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Climbing to the Top



This shot was staged on my coffee table, using natural light, no filters and no processing after the fact. I have a series of miniature photos, all created wit...
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This shot was staged on my coffee table, using natural light, no filters and no processing after the fact. I have a series of miniature photos, all created with model train "people" in unique circumstances.
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Awards

Awesome
Outstanding Creativity
18ricco LiaMarie mrinmoykachari Forrest_Imagery sarahotrompke lilcyberangel gabri +43
Peer Award
murrayhelm Bonnie_D photoABSTRACTION OfBrian joelawrenson LisaB1978 grahambailey
Superb Composition
Cruiser48 nguyenducthang abhiraj09 xcphotography alef0 kamran02
Top Choice
Dsjzjefferis1234 andromeda731 lilanieto jstowe919 toxictabasco
Absolute Masterpiece
Shabiggest bigbangphotography
All Star
kasper

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2 Comments | Report
welshgypsy
 
welshgypsy June 29, 2017
great creativity
amiejames PRO
 
amiejames June 30, 2017
Thanks!!

Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken on the coffee table in my livingroom in New Hampshire, with props I had been collecting that were all within reach. I had been planning a series of "miniature shots", and the location and lighting were perfect in that particular room.
Time
I was shooting in the late afternoon, no one was home and it was quiet and calm. Even the dog was asleep. I normally do not shoot indoors, I focus mainly on outdoor photography, but the elements of this photograph demanded a location that was still. Wind, even a slight breeze, was going to make it rather difficult to capture.
Lighting
Because of the metallic surface of the coins in the photo, I did not want to use a flash of any sort. The paper used as the backdrop also had a metallic sheen to it, and I wanted to avoid and harsh light or shadow. I set this shot up near the window and used only natural light. I shot from different angles, but this was my favorite. The only light source came from my right, keeping the area to the left in a bit of shadow.
Equipment
I shot this on an old point and shoot Canon PowerShot A720 IS, with the flash manually held closed. It required me to get on my knees on the floor and balance to find the right angle, then hold my breath and shoot. I was physically as close to the subject as the camera would allow. I did not own a tripod at that point, so I did a little deep breathing before hand to center myself and try to be as still as possible. The lack of flash and use of natural light tends to make this difficult without a tripod, but I was very pleased with the clarity and depth of field of the final shot.
Inspiration
I had been thinking about the use of miniatures in unique situations for a long time. I had originally thought to put together a book of sorts for my granddaughter, which I still may do. I had been searching yard sales and flea markets for old model train people, and each one I found inspired me toward a different photo. This shot just jumped out at me - the scale of the climber to the size of the coins seemed very disparate, which intrigued me. I chose a sheet of scrapbook paper that complemented the copper pennies, pulled the coins from a jar and randomly piled them up, then balanced the figure just so. It all came together quickly and easily, which is the way I like to work.
Editing
In this instance, the only post processing I did was a slight crop. I normally limit my processing to brightness and contrast adjustments, as I am a simple photographer who shoots simple things. I was very lucky with this shot to get it right in the frame.
In my camera bag
In reality, I don't carry a lot of equipment! These days I shoot with a Nikon D3100, a few years old with scrapes and dings from encounters with trees, riverbanks and the like. I use a standard AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm lens and an AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm (which has spent time more than once in bags of rice due to encounters with the river and always lives to tell). Nothing special at all, but I'm happy with it. They take great pictures, and are light enough with enough stability to allow me to strap them to my body and shoot from my kayak. As well, they are inexpensive enough to take out into the elements without fear of ruining a truly expensive piece of equipment.
Feedback
As with anything in life, use your imagination and think outside the box! When you have an idea, regardless of how bizarre it may seem in the moment, act on it. Don't over think, and don't over work the design. The photos that I shoot with my gut instinct, in especially creative moments, tend to be my favorites. I would, however, recommend a tripod if you have one for a shot like this. Also, get as close as your camera will allow and keep focus - the detail needs to be sharp, and cropping down tends to degrade clarity. Along the same lines, compose the shot in your head and then match it through the viewfinder. I always shoot with my eye up to the camera, never depending on the display screen, as it helps to compose without distraction.

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