The Lord of the Rings has been a love of mine from the first time I was able to see the films in the theater almost 20 years ago.
This project has been something I wanted to do for such a long time. It first started when I wanted to see if I could merge portrait photography and toy photography into a single image. After a few test shots, I came to the conclusion it was possible.
I started to first lay out the plans for building Bilbo’s hobbit house with a design on some graphic software. After I got the blueprints developed, I then laser cut them into the wood to build the base frame of the home. Then I began construction of the landscape. After three months of work, I put the finishing touches of the trees and fences.
All of my images are shot with a Canon 5D Mark IV and Sigma 35mm Art lens. The 35mm gives the most cinematic look to each of my photos. When I am able to complete the photography aspect of the diorama, I then move to the shooting of the human model. I use the exact same lighting setup and lens to make sure all of my color tones match in camera.
When all of the photos are done, I move over to Photoshop to composition the image. Adding the sky tends to be the most difficult part because I have to make sure all the lighting is correct with the diorama and human model so it appears seamless. Each photo series can take up to three months to complete.