Hi friends. Today was Day 2 of principal photography for the Takashima project. My muse today was my Elfdoll Special K, Kaneda Jones, playing the protagonist of the story, Al Keaton.

Last weekend, I hot glue sueded his joints, hoping it would help him stand better. As much as I love the old style Elfdoll, there are some problems, with both my Soah and K bodies. They both were made around 2008, are single jointed and have a separate ball joint at the ankle. All these factors make them rather difficult to pose without a lot of work. Both dolls need to wear ankle height shoes for stability.

After setting up my shoot, I tried to get Mr. Keaton to stand, but he wasn’t having it. He went bow-legged on me, which meant that I probably reversed his legs (putting his left on the right side).

Not wanting to get sidetracked by spending 1 hour of light on wrestling with my lad, I decided to work on the sitting shots, as Mr. Keaton spends a lot of time in the story at his desk.

My Rebel battery was charged, so I shot with my standard kit lens and my macro lens. With his limited range of motion, I had to get creative in order to capture shots of Keaton on his phone, arranging his extraction with my macro lens and use the timer. I was surprised how well these shots turned out and took quite a number of images using this method. With his weird leg issue, standing wasn’t an option so I also shot his demise. Many shots from all angles were taken of the late Mr. Keaton and when I finished, I felt rather sad. Gave Kaneda a hug and decided to wrap up the day’s shoot taking pictures of Keaton and Starfall together.

One of the pair shots was the inspiration for today’s canvas, “Daydream.” While shooting, my flash would randomly decided to fire. I put my free hand in front of the flash and captured an odd shot where the flash hit the dolls hands. I chose this image for Keaton’s daydreaming because your eyes are drawn immediately to their hands. It’s a sweet, intimate moment between these characters.

In addition to my image of Keaton & Starfall, I used three 2 Lil Owls backgrounds from the February Texture Club pack.

In the original image, you can see Miss Camille’s multiple head seams as well as Keaton’s wrist seam. To mask the doll seams, I’ve tried warping and blending the seam, but that never works out due to the way the light plays off the joints.

Today, I had a random idea: duplicate the layer and apply just enough Gaussian blur to mask the seams. I brought this blurred layer to top of the stack, added a black mask then zoomed way in and with a small, soft round brush set at 10%, very carefully revealed the blurred layer on their visible seams. Worked like a charm, although I think a touch of selective brightness/contrast is in order. If you look at Keaton’s wrist, it’s oddly dark where there is no shadow.

“Daydream”

Overall, it was another good day of shooting. I’m amazed at how many shots I get in 2 hours. As with last week’s shooting, I deleted very few images.

After the shoot, I dismantled Kaneda and switched his lower legs. Problem solved. Next weekend, I will photograph Keatons’s standing shots.