How to Make a Monster (Photo, That Is)

How to Make a Monster....

Last week, I ran this Pic of the Day by Ed Speir IV. Featuring Hasbro’s G.I. Joe Hazard-Viper and Zombie-Viper, I declared it one of my favorite POTDs ever.

Given its cinematic look and style, I asked Ed if he wouldn’t mind describing how he made it. –PG

Here is a brief description of how the “How to Make a Monster” pic came about. I have included three pics for reference as well.

First, we’ll start with the props. There are basically three layers to this shot.

1.) The “industrial” background (a repainted section of the old GI Joe Defiant launch complex).

2.) The large “gear” (a knick-knack I found at ROSS for $ 9).

3.) The Hazard-Viper and Zombie-Viper figures, plus the zombie “chamber”. The chamber is from a Fewture Devilman figure – Mico I believe. We drilled a hole in the back of the chamber and placed a small rod into it and then plugged the Zombie-Viper onto the rod to give it that “floating” effect.

These props were placed in my light tent as shown in the pics. Notice that I have lights on each side of the tent – a white light on the right and a red light on the left. These lights can be adjusted/moved as needed to get the desired lighting effects. In addition, I always try to take my shots from a low angle – where the scene is actually higher than the camera. To me, this gives the shot a more life-like appearance.

Once everything was arranged, I snapped probably 10-15 shots with my Canon Rebel T2i at various angles and distances. I took the three best pics, cropped and darkened them a little, and then proceeded to add some “grunge” and lighting effects using a free online program called pixlr-o-matic. This is a very cool program I just recently started using that provides tons of options for making your pics look vintage/distressed. The “grunge” and orange lighting effects came from the pixlr-o-matic program.

And honestly, that’s pretty much it. It probably took me around 45-60 minutes for the entire process: setting up, photographing and editing the three pics I chose.

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