Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More than meets the eye

You kind of have to know Transformers to appreciate this one.  I wanted to do the typical heroic pose of this Optimus Prime doll action figure, which is really only about 4" high.  I liked it, but then remembered this other, larger Optimus that is currently in Big Rig form, and thought it would be cool barely seen in the background. 

To get the shot, I used my camera's light meter to set my shutter speed and aperture for the ambient light in the normally-lit room.  Then I dialed up the shutter speed until the scene was mostly black.  I could have modified my aperture for the same effect light-wise, but a large aperture gives you a shallow depth of field, which I wanted.  The two figures are only about 6" away from each other, but the DOF makes it look like they are much further apart.  The big rig is also twice as tall as the action figure, and I wanted to bring them into a closer height relationship.  The low camera angle and shallow DOF helped with that.

The action figure was lit by a flash at very low power, zoomed in as far as I could go.  I placed a black paper tube on the end of the flash to create a narrow beam of light and pointed it nearly straight down over the figure.  I could have narrowed it even more for less lateral light spill at his feet.

Canon 5D Mark II
70mm - ISO 800
1/50s- f/4

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