This months theme is “Movie Recreation” and we’re challenging the community to recreate scenes from their favourite films using their collection of toys and a little imagination. This time its the turn of Jamie Crandall sharing his work :
I’ve been wanting to create a shot around the Vader funeral scene in Return of the Jedi for quite a while. I know the iconic image is Luke silhouetted against the pyre, but I had a rough idea of Luke looking through the flames in mind. I thought about using actual fire, but I was in no hurry to melt the cast and crew. So I thought I’d try to put my limited photoshop skills to work bringing the heat indoors.
The basic set up that you see is pretty simple: Hot Toys ROTJ Luke against a solid black backdrop with Sideshow’s ROTJ lying flat over a table prop. Sticks and bark picked up from my yard make up the pyre. Lighting consisted of a soft box off to the left for white light and mix of gelled Aperture AL-M9s and Lumecubes for the reds and yellows. Using a Nikon 60mm macro, I took about 20 different shots from different angles.
Lastly, I worked quite a bit in photoshop creating several layers. Using a free stock image of the sky from unsplash.com (credit: Ryan Hutton), I blended in the trees and sky. Next, I used red and yellow Curves adjustments to give a warm glow to the foreground, before finally layering in a number of flame overlays using the Screen blending mode. The final details involved tinkering with more Curves and Levels adjustment layers to get the color tones I was happy with – both from the fire and across Luke’s face.
Then I stared at the completed shot and…hated it! I had wanted Vader to be blurred to show the heat of the fire. But the result looked more like an orange blob than a Dark Lord of the Sith. So I went back and did the whole process again – this time shooting at f/10 for 0.5 seconds. Hopefully, he comes across better here.
It was a fun shot to execute and one that helped me practice my very basic editing skills. Maybe I’ll get to that silhouette one day.
A huge thank you to Jamie for sharing his work for our Monthly Theme. Be sure to find more of his work via his Instagram portfolio @nerdbynorthwest .
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Last modified: January 19, 2019