The Platypod Handle - Campfire under the stars with Jesse Feyereisen

Words by Jesse Feyereisen - A Platypod Pro
Edited by Eryka Bagwell

Ever since I was given the opportunity to utilize the brand new Platypod Handle recently, I have a whole new way to make my figures look larger than life!

One of the first tips I give people who want to improve their toy photography, is that unless you have a specific creative reason, always shoot from at, or below, the figure’s eye line. Getting down to their level instantly helps sell your subject as something larger than it really is.

Back in February, I wanted to try something that I hadn’t really done much before. Outdoor Toy photography at night. I imagined what it might have been like in the days of the old west surviving a cross country journey through the cold and snowy mountains. Using a little help from the new Platypod Handle I was able to create a new and lightweight setup that could raise some of my larger subjects up above the camera easily so that I could shoot them from below.

Since it was around 20˚F outside, I opted to “pre-viz” my shot indoors first. This is a great way to figure out some of the logistics of your shoot before you head out to a location and do it “for real”. By attaching a Platypod Ultra to both the top and bottom of the new Handle, I was able to create a support stand that would not only raise my subject and keep it stable, but was also height adjustable to I had the freedom to adjust it however I needed. By attaching a Gooseneck to the bottom plate, I was also then able to mount a small LED panel as a light source to simulate a campfire. Once I knew how all the parts would work together, I headed outside to shoot.

I set up the rig in the snow and took some shots. I quickly realized, I just wasn’t going to get my subject and the stars composed in my shot and lit exactly how I wanted, so went with plan B. I ended up taking a shot of the stars first and then a shot of the figure next, two shots that I would then combine later.

In post did my basic exposure adjustments for both shots and then composited them together in Photoshop. Using the particle generator in Boris FX Optics, I then created a campfire effect and blended it into the final composite. Finished it all up in Lightroom with a color grade and final crop.

Be sure to catch Jesse Feyereisen on the Grid with Larry T., the Platypod inventory and Larry Becker on Wednesday April 26th at 1:00p (ET). Click here

Check out this shot, and more like it by Jesse, at the following links:

Visit the Platypod Handle Kickstarter campaign to capture the deals being offered to First Day Backers. Click here

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