photo credit: vesa lehtimaki
Vesa Lehtimaki is a Finnish illustrator and photographer who goes by the name Avanaut. He was originally inspired by his son’s Star Wars figures and created scenes involving them in forced perspective photographs. He is more commonly known for his photographs using Lego figures where he has recreated worlds such as Hoth and Tattooine from Star Wars but also Middle Earth from the Lord of the Rings and the 1930s earth from Indian Jones. He was part of the inspiration for the creators of the Lego Movie. He has published a book “Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy”.
Avanaut creates scenes using mini toy figures and forced perspective. Of his images I have selected two showing a storm trooper figurine against the backdrop of the sky. The photograph has been taken at an angle which makes the figurine seem lifesize. The figure is sharply in focus but the angle of the picture is low increasing the height of the figure. By having the background as only sky there is nothing to break the illusion. The figure occupies most of the shot and in the first shot especially the diagonal formed by the weapon follows the diagonal rule of thirds. Both pictures follow the horizontal rule of thirds.
The photographs show two menacing storm troopers, armed and hunting for something. By carefully posing the figures and adding extra props like the sand he has made them look life like. I like this image as it has cleverly used forced perspective to make the image seem like it of real people in costume. Avanaut inspires me as he is able to use simple toys to create realistic scenes from movies and great forced perspective photographs.
Using Avanaut's pictures as inspiration I have used figurines to create forced perspective photographs. The first image is of a killer bunny figure terrorising a Lego figure. I took this image using an iPhone 11 positioning the phone upside down. This has the effect of increasing the focal length of the camera but keeping it in the same position. It also allowed me to shoot from a lower angle.
The bunny is positioned to the side of the shot following the horizontal rule of thirds: It follows the
golden spiral rule as the first thing your eyes are drawn to is the glinting blade and the hand that holds it. This creates an air of menace and violence. As you focus on the Lego figure he is out of focus as the main focus is on the bunny figure and this depth of field helps to create the atmosphere. His scared face is still visible which adds to the effect.
On the original image the colours were a little muted and underexposed. I enhanced the exposure of the
picture to make the white hand holding the blade more obvious and produce a glint on the blade. then used the Autumn filter in Adobe Photoshop Express to keep the backgrounds colours dark keeping the menacing feel.

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