The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.
—Supreme Chancellor Palpatine
What’s happening, Star Wars fans? For those of you yet to see The Force Awakens I promise this is a spoiler free post.
Making this miniature photograph was a blast! But first let’s circle back to Christmas. I received a Kylo Ren Christmas tree ornament—excellent—and almost immediately had the idea to utilize my macro lens and tripod in combination with a dark room and a red candle; setting the stage for a miniature portraiture shoot with little Kylo Ren. It was my hope to execute a dramatic, lifelike photograph of the next generation of dark side wielders. Discounting the lightsaber, which still rendered several notches better than I expected, the finished product far exceeded my expectations in terms of this picture looking like there’s a real human in there, full of conflict. The eyes behind the mask are piercing right through you, calling you to the dark side, making you see eyes where there most certainly are none.
Initially I assumed I’d go for low key black and white processing, but as I first saw the exposures loading into Lightroom it was clear I should play off the warm and brooding color cast from the flame of an off screen candle. The light not only creates the right mood through shadow play, it also infuses just enough red into the lightsaber to keep things realistic enough. On the ornament itself the saber is quite dark, it was a pleasant surprise to see the candle charge it up quite powerfully. I’m sure someone worth their Photoshop salt could create effects that bring Kylo Ren’s kyber crystal to its full cinematic glory.
All told I managed to end up with a few Kylo keepers. They may make an appearance later down the line on this website, especially one of the extreme close-ups. But if not I can say this: I’m left excited and challenged by shooting macro miniatures. It’s a technique I’d like to experiment with more. Long term it’d be pretty wild to put together whole miniature diorama concepts. Who knows? While I haven’t seen it yet, it’s fair to say I’ve been quite obsessed with the film techniques used in Anomalisa. With any luck you’ve enjoyed this half as much as I did. Cheers!
Oh, and while I’m at it I think I’ll be going to see The Force Awakens again tonight. You know, for inspiration. Cheers!