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The weather’s hot and the soul is restless — it’s time for my brief annual stint of interest in photography! Like a hot summer rash, I’ve been itching to get more photoing done.  I’ve rated and tagged in Lightroom over three thousand photos I’ve taken over the past seven years, cleaned up my Flickr, and set up an Instagram and 500px. Of course, I’m also making more of an effort to get out there and take more photos, which leads us to this pair of photos of the Alter Menma figure.

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The idea came to me in my in-laws’ backyard. It has a very…rustic feel, which reminded me a lot of the little childhood shack in AnoHana. Of course, this wasn’t the first time I attempted taking outdoor photos of this figure, but the previous attempt (in my original Alter Menma review) was marred by very hard light. To avoid a repeat of disappointment, I came prepared with my speedlights, soft boxes and tripod. Finally I was equipped to do the outdoor shoot that I always claimed I’d do one day.

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The lighting conditions on this hot and lazy Sunday was a lot better than anticipated, with a consistent blanket of clouds sparing me from the sun’s sizzling rays. After resisting the temptation to just set up the figure on front of yet more foliage as I had done before, I found a piece of piece of 2×4 place on top of some poles next to the storage shed. The ambient light served as the fill light, a speedlight with an attached soft box was set up on right side as the key light, and a small piece of white cardboard was placed to the left to bounce back of the they key light to balance it out.

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I was quite happy with how shots turned out! I prefer the portrait orientation version above because of the the textures on the wood, rope and metal pipe. Together with the greenery in the background, they make a great fit for the character’s motifs. I felt pretty satisfied after I was done, though I must admit that it was a lot of gear to lug around. I can’t see myself ever walking around carrying three bags full of camera gear while trying to find a good photo spot. I suppose I’ll keep my eyes peeled in future outings for those magical spots, so I may return one day with the toys in tow.