We are big fans of Felix Alejandro Hernández Rodríguez and the way he uses creative ways to shoot scenes in camera. After shooting a world war II plane fight with power, he came back and shot a fantasy boat with some dry ice.
We approached Felix and again to gain some insights on his photos.
… Is such a big pleasure to create… It is almost like a drugs (which I don’t take!). But you still get addicted to it.
For me photography is about replicating what exists out there, but to portray what exists in me… It is not about a boat or a boy or a crow and a dove, neither the fog or the light. It is also not about the mix of scaled models with real models, or the camera, the lens or the studio gear…
… It is about the creating a story, it is about story telling. It doesn’t matter if it’s only one frame or the fact that neither you or me knows the complete tale.
All the techniques, all the knowledge, all the setup is at the service of that one magic instance which will be frozen in our memories forever and that makes us believe and create or own world.
I also used 3 studio strobes with huge modifiers
Settings and Process
I shot at f/8 @Iso 100. But when you are this close, even at f/8, the focus is not good enough, so I used focus stacking. Focus Stacking is a technique which requires you to take different shots of your subject, focusing from the very first plane (the closer part of the subject towards your lens) to the furthest plane of your subject and in between. In the end you will have an “X” amount of individual shots of all the planes of your subject in focus – individual images that you will process in software like Photoshop to get a final image with all it’s planes in focus. Overall there are 15 photos of the boat each with a different focal point.
As far as lighting goes, I placed two strobes pointing at the backdrop to get it to be almost completely white, and another big octa for both the boat and (at a different time) the boy. You can see the white board reflecting some light on the back while blocking the big background light.
Another part of the shoot was creating the fog, and this was done using some dry ice. We did this for the boat…
… and again for the boy
A nice quality of dry ice is that it is heavy so it sinks down and stays. This allows for some great fogy shots
Lastly, the actual dove and crow were obtained from stock photos