El Dave Photography

A photographer and his toys. Updated weekly.

Macro Monday (0)

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Macro Monday (by ElDave)

Over on Flicker.com there are groups with a different theme every day. Bokeh Wednesday, Half Naked Thursday, and, I guess most appropriate for today, Macro Mondays. Every Monday a new theme is posted and the group members have a week to come up with an appropriate themed shot. Some past themes have been Imperfection, Urban Decay, and Bodies as Art, but the theme for this week is Metallic, and I knew right away what my shot would be.

Macro Monday, meet Iron Man, Mk 1. Iron Man, Mk 1? Monday. Just in case you two aren't well acquanted, here is a brief introduction, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Born Anthony Edward "Tony" Stark, he suffers a severe heart injury during a kidnapping and is forced to build a destructive weapon. He instead creates a power suit to save his life and help him escape. He later decides to use the suit to protect the world as the superhero, Iron Man. He is a wealthy industrialist and genius inventor who created military weapons and whose metal suit is laden with technological devices that enable him to fight crime. Initially, Iron Man was a vehicle for Stan Lee to explore Cold War themes, particularly the role of American technology and business in the fight against communism. Subsequent re-imaginings of Iron Man have gradually removed the Cold War themes, replacing them with more contemporary concerns such as corporate crime and terrorism.

Throughout most of the comic's history, Iron Man has been a member of the superhero team the Avengers and has been featured in several incarnations of his own various comic book series. The character has been adapted for several animated TV shows, as well as for the 2008 live action films Iron Man and a cameo in The Incredible Hulk where he is played by Robert Downey, Jr.

This Iron Man figure came courtesy of Hasbro, and is/was available at most big box retail outlets. Availability may vary.

Setup for this one was very simple. Taking my repainted and customized (I added the antenna. I R TOY HAXXOR) Mk 1 into my studio aka kitchen stovetop, I had a very difficult time lighting him. I tried a lamp, but he was too washed out. I tried candles, but that wasn't quite right either. Finally, completely out of frustration, I held up my lighter just inbetween the lens and the toy, just below where the camera was focusing and snapped the shot.

For a little post processing love, I first open Mk 1 in GIMP to run their extraordinary Auto White Balance. Say what you want about it's usability and clunky interface (this coming from a Photoshop user), that one tool makes it worth a download. Going from GIMP into Photoshop, I first adjusted the Red Saturation to bring down the ruddy background and make the figure pop more. Then, using the same steps as my robot eyes tutorial, I painted in his Unibeam. Finally, wanting to really make him look like rough, hammered metal, I ran a High Pass Filter over the image, setting the blending mode to Overlay.

So that's my first Macro Monday. It only took me, what, and hour? Hour and a half? I may have to do a couple more of these in the future, if only to see how many themes I can cram my toys into.

TONY STARK BUILT IT IN A CAVE! WITH A BOX OF EXIF:

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
Exposure: 0.5 sec (1/2)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
X-Resolution: 72 dpi
Y-Resolution: 72 dpi
Software: Adobe Photoshop 7.0
Date and Time: 2009:01:19 08:50:21
YCbCr Positioning: Co-Sited
Exposure Program: Aperture priority
Date and Time (Original): 2009:01:19 08:59:55
Date and Time (Digitized): 2009:01:19 08:59:55
Shutter Speed: 65536/65536
Metering Mode: Pattern
Color Space: Uncalibrated
Focal Plane X-Resolution: 4433.295 dpi
Focal Plane Y-Resolution: 4453.608 dpi
White Balance: Manual
Compression: JPEG
Image Width: 3888 pixels
Image Height: 2592 pixels

Be good,
-Dave

You can order your copy of my book, Life in Plastic, Vol. 1, directly from Lulu:

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