Thursday, October 13, 2016

Toy Photography // SpiderPro Holster

The Perils of Toy Photography - Behind the Scenes

    The final image with Tie Fighters and laser blasts layered in.  

I had an absolute (laser) blast creating this image.  Fall weather seemed to have finally arrived in Southern California, so I knew I could take my time scouting the perfect location and not worry about the brutal desert heat.  I also knew that the location could make or break this image, so my goal was to find a rocky ledge that would allow a dramatic leap, as if dodging a couple of Tie Fighters' scorching laser blasts.  Sometimes great locations just fall into your lap, other times you have to work for them.  On this particular day I had to work for it, but in the end I feel it all paid off.  

A little about the gear shown in this post.  I paired my trusted Canon 5D Mark III with the always amazing Canon 135L lens.  An absolute killer combo for toy photography (and nearly any other kind of photography).  And keeping my camera securely attached to my hip was the amazing SpiderPro Holster.  In my experience, the SpiderPro Holster is THE only way to carry an easily accessible camera safely and securely in rugged terrain like this. The camera stays firmly and securely attached to your hip via the holster, but can be accessed with lightening speed like a six shooter in an old west gunfight. When my camera was out of its holster it was held securely to my hand with the SpiderPro Hand Strap... undeniably the best hand strap on the market (I'm not alone in this assessment - just research the reviews online). Even though I traversed some pretty demanding terrain, dropping my camera was never a concern with the hand strap, which allowed me to focus on maintaining solid footing instead.

When I finally found the ideal location for my image I made the jump exactly as seen in the final image.  My camera and lens, weighing close to 5 pounds, was held securely to my hip by the SpiderPro Holster throughout the process. I repeated this jump 4 or 5 times before getting an image I was satisfied with.  Don't try this at home kids... and definitely don't try it with a standard neck strap or dual strap system. 

I also took separate photos of the Tie Fighters so that I could extract them and layer them into the main photo later.  The laser blasts were created using Photoshop.

Searching for the ideal location. This wasn't it, but it worked fine for the shots of the Tie Fighters, and I knew it could be used for future toy photography setups. "Location, location, location" applies to toy photography as well as real estate.  

The amazing 5D Mark III and 135 f2/L partnered with the equally amazing SpiderPro Holster and Hand Strap.  I was working in an extreme environment with very precarious footing, but thankfully no photography gear was harmed in the making of this image! This carry-system is as at home in the harsh desert as it is at black tie events. 

Location successfully scouted!  4 or 5 jumps later and I have the shot.  I love how it appears to be a very deep ravine I'm jumping over.  In reality, it was more like a 4 foot drop.  Maybe closer to 6 feet when you factor my jumping vertically and out.  Notice the camera firmly planted on my side. As the band INXS once famously sang... Two worlds collided, and they could never tear us apart (my camera and I, that is)!

Learn more about the SpiderPro Holster and Hand Strap HERE.

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Toy Photography by Mitchel Wu Photography
Email for more information

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