Action Figtography Take 2: GOJIRA!!

One of my kids had a birthday this past weekend, and was the recipient of a couple new figs to add to his already sizeable Godzilla collection. Straight out of the gate, let me say this: The variety (or lack thereof) of Godzilla figures is reaching Batman Animated Series levels of critical. For every one King Ghidorah there are probably 4 Godzillas. (Side note: what’s the plural on Godzilla? Is it actually Godzillas? Godzillai?) A trip to Target gives you the 9 options of the six inch figures and out of nine, 3 of them are not a version of the King of the Monsters. It’s a 65th anniversary set so I get it. You want to celebrate the big guy by showing off his different iterations, but when it comes to 7 year olds, they want monsters that can fight each other. I digress.

The boy ended up with two Godzilli, one from us and one from his grandmother. I had some time and wanted to get back at figure photography so I stole away to the garage with his new two additions for a little while. What’s about to follow is more self-teaching. The biggest lesson I was reminded of this go around is that I don’t have enough hands. The second is that I can have lighting or I can be in focus, but right now, I can only choose one.

Here’s what I had with me:

My subjects are from NECA’s Monsterverse collection. The 2014 version as well as the fiery version from 2019’s King of the Monsters.

My Canon t5i, my Canon t2i, a lighter, a small LED ring light with a clear blue plastic cup lid for filter, a 3-color light ball, and some sparklers. I took to the garage because I needed somewhere windless and a little dark so I could get the sparklers to show up, and also cement floor so I could just chuck the dead, still stupid hot sparklers to the ground with reckless abandon and not risk setting everything aflame.

Now, there’s really only one problem with sparklers for this sort of thing and that’s timing. They never last long enough. Case in point:

See, when you’re already having issues trying to get the lens to focus –I didn’t bring the 50mm with me– you have to snap what you can before the fuse burns up. This was the best of about 15 pictures I snapped quickly. I like the color contrast here between the orange of the sparkler and the blue light under him. But, he’s out of focus and he’s only close up. That’s due to there being either a minivan or a Camry in the background if I went any wider. Obscure it as much as you like, those are very much still car doors back there. When I get a better background set up, I’ll be able to do a lot more, but this is the early days, and it’s all very slow going.

He’s a lot less threatening when matched up against the might of a Grand Caravan.

Here’s the one that I consider the best of the bunch.

This one had a little post tweaking done to it with the contrast and the filter. I nailed the color levels of the original pic which made it that much easier afterward. He’s a little more purplish blue than straight blue but it feels more film grainy with the foggy edges.

That’s all for now. Like everything, it’s the journey, not the destination, and this journey continues forward, ever forward.

See? Focus or Lighting. Never both…yet.

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