George Yagas is an up-and-coming photographer within the community who shoots a whole range of figures from the McFarlane Halo Range across to the more mainstream Black Series and in this feature we get to know the photographer and his creative process with an exclusive photoshoot.
The 3 Key areas of effective photography
By George Yagas (@figure_inheritors)
“One picture is worth a thousand words.”
For Photographers , this is a proverb to live by, for these words couldn’t ring more “truth” to a photographer’s ears. Photography is artistry and therefore every photographer can be considered an artist, for mother earth is his canvas and the Camera his trustworthy brush. Photography, like every other form of art, has deeper meanings, that only those really involved with this art can understand, because in the end, photography is just another synonym for imagination.
Every picture is an illusion, for you see momentum in objects while there is none, you see the flow of nature and things as if it is a living memory. A good photograph represents all these things, but what makes a photograph…great?
“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.” There exist a lot of variables that define and differentiate the great photograph from the mediocre one. The key to a good photograph is a very ordinary , yet rare thing to achieve, simplicity. There is beauty in simplicity and photography is no exception to that rule. But, too simple and it will be nothing extraordinary , too complex and it will be tiring to the eye. One must find the balance between the simplicity of beauty and complexity of life to achieve a great photograph.
For me , photography means all those things, and in this Series of shots below I will try and pinpoint exactly my thoughts as well as how these deeper meanings of photography can be found in my pictures.
Star Wars Elite Series 10 inch (25cm) Deathtrooper from The Disney Store
The figure pose is one of the most important things in every photo. For instance, in this photo above , the Deathtroopers’ stance plays a critical role. The Deathtrooper is depicted as a highly skilled, efficient and ruthless soldier of the galactic empire, who is sent to accomplish what no ordinary trooper can. His menace, efficiency and grim look is achieved not by words or actions, but simply by his stance ,signifying confidence and his status as a “predator” in search of his “prey”.
MOVEMENT AND MOMENTUM
Halo 3 Spartan-II Mark VI Multiplayer white Armor variant by McFarlane Toys.
The illusion of movement is another important thing that makes a photo good. In this particular case, we see the Spartan super-soldier alerted , as if he is getting ready to brace himself from something. We do not know what he is getting ready to take cover from, but the illusion of momentum in the photo implies an explosion or an enemy. Not only does it illustrate movement, but adds to the viewers’ imagination and leaves it to them to imagine what will happen next.
Halo 4 Master Chief action figure by McFarlane Toys.
Here , we see Master Chief , the main protagonist of the Halo franchise walking to a direction. In reality, we don’t see him walking but the notion of momentum is obvious in this photograph. Walking while holding a covenant plasma rifle at a semi-alerted stance ,he looks at the camera , as if he is noticing us while he walks by. In this shot, the camera takes the role of the eyes of the viewer, who is being noticed by a “big knight in green Armor”. None of those things actually happen , but the picture’s illusion of momentum combined with good posing gives that notion.
Halo Reach Infiltrator armor multiplayer variant and Halo 3 ODST “Mickey” Both by McFarlane toys.
In another case , things aren’t about to get heated, on the contrary, we simply see one Spartan super soldier walking past by an ODST trooper. Again ,movement is involved but this time there is another thing that exists within the photograph. Emotions. The way his fellow soldier is looking at him passing by, the way he himself walks ,only looking forward and his head slightly looking downwards signifies the way he feels and sets the mood for the whole picture.
His movement represents how tired he is, from the war, from fighting one battle after another, trying to save mankind, unaware if humanity is losing the war, or if she has already lost it. All this really blends in with the game itself , Halo reach ,which passes the same feeling of hopelessness and desperation to the players.
Once more , in a closer but slightly different shot of a previously mentioned picture , We see master chief holding his plasma rifle , looking at it. Although not obvious to some viewers, this is actually a nostalgic nod to the first halo , Halo combat evolved , that released in 2001.In one of the promotional pictures , we can see master chief holding a plasma rifle ,and in crouch mode, he is shooting at enemies inside an alien ship. This very feeling of nostalgia is being captured in this photo. Master chief , now in his halo 5 armor, recalls the “good old times” while looking at the plasma rifle, remembering how it all started.
COLOUR FOCUS AND ISOLATION
Star Wars Battlefront 6 inch Black series ShockTrooper by Hasbro
Focusing on certain colours can also be a quite effective way that also adds to the photograph’s authenticity. In this picture , we clearly see an imperial Shocktooper standing in an environment that is highly similar to that of Endor. The natural colours are way less colourful and lack warmth in contrast with the much more lively and warming red paint of the imperial shocktrooper. This technique , mainly applied through editing programs can give a sense of focus to one object , deliberately lowering the saturation of certain colours in order for others to dominate the picture, giving a false sense that one colour thrives over another on an object , without ignoring or blurring the others.
However, not only can you focus on certain colours , but you can isolate them in order to make the photo more original. Every photographer must have his own personal style and opinion in order to differentiate himself from the rest. In my case , colour isolation is my preferred style, by focusing on one colour ,you focus on one object/person highlighting its or his beauty without undermining the beauty of the rest. It also allows once again the viewers to use their imagination in order to fantasise how the rest of the colours would look like in real life.
All in all, photography requires talent ,patience, determination and above all practice. I hope you found my notes informative to an acceptable degree and gained new insight in the ways of toy photography. It has been a very pleasant experience writing this article and of course, being featured here, Exclucollective.com.
A huge thank you to George for sharing a glimpse into his practise and for allowing us to see him in action and we look forward to watching his portfolio expand and his skills develop even further. Be sure to head over to Georges’ Instagram @figure_inheritors and leave a comment below as ever.