Imagine yourself shrunk down to a size of a peanut. What would you do? How would you avoid yourself from getting stepped on by your giant friends? Slinkachu from the UK uses plastic models of people to depict various scenes using everyday things that we use as the background and props. Check out the creative shots after the jump.
Tell the community a little bit about yourself? What do you do for fun and is it the same thing you do for a living? What got you into photography at the first place?
I am 32 years old, born in Devon in the UK but have lived in London for the past ten years. What I do now for a living started as what i did for fun – I was working as a creative at an ad agency when I started leaving miniatures on the street as a hobby. I wanted to document the figures so started shooting them in situ – and this made me want to learn about photography, to improve my images.
Your project “Little People Project” started in 2006, how did the idea come to you and how easy/hard was it to execute?
My day job involved ‘thinking up ideas’ and often ideas would come to me that didn’t fit with the project that i was working on at the time. The Little People Project was just one of a few things that I did to be creative outside of my work, to express myself without having to do what a client would tell me. It was very easy to start as there wasn’t much cost involved. That’s one of the benefits of working in miniature!
What has changed in the project since it’s beginnings? Have any of your original perceptions changed?
I take my work a lot more seriously now. The installations are more thought out and complicated. I try to make them work on different levels. And I take the photography much more seriously. I taught myself photography and worked my way up to a professional DSLR. Now I really pay attention to the time of the day that I shoot, the weather, the light. It is less spontaneous than it used to be, but I am fascinated with capturing emotion in the images, creating stories in static installations and images and bringing to life what are essentially just tiny plastic models.
How does the project work? Do you set out with a specific set of figures and find the best place to place them or does the environment dictate what you shoot?
I always make an installation in advance, but the location that I shoot it in is usually something that I chance upon while walking around a city. This is especially true when I am in a city that I haven’t been to before. I do research online, finding out what type of post boxes are used in Moscow for instance, but then I can walk around for ages trying to find what I think is the ‘right’ post box. The location can be a real wild card in a shoot. Sometimes the figures will look great for a passer by to find but not so good on film. Other times, I find a spot that looks amazing in-camera too. It is all just luck on the day.
Describe what the “Little People Project” aims to achieve in a maximum of two sentences.
The act of leaving the figures on the street can hopefully make people more aware of their surroundings and look at their city in a new way. The photography aims to invoke empathy with the viewer and make think about how they themselves interact with the city and the strangers around them.
You have been a professional photographer shooting mostly in digital, so how does it feel like back to the Analogue world?
I took a couple of photography courses when I was at art college, when everything was analogue, but I never had the patience for it so for a long time photography wasn’t a part of my creative life. Using my first digital camera was a revelation – no more blurry, over-exposed shots and wasted films! I am a bit of a perfectionist so shooting digital is perfect for me as you just delete anything that isn’t right, and try again. So the prospect of shooting analogue, particularly on something so uncontrollable as the Diana F+, was intimidating!
How did you like shooting with the Diana F+ and what were people´s reactions to the camera?
I realized that I had to have a different mindset to use this camera. I couldn’t really control my shots, especially trying to shoot the miniatures. I just had to point, shoot and hope for the best. But this was actually really liberating! It is such a spontaneous way to take pictures. My usual way of shooting involves meticulously setting up a scene and then taking 300 shots of it with minute changes of angle, exposure and depth of field to get the one image that I love, but using the Diana F+ was more about quickly trying to capture something in a second, with no planning at all. I definitely got a few strange looks in Moscow while I was using it though. At some points I was lying on the ground in the snow shooting the figures with my Canon 5d, my girlfriend was filming me on her iPhone, then I was filming the installation with another Canon – and then getting out the Diana too. I tried to put the wrong lens cap on the wrong camera more than once.
Describe the Diana F+ in five words.
Spontaneous, temperamental, surprising, liberating, plastic.
What’s your favorite photo you took with the Diana F+ and why?
My favorite image is the one with the guy dressed as a blue cat, just outside of Red Square. I shot a lot of images but my favorites were the ones where I captured people as I would my miniatures – alone in giant world. I love the picture of a woman taking a shot of a model cow with her ipad too, and the hooded man standing alone by his fairground stall. I didn’t really do this consciously at the time, but I wish now that I had taken more like this in Moscow. I think I will take the Diana F+ out on the streets of London to see what I can find.
The Diana F+ is a new twist on the ‘60s classic cult camera. Famous for its dreamy and soft-focused images, the Diana F+ is now packed with extra features such as panorama and pinhole capabilities. Available in our Online Shop.