In the follow up to Sunday’s artist insight with Matt Heywood we reveal his top 3 picks as he shares his thoughts on the images that have made the top grade. The feature also sheds light on the short behind the scenes videos that Matt often shares showing his editing procedure to take the shot from raw capture to final presentation.
Humbled yet again by this fantastic community I obliged and would now like to do a short analysis for my personal top three favourite Pop shots of 2016.
And here they are.
Rey and BB-8
My love of Star Wars definitely drives my Pop habit, as well as the motivations for some of the shots I take. This particular one was shot at Hilton Head, South Carolina at Coligny Beach. There was a decent amount of wind that day, which turned out to be a blessing as it kicked up sand particles to add a bit of practical elements to the photo. I shot this in Manual mode on the Canon 80d with a 50mm fixed lens. The aperture was set at 2.8, shutter speed was 1600, and ISO was set to 100. I created a trail for each Pop to make it look like they were moving away from the camera in an attempt to recreate a similar scene of Rey and BB-8 from The Force Awakens. All in all, I was happy with the attempt, and ran it through PicsArt on my iPhone to tweak a few basic settings before processing the final image you see now.
Luke Lost on Hoth
Can you tell I’m a Star Wars fan? Anyway, I love this shot of Luke, which in my mind when staging it was to look like a scene from The Empire Strikes Back. In particular, the one where Luke escapes the Hoth Wampa and aimlessly stumbles around the frozen tundra. He ultimately succumbs to the cold, but then Obi-Wan shows up to tell him about Yoda. Luckily there was some snow on the ground when I went to take this shot, but due to the location (my backyard) I had to add in some effects with Enlight on the iPhone to make it feel more like Hoth. I’m very new to the whole digital editing process, so I had a blast trying to figure out which tools would give this image the most authentic look. The photo itself is again from my Canon 80d with a 2.8 aperture, 40 shutter speed, and 250 as the ISO setting. The lens was my go to fixed 50mm from Canon.
Thanks to Enlight you can see the digital edits in a progression to see how much this shot changed from original to finished product. I’m still learning, but it’s amazing what can be done with smartphone and tablet apps these days.
Clark Kent Becomes Superman
This image is actually an exclusive I’m providing to the Exclu Collective, but stay tuned to Instagram as I’ll share it there someday through @heywoodPOP.
This shot was taken at a campground in New Hampshire this past September. Thanks to the wooded setting the opportunities were strong, so I tried to take advantage of it. Like Star Wars I’ve been a fan of the Man of Steel since birth, especially the Christopher Reeves films, which this Pop definitely reminds me of. The Pop is so well sculpted that I didn’t have to do much to make it look alive, which is probably why I’m a fan of it. It was taken with the Canon 80d using the same lens as the others. The aperture is 2.8, shutter speed is 30, and ISO was set to 100. I then ran him through Enlight to tweak colours and make it as crisp looking as possible, which resulted in the shot you see above.
Funko Pops will always be my muses when it comes to my toy photography hobby, so I hope you like what you’ve seen. Feel free to reach out to me on Instagram if you have any questions, which is also the platform that I share all of my work to.
Thanks to the Exclu Collective and other talented photographers like @sgtbananas, @toypsiot, @darth_shank, and many others for inspiring me to branch out into other toy lines such as the Star Wars Black Series line, and Bandai’s amazing line of Star Wars Samurai figures. I’ll always be a Pop photographer first, but hope to one day churn out quality pictures from those other lines too. This journey is definitely far from over.
Its always intriguing getting to learn what makes a photographer tick and which images out of their portfolios that they consider to be their best of at least their favourite. Matt has shown us that a great photographer can always squeeze character and personality out of any figure regardless of their form as Funko Pops are not known for their articulation and posing and yet Matt is able to convey the mood and tone of the character in a single shot. Let us know your thoughts and get in touch to share your personal Top 3.