Next Level

Location: Los Angeles, CA / Settings: F5.6-22, ISO 400, 549 seconds.

Gear: Canon 6DRokinon 14mm LensManfrotto TripodRemote Shutter-release and Night-Writer with Red, Blue and Green Color-tips.

People use the term 'next level' to describe upping their game on a personal level - to take what they've learned, and apply it to something that far surpassed what they've already done. 

I'm not sure I would say this image is truly next level for me, but I wanted to comment on the phenomenon and thought this might be a good way to do it.

The main idea is that in life, work, art etc, our greatest challenge is ourselves - every time you knock that ball out of the park, you are setting your personal bar higher.. Conversely, you make it tougher on yourself to achieve that next level.

For this shot I've incorporated a few tricks I've learned over the years - some surface painting for the piranha plant - turning a fallen chimney into a warp pipe. Casting Red on the ground around our hero, and a bit of Blue around the pipe for contrast. This was all done at F5.6 at ISO 400.

Next, I adjusted the Fstop to F22 (you can do that manually on a 14mm Rokinon lens) and started with the characters. Green tip on the Night-Writer for our Piranha Plant, changing to red and white for the face, then off to paint Mario - happy to have nailed the eyes!