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G.I. Joe’s Snake Eye’s is the best toy EVER!! And I will fight to the death anyone that disagrees, or not… but trust me after playing with Snake Eyes most of my life I have learned some of his Ninja ways (you’ve been warned) 😉
Seeing “Toys” as this weeks theme I knew immediately that I wanted to photograph my favorite toy character and since I have just about every version of him ever released in the USA I decided to go with my two favorites, the 1983 “swivel arm” version of the original Straight Arm 1982 version (Which is safely stored away and not to be touched) and my all time favorite the 1985 2nd version with Wolf companion “Timber.” (This is the version they used in both of the new G.I. Joe movies as well!)
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts this year I really want to push myself with these themes to try new techniques and push myself creatively and expression wise so I decided that instead of posing them in a fighting stance or going full length I would take their portraits.
The problem is they’re only 3″ tall…
So that meant macro and flash, not so easy when I don’t have an actual macro lens or ring flash also I had envisioned a low key shot with a black background and a sword between them, I shot each figure separately with the 85mm f/1.8 with the 36mm and 20mm extension tubes, lighting was made with two YN-560 flashes triggered with Cactus V5 triggers the main light was slightly higher than eye level and 8″ away at around 45° with a “hair” light handheld directly above them on the lowest power setting to define the top of the head better. The sword was shot with just the one key light handheld nearly in line with the lens to just catch the “edge” of the blade. I then merged all three shots in Photoshop, and proceeded to spend an hour cleaning up dust and micro bubbles in the plastic, it’s amazing how porous the surfaces of toys really are when you get this close to them although I did leave in the battle scars these two have collected from our adventures together over all these many years.
I really enjoyed the challenge of making portraits on such a small scale, and I pretty much got the effect I had envisioned so I’m very pleased with how it all turned out. Why don’t you give it a try?…
Happy Shooting and “Yo Joe!”