El Dave Photography

A photographer and his toys. Updated weekly.

Poacher (0)

7:11 AM by , under

Poacher

New camera! New toy! An all new, all different El Dave Photography!
Ok, so maybe not that last one. But my new Canon Rebel XTi arrived and I'm happy to say that I'm thrilled with it. It's about half the size of my Fuji S2 Pro, and if it weren't for the lenses, it might even fit in my pocket. Powerful, compact, and finally affordable? How can you go wrong?

Now for the toy. The Poacher is made by McFarlane Toys and is part of Spawn Series 34. While I don't remember him from the 50 or so issues of Spawn I've read, I am able to read the back of the package!

Ok, I was wrong. The back of the package was no help. After digging through the McFarlane Toys website, all I can gather is that he's a resculpt of an old figure from their Total Chaos line. OH! Found a description from a random online store selling the original figure.

In a far-off sector of the galaxy there is a battle of good vs. evil. The conflict is not decided by armies but by a handful of warriors picked from throughout time. Chosen for their distinctive skills they are adapted to fight in the war known as...TOTAL CHAOS.

A hunter known throughout the world for his savage style of killing the poacher is one of the Domains fiercest warriors. Armed with a small arsenal he travels the world in search of new species of life that don't yet adorn his trophy rack. The Poacher is in fact so ruthless that he has even killed other members of the Domain just to fill a void in his collection. Sold as eaches.

Sold as eaches. Tee hee.

Set up for the Poacher was on the stovetop, with the oven light up top and a smaller lamp lighting him from below. The background texture is a box fan. Open up the F-Stop to F11 to make sure that most of him is in focus, then click.

Cleanup in Photoshop was a color shift from the orangey-yellow of my lamps to the blueish green of the sci fi look I was going for. I had to really bump up the contrast on the Poacher, then, to make him look a little more real, I added a slight gaussian blur to bring him all together. All he needed then was a color dodged eye glow.

Hunting to deadiest of prey...EXIF:
Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
Exposure: 30 sec (30)
Aperture: f/11
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
X-Resolution: 72 dpi
Y-Resolution: 72 dpi
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Date and Time: 2008:08:30 09:38:07
YCbCr Positioning: Co-Sited
Exposure Program: Aperture priority
Date and Time (Original): 2008:08:29 20:58:39
Date and Time (Digitized): 2008:08:29 20:58:39
Shutter Speed: -321577/65536
Metering Mode: Pattern
Color Space: sRGB
Focal Plane X-Resolution: 4433.295 dpi
Focal Plane Y-Resolution: 4453.608 dpi
Compression: JPEG
Image Width: 3888 pixels
Image Height: 2592 pixels

Be good,
-Dave



Links to this post | edit post

New Camera GET! (3)

6:56 PM by , under

As you may have noticed from the last several shots, I've been using a Canon Rebel XTi instead of my trusty Fuji S2 Pro. This has led to rumors of infidelity amongst my camera gear and I want to get things all out in the open to dispel some of the more nasty things being said.
Said by this little camera:
Reflector

The XTi was not mine, true. I was using another person's DSLR and for that I apologize. I love my S2 very much, but it just isn't enough for me. Nikon just doesn't make a lens that lets me get a picture like this:
Brute Stalker

Sooooo, after much soul searching (and occasionally dusting off the S2), I decided to order an XTi of my own. Thanks to Adorama, I was able to find one for SUPER cheap and it should be here sometime next week.

Now I have to start buying lenses. Anyone have a winning lottery ticket to spare?



Links to this post | edit post

Psycho Pirate (2)

8:49 PM by , under

Psycho Pirate

From Wikipedia:
Roger Hayden, first appeared as the second Psycho-Pirate in Showcase #56, created by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson.
Roger Hayden is a jailed gangster (later retconned into a young twenty-year-old who was sentenced to a year in prison for attacking his emotionally abusive psychiatrist father) who is a cellmate to Halstead. Halstead's dying wish to have a legacy prompts him to tell Hayden of a secret which he has divined in his jail years, the existence of the Medusa Mask. This golden mask bestows upon the wearer the power to project emotions onto others. Hayden finds this mask and uses its powers to become a supervillain. It becomes increasingly apparent that he is addicted to absorbing others' emotions, though it causes him pain. He is eventually imprisoned after a battle with Doctor Fate and Hourman.

