The Long Arm of the Law

There was Jo’s question about an arrest in the last post, and there was also a prompt to do a noir photo in the toy photographers’ community so I tried my hand at some ‘neo noir’. I wanted to see if noir, which we mostly associate with black-and-white, also works in color. And though this picture was motivated by Jo’s question, I am afraid we’re none the wiser. I chose the mystery.

Area 23

Finishing The Zone in 2019, did not mean I was done. I still feel drawn to this kind of scene (and scenery). And when I saw Annabelle Amoros’ film Area 51, Nevada, USA in a museum, it clicked. I was intrigued even though the movie has its disconcerting moments. I have been taking its imagery as a departure point for a couple of pictures – mostly working from memory to capture the atmosphere in 1/87 scale.

Clothesline Rope Walk

A scene we might encounter in real life – or rather, an idealized version of such a scene. Which is why I like toy photography: In reality, I would walk along the alley, see a potential photo, and then find that reality gets in the way of the picture I had in mind. I might get other pictures I like instead. And afterwards, with miniature toy photography, I can also make the picture I imagined.

Since it’s Monday, and this is definitely a walk, I think this might be a nice contribution for Jo‘s Monday Walks.

Five Years, Ten Toy Photos

Whenever I talk about toy photography, a couple of my own pictures inadvertently come to mind. It’s not that I consciously picked or even made some sort of list to remember them. It rather feels like they never really got out of sight after I made them; they seem to be here to stay. Here are ten of those pictures off the top of my head.

Take the ‘A’ Train, 2022. I feel like I found a nice balance between abstraction and realism here. The harsh lighting – light bouncing off a ‘brick’ wall behind the rail car – emphasizes the graphic quality of this shot, and a composition defined by the symmetry of the windows and the asymmetrical arrangement of the figures inside the car. And the figures, I think, tell their own story.

Prelude to a Kiss, 2022. One thing I like about music, and jazz in particular, is that it brings people together; and one thing I love about this picture is the arrangement of the crowd. When I look at this picture, I seem to hear the soundtrack of dance music, conversational murmur, shuffling feet and clinking glasses. And there’s so much going on in this picture. Did you notice the gaze of the guy to the right?

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Flights of Fancy

Toy photography and flights of fancy: it almost seems like a defining combination. Wouldn‘t it be nice to just have a huge wall with a couple of tiny windows and a backlit „Tickets“ sign? Then I could show a long line of people waiting to get one. And can I translate the jazz music played at a concert into a picture?

Flights of fancy indeed, and when I build these 1/87 scale dioramas or set up scenes, it often seems like they will remain just that. Other times, things turn out quite well (if not always the way I would have expected). These two pictures are from my jazz series. The titles are Broadway Blues and Jumpin’ at the Woodside, after the respective songs composed by Ornette Coleman and Count Basie.