Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Tuesday & Thursday Toy Challenge 2011 - So Far

Well, I'm now well into the first quarter of this years photos, and barring a couple of hiccups I'm pretty happy with what I've got so far.
Some of my favourites so far include;

Black Knight
This picture of a Lego Knight was inspired by an article I read by Ashley Pomeroy about John Boorman's Film "Excaliber". Apparently Boorman would shine a green light on the knight's armour to make it look "spooky", which is the reason for thr green gelled flash coming from the left.
The background was originally grey, but at the insistance of my five year old daughter I swapped it for a red one, which does indeed look much better.

Blue Box

The shot of the TARDIS is a rare one for me, in that is a Photoshop composite, whereas I usually like to try and do everything in-camera whenever possible.
The TARDIS was shot against a solid coloured background, cut out and placed onto a background from NASA JPL/CalTech.
The background was selectively blurred using a depth map to give the background "depth". I also made a 3D version of this picture, viewable here.

Cyb-Origin of the Species

This picture came about as Charles Darwin's birthday (12th February) happened to coincide with the letter "C".
This idea had popped up on flickr with Star Wars Clone Troopers, but I'd not seen it done with Cybermen, so it seemed like an obvious choice.
It did get mentioned that I'd missed out a link (presumably the cyberman from either "Tomb of the Cybermen" or "Invasion"). In a way this is correct, but I'd intended to feature one Cyberman each from the 60's, 70's, 80's and "NuWho" eras. There's also a Beatles "inspired" version here.

Et tu, Brute?

This photo was one of those ideas that just jumps into your head fully formed.
Whilst "brainstorming" ideas at the end of 2010, it suddenly occured to me that in 2011, the "Ides of March" (the 15th) fell on a Tuesday. So doing a version of the assassination of Julius Caesar seemed a no-brainer.

So that's some of my favourites from the letters done so far. I've got some ideas already planned for F and G, so we'll keep on trucking and see what we come up with.


Vicy 9

On the same day as our shoot with Siobhan Emma and I also spent some time with Vicy at Peoples Park in Halifax. By this time the light was fading so we were more reliant on flash to get enough light and get it where we wanted it.
Initially we went with the tried and tested Canon 580ex in a 24" softbox, then adding a backlight gelled blue.

Vicy 5

This time I tried having the backlight in the frame for a different effect (on these shot's I did Photoshop out the stand where it were visible). Finally we finished up by lighting Vicy with two flashes front right and back left, while using a third to light the statue in the background.
By this time it was getting late and getting really quite cold, so we called it a day, packed up our gear and headed home.

More photos from the shoot here.

Many thanks to Emma and to Vicy for being a trooper. Hopefully we'll get to work together again later in the year when the weather is more clement :)

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Siobhan 3Today myself and Emma Carter went into town to shoot Siobhan. As is often the case, the weather was less than perfect, drizzly, cold and a bit grey. The Piece Hall is our usual location for days like this, so we met Siobhan and set up on the top floor, where most of the empty shop units are.

I used my usual default location lighting setup, a Canon 580ex in a 24" Ezybox softbox, triggered with Yongnuo RF-602 radio triggers. For most of the shots I had the flash gelled with a 1/2 CTO (Colour Temperature Orange) gel to warm up Siobhan's skintones a touch.

Later I added a second flash with a blue gel as a backlight.

Siobhan 5

Finally I shot some natural light shots with the 70-200 f4 IS while Emma used the flash setup.

Siobhan 12Siobhan 13

More photos from the shoot here.

Many thanks to Emma and to Siobhan who braved the cold to model for us.