This is the second series of images from my recent adventure to High Park.  I'm not quite sure where this idea came from, but I've known for a while I wanted to do a series of Jane reading.  For whatever reason, autumn seemed like the perfect time to shoot it.

Unfortunately, Jane is a rather uncommon sized doll: she’s too big for the standard dollhouse scale accessories, but not big enough for other sorts of props.  The only remotely interesting prospect my Google search turned up was a tutorial on how to make miniature books for necklace charms.  This seemed like a more than reasonable compromise - we all know I’m not one to balk at the opportunity to try something new, so I hauled out my craft supplies and set to work.  The tutorial is pretty wonderful, actually; the binding technique is fairly straightforward and works quite well to create realistic looking books.  I replaced the suggested leather binding with fimo in order to get more detailed (and sturdy) spines for the books.  As a first attempt, they're a bit rudimentary and there’s definite room for improvement.  The polymer clay does more closely resemble the surface of a hardcover book, and it's much easier to paint details on, but I don't think I quite got the details well, detail-y enough.  Despite the fact that I wouldn't give them away or show them off as examples of my amazing crafting skills, I think they work quite nicely as photoshoot props.  

Shooting Jane in the Park presented a series of unique challenges to overcome.  There was less danger of Jane falling into a stream in the locations I had planned for her, and her first setup at the base of a tree (my first for the day) was shot without incident.  When I found a glorious yellow willow tree down the path however, I discovered the joys of posing a doll with a serious lack of joints.  It turns out, balancing a doll with only the most rudimentary hip joints on a slender twisting branch is no simple feat... Particularly if you're going for a remotely natural pose.  It was probably pure insanity that I also tried to include the open book in the shot (which had even fewer joints than the silly girl.)  Somehow I managed to get a few images snapped, in between picking Jane and her book off the ground and dusting bits of dried leaf off them both.  If there wasn't a couple having a picnic on the other side of the tree I might have tried a few more angles... But I suppose one of the joys of toy photography is being that weird girl who keeps rustling around in the tall grass to find her fallen doll. 

Apparently I'm a bit more efficient at shooting Jane than Winslow and his monsters, because once again I had much less trouble picking my favourite images for this series. Perhaps it's because I'm a bit more familiar with Jane's story after years of working with her.  As usual, I could probably stand to cull a few of these (some are a bit similar) but for now I think they're all pretty lovely.  The willow tree images also benefited from what I'm calling my "lazy hdr" technique (using a lower exposure edit of the image to calm the highlights).  I'm finding it quite handy, although I think I'd much prefer to shoot slightly more even light to avoid the issue in the first place.  So, without further ado, here are the results!  

forest_reading002.jpg
forest_reading004.jpg

This series gets me nearly caught up on my editing.  I suppose I'll need to start imagining scenarios for my toys for the upcoming winter months ... I just hope that Toronto graces us with a few lovely snowfalls accompanied by reasonable temperatures (or that I can sneak away and make some magic happen during our Christmas adventure to visit family in BC!)

Comment