El Dave Photography

A photographer and his toys. Updated weekly.

Soulcalibur (0)

12:36 PM by , under

SoulCalibur (by ElDave)

Out of all the fighting games I've played (and there have been many), the Soulcalibur series is far and away my favorite. Sure, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Tekken will always have a special place in my heart, but they'll never replace Soulcalibur.

A little background on the series, courtesy of Wikipedia:
The mystical sword of the legends, the "Soul Edge", ended in the hands of the dread pirate Cervantes of Spain. For the next 25 years he stayed dormant on the remnants of a Spanish port town, taking the souls of those who reached him during their search of the sword. His reign of terror was soon to start, but the joined efforts of a divine warrior (Sophitia) and an underground ninja (Taki) stopped him, breaking one of the twin Soul Edge blades in the process. As it was about to tear itself apart, a young knight (Siegfried) approached the port town. The moment he took the hilt of the cursed blade, Soul Edge released a bright column of light into the sky. This was known as the "Evil Seed", bound to bring calamity and death across its path.

Three years after those events, Soul Edge uses Siegfried as its host, and now Siegfried is Nightmare, a knight wearing azure armor. Europe plunges into a vortex of slaughters as he and his followers claim souls to strengthen the blade in its weakened state. Unknown to them, a group of young warriors met on their journey to stop Soul Edge, and with them three sacred weapons join once again.

This shot features the characters Astaroth and Voldo. I wanted to try and capture the atmosphere that is such a huge part of Soulcaliur and that meant light. I had to make the shot immersive. Just setting the figures in front of the backdrop would not be enough, they had to be part of the scene.

The background was graciously provided by mugley through a Creative Commons license.

In Photoshop, I did my usual gaussian blurs to soften the edges and smooth out the light, then did a slight radial blur on the background. What this did was to cause the light in the back to spill over onto the characters. Voldo, standing in the open, has much more light than Astaroth who is shadowed by the statue behind him. I'm not entirely happy with it, but it's the best I can do at the moment. It looks like I have a date with a few more digital art books before I can create the images I want. Until then, I'll just keep taking pictures and trying new things.

A tale of swords and EXIF...eternally retold

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
Exposure: 30 sec (30)
Aperture: f/25
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
X-Resolution: 240 dpi
Y-Resolution: 240 dpi
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Date and Time: 2008:10:20 14:29:08
Exposure Program: Aperture priority
Date and Time (Original): 2008:10:20 13:57:32
Date and Time (Digitized): 2008:10:20 13:57:32
Shutter Speed: -4906891/1000000
Maximum Lens Aperture: 265625/100000
Metering Mode: Pattern
Color Space: Uncalibrated
Focal Plane X-Resolution: 4433.295 dpi
Focal Plane Y-Resolution: 4453.608 dpi
Compression: JPEG
Image Width: 3888 pixels
Image Height: 2632 pixels

Be good,
-Dave



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Super Battle Droid (0)

8:13 PM by , under

Super Battle Droid (by ElDave)

I love it when I go looking for one toy, but find another that I enjoy just as much. That's how I ended up with the B2 Super Battle Droid today. I've been checking the local Targets for the Galactus Mighty Mugg, and when I checked the Target closest to home (which is in a mall and almost never has anything good), I not only found Mugglactus, but I thought I'd also push my luck and see if any Droidekas were left from the Clone Wars series. No Droidekas, but this Super Battle Droid caught my eye.

Let's be honest, the original design for these droids was pretty awful. Horribly proportioned, they just didn't look like anything I'd ever want to own. But that has all changed, baby! They slimmed the torso and widened the hips just enough so that it doesn't look like the first strong wind will destroy the entire batallion, and the addition of the little light on the torso is somehow endearing, even if it throws off his symmetry.

Now it's time for a little history about the B2 Droid, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Super battle droids are upgraded battle droids used by the Techno Union, as portrayed in Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and the animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars. They were first unleashed by the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Battle of Geonosis, the closing battle of Attack of the Clones. One of the main design flaws of the standard battle droid was its reliance on a Droid Control Ship to provide a signal; if the ship was to be disabled, the battle droids would become utterly useless. The super battle droid, or SBD, does not rely on such a signal and thus has a greater capacity for independence, as well as much more aggressive combat intelligence. In the Battle of Geonosis, Super Battle Droids were observed mowing down several of the 'useless' standard battle droids in order to get a clearer shot at the enemy (as seen in Attack of the Clones). Their frames are also larger and more heavily armored. Wrist blasters are mounted on their arms, but they are capable of using certain external weapons, though their large 'hands' make it difficult for them to use other weapons. Due to the high cost of manufacturing a new droid, the super battle droid uses some of the same parts as the standard battle droid, most notably they have a compressed battle droid head, with no neck joint.

For the setup, I initially had him posed much more aggressively. Basically, well, like this.

When I went to process those shots, I always lost the details of his face and I was just left with this big robot-shaped shadow. So that was out, but I noticed how the light fell over his arms and legs, highlighting all the cool details. I wanted to bring out that aspect, but still have him look impressive, which led to the pose we have here. Much more quiet than guns blazing, but more menacing I think.

