In case you missed it, the best Legend of Zelda game ever (The Breath of The Wild) came out a year ago, today. Every few years the kingdom of Hyrule, once again, finds itself in a perilous fight against the dark forces of Ganon (the main antagonist in the series). The fate of the land rests squarely on the shoulders of our intrepid adventurer and hero, Link.

There is another peculiar situation that comes to pass each time a new chapter of the series is released: Jon loses his damn mind.

I fancy myself a bit of a Zelda aficionado, and that has not been lost on my fiancé, Ashley. A while back, she surprised me with the coolest t-shirt ever made. That was followed up by the nerdiest pajamas I’ve ever owned (peep the stylish duo here). Coming up on the release of Breath of the Wild, last year, I finished up all my open projects, and set aside a solid week to do absolutely nothing but #SaveHyrule. (Side note: to clarify the immensity of the game, it’s important to note, I didn’t finish all the side quests until this past December.) Anywho, just before the release, she acquired me my most recent bit of Zelda swag. So, what does any photographer/video game nerd do with such a gift?

I think you know.

Before throwing some lights on it and just clicking away, it was important to craft a scene, worthy of the rich landscape in this Award-Winning Game. If you haven’t played BOTW, take a look at the Google Image search results for the game and you’ll see the scenic vistas are just what the title promises (wild). The world is a beautifully designed amalgamation of plains, mountains, grass, rocks, sunsets, and nature.  I felt it necessary to honor the five and a half years of game development. But, without a sweeping landscape readily accessible, it all came down to set design…

Starting with the ground, we’ll use a collection of mosses and lichen.



we need grasses and weeds. This gets a bit tricky as it’s currently winter, but luckily enough, I had just picked up some fake wheat stalks from the local craft shop


It seems that if we remove the little hair things up top and stick them into some generic Styrofoam, they make perfect little pockets of tall grass



Next, for the boulders. Well, as it so happens, we have a habit of collecting interesting-looking stones on our various adventures. After some mixing and matching…


What about the background scenery? It’s currently winter in Michigan and sun (let alone sunsets) are pretty hard to come by. I had employed a trick a while back, using a previously printed image as a backdrop.


It’s OK, but not quite bright enough. TV to the rescue!


I’m pretty happy with the set, but the watch is simultaneously matte and reflective in all the wrong places. This calls for some creative exposure.

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After a series of exposures, some blending, a healthy dose of post-production, and a bit of type…

2018-2-18 Zelda Watch _DSC4667

Thanks for checking out the behind-the-scenes. Now go play video games!

– Jon


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