Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Doll Wardrobe Final Round Photo Shoot

The final round of the Doll Wardrobe Curator's Game photos are up! :)  Everyone did a great sure to go check out the final four entries HERE. :)

Here is my official entry. :)

As I stated on The Doll Wardrobe, I really wanted to do something of significance that was more than just a nice picture.  Since Memorial Day was coming up, I decided to use that theme.  When I saw "Wall" listed as one of the possible clues, I immediately thought of this local memorial and knew it would be perfect.

I did a scouting trip first to see the location and figure out the best spot to take a picture.  I also wanted to get an idea of the lighting and the best time to take the photo.

When we had an unexpected overcast day about a week later, I knew it was the perfect chance to get some great shots.  Overcast days make for wonderful photo lighting. :)

The photo shoot itself presented a few challenges.  For one thing, there was someone at the memorial when I was shooting.  I had Little Gal with me, so the fact that I was carrying around a doll, a stuffed dog, and a camera didn't cause the raised eyebrows it might have if I'd been alone.  Still, I wanted to make sure that what I was doing was seen as respectful and not a mockery.  Thankfully, my project didn't seem to disturb the man.  He watched with interest, and I explained a little about what I was doing and why. :}

The other thing I quickly discovered was that while overcast days make for great photos, they also make it next to impossible to see what shots you're getting.  No matter what I tried, I couldn't really see how the pictures were turning out because I could barely see my digital screen in that light.  So, I took as many pictures as I could, tried my best to center them, and went from there.

Another thing that was especially difficult was getting my horizon line where I wanted it.  The Wall of Honor was built on a slight downhill slope, so it was very difficult to get a shot without the picture looking slanted or cockeyed.  The bricks are still not perfectly straight, even in my final entry, but it was the best I could do under the circumstances.

One unexpected blessing from the day was the sporadic wind that started shortly after I began.  It captured a  bit of Charlie's hair at just the right moment, which is one of the reasons I really wanted to use this particular photo. :)

Here are a few other shots that didn't quite make the cut:

I loved the fact that this picture gave a better idea of the size of the wall.  However, I felt that Charlie was rather lost in the middle of everything, and since this was a doll photo contest, I felt she should be a little more of the focus.

This is the same photo I entered, but I played around with the coloring a bit.  I do like black and white, but I found that I preferred the color version this time.

I also liked the idea of just having the flowers at the memorial colored, but I couldn't manage to color the flowers without coloring a few of the brass name plates.  The perfectionist in me just wasn't satisfied. ;)

Here's another shot I tried.  I really wanted to make the photo seem like I was down at Charlie's level.  I think that this picture accomplished that.  However, Charlie and Rontu felt slightly off-centered.  I also didn't like the fact that a few of the memorial flowers were peaking out from one side of Charlie's head.  I would rather have kept them completely hidden by Charlie's head or have made them more noticeable. 

This was the other one I really liked...I came very close to entering it instead.  This is once again the same photo, although my entry photo was cropped to make the focus a little more on Charlie and Rontu.  I also played with the coloring a bit on this one (I believe I used the "Greek Islands" effect).  I really liked how the coloring turned out, even though it wasn't necessarily realistic.  On the day I emailed my entry, though, I was at my aunt's house.  On her computer screen, the coloring didn't look good at all.  I was concerned that it might not look as nice on other screens too, so I decided to stick with the photo that looked more natural. :) 

I took a lot of other pictures that day while I was out.  One of the other places I went was an access road near the freeway.  This particular little road is special to me because it is one of the locations for my story. :)  I always get a special thrill driving by it, because I'm the only one in the world that knows its far. ;)

Anyway, I took a few pictures of Charlie and Rontu on the road, figuring I'd use the "Perspective" clue.  I liked how this one turned out...

...but I liked this photo even more.  I loved how the photo gave the impression that I was walking behind the two of them.

Once I found the pose I liked, I played around quite a bit in the editing department:

As much as I liked this shot, I decided that I wanted to stick with a photo that had more meaning, so I chose to enter my "Wall" picture instead. :)

There were other pictures I took, but these were the ones I was most pleased with after a day's work.  Hope you enjoyed this "exclusive behind the scenes" look. ;)  It sounds like the results will be up sometime this week on The Doll Wardrobe.  I'll be sure to keep you posted! :)


Willow said...

Love all these photos!

beastsbelle said...

Thanks, Willow! :)

Anonymous said...

Your entry is so beautiful, both in a visual and emotional/solemn way! I love the way Charlie's holding the flowers behind her back and the lock of hair blowing in the breeze. I think you have a winner!

On another note, isn't Tatlo one of the best AG pets? He's so big and pose-able and cuddly (though it probably would have been better if they'd made his eyes brown instead of yellow-- I've never figured out why they did that). :) It looks like he and Charlie are good pals. :)

Great job!

--Kate :)

Michele said...

You are so talented! Loved them all, but do think you chose the best for the competition. Good Luck :)

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for the sweet comments, gals. :)

Kate, I'm super pleased with my photo, but the other entries were great as well. No matter what the outcome, I'm happy. I did my best on my photo and even if I place fourth I have $35 to spend guilt-free at American Girl. ;)

I really love Tatlo/Rontu too. I think you're right...he'd look a lot more natural with brown eyes. However, it's his eye color that made me decide to rename him Rontu, after the "yellow-eyed dog" from the book "The Island of the Blue Dolphins". :)

Thanks, Michelle. It was tough deciding on the right one. :)

Anonymous said...

Amazing! I hope you win! My favorite of the four was your's. :) It was powerful and lovely.

beastsbelle said...

Thank you so much. :)