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Lenny’s bike is so small he doesn’t have to worry about nails!???
You really never know when the right time is to take a toy photograph. I always carry my gear with me which consists of a clik camera bag and the Olympus EM5 along with several legacy glass lenses and of course my Lego and other toys. The lens I prefer and use most often is the Minolta Rokkor 55 mm 1.4f. It is the perfect lens for a good balance in detail and excellent bokeh backgournds. I also have a Sigma 60mm AF lens and my old trusty Russian lens the Helios 44mm. That Russian lens is built like a tank! and it brings in some nice light leak details that add a bit of glow to the shot.
Anyway, I was on my way out to get a load of worked up Alabaster sculpting stone and we stopped to fuel up and get some breakfast. Actually it was so my brother could get some breakfast. I had eaten something on my way out so I used this opportunity to jump out and grab a few shots with my Lego.
We were at the Maverik gas station (Adventures First Stop) on the west side of Cedar City and I noticed a small broken down pioneer house right next door. The ceiling had caved in long ago and it looked as if the stone walls and foundation had either sunk several feet – or maybe it was built that way as sort of a fruit cellar… either way it was sunken and sad looking. The wood was rotted and had deep grooves throughout. The grooves matched the size of the tires on Lenny’s bike so it was the perfect setting to get a quick shot. I setup Lenny and got a few great shots in before my brother was back in the truck honking for me. I raced over – repacked my bag and jumped in. Off to load the stone!
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Up bright and early before the sun hits the valley – that’s how Lenny rolls.
Early mornings are a great time to do toy photography. I find that my mind is wide awake and ready for the day.
I took this shot while traveling down to my newly opened stone quarry. I was traveling down the black ridge on Interstate 15 from Cedar City to St. George and the morning light was barely lighting the sky. I decided to take an early exit near Pinto, UT and head towards the Pine Valley Mountain Range. The snow capped mountains lit up pink in the sunrise and the valley below was still in the shade of the black ridge. I hurried up a dirt road and parked. The light was changing every minute and I was striving to get a few shots all along those changes.
The hood of the truck turned out to be a nice clean setup for a shot and the reflection of blue hid the fact that this old chevy had a dark green faded and rubbing off paint job. The bright mountain range behind Lenny’s head was a great contrast which brought your eyes to his. I made a rather steep angle with my camera because I wanted it to look like Lenny was on the verge of a very steep ridge. I liked the blues that the early morning shadows gave so I decided not to bother with the exposure at all.
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A break in the blizzard, New Castle, Iron County, UT.
Nabbed this shot out the window of the passenger side while driving at around 55 mph. It had a nice dreamy feel to it. The morning was cloudy and a slight snow flurry had been upon us until we crested the valley and dropped out of the small mountain range. When we approached New Castle, UT, the sun broke through and the clouds parted into deep blue sky above. It was just a small opening, about the size of the town but much smaller than the surrounding valley. The blizzard raged on all around us – but we were in a split second haven from the storm.
I snapped this shot with my olympus EM5 out the window. I used one of the artistic built in filters for a high contrast black and white. It just matched the scene perfectly – the contrast of billowing clouds and an opening in the storm while the ground was covered in a blur of flurries.
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Big Willie Style! Lenny sort of cheats by using his tail…
I absolutely love the bokeh results I get with the Minolta Rokkor 55mm! It is a bit soft wide open at f1.7 but its worth the shallow depth of field. This particular shot was taken in the morning on my way to our rock quarry near St. George, UT. I pulled off the highway and up a dirt road and stopped near a boulder that had a bush in the background. The morning glow came in through the bush sticks and created this fantastic bokeh. I hadn’t set up Lenny doing a wheelie until now because it is quite tricky to get him to balance just right upright. The angle of the slope on the rock made this shot possible. Lenny’s foot is actually propping him up on the rock side and then his tail helped stabilize him. It was still a balancing act. Luckily there usually is no wind in the early morning calm.
I like getting up before the sun. I don’t always do it but when I do I feel like I get so much more done in the day. I beleive it was Benjamin Franklin that stated that “an ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure”. I have heard it changed to “an ounce of morning, is worth a pound of afternoon” and I tend to agree with this statement. I feel when I am up early I am alert and ready to get things done. By late afternoon I feel sluggish and ready to relax and wind down for the evening.