Is that a lightsaber in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

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nicodimus22
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Is that a lightsaber in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?
4 months ago

I recently caved to my inner nerd and bought a green replica lightsaber. I always loved Luke's green one in ROTJ, and I recently took the 'what color lightsaber would you carry' quiz, and got green as my result, so it was meant to be. It has a metal hilt, lights up going from bottom to top, turns off going from top to bottom, makes authentic lightsaber sounds as you turn it on/off, swing it around, and (lightly) hit things with it.

I thought it would be fun to try photographing myself with it in the dark. First, I ran a series of test shots at several different shutterspeeds 1 stop apart, to see if there was a sweet spot in terms of how the blade looked and how much light it was going to throw onto the background (me.) The best results seemed to come around 1/2 second, ISO 100, and f2.8, so I went with those settings for the rest of the shoot. I positioned a tripod with the camera at about my chest level, roughly 20 feet away. I used the FZ200's 10 second/3 shot timer.

I am nerdy (as we've already established) but unfortunately, I don't own any Jedi robes or anything that would pass for one. Since there wasn't going to be tons of good light on me anyway, I went the minimalist route with black track pants and a black tank top. White would have been OK too, but I own almost nothing white.

Next, I wanted to shoot against a clean background. Unfortunately, there is almost nothing like that in my apartment. Awful patterned wallpaper (not my choice) covers most of the walls. My only choice other than the shower was the end of the hallway leading to my bedroom, for about a 3-foot wide section of wall. It wasn't perfect, but I figured I could just crop out the edges.

Finally, I had to figure out a pose. I had a few criteria I wanted to meet:

-Had to fit within a 3-foot wide area

-Had to be able to hold the pose fairly still for the long-ish exposure

-The lightsaber had to light my face/body well enough (but not too well either)

-Wanted to look like I was ready to actually fight a foe (badass action pose of some kind)

-Wanted to emphasize my height, if possible

I tried a few different poses...held the lightsaber overhead, pointed it at the camera, held it to one side of my face, tilted it different directions, etc. I ended up liking one where I was pointing it down towards the ground. I cropped the image at the lower shin, and as wide as I could on the sides while maintaining symmetry. Here is what I came up with:

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"If I handed my 5-year old daughter my iPhone and asked her to take a picture of that, would your photo look any different from hers?" -Scott Kelby

 nicodimus22's gear list:nicodimus22's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
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