Written by | Behind The Shot, Featured

To help celebrate MCU Infinity Saga week here at the Exclu Collective, I did a shoot with Mezco’s One:12 Collective figures from Thor: Ragnarok. In particular, I worked with the Thor and Hulk figures, and reimagined scenes from their gladiator brawl. Rather than just sharing the end images though, I wanted to offer up a few behind-the-scenes look at the process.

In general, all of the shots utilized the digirama technique to provide backgrounds for the shots, which I grabbed from my digital copy of Thor: Ragnarok, or downloaded from the Internet while searching for “thor ragnarok gladiator backgrounds”. All of the shots were taken with my Canon 80D camera with a 100mm Canon macro lens. I also used the Pixel Pro wireless shutter remote set to a high-speed shutter setting.

I used a variety of lighting, one could argue I used too many, but you never know what hues you’ll need, so I keep upwards of seven light sources on hand to use to light my shots. These light sources include:

  • 2x Lumecube
  • 1x Apuretech AL-M9
  • 2x remote controlled colored lights from amazon (Gu10 bulbs and a base that supports that bulb type)
  • 1x Philips Hue Smart Bulb
  • 1x 800 lumen bulb in a desk lamp

Finally, I used a $30 hand steamer to provide the atmosphere effects. All post-processing edits were done in Affinity for the iPad.


Alright so let’s get to the toy photography! The first shot that came to mind for this Ragnarok project was that of the Hulk bursting through his door to greet his foe Thor. I loved this moment in the movie, and while I couldn’t get the door to look all smashed, I think the shot turned out alright.

As you’ll see in the BTS shots, I used two lumecubes to boost the backlighting, and then the colored lights to add a few different hues to the shot. I also always keep the Philips Hue lit in the background for some fill, as well as the desk lamp. Finally, I steamed the setup to get the smoke effect.


Next up, I reimagined the shot of Thor awaiting his much touted foe. This moment takes place right before the Hulk bursts through the door, so Thor was still quite on edge over who the champion was that he was about to face. In this shot I used one Luecube, the two colored lights, the desk lamp light, and the Philips Hue light. Once again I also used the hand steamer to add a bit of atmosphere to the shot.

Thor Vs Hulk

The final shot I took for this feature has a little action to it. It’s a reimagining of Thor and Hulk punching the shit out of each other in the middle of the arena. I did add motion blur to it in post to give it a feeling of motion and action, but the setup was pretty simple. Once again I used the Philips Hue system, the desk lamp, two colored lights, and a lumecube. Of course the hand steamer was utilized as well to add some atmosphere.

Hopefully you gained some new tips for your indoor toy photography. It really comes down to your own imagination, some Macguyver action for lighting, and of course, the ability to find great backgrounds and/or props.

I love these two figures, so I took additional shots that I’ll be releasing via my IG handle @heywoodPOP, so stay tuned for more Mezco Thor: Ragnarok action! Don’t hesitate to DM me, or other Team Exclu members for tips on toy photography.

For all the latest Behind the Scenes & Tutorials, stay tuned to Exclu.

Last modified: April 22, 2019

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