Hot Toys Iron Man 2 MMS120 War Machine + Light Blaster fun!

The Light Blaster strikes again, this time with War Machine taking center-stage. Colonel James Rupert “Rhodey” Rhodes never looked so badass until he dons the War Machine suit. The 85mm lens works really well with the Light Blaster, allowing for a more focused cast of the slide on the wall.

Hands on experience with the Light Blaster!

Heya guys! DIYPhotography recently sent me a copy of the Light Blaster and here I got the chance to check it out and test it on two of my collectibles. Special thank you to Udi especially who sent me this awesome device!

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Gravity didn’t agree with me when I played Jenga with the boxes.

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Just reading those words make you more awesome.

This image of Hot Toys‘s Selina Kyle and Batman which you will see later were both taken with the help of the Light Blaster.
The following walls of text are the results of my own personal opinions/review after a hands-on experience with the Light Blaster.The Light Blaster is both easy and a challenge to set up. It is by itself a unique and interesting creative kit that works like a projector, casting light from a strobe/speedlight onto a slide and then through a lens before casting the image on a wall/backdrop.

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Any image can be used as long as you place it on a 35mm slide or cut it onto a transparent sheet that fits the catch.

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This one goes here. That’s easy.

Attaching both the lens and the strobe/speedlight onto the Light Blaster’s main body was easy. Fixing the main body onto a light stand was easy. I was genuinely surprised at how sturdy the whole thing came together. Initially, I felt it was too plasticky and light but hoisting the whole thing in one hand proved otherwise after everything was attached. It held its own and both my lens and my speedlight did not fall off the main body. That’s a very good thing! Slotting in the slide for creative backgrounds into the Light Blaster itself was easy too. Everything felt secure and steady.

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Are we ready to go after setting the hardware up? Not quite.

Now here’s the challenging part. Focusing the lens to get the sharpest image onto a white wall was really tough as I didn’t have a measuring tape with me. Positioning was a little tricky too as placing the Light Blaster at the side, though preventing you from casting the slide’s image onto the figures, made the background image stretched out. Placing the Light Blaster right in front of the figures will cast the slide’s image onto the figures. Not quite what I wanted.

After experimenting with 2 speedlights (one on the Light Blaster and one on a reflective umbrella), I got what I thought would be the perfect placement. And so after almost 73 images of testing and experimenting, the image here was what I got.

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Toy Photography by The Art of Mezame

I love how my flat white wall now has textures, and I love how it looks like both Batman and Selina were both in Gotham City when the shot was taken. Or maybe some sewers or catacombs. I don’t know.It really was supposed to be a city.Unfortunately, I couldn’t translate the image of the city onto it clearly. Maybe I can try another angle tomorrow or work with a wider space. Shooting this in my dining room proved to be quite a challenge in itself. It didn’t help that I was using the 70-200mm too. Maybe I could use the 24-70mm next time, and use a smaller aperture.So much to experiement! Here’s the list of gear that I used for this experiment. I had my Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8 II USM and a Canon 580EX II on the Light Blaster. I had my Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 IS II USM on my Canon EOS 5D Mark III. I also had my other Canon 580EX II firing onto a reflective umbrella as key light. All my speedlights are controlled by my Phottix Odins.

EXIF data:
Exposure – 1/200 sec at f/22
Focal length – 70mm
ISO – 250

The Light Blaster is just amazing. I am pretty sure I can nail it for toy photography, with more experimentations. I gotta try the Light Blaster on human models too. The initial test proved that it has a lot of potential. I love it, really. I can imagine already what else I can apply it on. Oh, and the slide designs can be expanded to include custom prints too!

2014-08-10 21.47.07This is not a hairdryer.

Final words: If you don’t have it, you should get it. But if you’re not the sort who’s patient and into experimenting with photography, mmmmm… well… stay boring then I say, go get one, or rent one, or borrow one. It’s awesome. You can do so much with it! I’m gonna take my time with learning how to use it. It does need some time to get used to. I might want to experiment with smoke and water soon with it. The possibilities are endless. Have a go with it and have fun with it
Take note: This was just an experiment. I didn’t really pose both the figures because I was more interested in trying out the Light Blaster. I’ll do a proper shoot once I get the hang of it the Light Blaster.

Epic Giveaway Contest for people residing in Singapore!

#contest #giveaway #theartofmezame #ironman #singapore

Heya friends!To celebrate The Art of Mezame hitting 2K Likes, I am giving away this epic print of a Hot Toys Ironman Mk VII which I have shot a while back to one lucky winner in a Like & Share contest! This contest is only valid for people residing in Singapore.
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The image will be printed on canvas, specially sponsored by our friends at I-fourdesign.To participate in this contest, all you have to do is make sure that you have already Liked my page at The Art of Mezame, then hit Like on the image itself here and Share it on Facebook! (Be sure to set your share to Public.)Using a random number generator, I will pick a random winner on the 23rd July 2014 (10pm Singapore time). Winner will be notified via my Facebook page and through a private message with details on how and when the giveaway will happen.“May the odds be ever in your favour!”Disclaimer: This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Hot Toys or Marvel. Prototype is shown, final product may be slightly different.

The Art of Mezame crew members and associates and members of the immediate family of any such persons are not eligible to participate and win.

Monty Oum approved RWBY/JNPR/Penny cosplay!

The folks at The Neo Tokyo Project got me to do a shoot of some of their cosplay friends in their RWBY costume. I’ve never seen a single episode of RWBY prior to this shoot but it looks pretty interesting. Had a crash course in their fight scenes on Youtube just to get an idea what this anime is really about. Turns out, it’s an awesome web animation by Rooster Teeth about gravity-defying girls and boys and oversized weapons and massive monsters… and a professor obsessed with a mug, apparently :P I’ve gotta start watching the series now that I’m finally done with Game of Thrones (for now).

