Felix Hernandez's picture

The Smurf

The Smurf.

I wanted to go farther in a toy photography. Give my subject (the Smurf) a mood or more realistic look!.
Making an image of a toy could be seen as something easy… but the reality is far from that.

I wanted my subject to be in focus, all of it, and as I was going to shoot with macro, and with macro you can not get all your subject in focus… I had to apply the technique of focus staking.

This technique consist in doing several shots at different focus distances in order to have all your subject in focus… For this final images I did 25 individual photos… Then in pos (PS) you do the photo stacking, merging all the 35 images in one.

The water droplets where done on production; Instead of using water I used corn syrup which is transparent and stays still for hours… (important when you are doing 35 images to conform one)... The droplets that are flying were insert in pos (PS).

The background was also done in camera… a simple blue cardboard (paper).
The Smurf is standing in a flat piece of glass to achieve the reflection.

This was taken on studio with one studio light (Bowens) with a beauty dish (modifier)

In pos I added the texture of the skin and cloth of the Smurf. For that I used real skin (goosebumps) and white cloth texture… Then I apply it with the FS technique (Frequency Separation)… Wrapping around my subject by zones.. so the skin texture follows the shape of the smurfs body.

I replaced the plastic bucket that came with the toy in pos for a photo of a real one.

Finally some levels, curves and color grading in Nik Software (Color Effects).

Hope you lie it… In my FB fan page (Hernandez Dreamphography) you can see some images of the process.

Canon 5D MIII
24/105mm / ext. tube · f/.16 · 1/160 · ISO 100
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Jaydie Lee's picture

Great Job here. If there was no explanation on how this images was created I could have jumped into conclusion that it was purely drawn in Photoshop.

Felix Hernandez's picture

Thanks Jaydie!... Yep, a lot o people thought that was a 3D render!

Jason Ranalli's picture

This is really spectacular work...I would have guess it was entirely drawn in animation or something if someone had asked me.

Felix Hernandez's picture

Thanks Jason!

ATOR Photo's picture

Oh yeah, this how you smurf a smurf! :o)

Felix Hernandez's picture

Thanks Ator!!!

Anonymous's picture

Adorable! Life like.

Felix Hernandez's picture

Hi Chris.. thanks man!

Patrick Snyder's picture

Great job! I'll say you took toy photography to the next level. The texture is phenomenal. I'll have to investigate how to did that -- I've had a few instances where that would come in handy.

ohnOMon Photo's picture

A Stunning Shot FoSHO!! Nice work Felix. -JP

Mikael Grahn's picture

Amazing work - im getting inspired of watching your work.