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 a 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 costume) 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.
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A closeup of the details. Notice the craftsmanship of this costume. 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.
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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.
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Adding in trees to the foreground made for an even more interesting effect. I was absolutely thrilled just how well these turned out!
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Another very dramatic image with some incredible shadows from Kylo’s lightsaber.
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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.
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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.

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