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Far Over The Lego Misty Mountain Cold

Let me introduce myself.

My name is Ryan, and I’m extremely grateful and excited to now officially be a part of the FlyFeNniX team. I met Ces and Micah in my first year of college, and we’ve been good friends through it all. I watched as the company was first created, and have had the opportunity to help out with a project or two in the past. Having graduated this past May, Ces gave me the chance to work with them and I took him up on the offer. I’m excited to see what’s in store!

Thankfully, my first blog post is on something I’m just as excited about.

What do you do when an afternoon opens up? When Saturday suddenly became free, Ces and I were left wondering that same question. Not wanting to squander the opportunity, we felt like redeeming the time and doing something creative. Photo shoots; videos; whatever peaked our interest, and budget. After some brainstorming, we ended up on our mutual love for Lego (greatest toy ever). At first, we had the idea of taking dramatic portraits of Lego mini-figs. When grabbing LOTR and The Hobbit characters out of Ces’s collection, portraits didn’t seem enough. The idea quickly ballooned into recreating the Misty Mountain song scene featured in The Hobbit (you can find it here). After finding a space in Ces’s apartment, we dove in.

We shot on Elena, our RED Scarlet with a 100mm macro, looking to capture as much detail as possible while making the figures look similar to their real-life counterparts. The surprising part of the shoot was discovering how difficult it was to light miniatures, especially Lego. As we still wanted to light it dramatically, creating a strong contrast was essential. The glossy-ness of the Lego heads, combined with their shape, caught almost any light we used and created harsh lines running down their faces. Our regular light kits were out of the picture; we had to go small. We used a combination of tea-lights, electronic candles, and an Ice Light with an orange gel. With effort, we were able to diffuse enough of the light to make it even across their faces. However, we still wanted to give the light effect of a fire. Even though the tea lights gave a flicker, it wasn’t strong enough – we took out a lighter and held it about three inches from their faces. Thankfully, our actors were extremely patient through the whole process.

It was around 8 hours from conception to completion, with a dinner break in the middle. I’d say that it was an afternoon well spent.

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