Felton Lighty takes us on an incredible trip now as he takes on his themed challenge shoot entitled “I Paused” which has to be one of our vaguest and more challenging themes to date but boy does Felton deliver!
When I first received the theme’s assignment, I honestly was stuck. I experienced what amounted to writer’s block, but for photography. Finally, after what amounted for a few days, ideas actually began to flow. And there before my eyes I began to see the payoffs of being pushed outside of my comfort zone. Understanding this, I then undertook the task of finding better ways to best articulate that via photography using the figures that I best felt embodied each of these traits and actions.
“I paused”. The dictionary defines pausing as “A temporary stop in action or speech.” So then I began brainstorming and asked myself, “What circumstances would cause an individual to pause?” The truth is, there are several reasons to pause. However, the main reasons I found actually seem to revolve around the following characteristics and personality traits.
The Wise Pause:
To give pause and have rational thought before acting is a wise characteristic. It’s also one of the most important qualities of a good leader. T’Challa, or as he’s most famously knows as The Black Panther, is the now king and protector of the flourishing nation of Wakanda. The Black Panther is a royal descendant of an ancient African warrior race, making him a master of hand-to-hand combat, among many other special physical abilities. In addition to that, T’challa is also a brilliant scientist. I believe that he embodies Wisdom, because he never foolishly rushes into any battle or conflict without giving pause to think and strategize for the best solution.
I would think this is a must in order to successfully rule a flourishing nation such as Wakanda. To further support this, in the comics, T’challa was quoted as saying, “My father taught me to always be two steps ahead of my enemies, and three ahead of my friends. ” In addition to that, another of his special abilities that supports him being wise is that he’s able to draw the knowledge, strength and every experience from every previous Black Panther. I chose to depict T’Challa in a very stoic and powerful stance. This image reminds me of the scene in Captain America Civil War.
It’s in this scene that T’challa confronts the villain, Helmut Zemo and not only doesn’t kill him for killing his father, but stops him from killing himself.
(Figure is: Black Panther, from company Hot Toys, custom head sculpt is from OneSixthKit).
The Precise Pause:
Which is the case of a skilled marksmen, such as Baron a.k.a Spade 5. Snipers don’t rush kill shots because they’re tired or it’s too hot, cold or wet. A skilled marksmen blends into his environment and waits for the perfect shot. Making the perfect shot entails, but not limited to ranging the target, reading the wind speed and direction, as well as tilting and adjusting the rifle for other variables, including weather.
Baron a.k.a Spade 5, is a former SAS sniper. He wanted nothing more when he joined the military than to shoot bad guys on the battlefield. After leaving the military he was unemployed for a while before he gained the admiration of the Spade gang, who recruited him and used his unique expertise to assassinate their rivals.
I decided to take Baron outside for and outdoors shot to really drive home the sniper being in the environment. Not only that, I wanted to depict what inclement weather a marksmen would endure while out on an “assignment”. So, I added raindrops to help further sell the shot.
(Figure is: Baron Spade 5, Gangsters Kingdom line, from company Dam toys)
The Tormentor will Pause
Ok, here’s where this article gets a bit dark, and a bit more specified. In the case of The Ace of Hearts Billy, the psychopathic torturer. Those that enjoy in causing pain and agony of others, simply for their enjoyment, choose to delay their victims relief. The do this putting and in to the misery, and in Billy’s case an end to death.
Billy, or the Ace of hearts is another character in the Dam toys Gangster’s kingdom line. He’s if you haven’t guessed it, a villain. Specifically, he’s a torturer, and as one of the excerpts on the back of his box details, “He loved to torture and torment human beings in such a way. He turned into a sociopath and loved to blow peoples brain out with a shotgun, just for momentary thrills.”
I wanted to depict the act of not only Billy torturing some pour soul, but also convey in the composition the act of pause/delay. This is why in this image Billy is looking at his watch, as if to say. “Your time with death is near, but hasn’t arrived yet”.
(Figure is : Billy Ace of Hearts, Gangsters Kingdom line, from company Dam toys)
Truth Seekers Pause:
As huge Sons of Anarchy fan, I must say that I enjoyed every moment of that emotional roller coaster of a show. Especially those scenes where the protagonist, Jax Teller uncovers and reads the letters from his dead father. Letters that reveal what his father really intended for his family, the club as well as what he feared the most before dying. I’m not going to spoil the fun for those that haven’t seen the show, but I’ll just say some pretty big bombshells and truths are dropped out of those letters.
With that being said, I decided for this next photo to depict Jax as he was in many of the sequences in the early seasons of the show, reading his dad’s letters on top of the club’s roof. Pop culture shock is the manufacturer that made my Jax figure, and I must say that the attention to detail is amazing!
(Figure is: Jax Teller, from company Pop Culture Shock)
The Calculated Pause:
Frank Castle, The Punisher himself is as calculated as he is merciless to evil. Frank is known for not only his ungodly amount of weapons or unmatched proficiency in combat. He also has ability to find and attack his enemies at their most vulnerable weak point, allowing him to infiltrate and administer supreme vigilante justice, while living to fight another day.
For this final sequence, I decided to depict The Punisher sitting down, with an arsenal of weapons before him. He’s doing nothing but sitting and looking at them, as if he’s planning his next mission, but taking pause to decide which weapons of mass destruction are the best for the job. In my opinion, ALL OF THEM!!!!
Thank you Jack Sturman and the Exclu Collective team for allowing me to be apart of such an awesome project.
Felton A. Lighty (yasuke 79)
We want to say a huge thank you to Felton for sharing such an incredible in-depth shoot with us for his themed challenge which really defines his creative talents behind the lens as well as his strong narrative thinking behind each shot. You can catch more of his work over on Instagram via @yasuke79 and for more of the best from the Toy community stay tuned to Exclu.