I found Psycho Pirate in the clearance bin at the local KB Toys and knew I had to have him. While I'm not a big fan of the character, there was something about the pose, the body language, that really called out to me.

The first and most obvious thing about Psycho Pirate is his golden Medusa Mask. It's his defining feature, and I certainly had to incorporate it into the shot. While the mask itself is all but featureless, it's presence defines the character. Without it, he's just a schmuck with a silly costume.

The second thing about Mr. Pirate is his face. Initially, I was frustrated with it, because his eyes are painted as looking up, making my usual trick "Low Camera to make figure look Life Size" not work, because it looked like he was just spacing out or maybe had two lazy eyes. Not good for a villain. "Oh no, Psycho Pirate is gazing off into the distance slightly above my head!"

I took several pictures with the mask on, but they all came out a little bland. The combination of his garish costume and the plain mask just didn't make for compelling photography. Finally, I had a flash of inspiration, much like with the Lotus Warrior. "Which is more important, the man or the mask?" With that in mind, I decided to run with him gazing up, with the focus squarely on the mask. Emphasizing the gimmick instead of the man.

Processing in Photoshop consisted of painting the mask with a lighter color to make it pop against the dark colors and shadows I used. All that was left was to adjust the color temperature to add a little bit of blue/green to it, then play around with blurs and add the bloom to bring it all together.

Ok, you know what? Instead of Wikipedia, just go here for more info about the Psycho Pirate.

No more silly EXIF:

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
Exposure: 4 sec (4)
Aperture: f/13
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
X-Resolution: 72 dpi
Y-Resolution: 72 dpi
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Date and Time: 2008:08:15 21:29:48
YCbCr Positioning: Co-Sited
Exposure Program: Manual
Date and Time (Original): 2008:08:15 20:39:15
Date and Time (Digitized): 2008:08:15 20:39:15
Shutter Speed: -131071/65536
Metering Mode: Pattern
Color Space: sRGB
Focal Plane X-Resolution: 3210.946 dpi
Focal Plane Y-Resolution: 3230.241 dpi
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Manual
Compression: JPEG
Image Width: 1880 pixels
Image Height: 2816 pixels

Be good,
-Dave



Links to this post | edit post

Brute Stalker (0)

6:19 AM by , under

Brute Stalker

To be honest, I haven't played much of the Halo series (or any first person shooter). I get pretty motion sick watching the screen bob and bounce around, not to mention the anxiety that comes from knowing that someone is waiting around that next corner, ready to murder me and then hump my corpse. Thankfully, that doesn't stop me from enjoying the visual aspects of the game. I loved the trailers they made, and the cgi videos were top notch. I just can't handle, you know, playing.

According to Halopedia (which I just learned existed):
Stalkers are covered in gray armor and possess integrated circuitry for Active Camouflage in their Power Armour. They often use Radar Jammers to confuse their prey and are the main users of Incendiary Grenades. It is unknown how Brutes are promoted to this rank (possibly the number of casualties they inflict), but they are commonly seen acting as spies and bodyguards for Brute Chieftains. The Stalkers replaced the Special Operations Elites of Halo 2 after the Elites became Separatists from the Covenant.

Setup was pretty simple, as was processing in Photoshop. All I had to do was a little color correction and add the laser eye thing. I wanted to get his guns in the shot because they're full of cool details, but it just didn't work out. Maybe the next one will have the guns? I hope so.

So, people who play Halo, how did I do? Does he look like he's in the game?

Sub-Orbital EXIF:

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
Exposure: 6 sec (6)
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
X-Resolution: 72 dpi
Y-Resolution: 72 dpi
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Date and Time: 2008:08:02 14:24:13
YCbCr Positioning: Co-Sited
Exposure Program: Aperture priority
Date and Time (Original): 2008:08:02 14:05:27
Date and Time (Digitized): 2008:08:02 14:05:27
Shutter Speed: -169407/65536
Metering Mode: Pattern
Color Space: sRGB
Focal Plane X-Resolution: 3210.946 dpi
Focal Plane Y-Resolution: 3230.241 dpi
White Balance: Manual
Compression: JPEG
Image Width: 2816 pixels
Image Height: 1880 pixels

Be good,
-Dave



Links to this post | edit post