Posted in Camellia, diorama, doll adventure, doll photography, Fashion dolls, graphic novel, photo novel, Photography, toy adventure, toy photography, Wildflower dolls

Set up for Camellia’s next episode

I’m flipping the schedule the week (and maybe for the following weeks as well, if it works out well.) So, instead of starting with the finished episode on Monday and talking about it the next couple of days, I’m going to write about doing the episode on Monday and Wednesday, and then share the finished version on Friday.

The upside, for me, is that it encourages me to slow down, take a few shots every day, and then wrap them up at the end. The downside is that you’ll know all of the surprises by the time the episode rolls around.

We’ll see how it works out.

So, when we left last week, someone had left a gift for Camellia and was watching from behind the bushes at the end. This week, they’ll meet and, by the end of the episode, Camellia will start telling her story. Backwards. One segment each episode, until she gets to the start.

Anyway, here are my raw shots and the parts of the story I worked on on Sunday.

It starts with Camellia leaving the camp. I took a ton of shots of this scene, and didn’t really end up loving any of them. I’ll share a few so you can see what I was trying to work out.

Here’s the first shot. I’m really just trying to get a sense of what the scene looks like and how I want to arrange things, at this point. What I learn from this shot is that she’s way too close to the rock – it makes the set look tiny.

For the next shot, I move her to the front of the set, farther away from the rock. I always like being closer in, so I try it zoomed in, but, of course, then I can’t see the dog.

So, I take the dog and put it on the rock. I actually kind of like this picture, as a picture, but it’s not really doing much for the story.

One of the points in the plot, here, is that she and the dog go, but the panther stays behind. (Because, as you’ll see in a bit, the panther has a bit of a relationship with the person who left the food in the last episode. I sort of hinted at that in that episode, when the panther came from the woods, and then the stranger was in the same spot the panther came from.) Anyway, not a huge point, but I do want to put a little panther tension in the shot. So, I run into the house, grab the panther, put him on the set, and take another shot.

Which is better, except, now the angle is too high to show the panther. I’m not going to put him on the rock too. (Also, at this point my fragile-dog has slipped off his rock perch, so I have to rest him facing against some shrubbery on the rock. Which, I now realize, has him pointing the wrong way.)

So, now I take a long shot to get everyone in

Add the raven, zoom in, and this is my final shot. I don’t love it, but if I pretty it up a bit in photoshop, it might work. At this point I’ve taken 21 shots just to get here, so, on to the next shot

In the next shot, Camellia gets some fruit from a tree. This is actually the best shot I took all day, and it’s the first shot I took. I played around with some other angles, but nothing was as good as the first one.

I’ll have to fix up the background – I just had her on my desk – but this is basically what it will look like in the episode. I’ve had a thing recently with Camellia’s episodes where I just show one eye. So, here’s another one-eyed shot of Camellia.

To get this shot, I had to stand her on a doll desk and then use a pipe cleaner to tie her onto the tree, like so. I only took 13 shots for this one, and none of them improved on the first one.

In the next shot, she returns to camp and finds the stranger working on the hut, with the panther by her side. I started again with a staging shot (spoiler alert! you’re about to see the stranger!)

But, I didn’t like her back being turned, and I wanted to see her more obviously from Camellia’s perspective, so I turned her around and shot from behind Camellia. Looking at this again, I think I’ll keep it (with a little photoshop cleanup) just for story continuity.

Then the shot where you can see her face (one-eyed!), and I’m out. Getting those two shots took me about 25 shots altogether. I was tinkering with Camellia’s arm, and getting the dog into the shot for most of the attempts. I’m going to have to fix up this shot, since I ran out of backdrop behind the panther.

Camellia shares some fruit with Moana, which I got in just 7 shots (mostly fiddling around with what I wanted to have in focus)

And finally the two of them work together on the hut, which only took me 9 shots, again figuring out what to focus on.

The one change I made in my set for these shots is that I pulled my bookcase about a foot away from the wall, which I think makes the backdrop look better in most of the shots (although it could still use a good ironing).

On Wednesday, I’ll show you my fire experiment, the hut, and then it’s on to Camellia’s story.



In my (almost) 60th year on earth I decided to set my fashion dolls free of their clothes and accessories and send them on adventures. This is your window onto my own adventure into a land of crafts where I have zero skills, talent or mentors. Wish me (and my dolls) luck!

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