13 Amazing Animated Photography
ErAn Croitoru has been working on his Animated-Photography.com for about two years. His project is about silent objects in our daily lives, the things we use and mostly leave in the background. It’s very creative art and his work is enlightening, making you pause and take a closer look. His images make you see a story we would otherwise don’t see, perhaps put a smile on your face when you get the story.
One evening, as I photographed Tel-Aviv city from above, I noticed something interesting. The people, who are usually the main subject in our daily photos, suddenly became irrelevant. As I watched, the city became something like a stage, but instead of people playing parts, the buildings themselves were the stars of the show, but they were stiff and lifeless.
That was the moment I realized I could use my skills as an animator to bring them to life. Using an animation software I helped them bend and touch each other. This is how I imagine buildings would hug if they could. It made me think about all the silent objects in all of our lives, the things we use and leave in the background.
Each picture starts with a simple question – what would you like to do today? The power tower is tired of working day and night, and wants to break free from routine and obligation. The cameras need a vacation – maybe they’d like to be photographed for once! When we take a moment to think on these things, the candles that light vigils for us and our friends, the hammers and nails, the grumpy pots, the glorious flowers, we see the life and color behind what we take for granted.
Each picture has its own complications. Although I know I can use editing software to fix and change it during post, I prefer doing everything I can during the photographing stage. In my opinion it gives the image a much more real feeling than recomposing elements during post.
I never begin a project without having the picture already in mind, preferably as a sketch. I’ll start by preparing the scene. I stabilize the objects using simple materials such as cardboard and superglue. “Flying” objects such as the strawberry in “Food Fight” will generally be held by hand using a toothpick, for example.
It’s a time and patience consuming work. The smaller the objects, the harder it is to stabilize them while keeping the reference materials hidden from camera. Some rules have been made in order for this project to be consisted. I’ll only add arms and legs when needed. To do so, I use a 3D software named Lightwave which I use daily as an Animator. It allows me to model the arms/legs and recreate the lighting condition and proper camera settings to make the 3D render fit the original frame.
I then use Photoshop to combine the two and render the final image. I use my 2 speedlight flashes and achieve the lighting by bouncing it from the walls and using a softbox/umbrella. The scene usually takes place in the natural environment for the object. After all, it needs to feel comfortable 🙂
As mentioned, each picture has its own complication. And that’s the thing I love most about this project. I have to think of creative methods to achieve the result I want.
In “Cameras on Vacation”, I created the background from several pictures I took on vacation, printed it, and connected it to a small background holder I made out of… kite parts.
In “Save the King” I used a Lego weapon collection set from eBay. Luckily enough it fitted the soldiers quite nicely. In “The Attack on Nail City” I wanted to create an action film scene in which a giant hammer is attacking Nail city. I created cars out of meter tapes with nuts and screws as wheels. Electric testers with glued flashlights became street lights.
For some pictures, I’ve made short making-of videos.
And sometimes I couldn’t help myself and had to really animate the characters 🙂
There are many more objects with a story to tell.
About ErAn Croitoru:
My name is ErAn Croitoru, I’m a photographer and an animator.
I’ve worked in the animation industry for about a decade. Previous projects include commercials, movies for visitor centers and recently TV shows for children. During my work I’ve started photographing, but only recently I’ve found my place – combining the two worlds and bringing still objects to life.