Recently I’ve began to photograph toy figures (soldiers, cowboys, Indians, Policeman, etc.) so when I was introduced to Levinthal I was greatly inspired. Levinthal creates very strong, dynamic images using nothing more than toy figures and sets as his subject matter. The vast majority of his images give the toys themselves they’re own personality, they each have they’re own story to tell.
The way in which he focuses his camera helps give the objects life, take the three pictured above as in example. Although they are images of very different types of toy figures (a soldier, a cowboy, and a baseball player) they share the same shallow dept of field. This drop in focus on the background pushes us to focus on the poses of the figures and only distinguish a small part of the world that surrounds them; it makes them important, gives them meaning. Moreover, the three images share a strong contrast in their lighting situations; though there is a differences in the way they are lighted, each image contains stark contrasted between the highlights and the shadows. This to me takes the toys out of the world of children’s play things and gives them a separate life, they seem almost real.