One of the themes we have been working on this summer is Puddle Monsters. I use frozen seafood as props and place them in small puddles or ponds around St Paul. In the image below, Edwige photographs me shooting a fisherman with a crab-like creature emerging from the water.
A scene like this can take some time to set up. Although the boat I used in this scene actually floats, it will move out of position with the slightest current or breeze. As for the crab, I have inserted thin flexible wires into the arms to better hold their position. And without the use of a stone or tree branch, the claws would sink straight the bottom. Here, I used a branch under the surface to hold the creature up.
Because I never really know what the environment or light will be like before I stumble onto a scene, I like to compare it to documentary photography or photojournalism. Of course I manipulate the subjects I place into the scene, so technically it is neither one... But, the process is very similar.
I would have more control over the elements if I just built a diorama of the scene and lit it with artificial light instead of being in the real world environment. But shooting with available light and using nature as it is, is what draws me to photographing the minis. These scenes, like the real world, will never be perfect. That is their charm (in my opinion).
Below is the final image...
I thought it might be interesting to every once in awhile, display images that are considered "throw aways" or "not good enough for print".
I have my reasons for not wanting to use certain images... For example, the photo of a woman sitting on an apple was shot at a orchard near Stillwater Minnesota. I liked the concept of the woman relaxing on top of the apple enjoying the fresh autumn air. The vibrant colors are nice... but I can't get over the blade of grass in front of the apple!! it really bothers me. Why didn't I remove the blade of grass prior to taking the shot? It's funny, but I never saw it.
When looking through the viewfinder, I am concentrating on so many things, sometimes I miss the obvious. I was so concerned about getting a sharp focus on the woman, that I didn't pay attention to the elements around the apple. It sure was obvious when I processed the pics later that day.
The following photo really bugs me (:-) It was supposed to convey that one of the bug exterminators was afraid of a little bumble bee. His co-worker was trying to convince him to participate.
The problem I have with this shot, is that the bee didn't want to cooperate! This was the only shot where he was within reasonable distance of the figures. Most shots he wasn't even in the frame. If the bee would have faced the camera for just one shot, I would have been happy. As it is, you can't tell if the bee is alive or dead, coming or going... or if the bee is even a bee. So, this shot didn't make the cut.