Kylo Ren – Costume Design

The following images were shot behind some trails in January of 2019, in the midst of snowfall. The snowfall effect was key in getting natural atmosphere using off-camera flash. The way the snow showed up using directional lighting made all the difference. Using colored gels, my friend Jay (the one in the Kylo Ren costime) and I were able to pull off an amazing shoot in little time. About the only effects I added to these final images was a glow effect in the lightsaber.

Kylo Ren 01
Kylo Ren 01

A closeup of the details. Notice the craftmenship on this costime. Jay didn’t mess around when customizing it! We decided to shoot in the woods because it offered a more “timeless” effect. Architecture in Dearborn, Michigan doesn’t exactly work with Star Wars themed costumes.

Kylo Ren 06
Kylo Ren 06
Kylo Ren 10
Kylo Ren 10

These are some of the best examples we got in terms of cross-directional lighting. A total of three speedlights were used. 1) on-camera flash at 1/4th power; 2) Behind Kylo to illuminate snow around 1/8th power; and 3) to the left (camera right) of the subject using a red gel to illuminate outfit at various outputs. The lightsaber was modified with a glow in Photoshop later. Just something fun here and a little different than what I usually shoot.

Kylo Ren 11
Kylo Ren 11

Adding in trees to the foreground made for an even more interesting effect. I was absolutely thrilled just how well these turned out!

Kylo Ren 18
Kylo Ren 18

Another very dramatic image with some incredible shadows from Kylo’s lightsaber.

Kylo Ren 19
Kylo Ren 19

This image highlights the setup I used. This time, instead of a barelight flash and one with red gel I decided to use two. The way it created red harsh shadows around Kylo was perfect. The red gels also seemed to transform the snow into something more ominous.

Kylo Ren 30
Kylo Ren 30
Kylo Ren 37
Kylo Ren 37
Kylo Ren 40
Kylo Ren 40

This shoot was a ton of fun! If you have something like this you want to have photographed, please contact me so we can chat about your ideas. More of these can be seen in my portrait series Costumes.

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