We have another incredible entry into our themed series this time from photographer Brandon Acree and his exclusive series titled “Memories” as he takes a trip into the past of some of Star Wars most iconic characters to shine a light on some more personal moments.
“When first assigned the theme word “Memories”, I’ll admit my mind drew a blank. But as I began really exploring the concept, ideas started to form. I shoot Star Wars toys almost exclusively because nothing else engages my imagination like the Star Wars universe does, so I knew I had to choose images that touched on the long history of the franchise.
With this image I wanted to explore what it would be like for Obi-Wan to have left his entire life behind and then unexpectedly be confronted by his past. For this setup, I wanted a classic “Star Wars” street scene, but shown at dusk to make it more interesting. Two desk lamps on opposite sides and a blue LED aquarium light lit the set strategically to try to achieve this effect. For props, one of my favorite things to do is to use common things but in unexpected ways. The background is made up of paper packing material from a vacuum cleaner box, while the building on the right side is from an old Military-themed playset. The vendor’s booth is assembled from random accessories I had lying in a drawer. My favorite locations in the Star Wars films are busy street areas like this, with so many aliens and objects to catch your eye
For this image, I want to show a quiet moment where the weight of all those years together with Han overwhelmed Chewie. This image was really made in post production. The raw camera image was simple and a bit bland, but still told the story I wanted it to tell. Thankfully, I have a few years of Photoshop experience to draw from to help me perfect an image that isn’t quite there. Often this process is more enjoyable that the photoshoots themselves. I always do a basic color and level adjustment, but sometimes an hour or two of work is required. You always worry about doing “too much”, but in the end this one matches what I saw in my head during the shoot. These days there are many apps that will do all of this with the press of a button, but I’ve been using Photoshop since 1996 so what I’m trying to say is that I’m old.
“Are you in there, buddy?”
I really enjoyed the recent Lando comic books. In the story it is revealed that Lobot was injured while on a job with Lando, causing his cybernetic implants to take over. This in turn robbed him of his personality. I like to think that Lando never gave up trying to get his friend back, and all those locked away memories. This image is another case of using what I have lying around. My wife collects “Milk Glass” vases, which I have found are perfect for a nice Cloud City. A glass cutting board floor makes really nice relfections and helps bounce the light. And the star of the set is a white plastic silverware tray for the back wall. Its curves catch and reflect the light in interesting ways. To me, the background is just as important as the figure or toy you are photographing. I feel like this shot is a good example of using the background to make a simple idea feel somewhat other-worldly.
I’d like to thank Jack at Exclucollective for continuing to email me about this project and keeping it on my mind. I couldn’t have finished without that.” – Brandon Acree
A huge thanks to Brandon for developing this content for us and for putting in the time and effort to really create a very intimate series for our theme word series. As ever be sure to head over to Brandon’s page @skeletonastronaut
to see his full portfolio and to share your support and a leave a comment below to discuss the series.