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For this shoot, we found an aisle somewhere in Singapore and set up two Bowen Esprit Gemini GM500s. I wanted to get the shots during the golden hour but that also meant we were running out of daylight. We had only a few hours to do the shoot and it didn’t help that the traffic that evening was exceptionally busy. We had vans and cars passing through this back alley every half an hour or so. At one point, a police car drove past with its lights flashing, causing the Bowens to trigger (it was funny!).

To soften the lighting on the cast, I attached a 95cm octagon softbox to one of the Bowens. The other Bowen faced the background to light up the surrounding area so I can separate the cast from the backdrops if I need to. Truth be told, I feel the need to invest in another Travelpac battery unit as the cables for the Bowens are ridiculously short (3m each) and they do not sell the 8m versions in Singapore anymore. As a result, the Bowens couldn’t be separated far apart.

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A lot of post-processing was done to ensure that the cast look like their anime counterparts. The biggest challenge was getting Penny to look right as the cosplayer initially came with a few swords which were used by the character in the anime to display her powers. Unfortunately, there was no way we could make the sword float like in the anime. Another tough challenge was getting the swords to behave like they should – the swords had to be precisely placed in a circle around the character before she fires her green beam at her enemies.

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The only way to do this was to Photoshop those swords in. I wasn’t really keen on finding images from Youtube captures as they would definitely suffer a drop in resolution so I had to craft a PSD image of a sword and clone them so they could look like they should and could be placed so they would behave like they did in the anime.

Overall, the shoot was fun – a little uncomfortable as some of the vents from the kitchens in the surrounding cafes blew hot air at us. It didn’t help that the day was quite hot and humid also (but that’s expected here in Singapore). But the results paid off! Monty Oum himself shared our shots on his Facebook page.

Trivia: We shot this on the eve of Monty Oum’s birthday, and released the photos of Team RWBY on my Facebook page on Monty Oum’s birthday.

Now, that’s amazing!

Photography by The Art of Mezame

Talents
R: Hibiki Xtyl
W: Chang Xuan Hui
B: Max’s Derps
Y: Eugene Lim

J: Koh Kai Jian Leon
N: Akari XOnpu
P: Esther Evangeline Au
R: Yuuno XMegane

Penny: Yan Li

See more at RWBY by The Art of Mezame

“A Survivor is Born”

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“A Survivor is Born” #TombRaiderCosplay#LaraCroftCosplay
Photography by The Art of Mezame

This is a joint passion project by The Art of Mezame. We built the props and weapons, got the costumes done ourselves with the help of so many wonderful people who encouraged and supported us along the way. We had the wonderful Taryn-Ann Rae Swyny Fonseca to model for us. It’s awesome working with girl-gamers like her!

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One of the most fun aspects of this project is our very own customization of weaponry made from toys you can find in major departmental stores and Black-Tactical.com.

Cast:
Taryn-Ann Rae Swyny Fonseca as Lara Croft

Solarii Brotherhood:
Alfred Tang
Amanda DS
Sean Padman Israfil McMenamin
Suffian Zain

FX Makeup:
Cyanosis
Alter Ego by MizDesert

Assistants:
Estoy Enamorada (BTS)
Eugene Khaw (Driver)

Weapons Supervisor(s):
Amanda DS (Rifles and pistols)
Xelrr Ang (Bow and arrows)

Crafters/Painters:
‘Ain Salleh (Quiver)
Joey Lim (Pistol holster)
Kuah Wei Long (Ice-pick axe)
Sueanne Teo (Walkie-talkie)

Weapons Sponsorship:
Shyam Luiz Ramasamy

Special thank you to all who believe in us.

Additional background: http://www.gaming-wallpapers.com/wp-content/uploads/wallpapers/HD/Tomb-Raider-2013-Game-Game-Wallpaper.jpg

Additional slogan: http://www.gamecatchup.com/wp-content/uploads/a-survivor-is-born.jpg
Tomb Raider logo: http://msgeocachers.com/msga/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/tomb-raider-logo1.jpg

RBWY Cosplay: Ruby

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“Ruby”
Photography by The Art of Mezame

Talent: Hibiki Xtyl
Costume/Props/Make-up: Talent’s own
Assistants: Siti Zahara, Ranger Khai Khai, Jason Koh, Shiki

Roses: http://www.officialpsds.com/Rose-Petals-PSD41217.html

Making “Serenity in Darul Aman” epic!

Photography by The Art of Mezame
Collaboration with Shamsydar Ani Photography

This was a challenging shoot as the mosque was undergoing repairs and clean-ups in preparation for the Ramadhan period and the couple had to move off to the next location right after the solemnization to avoid getting caught in weather that is not so favourable to everyone.

I had to be very aggressive with Photoshop and Lightroom to make sure this image comes out the way I intend it to.

Debris, trash and obstructions like newspaper pieces, a projector and a projector screen and cables had to be removed. A giant industry ceiling fan (man, those things are huge) had to be removed as well.

The image was taken from the third floor gallery of the mosque with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III paired with my Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L II USM at 35mm focal length. The shot settings are as follows: ISO 4000, 1/250 sec at f/5.0, using only ambient light and the mosque’s spotlight which coincidentally lights up only the middle portion of the floor from the bottom left hand corner of the foyer.

In the end, it’s all about removing the distractions so this picture would become memorable for the right reasons.