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Mitchel Wu Toy Photography Behind the Scenes: Jason Juggling Skulls

Another fun image created in the most exotic of locations...my porch. You can see that I placed a piece of black construction paper behind the scene to give it a nighttime look. I'll change that to a blue piece of paper if it's a daytime scene with blue sky. Or if the story takes place in a forest I won't use any backdrop and will just use the natural look of the shrubs and trees in the back. I have Jason posed on one leg to give a little motion to the pose and help sell the juggling story. Posing can make or break an image, so take the time to figure out the best pose possible. Some figures, like this one by NECA, have limited articulation, so you need to figure out how to get the most from them. If you look closely you can see that his right hand is in a clenched position, which would be unnatural for juggling. To help hide that I positioned that arm and hand in a position where it was coming at the viewers as opposed to being shown in profile like his left hand, which hopefully makes it less obvious. Some homemade tombstones and skulls I had from an old Halloween necklace help tell the story and add visual interest.

The low lying mist is an important part of this image and was created with Atmosphere Aerosol - a super versatile product. Depending on how you use it, and in what kind of light, you can get a variety of looks and effects. In this image I wanted a low lying mist, which is easily accomplished if there's no wind. By time I took the video the wind kicked up a little, but you'll get the best results from this product when there's little to no wind.


And here's the fun, final edited image where everything came together. For the skulls in the air it's simply matter of getting them into position wth supports (I use wire) and them removing the wires in post production (I use Photoshop for this, but there are other editing programs that do this as well). Setup and photography took 45 minutes tops, with editing taking maybe another 30-45. All in all a pretty fast, smooth process.

I created this image using the Canon 5D Mark III paired with the Canon 135mm f/2L - ISO 1600, f/2 at 1/1000sec. The camera was mounted on my Manfrotto 057 Carbon Fiber tripod. Thank you to my sponsors at Atmosphere Aerosol (use discount code MW10 for a special rate if purchasing from their website), Manfrotto , Spider Holster and Lowepro camera bags.

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