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jenga explosion

Published April 22nd, 2012

Everyone who has played Jenga would have loved it, I love it too.

So one day, with nothing to do and nowhere to go, I was thinking about doing some tabletop photography. And then the search for objects to photograph started. Pretty soon my eyes hooked upon the Jenga box. Now it was about how to take an interesting picture of it. I was thinking of making a picture of Jenga collapsing, but it was more of capturing the precise moment and was not that much of a challenging task in itself, other than the timing. So I started thinking and I had this crazy idea of making a picture of Jenga exploding. Now that’s some challenge, coz the Jenga only falls down lamely, and there is no explosion whatsoever! I had to put in some effort and quite a lot of time into the project, and this picture is what I came up with. And I loved it!

I would classify photographing something into mainly two: picture taking and picture making. Needless to say, this picture falls into the second category. Because picture taking mostly deals with capturing a moment in time, and as far as this picture is concerned, there was no such moment in time where it looked like this. This picture had to be made.

Here we go photography junkies into the details of how this picture was made. The picture is a composite of multiple shots. It’s a composite of more than 50 images, by far the most number of individual images I have ever played with in creating a composite. The base picture was of the background and the table with some pieces scattered and the center structure. Then shots were made with an individual piece hanged in using a thread at different places in the image, keeping in mind the final look of the image that I wanted. I would have made at least 200 such images and then selected 50 out of them for the final composite. Lighting was done with a strobe firing through a shoot-through umbrella to the right of the image. I initially tried with a kicker as well from the back-left, but didn’t like the look and removed it. So it ended up as a one-light setup. Hope you enjoyed the read and the image.

jenga explosion

I have a blog post on this picture here:

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