Vertical videos seem to be the future, whether we like it or not. It all started with Instagram and Snapchat, and even Arri and Samsung have joined the trend. However, the arguments against it are still strong and the debate between vertical and horizontal video seems never-ending at this point. But, a brilliant comic from xkcd seems to have the ultimate solution!
Back in December my brother asked me if I would be interested in going to Comic Con in Indianapolis, IN, and I immediately said absolutely! In his mind, he was excited to see what comic books he could find or the hard to find vinyl POP figure or possibly a GI Joe collectible, but in my mind I knew I was going there to photograph people in their costumes.
These couldn’t be just any images though… I mean come on, the lighting at the event is going to be gross, the crowds will be huge, I’ll have to fight for space… This seems like 360 degrees of complexity. So, I start thinking to myself “how can I make the subjects stand out from the crowd?”, I got it! I’ll do one speedlight in my 26″ Westcott Rapid Box attached to my mono pod, I’ll expose for the environment to be dark and then have the light just kiss the top half of the subject. There was one issue though, I needed someone to hold the light. I was in luck! My younger brother who lives in the area was also attending Comic Con and he is a photographer too. I reached out to him, told him what I was thinking, and he was in.
As their creators describe it, “Project Grand Shadows is a digital photography comic book project about a homeless man, outsider in our society, who gets recruited to an experiment that goes wrong”. It’s an interesting story, but what’s even more interesting is that they’re illustrating it with photos instead of drawings.
Obviously the project is about telling the story, but it’s also about the journey of making the comic. The whole comics with photographs thing has been done before, but usually not very well. The images in this instance, though, are rather good. Creating them presents a unique set of challenges, which is why they’re also documenting its creation.
Ever since the release of the first Deadpool trailer I knew I wanted to do a photo-shoot based on this character. The personality of this character leaves me with endless possibilities, from badass attitude to total irreverent behavior.
First step was to source a cosplayer with a badass costume. I’ve been searching for a while and finally came across DaddyDeadpool.UK Cosplay. As soon as I saw pictures of him on Facebook I messaged him. Very quickly he messaged me back and agreed to organize a photo-shoot. YES! We created a mood board (Collection of example images) prior to the shoot. Surfing the net, looking for Deadpool images, I noticed a lot of Deadpool & Harley Quinn fan art. This gave me a few more options to add to this epic photo-shoot. I came across Olivia Ward who cosplays a pretty awesome Suicide Squad Harley Quinn. I messaged her asking if she would like to tag along and she agreed. 2 x YES!
A few months ago I began a photography series recreating the iconic X-men group with cosplay artists. My first character was the Dark phoenix. After completing this, I went to look for the second hero. Of course that called for another screening of the X-men (this time the X-men 2 movie).
I fell in love with The Nightcrawler – Kurt Wagner – and decided he would be my next project.
What if your pre-wedding shoot was so dangerous, exaggerated and complex that there was no way you could actually participate in it? This is exactly what append to Indonesian Photographer Seno Haryo. His idea for a pre-wedding shoot involved, some avengers, a collapsing New-York, Dinosaurs, Dianna Jones and other such heroes.
Seno had no choice but to convert himself and his wife-to-be into 3D figurines and construct dioramas for each of the shots planned.
The first phase was to build two 3D actions figures that looked like Seno and his fiance:
French photographer Frederic Amadu recently shot a series starring Marvel Universe’s Dark Phoenix (oh, make a movie already!!). The Dark Phoenix ( or Jean Grey) has elemental control over fire. So fire was a main part of the shoot. Easier said than done. Frederic had to hack A Broncolor MoveL unit twice. A Different hack for each shot.
If you are like me you know what superheroes are doing for the brief 120 minutes that they are on the silver screen, but surely they have a life after the movie, and they face the same situations as we all do, don’t they? Photographer Edy Hardjo decided to find out.
In his photos our favorite superheroes face jealousy, bodily needs and human emotions. Not without a healthy sense of humor.
I wondered how the photos look so real. I guess using 1/6 detailed figures (like Hot Toys, Enterbay, 3A and alike, they those are not cheap and can easily go over $200-$300) have a big contribution to that, but Edy also told DIYP that he makes small modifications to the figures: “especially the hair. I change original the sculpted hair with rooted hair, to make it looked more alive. My friend do it for me, he is the expert“. And those modifications are well worth the effort.
In June 1938 ‘action comics’ were published and Superman was introduced to the world. Not only was the character of Superman was born that day, but also comics as we know it. Today, 76 years later, comics is a multi-billion dollar industry.
Over the years comics became less cartoonish and more realistic, to the degree where today many refer to it as “graphic novel” rather than “comics”. Comic artists are great story tellers and by inspecting their art we can extrapolate and get inspiration for our own art. As an art form, comic books have a lot to teach us about photography.
Before we start, it is important for me to explain that I didn’t focus on a specific character or series, I tried to find examples from all around the comic universe, both male and female characters, well known and anonymous characters, DC and Marvel, old and new. With the main premise that Photographers can benefit from comics in a similar way that comics artist have benefited from photography.
Let’s start with something we all relate to comics, the superheroes!