Brace yourself, things are about to get nerdy

Nelson’s Blair Altman spends a weird amount of time taking Instagram photos.

Blair Altman is the creative force behind the Instagram account Batman and Frank.

It took him about 30 hours.

While Nelson photographer Blair Altman was working on composing his latest Instagram shot for the account Batman and Frank, he walked into Cloud Mountain Teahouse on Ward St. with his girlfriend Kamala Melzack and spotted a dainty little clay tea set.

“I looked at them and thought it would be really cool to find a miniature, one-sixth scale tea set and then do proper Japanese doors in the background and Batman could be having this tea ceremony kneeling on the ground,” Altman told the Star.

So he scoured eBay for a couple of hours looking for a tea set that would suit his purposes, eventually finding one that he deemed not quite perfect but good enough under the circumstances.

“It’s hard to find props that are the right scale and detailed enough that it doesn’t break the illusion and also doesn’t cost a ridiculous amount,” said Altman.

But a lot of the props, like the table and the Japanese doors, are carefully hand-crafted by himself and Melzack. And Altman acknowledges that it may seem a little ridiculous, the lengths they’ll go to create their latest Instagram images, but it’s just something he’s compelled to do.

“So then I mounted the origami cranes on copper wire, and the end photo was composed of seven shots that I layered on top of each other,” Altman said, explaining how he accomplished the illusion of the paper birds taking flight amidst the steam.

“I used a mustard bottle with a piece of tube and a straw, I filled the bottle from my smoke machine and bent it so I could squeeze the smoke out of the teapot.”

That’s because he wants, as much as he can, to do things practically rather than resorting to Photoshop.

“I’m not adding any fake elements. So in one of my other photos, when I have rain falling I’m actually there spraying a mist bottle and back-lighting the rain to get it looking right.”

And though the Selkirk digital media grad, who has also worked on the Kootenay TV show The LineUp, struggles to think of himself as an artist, he guesses that’s exactly what he’s become.

“I do stuff like branding for businesses around here and in Vancouver, and the odd video project here and there, but I never really thought about myself as artistic. I thought I would do something more technically minded, something like engineering.”

So now he’s throwing his attention into it. The Batman and Frank Instagram account has over 50 images, each of them as carefully crafted as the tea ceremony one, which is his current favourite.

“I never thought I’d do anything like this as more than a hobby, but now it’s turning into more of a hobby and the area I want to focus on is I’d like to be doing things that are out of the box and weird.”

And he figures Barman and Frank fits the bill.

“It’s nerdy on so many levels.”

 

Just Posted

Kootenay fires grow — more evacuation alerts

Syringa fire prompts evacuation alerts plus HWY 3 closure and U.S. fire crosses into B.C.

Evacuation alert for Syringa and Deer Park

The Syringa Creek Fire grew Saturday resulting in evacuation alerts.

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Smoke scraps MS Bike Challenge

The annual fundraising event cancelled its cycling Saturday because of poor air quality

Nelson’s mural festival: scenes from opening night

Crowds wandered the streets and alleys finding delightful surprises in unlikely places

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Most Read