Moana, Maui and mermaids’ epic vacation…

and Hank too, don’t forget Hank…


It’s the day before Christmas Eve, let’s go to the beach…


and look for sea glass…

Picture Picture


rode along the beach…


took some selfies with friends…



launched canoe…





the chicken lives

we’re wet…






hula on the beach…





Photographing toys, er…collectibles on the line where sand meets water is …eh… an adventure.

Mermaids, Moana, various vintage horses and Legolas all fell in. The chicken did not. Canoe floats, as the packaging claimed. Wind blew toward beach and water was flat. Convenient. If wind was blowing the other way, I’d have had a wetsuit on, or a fishing line tied to the boat. As it was, the water was clear (odd for the bay in summer, but in winter it gets quite clear), and I had muck boots on so the foot or so of water I was shooting in was not too difficult.

Got a tiny tripod for the camera, that worked well, keeping the eye level at about the eye level of the characters. Mental note: have lots of lens wipes and that lens brush. Towels do not count.

Getting mermaids to stick to slippery seahorses is another matter. Glue Dots work sometimes, not this time. About the time I’d get a mermaid balanced, grab the camera, focus… sploop. While Maui’s broad build allows him to do a nice horse stance on the beach and not fall into the waves thus ruining his fabulous electronics (both versions talk and have batteries and stuff), Moana is not so lucky. I had to hold her up with fence wire stuck in the sand. She still fell in. Also Legolas on my nice vintage Johnny West “Flame” horse. Both fell over at the edge of the minimal surf. Splot. The Gabriel Toys “Silver”, nicely articulated and repainted by me, does not like sand or seawater in his joints. He fell in too.

Big plush Maui has face issues. I have Photoshopped it out and redrawn it.


For the beach shoot I just erased it (use clone stamp to plush out the features from his other plush textures), and replaced with Maui face from film clips/stills online. Otherwise this is a great collectible/toy. Little kid on the beach almost ran through my photoshoot, I said, “hey, no tracks please!” He stopped, looked at Maui and said he really liked that toy. “Did you see the movie?” Nope, but he liked Maui. “Well go see it, it’s awesome.”

For future shoots I’ll likely build mermaid saddles (aluminum foil, fence wire and Sculpey) and use some sort of poster putty. Command and Scotch also make some nice wall stickies for hanging pictures. Might work. Dowel rods stuck in sand with wire or fishing line to hold dolls would work. I can Photoshop them out later; clone stamping background in over wires… or shooting an empty (scenic) frame, then shooting frame with characters in it. Using green painted dowel rods is like green screen in filming; easy to edit out.

Don’t let your collectibles sit on a shelf… go outside and play.








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