I’ve been busy the past couple of weeks on an animation project for a local studio. Outside my window, the colors have been changing from green to gold to red to brown. Every now and then, latte in hand, I’ll take a break and walk around the yard with my camera to try to capture some of the beauty.
Click the image above to see highlights of a project that I recently worked on. The animations are featured on several screens – one screen 26 ft. tall – at the Toy Halls of Fame at the Strong National Museum of Play. The work was done through Northern Light Productions over a 5 month period and I created over 5 minutes of animation for such classic toys as Raggedy Ann, G.I. Joe, Barbie, Teddy Bear and others.
Needless to say, animating such iconic toys was a dream come true and the project itself was a joy to work on. It was probably one of the smoothest projects I’ve been a part of. Not least of all, I got to work with some wonderfully talented people – friends both old and new.
We spent a few hours at the museum recently and I highly recommend it. Beyond the Halls of Fame is the classic arcade, the comic book section, Sesame Street and a number of other fun, interactive exhibits.
This morning I decided I needed to clear my head. I have too many things going on in my life at the moment. They’re all good things, just too much for my little brain to process all at once. It was time to force my brain onto one topic and one topic only. So, while it was still cloudy and relatively comfortable, I grabbed the camera and headed out to the cranberry bogs.
This time, I loaded my Canon 60D with a Nikon AF-S 28mm lens that I bought for stop motion. I really wanted to bring the Nikon 50mm instead, but couldn’t manage to get the adapter off the 28mm. Whatever.
Again, I embarked on my mission to get up close and personal while reducing the background to a colorful haze. The Nikon goes all the way down to f2.8 which gave me a nice, short depth of field. I also prefer shooting on cloudy days as I find sunshine makes things to contrasty. (I also don’t like the sun on a personal basis). Clouds give objects a more pleasing diffuse shadow.
I admit, one or two of the images don’t quite fit with the others, but I liked them so I included them.
On a recent visit to Vermont, I wanted to take up close and personal images of nature. They say God is in the details. I don’t know about that, but there is so much beauty in the details. My thought was to get as close as I could to an object and take a picture with a shallow depth of field, turning the background into a blurry haze.
I’m pretty happy with the results, even though I brought the wrong lens with me. I should have used a 35mm or 5omm prime lens with which I could get really close. I didn’t, so I did the best I could. Next time.
I’ve also been using Lightroom more and more and had a fun time getting lost in the image and marveling at the enormous change to the image that a tiny adjustment made to a single parameter made. There was a certain zen in tweaking and tweaking, gradually working towards the final image.
I’ve been playing around with the VSCO app on my iPhone. It allows you to take a little control of the phone’s camera and then offers many powerful ways to tweak the image.
I got it because, as much as I’d LIKE to have my camera on me when beauty presents itself, I usually don’t. That may be a habit I should break. In the meantime, I’ll have fun with this app and use it to try to capture the beauty in everyday life all around me.
You can follow me on Instagram to see more – @wickedTaylor.
This is part of a scene I wrote and animated as part of an assignment for AnimSquad. Inspired by the rigs, which come from AnimSquad, I decided on a ‘meet cute’ scenario but wanted to set it in an unusual place. This shot needs a little more polish, but I think is almost there. I have another 15-20 seconds of the scene to finish animating. Look for it in the next month or two!
The voices are those of my talented co-workers Kate LaVallee and Tim Miner, who both brought added dimensions to the characters that I hadn’t thought of. Egan Budd recorded the sessions.