After work I stopped near my mailbox and decided to quickly shoot this figure. There is a field near my home where the landscapers have been dumping grass clippings all summer. I smells and there is quite a bit of garbage throughout the clippings… I’m not too happy about that, but it makes for a great setting for toy photography. I find with toy photography it does not really matter where I take a photo. Coming in so close to such a small subject as a Lego minifigure for instance blurs that background to beyond recognition. I find I focus more on color this way and try to minimize distraction.
This figure is probably not the best for this setting but I figrued that would work well as sort of a contrasting idea of sorts. Sort of like Dorothy in the Land of OZ. This N-Pop girl figure is so out of place in a dingy grassy field that has low key tones to contrast against the bright coloring of its outfit. I thought it proper to name the bear Toto.
I like the variety in the new Lego Ninjago Movie CMF line and am brainstorming new ways to capture them.
Rocket Boy discovers limitless cheetos and cheeses
I have been waiting to get my hands on a Rocket Boy from the new Lego Collectible Minifigures Series 17. When contemplating what to do with the endless possibilities of a kid dreaming about space – I thought of cheese.
I love cheese and I love cheetos and I love space. My obvious choice on moon landscape from a kid perspective equaled cheese. In the past I have done real looking moon shots with the Lego astronauts; but I felt the rocket boy needed somethig more on the imaginitive side. The scribble-colored space flag would have looked way out of place in a hyper-realistic shot.
I went to the store specifically for rare cheeses, but found out quickly that rare cheeses are quite expensive. I wasn’t ready to drop $60 bucks on edible props. Maybe it would’ve turned out better with goat cheese, Munster cheese, Gouda cheese, or some fancy aged cheeses from some obscure Italian countryside village; but I just couldn’t do it. I wanted to taste all of them. I realized I was shopping hungry and was getting a bit carried away. ?
I settled on a large family sized bag of crunchy cheetos that my kiddos could dig into after the shot. Taking into account future meals, I selected cheeses including some sharp cheddar (block) cut into wedges. Feta cheese for some contrast. Shredded Mexican blend (we go through lots of quesadillas), and a crumbly cheese that didn’t make the cut.
Making the background
I made the background with just a white sheet of cardstock colored with various shades of orange crayon. I wasn’t about to create the background with real cheese… too much waste of this golden amazingness. Wallace and Gromits – “A Grand Day Out” was an inspiration for this shot and I thought of their rolling hills of cheese that the alien robot was able to ski down. That’s the background I wanted.
At first the background was too close and didn’t lend to the depth I wanted – it looked flat and colored, which it was, but I wanted some depth. I ended up moving the background further away and using a long lens (Jupiter 37a 135mm), to make the DoF shallow and blur the background totally.
I even tried taking a picture through an orange filter – but that idea canceled out all my wonderful crayon shading and it felt a bit too orange on everything.
Feta cheese “boulders” made for a perfect contrast in the endless orange landscape of the moon. After I was done my kiddos made a quick job of cleaning up the cheetos – and I cleaned up the feta cheese!????
How many shots does it take you to get that perfect shot?
Just this morning I was going through all my shots and I took nearly 60 pictures just to get this one finished Rocket Boy moon shot that satisfied me. I was thinking about this artistic process of coming up with an idea and the work that goes into that idea to make it a reality.
It really is quite fascinating – the image I had in my mind. How come the first shot didn’t fit? I had all the props, the tripod, the outdoor lighting… but still didn’t achieve what I wanted for another 60 shots in different poses and background depths. Different exposures and lenses… maybe it was the vast amount of options that were at my disposal that made me take so many iterations?
Do you all have similar usage of space on your memory cards? How many shots does it generally take to satisfy your creative ideas?