I want to be Darth Vader when I grow up

I had planned on releasing this series of art centered on Darth Vader, to celebrate the release of a video game. However since that game is absolutely terrible, I am now celebrating the forthcoming film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi!
 
When I was a kid the characters that were the focus of my art, imagination and obsession for toys were folks like Superman, Captain Kirk and so forth. You know – good guys.
 
Except for one other obsession: The Dark Lord of the Sith.
 
Much to my parents chagrin, I would memorize and recite the lines of Darth Vader from the film (rather than Luke Skywalker) while playing with my latest treasure from the folks at Kenner.
 
Luke was cool, certainly, but Vader was who I wanted to be.
 
When I started my training in theatre and learned of the great tragic heroes of literature, I immediately felt a sense of relief and told my parents as much. In my view tragic heroes can be admired more than the protagonist of a story, due to their complex depth.
 
At the end of the day, Superman is going to fight for truth, justice and be an all-around nice guy. Darth Vader is a bit more complex. At the end of the day, Vader may just give you a verbal warning about your failure, rather than choke you to death. Then a few moments later, he’ll plead to his long lost son to form a union that will over throw tyranny and bring “order” to the galaxy. When that doesn’t work? He’ll just glance once more over his shoulder, then walk off the bridge to go hang in his room.
 
If there was ever a dream character to play in film, it would be Darth Vader. I am thankful that the Mouse-Powers-That-Be have brought this beloved character back to the screen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and I sincerely hope they do it again and again, with future stories in a galaxy, far, far away.
 
As always, my tragic hero thanks to Trey Moore for his willingness to suit up and stand for a long time, while I mess with the lights for an eternity 🙂
 
Cosplayer: Trey Moore
Photography and Photoshop Art: Reality Reimagined
 

#starwars #darthvader #cosplay #art #photoshop #wacom

Darth Vader

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Dragon Con 2015 Adventures: Miss Sinister Cosplay as a SITH!

Star Wars HYPE!

I shot this image at an annual comic book convention held in Atlanta called Dragon Con 2015. This year they had over 72,000 attendees, a record breaking year for them and it was also my first time being there.

I did my research before entering into this nerd-photographer-gauntlet and spoke with some of the most seasoned Convention photographers out there. The challenge communicated to me was space and lack of equipment as the hotels where the cosplayers congregate do not allow you to use any light stands or equipment that can cause traffic congestion.

That made sense to me when I stood in a sky tunnel connecting to hotels with about five hundred bodies, shoulder to shoulder and I’m pretty sure the tunnel could only accommodate 100 comfortably.

This fantastic cosplayer, Miss Sinister Cosplay​ had a ring of photographers and speedlites firing away at her and she was posing with two other Stormtroopers (not featured in this composite) to the joy of a huge gathering of folks. She was kind enough to engage with other cosplayers that came up to her for a quick shot and she even had a mock battle with a younger boy cosplaying a Jedi. Needless to say I think he had weekend making moment and also probably had his first real crush 🙂

I shot this without a flash as camera mounted wasn’t doing anyone any justice. But a bit of love from the Raw Converter and a few stock images later – the Sith scene is born and barely holding my need to see Star Wars at bay.

Hope you like!

Sith-has-the-High-Ground-branded

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The Needs of the Many – Tribute to Leonard Nimoy

Spock in a blue Sciences uniform is not my guy.

Captain Spock is – particularly when he became Captain of the Federation Starship, Enterprise.  Mr-Spock-star-trek-the-movies-13224880-580-873Now granted, the Enterprise had been reduced to being a 23rd century school room for eager cadets to explore those strange new worlds, but they had one of the BEST teachers Starfleet could offer.  They had the pointed ear keeper of logic himself.

But more than that.  They had the man that knew how to balance Captain Kirk.

See I grew up being Captain Kirk in my mind.  And not the Kirk in the gold Command uniform of the 60’s series, but the Kirk that was an Admiral (whatever that meant, at the time) and was still the emotional man that was the leader.  He could smile, he could laugh – he could rub his chin in suspicion before ordering a yellow alert and he could slide down a vertical ladder using nothing but his fear that his best friend was about to die before his eyes.  But as I watched my hero, Admiral Kirk, hold his hand to a pane of glass and cry out in loss, “no.” I knew that I couldn’t just be Kirk if I was to survive this life.  I had to be something more than just my emotions.

And that was when I realized that I was also, Captain Spock.

Screenshot - 1_28_2013 , 1_49_56 AM

After all, Captain Spock was willing to be a teacher, rather than be the thrill seeker the Admiral was addicted to being.  Captain Spock was willing to be the “its okay; you can be large and in charge Tiberius, – I’ll just hang and balance you out, as usual.”

 

And when it came time, Captain Spock was willing to die for the many, because their needs out weighed the needs of the few.  Or the one.
If you understand nothing of what I’m talking about, then I highly encourage you to watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  It’ll change your life.

I quickly understood, more than ever, that I was Admiral Kirk – in life.  And equally I understood that if I were to be a better man, I was going to have to be Captain Spock, too.

I learned what it was to be a hero, from my friend, Admiral Kirk.

I learned what it was to be a friend and to begin to know peace, from my friend Captain Spock.

 

LeonardNimoy-WIDE

Dear Mr. Nimoy,

I know that you are not Captain Spock.  You are just an artist that played a character to the greatest of your talent for many years.  You also reached well beyond that particular role, to expand your horizons as an artist.  As I left my acting future behind me to embrace a new future of photography, I always took solace in the fact that you sir, were a brilliant actor and photographer, all at the same time.  You weren’t too bad a singer – that Bilbo Baggins song just wouldn’t be the same.

I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times – but you taught me logic.  More importantly, you taught me how to use logic, to find peace in my heart and my soul.  For that, I will always be eternally grateful.

All I have left, sir, is the final words that you left us with – in your real life: ” A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP.”

And for the life that you wore like a Captain’s uniform, the final words that you taught me: “May you live long and prosper.”

At the very least, I hope you find the afterlife, “fascinating.”

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