All images by Amr Elshamy. Used under Creative Commons License.
At some point of time it is every photographer’s dream to travel the world and shoot wildlife a la National Geographic style. Amr Elshamy visualized such adventures and turned his dream into creative photography by using scaled models and imagination.
We have recently featured Amr Elshamy’s work turning toy models into realistic science-fiction movie scenes here, and he continued to flex his toy model photography expertise and imaginative creativity in his latest photo series simply titled “Life…”. For this project, Amr used toy figurines of wildlife animals such as dolphins, killer whales, and polar bears and captured realistic images of these animals in natural looking environments they were supposed to be in.
Amr went great lengths to ensure true to life looking habitats for the animals. For under the sea shots, Amr suspended the toy models of water creatures in a tank filled with water. He added a drop of blue coloring to simulate actual underwater ambiance. He also dissolved tissue paper in the water and stirred it around to achieve a dusty particle effect. Lighting execution was a single flash head fired directly from the top with a light snoot for narrow, precise, and focused light onto the figurines. A blue gel was attached to the flash head to create a blue color cast over the frame. Initially a blue background was used but after further experimentation Amr decided a black background also worked well for some of his shots.
For the north pole shots, Amr created the snowy terrain with the use of snow spray cans, which he bought for $1.20 each from the gift shop. To create a clean and white background, he fired a flash at the background. The main lighting came from a flash fired at the top in a softbox, producing a soft and even bright light all across the frame.
Creativity knows no boundaries. Great photography does not stop at just knowing how to use the camera effectively, or performing excessive manipulation in Photoshop. Amr proves that, above all, having bold artistic sense, an open mind, and creative improvisation can go a long way.
You may check out Amr Elshamy’s amazing photography work at his website here.