we existed before this life as a spiritual being.  When we are born into this life our spirit takes on a physical body that is sort of like a hand in glove analogy.  Our spiritual body combined with our physical body makes up a persons soul.

Things that damage the soul include sin (spiritual) and other physical aspects (sickness).  It really is interesting to see how many of the religions of the world correlate so well to each other.

Now I like the Chima line, or at least, I am aware of it.  Unfortunately, Lego has replaced the line with Nexo Knights, so I guess I’ll have to check that out sooner!  The only other Lego Chima figure I have is the fox, Furty.  I thought it made a great motor cross figure (fox racing) pun!

So what are your thoughts on the Chima line? I’d love to hear your comments.