This whole Groot Off thing started when I found out that friend, and fellow photographer, Gevon Servo was also a member of the Loot Crate service. This month, our crates contained a Funko Groot Bobblehead. When we realized we both were looters and our crates contained this fun toy, he challenged me to a bit of a competition using the figure. Now, I’m not one to turn down a toy photography competition. I mean, it helps keep me on my toes and forces me to get even more creative, and so I accepted.
To be fair, we asked Scott Kivowitz to come up with rules, because a third party making up the regulations is a great idea! Anyway, the rules that were agreed upon are as follows:
1 - No humans can be in the photos
2 - Groot must be in the photos
3 - Use of artificial light is encouraged
4 - Use of textures is encouraged
5 - HDR forfeits you automatically
6 - If you get Star Wars somehow cleverly in the photo you may win
7 - Legos are encouraged
8 - Three photos required
9 - One week to shoot the three images
With the rules in place, I set off to do what I enjoy the most. I ROCKED my Groot Off photos. I started off easy and with what I know. I went all low-key on Groot. As Gevon was posting a few low-key photos to Instagram, I figured I should take him to school on how you rock that style with a toy. My first image:
For my second image, I ventured outside. We have a small mushroom growing just outside our front door, and it happens to be in a place with plenty of pine needles and twigs. From a toy perspective, it looks exactly like the woods, and a perfect setting for a Groot Shroomin image. My second image:
My last photo took some thinking and a lot of roaming around the house contemplating setups and execution. I debated on a special Beer Label Friday image, but the Star Wars toys I wanted to use were not cooperating. I then debated a Batman/Groot mashup, but I wasn’t feeling any of the comps I was trying. Then it hit me. Today (August 29, 2014) sees the re-release of the 1984 Ghostbusters movie to theaters for the 30th Anniversary celebration. I have the LEGO ECTO-1 sitting right on my fireplace mantle, and Ghostbusters is on Netflix. I then knew I wanted to do a small drive-in movie theater setup in celebration of the greatness that is the ghost brawlers.
I’m not fully happy with how this turned out and will ultimately re-shoot it once the weather decides it is a good time to stop raining. However, I wanted to get this out today in honor of the movie coming out. With that, my third image:
There ya have it, my Groot Off images. I want to thank Gevon for the challenge. In all honesty, this wasn’t about winning, but having fun while forcing the creativity to grow. I know I had a great time with this challenge and I hope to get challenged again in the future. Until then, go see Ghostbusters in the theaters! Oh, and never grow up!
2014 Extra Life for Kids
I am once again participating in the Extra Life for Kids event on October 25, 2014. I have participated in this event the last two years, and I love doing it. This year I am working with three friends, of which one of them is even flying in from Texas to game with us. The plan at the moment is to stream the entire event so that people may watch us belittle one another, suck down copious amounts of coffee, and just have fun. Working together should help keep us all awake while providing some good laughs for all involved! There is even the possibility of watching two of us get gaming tattoos.
Now this is where you come in. I am trying to raise $500 for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. A small amount I know, but anything is better than nothing. I aim to play games for the bulk of this time, which once was a simple task, but now I’m in bed by 10PM on most nights and so this will be a fun experiment in returning to my 20s. Adding to this struggle, fresh tattoos are sure to add to the challenge of keeping my eyes open beyond 2AM. So I play games, get tattooed, you donate money, and children benefit from us working together. It’s a damn sweet deal!
However, that is not all I am going to do. I’ve donated a limited edition print to the children’s hospital the last two times, but I wanted to sweeten the pot a bit more this year. I still plan to do the limited edition print donation, of which you get to help me make. However, I’m also going to add in a Nitz Strap (wrist strap) to this. This means that if you donate $25, or more, you are also entered to win a limited edition print and a Nitz Strap!
Now what I need from you, besides a donation, is to share this post. The only way I can raise money is with awareness of what I’m doing, and the only way that happens is by word of mouth. Any shares on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, and link passing of this post help me out a lot.
I thank you for helping me help children who could use some happiness as they battle for health!
This is just a test shot from the Fuji X-T1. This camera is changing up photography in so many ways for me. Yeah, it does not have a full frame sensor and it is not sporting multi-thousand dollar lenses nor does it look “pro” when compared to the Nikon D700. However, this camera is bringing back so much fun to my work. I even travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands with the X-T1 as my only camera. It was light. It wasn’t a burden. It did what I asked it to do. I loved every minute of it. Really, isn’t that just as important as sensor sizes and low light capabilities?
“A life lived for art is never a life wasted” –Macklemore