Jonathan Ang takes us out on shoot with him for an exclusive piece for classic cartoon week as he brings the characters of one of the most enduring anime cartoons of all time to life which is of course, Pokemon.
I would like to thank Jack from the Exclu Collective team for liaising and giving me the opportunity to share my imagination.
I am Jonathan Jerryl Ang AKA @imaginingjay, a 20-year-old who resides in Singapore.
When I saw that ExcluCollective was doing a theme about Classic Cartoons, Pokémon was the first thing that came into my mind and I knew I had just the right figures to take part in this theme. Pokémon has been a huge part of my childhood as I would watch the TV series every Saturday morning. The first Pokémon movie was one of my favorite as a kid. Watching Ash have his first Pokémon experience was so enjoyable and relatable as I was introduced to the world of Pokémon on the Gameboy Color at that time. Up till today, I’m still a huge fan of the series. My Pokémon journey has not ended as I’m still playing the game Pokémon Sun on the ‘New’ Nintendo DS XL.
The figures used in this photo are the S.H.Figuarts Charizard and D-arts Venusaur. Both of these toylines are under the same parent company, Bandai. When it comes to Action Figures, my go to brand is Bandai. I personally feel that in each line they own, be it Figuarts or even the Model Kits, they strive to produce the very best 1/12 figures on the market for the representation of each and every figure and character. They may be a little pricey but I’m sure we all know; you’ve got to pay for quality. Charizard and Venusaur are no exception. They are the very best representations of these two characters on the market. The sculpt is beautiful, the articulation is appropriate for the characters and they come with a handful of accessories.
When I imagine Pokémon shots, I immediately think of the outdoors. However, I tend to be a pretty shy person and based on my experience, whenever I take outdoor shots, there’s like a million pair of eyes staring down on me which makes me so uncomfortable. Also living in Singapore, and for those who don’t know, most Singaporeans reside in apartments. That means we do not have the luxury of wide open backyards to do toy photography privately and in uninterrupted peacefulness.
So in order to bring my imagination to life for the Pokémon shots, I had to improvise. I went upstairs in my home to where my garden is and began to look at the plant troughs that my parents owned. The more I looked at the plant troughs, the more I could imagine them being a home for Venusaur. I had never shot pics in the troughs before and I really did not know if the photos would come out the way I planned. Thankfully with a Nikon D3200 and a 35mm lens, the bokeh created so much depth. In my eyes, the low angle combined with the bokeh created just the scene that I had imagined for Venusaur in its natural habitat.
I wanted to keep the same theme going; “Pokémon in their natural habitat’. I imagined Charizard’s habitat to be rocky, close to something like a cave. With that in mind, I had to improvise even more. As already mentioned, I live in an apartment and I do not have the luxury of space, so I had to reuse the same location for Charizard’s picture. Interestingly enough, I found a stash of spare rocks that my parents were not making use of. (They like to build aquariums and terrariums). To create the scene that I wanted, I littered the rocks all over the trough. With some tweaks to the positioning of the rocks and the figure, I finally found what I was looking for. Again, the bokeh helped to create so much depth to bring to life the scene that I planned.
I am really satisfied with the final outcome of the two shots that I had taken for this themed shoot. It was what I had imagined and planned out in my head with some editing on the app Snapseed.
Through the journey of this shoot, it really helped me push boundaries and explore a little bit more of my creative side. To date, this has been one of the more elaborate and innovative set ups that I have done. I will continue to learn more techniques and push my boundaries further in the upcoming shoots. I Hope the viewers will enjoy this shoot as much as I did.
A huge thank you to Jonathan for taking us out on shoot with him for Classic Cartoon weeks that resulted in him depicting one of our favourite cartoons growing up. Be sure to catch more of his work over on Instagram @imaginingjay and for all things toy photography stay tuned to Exclu.