Ivan Guzman Photography

Studio Updates —

Studio updates.

Euphoria - In This Twilight

I finally got around to photographing another one from my toy collection last night. For my subject, I decided to use my BMO Noir Funko Pop toy

 BMO sitting on top of the table for the work.

BMO sitting on top of the table for the work.

 Rough sketch and notes about the shoot. I love to write down how I will shot something.

Rough sketch and notes about the shoot. I love to write down how I will shot something.

Thoughts behind the lens:

The concept was that Noir BMO would be standing in front of lights while he starts to glitch over them. I wanted only to have his hand be the one glitching like a light block or pyre created by BMO. The posing was perfect for it since it has the hand up.

 
 So many lights for the bokeh look

So many lights for the bokeh look

Items for the set:

  • BMO
  • Christmas lights, (I been saving these since last year for a project like this)
  • Black Seamless

Soundtrack:

  • HEALTH - Death Magic
  • HEALTH - DISCO3
  • HEALTH - DISCO3+
 

Making the photograph:

My studio has the ceiling to floor windows that allow so much light in that I love. But when wanting to take photos of small LEDs, it presents a problem due to the blackout curtains doing 90% of a great job. So I had to wait until nightfall to come in and do the shot. 

Once It was nice and dark, I started to build the set. Since I wanted BMO to be the center of attention I knew I wanted to have the lights be in the background and everything needed to be black, so the colors stand out more. Of course, the Noir BMO toy is very monochromatic, but I wanted it to be adding color to his life in the image.

I lit BMO with one light directed at him with a 10° grid on it. To add fill and give him his boxy dimensions back, I placed a mirror behind him to add it to him. But his hand was adding a harsh shadow on his front armpit area, so I put another light with a 20° grid on it with some cinefoil to flag it from the set to aim outside the set and then use another mirror to bring the armpit back a bit.

 Overall setup before the Christmas lights.

Overall setup before the Christmas lights.

Once he was set up, I started to bring the lights in the background and hang them between light stands that were staggered to give them a zig-zag pattern. The fun part was having them turn around properly, so they face the camera or be in the frame. Once all set, I started to figure out what time will be the best light. I started with 1/160 of a sec shutter, but that left a very dark light. So I slowed it down, and after some trial, i got the times of 1/13, 1/15, and 1/20 of a sec to be the best times. 

 Ambient version of the lights on BMO

Ambient version of the lights on BMO

The most significant thing was knowing I will need to make a bit of a composite with the lights since there is just never enough to get the right amount in the image. So I moved them forward after making the first capture and then again after the second. The last one I tried to add them a bit to the foreground but they were not showing up the way I wanted them to. So I scrapped those.

Post-Production:

When it comes to toy photos, I tend to do the edits right away since I love working on this project. Got back home late and started to work on them. After running through the list of images and getting the ones I wanted I started on the edits. Cleaned up BMO for the first one and then came the fun part of blending in the different exposures and light patterns in photoshop into one big image. 

After the lights were in place and BMO had his paint touched up, I was ready to glitch. First I did the whole image like the portraits I did for another ongoing series. But it looked more like a corrupted file then actual glitch work. So I scrapped it and started to be a little selective, and it seemed decent, but it was just weird to have it in certain spots to me. So I decided to stay focus on only doing BMO's hand. 

Final Thoughts:

Glitch work is fun and can't wait to make good art as I use it more. I think playing around with more lights and glitch very selective areas of an image will add a bit more to my style of using it. Hopefully, you enjoyed my behind the scenes look at Euphoria, until next time.

 Euphoria

Euphoria