I mentioned my fascination with travel-prop photography in a post I’d set to publish while I was on vacation. In that post I’d mentioned that I’d be bringing along my little LEGO dude, Vulk, to Iceland and that he would be the star of a few photos.
Result: not as many as I thought I’d snap, but a good number. In the end, Vulk photo-bombed about sixteen of my vacation snapshots, and I forced myself to learn a little bit more about mixed-perspective photography in the process.
Vulk was apparently fond of isolated, rocky vistas… particularly in locations where there were few (or no) people around to wonder what a grown man was doing hunched over near the ground taking photos of a little red LEGO toy in the middle of Iceland. Funny that.
1) You can’t take a picture of your prop if he’s in the car and you’ve just hiked twenty minutes up to the base of a waterfall.
2) You may have time to set up an awesome shot, but when you are on a fast-moving vacation, on the road, and going from location to location, you need to work fast.
3) There is a sweet spot in the depth of field of a photograph when snapping a prop, and it’s between (a) some mild and artsy bokeh and (b) the background is so blurred is may as well be my backyard.
4) It takes a lot of shots to get a good mix of proper focus, interesting framing, and good lighting… so like any other portrait session, really.
5) If your prop has removable parts, a ziploc bag is your best friend, particularly on a beach in the rain.
6) Some people will look. Others will keep their distance.
7) Wind and prop photography are not friends. There is a lot of wind in Iceland. No really… lots.