Behind the lens
FIND OUT WHY TOYS ARE NOT JUST FOR CHILD'S PLAY IN THIS LATEST PROJECT
If you like Sta r Wars and photography, we're sure you’ve seen the work of Felix Hernandez before. He shares with us the secrets behind the making of his latest toy series, War Wings.
“While I do enjoy photo manipulation, I enjoy getting it right in- camera. Since I was a child, I used to create an environment for my toys to play in; now that I’ve grown up, I realise I never stopped playing – the only difference is I have a camera in my hands to bring those scenes to life. For my latest series, I’ve used wheat flour for snow and blown a cigarette for the background smoke for added atmosphere. In the past, I've also used corn flour for deserts, a water spray for rain and corn syrup for rain droplets. If I want to freeze something, like I have here, I use butane gas – obviously I don’t mix the gas and blow a lit cigarette in the same shot as it’s highly flammable! I use studioflash to light my models – a beauty dish or snoot, and two more lights for the background. The possibilities are endless; there’s no recipe.
“Scale is one of the most important elements to give the scene a sense of realism; you have to get close with a macro lens, but that means you have to focus- stack the shots. By merging shots at different planes of focus it extends shallow depth- offield for a more realistic scene. If my models are big enough, I don’t always have to focus- stack – I use a lens in the region of 24- 105mm set to f/ 11- f/ 32. The technical side can be learnt and is easy; the hard part of toy photography is staying childish, foolish and dreamy. You have to learn how to play again – or in my case, never stop playing.” To see more of Felix’s work, visit: www. facebook. com/ Hernandezdreamphography/