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Creating The Perfect #MiniWildlifePhoto For BBC Wildlife Magazine - WildlifeGadgetman.com

Creating The Perfect #MiniWildlifePhoto For BBC Wildlife Magazine

Inspired by Swedish photographer Felicia Malmstrom’s latest collection of unique miniature photography highlighting illegal poaching of elephants, BBC Wildlife Magazine recently set its readers a fun challenge – The #MiniWildlifePhoto competition.

I thought I would have a bit of fun, take a couple of shots and enter. Little did I know how addictive it would become!

The idea is simple. BBC Wildlife Magazine says…

‘Grab the kids’ toys and set up the most realistic scene you can without straying too far from home! You can post your photos on our Facebook page or share them on Twitter using the hashtag #miniwildlifephoto. ‘

After a quick rummage around the back of my son’s cupboard for his old African animal play set I came up empty handed, which isn’t surprising as he is now nearly sixteen! His favourite lion, crocodile and elephant combo had long been sent to live out the rest of their days exploring the plains of my nephew and neice’s play room.

I jumped in the car and within half an hour found myself sitting on the floor face to face with my three year old nephew Ollie negotiating the terms of use of his treasured animal collection. You may remember Ollie from our bird fatcake video we made earlier in the year…

After being totally out-negotiated by a very savvy three year old I returned home with a bag of miniature creatures of all shapes and sizes in the hope of photographing them enjoying various exploits around the garden.

Here is the cast of characters…

The Watering Hole…

For my first attempt I had an idea about creating a scene showing a crocodile about to pounce on its prey at a watering hole. To create this shot I used an old paint roller tray. I positioned it in some long grass and then disguised the plastic edges with soil. Once filled with water the scene was set. I’m very pleased with the results! I also experimented with framing the image differently by moving the camera angle slightly.

Hakuna Matata!…

For scene number two I wanted to use the lion. So, with Disney’s The Lion King in mind I found a great spot to position King Mufasa standing proud surveying his kingdom.

Hippo Bathtime…

For scene number three it was back to the watering hole. The little plastic hippo I had only measured about 40mm long and stood about 25mm high so in order to create the illusion of it being larger and splashing about in the water I used a longer lens, zoomed in for a closer crop and reduced the depth of field. As the hippo was bright brown, almost orange, I also saved the image as black and white. I love the reflection in the water on this shot.

Giraffe Nibbles…

For scene number four I decided to use the giraffe. As the giraffe pose looked like it was stretching up to nibble leaves off of a tree it only seemed appropriate to position it accordingly. This gave me a great opportunity to highlight the miniature scale of the giraffe. Look at the size of that dandelion!

The Eye Of The Tiger…

For scene number five it was the turn of the tiger! Keeping with the theme of trying to position the toys in relatively lifelike situations I decided to position the tiger partially hidden by long grass as it secretly spies on its unsuspecting prey.

The Last Rhino…

For scene number six I went back to black and white. Rhinos in the real world are if real danger of extinction so I wanted to try and capture that loneliness and isolation in the shot.

Up to this point I had used my little Panasonic TZ40 compact camera for most of the shots but then suddenly thought ‘What about capturing some of these guys on a trail cam?!’ So I grabbed my Bushnell NatureView HD MAX and rattled off a few shots. Here’s one of my faves…

Underwater Action!…

By now I had posted a few of the pics above on social media and was getting some lovely responses (thanks guys!). One in particular caught my eye suggesting I attempt an underwater shot. Always up for a challenge I thought I would have a go!

So, scene number 7 was going to be underwater but what should it be and how will I do it? Well, after a bit of head scratching I came up with a plan. I wanted to create a shot of a croc from below. For this shot I used my GoPro. This is probably one of my fave shots!

Have A Go Too!

What originally started out as a little bit of fun turned into one of the most enjoyable days I’ve had with my camera in a long time! I can’t afford to travel to take photos of the real thing but it was just as much fun photographing them in my own garden.

In hindsight this would have been a fantastic activity to do with my nephew. So, if you plan to have a go, get the kids involved too! Spend time investigating each of the animals you are going to photograph. Find out about their habitat and how they behave and take a look at lots of pics on the internet for inspiration. You’ll probably find most of them are endangered too so it’s a great opportunity to find out more about how you can help too.

Have a go, you’ll love it!

(Don’t forget to post your photos on BBC Wildlife Magazine’s Facebook page or share them on Twitter using the hashtag #miniwildlifephoto).

By | 2016-10-27T15:26:55+00:00 May 18th, 2015|How To Guides, My Projects, Nature, Technology|0 Comments

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