Date:  09.2016

Client:  Personal Project & Time for Print

Summary:  I had been wanting to put together a movie poster type photo shoot, and since I'm a bit of a Star Wars fan, I got local actor and model, Arron Patterson, involved to do a Star Wars themed photo shoot of the Finn character.  With a few helpful props, and a smoke machine we created some great looking images.

Star Wars - Finn with Lightsaber

Concept  

The concept was to create some images around the Finn character from Star Wars The Force Awakens.  I wanted to work in Finn's back story as a Stormtrooper, and the time he was wielding a lightsaber.  

Planning & Production

The costume and props were definitely going to be key, so I purchased an authentic looking Finn jacket, a Stormtrooper helmet, and a lightsaber.  Ironically the lightsaber was delivered moments before the photo shoot, and as a backup plan, I found a friend who actually had a much more authentic looking lightsaber, which worked out beautifully!  For atmosphere I pulled in a smoke machine for added effect.  

Shooting

I really wanted to bring in color for the shoot:  cool blues and bluish greens to play off of the lightsaber, and warmer complimentary colors to jazz it up.  To do that, I gelled my studio strobes to bring in just the right colors.  I brought the blueish greens in from behind and left of the model.  I brought the orange-gelled strobe from behind and to the right of the model.  Then, in order to match the direction and color of the light that would be emanating from the lightsaber, I gelled and gridded a strip box and matched the angle of the lightsaber for each image.   All that, with a little smoke from the smoke machine really gave it a great look right out of camera.  

Post-Production

The biggest post production job I had was lighting of the lightsaber, and then making it appear as if the lightsaber was lighting my Finn character, glowing, and bringing light into the scene.  I also made sure that the reflection of the lightsaber in Finn's eyes was even more pronounced.  I tried a couple of different variations on the lightsaber, including one with streaming blue sparks.  In order to add additional mood and drama to one of the images I photographed and composited in images of sparklers and flames.  This made a great Facebook cover photo.  On another one I created a Photoshop brush to mimic sparks behind Finn's head in the close-up headshot.  

Star Wars Finn - Before & After

Results  

Overall I'm very pleased with the final results.  I really did get that movie poster look that I was going for.  And, the composited image with the sparks and flames really stands out.  

Star Wars - Finn with Stormtrooper Helmet

Star Wars - Finn with Lightsaber

Star Wars - Finn Headshot with LIghtsaber

Star Wars - Finn Defends with Lightsaber

Star Wars - Finn Lightsaber - Sparks & Fire

Star Wars - Finn with Helmet and Jacket