Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"They didn't have your size"

Here is my submission for the Gem & Jewels and FDQ photo contest Maryann Roy blogged about. I have to say, this wouldn't have been possible without the help from my amazingly talented brother, Chris Hornbecker, Photographer Extraordinaire. What a difference lighting makes (and a good camera)! My brother taught me a ton about perspective, lines, filling the space, hard and soft light and cheap suggestions for building my own light set up from the the hardware store. This photo uses his professional lights, but I'll blog about my new lighting set up as soon as I build it. Click on the image to enlarge and really see the photo in its glory. When you compare images 1 and 2 in the close up mode, it is night and day from what a photographer can do, and what my current skill set is.


Modern MC was kind enough to loan me some posable dolls (thanks again!!). The left photo was my initial set up, but my brother suggested the the black was too dark for the photo and the couch was too big. So I swapped in Dr. Who dolls, new furniture, and I moved the bookshelf of rings to be more prominent in the scene. We took out some clutter and some lamps that added distracting lines, and eventually ditched the couch and moved the couple to the front.

Then the magic happened, adjusting the lights for the perfect "natural light" coming through the window. Changing the focus on different elements in the room. Getting all the shots for post production; yeah people, we mean business! The ring he is holding is actually in the girl's shadow so it looked dull. After getting the main shot, we popped her out and adjusted the lighting on the ring to get more sparkle out of it. Then worked some photoshop magic with masking the different layers with the best lighting and focus for the elements we wanted featured. There were 5 images combined together to create the final image. Thank you Big Bro, you are the best!!

Besides having a blast working with my brother on this, it was really fun setting the room up. I dug up a lot of old memories searching through my jewelry. Rhinestone earrings from middle school dances (when I was 13) were added to the lamp to make a faux crystal chandelier. I discovered the two etched glass jewelry boxes from my grandmother that worked perfectly as tables. The bookcase of rings is my favorite feature, I was short on rings and luckily my Dad's girlfriend let me raid her collection and I filled it up with hers and used her earrings in the bowl on the side table. I thought using the rhinestone bracelets to create a hearth in front of the fireplace turned out pretty cool too.

Here are the 35 pieces of jewelry in this scene.
1. Ring on edge (1)
2. Large earring in front and ring on right (2 & 3)
3. minimodernistas bookcase with 16 rings in it (19)
4. HBS lamp with 4 earrings (23)
5. small jewelry box for side table
6. large jewelry box for coffee table
7. bowl of stud 9 earrings and pendants (32)
8. two rhinestone bracelets to make hearth (34)
9. my engagement ring (35)

Accessories are PRD Miniatures, minimodernistas, Reac chairs, HBS side tables, Modern MC and Mad for Mod.

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you share some mini love today.

34 comments:

  1. I pop by your blog each time you post but don't comment. However, this is such a fabulous post that I have to say thanks for posting.

    I'll look forward to when you post about your own lighting set-up.

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    1. I too am a lurker and non-commenter at times, so I really do appreciate the comment. :D I'll try to get the lighting set-up started on, but it may be a few weeks as we have family visiting for 2 weeks. Thanks again!

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  2. Fantastic scene! Love the use of all the jewelry in the room, and you still managed to keep it looking real. Yes, the lighting does a lot, but I'm sure you have learned loads from your brother.

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    1. Thanks Josje! That's what I was going for so I'm glad it worked. I will definitely share some of his great tips. I really did learn so much.

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  3. Yay Megan! So glad you decided to enter the contest! Good luck to you! Looking foward to seeing all the entries!
    Maryann :)

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    1. I had to, I can't say no to you. :P
      I was going to email you, but cats out. It was SO MUCH FUN!! Thanks for putting all the pieces in motion to make the contest happen. I'm really excited to see all of the entries.

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Tam toum! Direct hard light through the window, indirect soft light and diffused flash totally help. But everything really stands out from the post production editing my brother did so everything is in focus enough to stand out. For those interested I will try to blog in the next few weeks about things that worked and didn't and photography tips I picked up. :)

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  5. Love what you did with the room, i love the jewelery combined with the modern furniture. It is nice that you learned so much from your brother.
    Good luck with the contest.
    Hugs
    Maria

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    1. Thanks so much Maria!!!
      All the best to you :D

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  6. This is so cool. The "giant" ring is so funny! I hope you'll share what you learned from your brother. I could definitely use some pointers!

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    1. I had some other humorless ideas, but this one seemed to be the best. So I'm running with it, we'll see how they like it. I promise I will share everything I learned (and have forgotten, but will call and ask him again), but with the in-laws here for 2 weeks, I will likely be behind on posts, again. :P

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  7. It looks phenomenal, Mini Dork! I love the setup. Very cool! The lamp is amazing with the earrings. Dude, I'm gonna borrow from that idea. I'll be very surprised if you don't place. Go Mini Dork!

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    1. THANKS MAN!!! Huge props coming from you. :D You have rhinestone earrings from the 80's? :P
      I have a feeling I'm up against some stiff competition from some of the FDQ fans, but I'm betting I'll be one of the few 1:12 scale gals. Knock on wood.

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  8. It's Nick Cutter and Amy Pond. I love those guys. Very funny! Beautiful room.

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    1. Yes it is, but I take no credit for the peeps. Modern MC generously loaned me bag full of action figures and dolls to choose from and these worked the best.
      Glad you liked the room. :D

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  9. Yeah, that's Nick Cutter, from Primeval. So you have a mash-up of Primeval and Doctor Who here. Cute pic.

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    1. I'm so grateful to Modern MC for loaning them to me. I really would have been up a creek with no people without her help. The only dolls/action figures I actually own are the Bozart figures, but they can't take a knee.
      :D

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  10. This is a really stunning room. You've done an amazing job of including the full scale items of jewelry into the scene and your Brother is a very talented photographer.
    Good luck in the contest =0)

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  11. I love this! Very nice! I have a question for you though: I purchased the Dr. Who figures from a company in the UK that you used and I forgot what company that was - do you remember the name? I just love using this figures in my dollhouses! Thanks....Melissa

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    1. Hey Melissa! Sorry, I'm behind in comments. I'll have to check with Modern MC and see where she bought them, as I borrowed them from here. They are really cool and look great in 1:12 scenes.

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  12. My mind = blown. I'm so impressed with your styling abilities! I never would have guessed that there were 35 pieces of jewelry in this scene. And the earring lampshade is totally boss. I'll be going through the jewelry chest in search of new dollhouse accessories, you know, in all of my free time.

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    1. THANKS! My brother helped with the styling too. Moving things around so they lined up better and visually made more sense. I'll add that to my notes when I post about my lighting set-up... eventually. ;)

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  13. Awesome work, Megan! All your creativity really shows here, and I love that you collaborated with your bro! Props to you both!! And good luck!

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    1. Thanks CS!!! It was really cool bringing my brother into my mini world and having him help me out so much. Great fun!

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  14. I absolutely love your entry! I had no idea there were SO many pieces in that picture, fantastic job XD
    ... that, and I really love your room set up. I'm just starting my own 1/6 blog... where my girls have just started building their own house out of an old book shelf, and I know NOTHING!
    I'm absolutely stumbling my way through this, so seeing blogs like yours are so inspiring!!
    http://majokkoshop.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! Your dolls are sooo cool. Good luck with the bookshelf house. I know what you mean about stumbling through it. I've made a lot of "learning" mistakes along the way. Glad you like the blog! I've been inspired by so many other blogs its great to pass it along. :D

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  15. Amazing, and totally hilarious!

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  16. Amazing, Thank you to share your pictures

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