I’ve been in a “something new” mood lately. I’m a fan of toy photography, but haven’t really done any work in that area. I’m not short on source material as I can’t throw a toy in my house without hitting another toy. I have two toddlers and I’m always finding toys lately in weird, unsuspecting places. It isn’t mess either, these are strategically placed or abandoned in media res when the toddler’s world of make believe switches in an instant. I found this little princess inside my shoe with a tiny, make-shift blanket. I guess she was bedding down for the night. Thinking about this, it made me realize something about perception. Toddlers are just little people. They are mobile, all senses are sharp, and they are decently coordinated (my two year old is pretty decent at Angry Birds). But they see and experience a world that is quite different than ours. We are twice as tall. Therefore, their world is much bigger so they interact with it on a smaller scale than we do. Most everything remains on a discovery level. With us, we can guess what something is based on years of experience, often missing out on any mystery. I find that this translates to photography. Macro photography or simply getting closer to that smaller world brings us to that perception, the world that is always there beneath us, the one that small children spend their days in. I didn’t photograph the princess napping in my shoe because when I found it, I was leaving. In the future though, I’m going to try and capture these little worlds.
For the photograph above, I was playing with my grown-up toys. I put my external flash inside a double-door closet with the flashgun aimed straight up. I put a radio trigger on the external flash and one on the hotshoe mount on my camera, cracked the door, and then posed the princess as “entering.” The triggered flash filled the closet with light, masking its contents, and cast light on the toy. For processing, I did a square crop, and then used the Old Photo filter in Color Efex Pro. The filter features a grain and contrast slider that works excellent for the style.