A few weeks ago, while inspecting a very tall and shapely snow drift through the convenience of my sun-room window, I came up with an idea. If I could find some scale figurines, I could position them on this drift so they appeared to be climbing up this “mountain” (think “Into Thin Air”) or perhaps skiing or surfing down it. A quick and disappointing search of my house revealed no such scale figures or action dolls. Next, I did what any modern person in my situation would do… I searched Ebay! Ten minutes of searching returned only a few seemingly good prospects. After some deliberation, I pulled the trigger on a $3.00 packet of “scale people.” About a 10 days later, they appeared in my mailbox. They were So Tiny!
Being so darn small posed some problems. 1. They could not stand on their own. 2. Their paint jobs were not very good (they looked horrible if I zoomed in up close with a macro lens). How could my Tiny People and I work together to get decent photos? First I decided that my expectations needed to shift. I would no longer be trying for “excellent” or “moderately great” shots, but would instead try for “good” photos.
I played with the crazy idea of painting my face to look like a monster and get strangely lite shots of the Little People falling into my mouth. Hey, I’m always up to try something different, but after considering the potential health risks (the Little People would become slobbery choking hazards, and their paint was bound to come off in my mouth), I decided to nix the idea.
I then set up for the photos. At first, I thought a black background would be best since they are lightly colored. I set up two speed lights, one on either side and took some test shots of them falling.
The final, and I think best shots below, were achieved by gluing their tiny feet to a board and back lighting them against a large white diffuser disk. I used a snoot on a single speed-light to get the silhouetted look. The camera and strobe were both in manual mode. The strobe was set to about 1/16 power. I used a 50mm macro lens for these shots. The camera was at 1/800 sec. at f/11, ISO 200. The high shutter speed was needed eliminate the room’s ambient light that I was using to help me focus as I comprised different shots.
I like my friend’s title suggestion “Alien Abduction.” I just hope the aliens weren’t as perplexed at their tiny size as I was.