Second Breakfast

The hobbit finally meet someone who knows about second breakfast!!  πŸ˜‹  πŸ˜‹  

No more rumbly in the tumbly!🍯🍯🍯

Today’s scene continues with my Frodo and Sam crossover into the 100 Acre Wood from the LEGO Disney set 21326 Winnie the Pooh.

Behind the Scenes

I enjoy sharing a look at the process behind my work and my creative journey.

Photography has long been my passion. With the level of technology available to us today, it’s easier than ever to take a technically competent photograph. And yet, some images still clearly β€˜work’ more than others.

With LEGO photography, where we can often control almost every aspect of the scene, I believe that investing time and mental energy in the creative process can help make that difference. So I consider four fundamental things in making an image:

  • The Idea
  • Light
  • Subject Isolation
  • Composition

The Idea

Building on yesterday’s scene where the hobbit pair stumble into the 100 Acre Wood, today they meet a kindred spirit who enjoys food as much as they do:

Light

My preferred style is low key photography with soft lighting: predominantly dark and dramatic scenes, with light emphasizing only specific areas of the frame and with smooth transitions between light and shadow.

I use a continuous light source, which in combination with my camera’s live view, allows me to see the result of my light positioning and shaping in real time and adjust accordingly.

This is a simple one light setup:

  • Key light: Litrapro with softbox, positioned with a Platypod gooseneck arm and Ultra tripod base
  • Reflectors: DIY with folded recipe cards, to provide fill and to help soften the light

Subject Isolation

The subject is ultimately what the photo is about and there should be no doubt in the viewer’s mind as to what it is.

I considered the trio the subject, and emphasized them equally with lighting, depth of field, and prominence. That said, I did place Frodo and Sam separately from Pooh to recognize them as a pair. The background trees are visible enough to provide some context, but are blurry enough not to distract from the subjects.

Composition

I try hard to get as close to the final image as possible in camera. To help with this I compose in live view with my mirrorless camera’s rear display, using a crop mask and grid overlay. It looked almost exactly like this:

I composed using the rules of thirds, using Pooh and Frodo’s foreheads as anchor points. I filled the space beneath the trio with their reflection, for both aesthetic and balancing purposes and left the remainder as negative space to help define the focus area.

Tech Stuff

Instead of sharing the technical settings for this one photo, I’d rather share my standard operating procedure for, which can be applied to all of my LEGO photography with but few exceptions:

  • Tripod mounted mirrorless camera set to ISO 100 and triggered with 2 second delayed shutter
  • 120mm macro lens shot at f/8 and manually focused using magnified live view
  • Aperture priority centre-weighted metering with exposure compensation to taste
  • Post processing the RAW files with custom white balance, luma curve, saturation, contrast, sharpness, vignette, levels, and dust removal

Up Close and Personal

Macro photography allows us to see small objects in spectacular detail. For me, LEGO minifigures are perfect subject material.

This is as close as I can get with my system – the only crop is to make the image square. Now let’s get in a little tighter with another crop:

Looks like I missed focus on the eyes by just a little bit.

Wrap Up

Time once again to close out with the before and after shots, showing how I realized my idea through deliberate lighting, subject isolation, and composition choices.

Best,

Scott.

Published by Scott Murphy

Photography for the love of it.

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