Exclu Tutorial. Topics Covered:
We kick of this weeks proceedings with a really extensive behind the scenes from photographer Mo Yassin as he breaks down the inner workings of his latest exclusive shot based around The Death of Wolverine comic arc – seriously in-depth stuff covering lighting, camera settings and shot angles.
A Behind The Scenes look
By Mohamed Yassin @mo__yassin
Firstly, I’d like to thank the Exclu Collective team for giving me the cool chance to share some BTS tips on my work. My name is Mohamed Yassin but you can call me Mo, I’m a 24 year old Egyptian architect and toy photography is my hobby.
I approach toy photography as a hybrid technique, I like to add a big deal of practical work in my shots and enhance them in post processing , wether it’s lighting, extra background details etc… pure practical shots and pure digital shots are not my thing.
I also like my shots to try and tell stories silently without the use of speech bubbles, I try to achieves that using : lighting, posing, camera angles and environment. I think toy photography is all about learning from others in the community and getting different inspirations. I hope that this BTS give’s any of you inspiration .
I approached this shot with an inspiration in mind, the panel from “The Death of Wolverine #4” by Steve McNiven. I wanted to add to it by adding more character giving Wolverine a farewell.
Having an outline and inspiration of the story you want your toy photo to say will help guide you -an image driven by story is stronger than one without it.
My first concern was re-creating the molten Adamantium in the panel.. for this I used foil and wrapped around the Marvel legend Wolverine (Juggernaut BAF). The trick is to cut to foil into segments (segment for each body part) rather than wrapping it up all in 1 piece , this is to avoid it from bunching up and taking the form of his pose and body that I set him in.
Next was the scene – I used a blue gradient for my background to replicate the sky and a concrete diorama floor I made out of sand paper and foam boards.
Lighting and Composition
Lighting and photo composition are key to creating a photo that is visually pleasing for the viewer.
For the lighting I used two light sources : a yellow tinted forward light for ambient lighting and to create a colour gradient on the backdrop to make the viewers eye flow along the picture , a warm colour light source on the side which acts as the general lighting for the scene. Composition wise, there were many things at play.
I went with a dutch angle (tilted) to create some dynamic sense and because I wanted the angle to tell part of the story….
Let me elaborate : by placing both rogue and cable at the lower tilted left of the picture it gives a sense that both characters have given their farewell and are about leave the frame… while the right part have no characters and is spacious to give the feeling of isolation and loneliness that follows the farewell.
That was for the horizontal plan when it comes to angles.. for vertical I also tilted the angle upwards to give the characters this monumental scale and great status.. these are iconic characters and the angle needed to say it.
-mode : manual
-fstop 8 (wanted everything crisp and in focus)
-iso : 100
-aperture : 1.6″ (a relatively moderate time.. that was to allow that yellow light source to have a noticeable effect both on the characters and backdrop).
After shooting comes post processing and for that I use photoshop. First thing i did was increase the saturation to emphasise the colours.
Then I wanted to add some extra oomph to the back drop, I downloaded a sky photograph and added to the file and set the mode of the image to overlay that allows the figure to be placed and pick up on all the lighting on the scene .. I then erased the parts placed on top of the characters.
However, the background takes away from the characters so I added a blur effect on the layer to make it appear as it’s properly out of focus.
And that was it.. this is the final output.
Hope you enjoyed the final picture and hope the BTS gave you some insight or inspirations.
Thanks again to the Exclu Collective team and hope all of you enjoy Marvel Legends week… keep taking pictures guys ! 🙂
What a way to kick off Marvel Legends week – A thorough behind the scenes breaking down all the various components and the thought processes’s that went into this exclusive shot of Wolverine. Be sure to catch more of Mo’s work over on Instagram : @mo__yassin and stay tuned as we’ll have more Marvel content all this week.