Processing in Photoshop consisted of a radial blur to get the backlight to overlap the figure better, then adding the red chest light. Because so many of my shots are... brown or orange (I prefer the term golden), I shifted the hue over to the blue end and added a vignette to bring it all together.

All in all, not a groundbreaking photo, but something I can still feel good about.

I feel a disturbance in the EXIF:

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
Exposure: 1 sec (1)
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
X-Resolution: 240 dpi
Y-Resolution: 240 dpi
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Date and Time: 2008:10:14 21:43:33
Exposure Program: Manual
Date and Time (Original): 2008:10:14 21:29:33
Date and Time (Digitized): 2008:10:14 21:29:33
Shutter Speed: 0/1
Maximum Lens Aperture: 265625/100000
Metering Mode: Pattern
Color Space: Uncalibrated
Focal Plane X-Resolution: 4433.295 dpi
Focal Plane Y-Resolution: 4453.608 dpi
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Manual
Compression: JPEG
Image Width: 3732 pixels
Image Height: 2460 pixels

Be good,
-Dave



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Necron Destroyer (0)

6:04 PM by , under

Necron Destroyer (by ElDave)

When it comes to Wargaming, I tend to go one of two ways. I gravitate towards the religious extremists (see: Protectorate of Menoth) or as far from the standard army as possible (see: Tyranids). The Necrons are an interesting combination of the two concepts, as they are alien robots serving ancient gods who only desire to see the universe burn. They gave up their mortal bodies to serve their timeless masters, trapped forever in metal tombs that just happen to be their bodies.

I'm starting to think this photoblog should instead be where I start psychoanalyzing myself.

From Wikipedia:
...the Necrons and their masters have finally awoken to reclaim the galaxy, and begin, once again, to herd the living as their cattle. Finally, after so long, the galaxy is ready for the return of the Star Gods of the Necrons. The deadly power of the invincible Eldar Empire is long gone and their race is scattered, the unstoppable might and momentum of the Emperor's Great Crusade has had 10,000 years to grind to a bloody and brutal stalemate against the inimical forces of the galaxy, and the Orkoid races have long since lost whatever cohesion they may ever have had. All who might have opposed the C'tan are either gone or humbled, the galaxy is a swirling maelstrom of regional and factional conflict and the lives of its trillions upon trillions of inhabitants are ripe for the picking. The deathly silent ranks of the Necrons stalk forth across their tomb worlds once again, to reassert their masters' rule and inspire fear in the living.

Today's shot was done on the stovetop with the Destroyer lit by a single tealight candle. The backdrop was a cathedral wall piece made by Armorcast and poorly painted by myself. I'm starting to prefer miniature photography to actually playing the games, because I don't have to finish painting anything!

In Photosh-, I mean GIMP, I added the gaussian blurs and painted in the eyes. Other than that, it was extremely straightforward.

I still want to game.

Necron Lord with EXIF Orb

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
Exposure: 30 sec (30)
Aperture: f/18
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
Date and Time: 2008:10:04 20:02:31
YCbCr Positioning: Co-Sited
Exposure Program: Aperture priority
Date and Time (Original): 2008:10:04 19:19:11
Date and Time (Digitized): 2008:10:04 19:19:11
Shutter Speed: -321577/65536
Metering Mode: Pattern
Color Space: sRGB
Focal Plane X-Resolution: 4433.295 dpi
Focal Plane Y-Resolution: 4453.608 dpi
White Balance: Manual
Compression: JPEG
Image Type: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi
Owner Name: (
Camera Serial Number: 1220842575
Custom Functions: 24, 0, 256, 512, 768, 1024, 1280, 1536, 1792, 2048, 2304, 2560
Model ID: 2147484214
Tag::Canon::0x0013: 0, 159, 7, 112
Lens Type: EF50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro
Internal Serial Number: H1858035
Tag::Canon::0x0098: 0, 0, 0, 0
Tag::Canon::0x00AA: 10, 1182, 1024, 1024, 189
Color Space: 1
Tag::Canon::0x4008: 129, 129, 129
Tag::Canon::0x4009: 0, 0, 0
Image Width: 3888 pixels
Image Height: 2592 pixels
Macro Mode: Normal
Image Quality: Fine
Continuous Drive: Single
Focus Mode: Manual Focus
Canon Image Size: Large
Easy Mode: Manual
Contrast: Normal
Saturation: Normal
Metering Mode: Evaluative
Focus Range: Not Known
Canon Exposure Mode: Aperture-Priority AE
Lens Type: Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Macro or Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX or 28mm f/1.8
Lens: 50mm
Max Aperture: 85
Min Aperture: 320
Flash Activity: Flash did not fire
Photo Effect: Off
Color Tone: 0
Focal Type: Fixed
Scaled Focal Length: 50
Focal Plane Size: 907 x 605
Flash Guide Number: 100
ISO: 100
Measured LV: 65440
Target Aperture: 5.6568542494924
Target Exposure Time: 0
White Balance: Tungsten
F Number: 18
Camera Type: EOS Low-end
Auto Rotate: None
Image Width: 3888
Image Height: 2592
Image Width (As shot): 3504
Image Height (As shot): 2336
Shutter Count: 61521
Color Temperature: 5200°K
Picture Style: Standard
Sensor Width: 3948 (52-3939 used)
Sensor Height: 2622 (23-2614 used)

Be good,
-Dave



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