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...