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A Sense of Scale

I took nearly 100 photos on the day of the Tatami Room Pair Go shoot last Saturday. The story itself is still percolating, but I had a comment from someone who was at t the Go Center the day of the shoot.  They felt the charm of the shot posted to the AGA website was to see the sense of scale. I work very hard to shot at a level that fits the dolls into a human-scaled environment. I tend to shoot hand-hand, but when needed, I use a gorilla tripod.

People often ask me about the size of the dolls, so today’s post is going to provide you with, that’s right, a sense of scale. Here is a shot similar to the one posted to the AGA site promoting the upcoming Seattle Pair Go Tournament:

1pairgo_4329_v1I had 4 light sources at work on this shot: the sun coming through shoji-style exterior window behind the camera; Brian’s fill light from the right behind Ginger, Brian’s primary light which was to the right of the foreground couple (I’m guessing the location from the shadows around the goban) and the fluorescent light coming from the other side of the shoji screens in the main playing area.

I like this shot for a number of reasons: the unreal, mis-matched quality of the light; it has a Ukiyo-e vibe to it; there is some tension between the dolls in relation to the room that hints at scale; the replacement mat near the center of the frame that draws the eye around; and the human-sized goban located along the far wall, which look in scale to the dolls.

Looking at the first photo, you would think the dolls are roughly the same size. They are not. Ginger and Tuesday are 59 cm tall, or 23.23 inches. Ethan and Rex are 70 cm tall or 27.55 inches. Here is the gang at the end of the shooting day.  All are shoeless and are flat-foot style dolls. Although they are not lined up, you can see the boys are more than a head taller than the girls.

There are many things I love about the Dollshe boys, but one of them is their amazing ability to slouch. Although you can see some scale clues in the shot, none of the items in the room provide much of a sense scale, particularly if you have never been in the Seattle Go Center tatami room.

1pairgo_4349_v1This photo was taken while Brian shot the scene with his tilt shift lens. The dolls are posed the same as they appear in the first photo. I apologize for the fill light in the center of the frame, but I was standing in the only location for the shot that was not in frame for Brian’s shot. I like the general composition of the this shot; however I found editing the brightness and contrast a bit difficult, due to the fill light. However, for the purpose of today’s post, it suffices.

All of the photos were taken with my Canon Rebel and editing with Digikam.

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