Written by | Themed Shoot

The next feature in our Guardians week comes from pop photographer Alvin Ramirez who shows off some of the latest line of Funko Pop Vinyl’s from the upcoming Guardians film by infusing the traditional Chinese elemental system…

Exclusive Guardians Of The Galaxy Shoot
Alvin Ramirez

For my pictures of the Guardian of the Galaxy Funko Pops I wanted to create something special and also add practical effects for some of them.  For that reason I carried out research trying to get inspiration and I found it when I saw a diagram about the “Five Elements”.  I read a little about the topic and felt in love with all the information that I found.

I choose the Chinese Elements system list that are the following; Wood (mù), Fire (huŏ), Earth (tŭ), Metal (jīn) and Water (shuĭ), though these are described more as energies or transitions than types of material.  The Chinese believed that wood fed fire, fire creates earth (ash), that earth bears metal, metal collects water and that water nourishes wood.  After all the information I got I pair an element with each figure  so Groot with Wood, Rocket Raccoon with Fire, Taserface with Earth, Drax with Metal and Nebula with Water.


As we all know Groot is like a living tree.  For this particular reason I wanted to do a composition of Groot in a natural environment with roots, trees and  leaves.  I took the picture before the evening because I want a soft natural light.  I set my camera at 100 ISO and my 50 mm lens at 3.5 aperture. Groot is a true interpretation of the Wood element.

Rocket Raccoon has an explosive personality and he always does whatever he wants.  This was the main reason I paired him with the Fire element.  I put Rocket in the middle of a bunch of dry leaves and started a fire on them to recreate a flaming battle zone where he had to escape.  To take this picture I was on the floor with my camera and set the aperture on 2.8 and the shutter speed 160.  Then one of my friend started the fire and after some shots I got the picture I really  wanted!

Rocket Racoon

At first I paired the element of Earth with Taserface by the colours of his design but then I looked for a location with earth tones and ashes because the Chinese list says that Fire create Earth from the ashes.  Well I used the ashes from the Rocket Raccoon fire shooting to create the process before mentioned.  I used a wide aperture to make the bokeh and soft focus around the figure.


The next element is Metal and I had on my mind a composition with lines and texture.  I found on my backyard a piece of yellow metal that I used as background and a few rusted metal bars to create a texturized floor.  I choose Drax for his strong personality.  For this particular reason I paired him with the Metal element.  I took this picture with an aperture of 2.8 at 100 ISO with a 50 mm lens.


The last Guardian I shot is the awesome Nebula and I paired her with the Water element mostly by her Blue Color.  My vision for this composition was a water explosion around her whilst she was waiting for her sister Gamora to escape from Thanos.  This shot was taken at 400 ISO with an aperture of 4.0 with a shooter speed of 320.  I really wanted to catch the details on the water drops.


Its all refreshing to look at our weekly themes from as many different viewpoints and figure types as possible so a massive thank you to Alvin for creating this exclusive shoot just for us. Stay up to date on all of Alvin’s pop shots over on Instagram @alvinrophotography

Last modified: May 3, 2017

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