Friday, July 11, 2008

Cranillium Attacks


The writing below refers to the darker version here --> Darker Version Can't decide which is better...


My new GorillaPod arrived in the mail today! Before I continue, I must commend Joby on their excellent customer service. One of the joints on my GorillaPod became so loose it rendered my pod to nothing more than a photo prop. I contacted Joby from my home here in Korea and they offered to replace the pod free of charge. In fact, they even let me upgrade to a larger GorillaPod, the Zoom, and credited my Visa for the cost of the original. That's customer service.

So there I was at work, fooling around with my new toy and the idea came to me. I picked up the musical-shaker-skull in Canada to use as Pavlovian device in my children's classroom. The idea was to create a strong link between "shaka shaka shaka" and "Listen!". It never really worked but the kids adored Skully. One day I had to run down to the office and I told my kids Skully would be keeping an eye on them, propped him on my GorillaPod and everyone had a good laugh at the sight.

But this was to be no laughing matter. I envisioned carnage, wreckage, chaos, fear and weirdness. On the bike ride home I picked up a set of toy cars for $4.00 and got to work setting up the shot.

Strobist Info:

The scene took a while lay out. I started with a giant tin of tomatoes and put a cutting board covered with my Nike athletics shirt on it. I had to find stuff to prop up the cars and it had to be small enough to remain out of site. In the end I used a wire splicer and socket. The lighting setup was pretty simple, just a flash located up to the rear left side and a white hand held Styrofoam reflector on the front right side.

I took a number of shots and chose this one because it was the "darkest" of the bunch. I like how Skully slips out of the heavy shadows on the right side. I'd have preferred slightly more DOF to bring the cars into focus and a lower perspective to give the sense of an overbearing monster. Also, the highlights are a little strong on the vehicles but I found when the vehicles looked well exposed it took away from the chaotic feel. The bright light from the left side illuminating the 'ground' and vehicles could be head lights, search lights, UFO lights, etc. The name of the photo is derived from Cranium and Gorilla - Cranillium

Technical Info:
Camera ------- D350 / Rebel / Kiss
Lens ----------- Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 @ 63mm
Shutter -------- 1/200
Aperture ------ f/6.3
ISO ------------ 100
Flash 1 Blitz - 1/16 Power
Flash 2 Zap -- No
Tripod --------- Yes


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