davidd (davidd) wrote,

Pinky:st Photography: In the Doldrums

Pinky:st -- Southwest Adventures

I'm not happy with my Pinky:st photos from the Grand Canyon trip. This one, from Arches National Park, is one of the better shots, but overall my latest P-street pix are pretty pedantic. I find them lacking both technically and creatively.

Part of my disappointment with the Pinky pix I attribute to Trippy. I took a lot more Trippy photos on this trip than I did Pinky photos. There's a practical explanation for at least part of the unequal distribution of screen time: Trippy is easier to work with!

Trippy has four legs and a tail. He doesn't fall over. He can hang on things, climb on things, sit on things. He can bite stuff... which always makes for an entertaining photo. Plus, he's larger. Even a few inches, as so many women are eager to point out, makes a world of difference. Trippy is ever so proud of his few extra inches, as it definitely broadens his options. Photographically speaking. When the background of a photo is an expansive desert landscape, it's quite a technical challenge to include a tiny foreground object like a 4-inch Pinky:st figure while maintaining an acceptable zone of focus. Trippy's size makes him a more amenable subject for such scenes.

The girls are tiny, and they fall down a lot. When they fall down, they often fall apart. Their heads tend to fall off. Trying to photograph them on this trip was a bit like trying to juggle ping pong balls on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Because of their propensity for disarticulation, photographing the Pinky:st girls requires a LOT more time than snapping a photo of Trippy. "With Trippy, you can just throw him down and snap the picture," someone pointed out to me. "When you're shooting the Pinky:st girls, it takes you forever!"

Lighting is easier to manage with Trippy. He has kind of a matte finish, so glare or "hot spots" are not often a problem, as they are when working with the shiny Pinky:st faces. His eyes are jet black (with sparkly highlights), so they don't wash out in bright light like the comparatively pale colored eyes of the girls. Trippy's "color palette" is neutral earth tones, so contrast issues are largely eliminated, while the mix of flat, dark colors and light, shiny surfaces on the Pinky:st figures often results in images with "blown out" highlights or underexposed shadows.

There were stops on this trip when I didn't even pull the girls out of their traveling bag... or out of my shirt pocket. While they have the advantage of portability, the "fussy" aspect of working with the Pinky girls often led me to forgo the effort. Additionally, their small size and instability resulted in a fear of losing them. My three little travelers have been to several states and at least a couple of countries now. While they would be fairly easy to replace with identical figures were they to become lost, they wouldn't be the same figures. I would be quite distraught were I to lose them, so I find that I am exercising a bit more caution with them than I might have in the past.

Of course, "distraught" wouldn't even begin to describe the anguish I would feel were Trippy to succumb to misadventure while in my care. Despite the seeming "danger" in some of my recent Trippy images, at no time was there a serious risk of loss. "Creative" camera angles spice up otherwise pedestrian settings, where a fall, even factoring in unpredictable bouncing, would result in nothing worse than a dusty plastic lizard. In those instances where Trippy is actually peering over a precipice, I always have his tail clutched in a white-knuckled grip. If Trippy goes over the brink, I go with him. If I go over first, Trippy gets pitched back to safety.

Mostly, though, I just wasn't coming up with any exciting ideas for the girls during this trip. They're kind of thinking it's all Trippy's fault, which, as I've explained, is true to an extent. But the lack of better Pinky:st photos is more accurately attributable to a combination of factors. For a change, all fingers can't be pointed at Trippy.

Besides, Pinky:st girls don't have fingers.

I need to sort out my camera gear (it's become kind of scattered and disorganized recently), pull together some Pinky:st parts, and try to come up with some new approaches to Pinky:st photography.

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