Our opening feature for Guardians weeks belongs to Issue 2 photographer Dale Schenck @darth_shank as he shares his passion for the franchise alongside his impressive collection of Hot Toys and a new favourite toy – light paint brushes…
Dale Schenk for Guardians Week
I remember the first time I saw Guardians of the Galaxy in theaters. I was completely floored by how amazing it was. I still consider it my favorite comic book movie of all time. It’s the perfect blend of action and comedy, as well as plot and character development, not to mention it’s just flat out visually stunning. Marvel was able to take a comic book that very few people even knew existed and turned it into a cinematic masterpiece.
When I was asked to do this series of shots for Guardians week, I decided that I wanted to do it in a style that emphasised where I am as a photographer right now. As some of you may have already noticed, I try to change my style quite often, I don’t like to get comfortable doing the same thing every shot. I feel that this is the best way to grow as an artist, to never stop moving forward and never get comfortable doing the same thing. Getting out of your comfort zone is a challenge and doesn’t always produce the results you’re looking for but it will teach you things you wouldn’t learn if you don’t push your own boundaries.
Lately my shots have mostly been long exposures, manipulating light over a long period of time to create something that never really existed except through the lens of my camera. Every shot from this series has an exposure time of at least 15 seconds and upwards of a minute, most of them utilise multiple flashes which were triggered manually from different angles to mimic multiple light sources. I tried using different techniques within the series to show some variety but still holding the same theme of long exposures. The newest tool I’ve been using are light painting brushes, which can be seen in one of the Groot shots that I submitted, they are a fun way to add a little more artistry to your photograph and definitely worth checking out.
The figures I used were all by Hot Toys, which are in my opinion, some of the best figures ever made. Star-Lord was the first Hot Toy I ever purchased and is still my favourite, the detail on the jacket alone is incredible. Groot and Rocket came shortly after since I was already hooked after purchasing Star-Lord. A lot of people have problems with the price of Hot Toys but these three figures in particular are totally worth it in my opinion. Bridging the gap between reality and fantasy is what I think toy photography is all about, so using the best possible figure should be any toy photographers goal and Hot Toys has that in spades.
With Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 coming out this May, it has brought back my passion for shooting these characters, so I was beyond thrilled when i was asked to make these photos for Exclu. Really honoured to be apart of this with some other really talented artists, can’t wait to see what everyone else comes up with!
A huge thank you goes to Dale for helping us start the week on a high with this incredible series of shots for our Guardians week event. Be sure to catch Dale over on Instagram where he is always upto something new from shoots to trading cards and even showing off the more Michael Bay-esque content that the community has to offer – @darth_shank