Behind-the-Scenes with Atwater Studios for LEGO Star Wars Walker Shoot

Posted by: on Nov 13, 2017

Behind-the-Scenes with Atwater Studios for LEGO Star Wars Walker Shoot
About Atwood Studios:
Atwater Studios is a commercial photography studio that has been catering to the creative needs of businesses throughout New England for over 20 years. A full-service studio, Atwater delivers the complete solution from concept/design development to high-resolution digital capture and retouching. Connect with Atwater Studios online at or on Instagram @atwaterstudios.
Can you describe the concept of this shot?
The concept for this shoot was to produce a stylized promotional image showcasing the LEGO product in a real-world environment. Our objective was to create an image that would inspire kids to be creative with the way they play while paying homage to the Star Wars Universe. It was also important for the image to look authentic and natural as though it was set up and captured by a child.
What was your biggest challenge shooting the Lego Star Wars Shot?
The biggest challenge we faced with this shoot was the turn around time. We had 2 hours of concept, execute and deliver the final image. We needed to find a location that would loosely resemble one of the planets from the upcoming Last Jedi movie. For this, we found an area just outside of our studio in the parking lot. From there it was just a matter of building the environment. We used chunks of crushed up gravel, baking powder, and Rosco Cinefoil to create foreground elements. We hung a black canvas sheet in the background to block the parked cars from the shot.
What lighting did you use to achieve this shot?
This image was created late in the afternoon. We balanced our backlight, ambient exposure with a Fiilex Q1000 5” Fresnel LED. The Fiilex was handheld from camera left with the beam focused on the foreground elements. We used a roll of Rosco Cinelux #111 White Diffusion as bounce fill from camera right. This was used to help fill in the shadows and cut down on a red color cast from the light bouncing off the wall of the building were shooting next to.
What was your workflow like, what gear did you use?
Rather than use one of our medium format systems we opted to use a Canon 5DMKII paired with a135mm Rokinon Xeen lens. This combination allowed us to shoot quickly while taking advantage of the beautiful bokeh produced by the Xeen Lenses. We tethered the camera using the Tether Tools TetherPro high visibility orange USB cable with JerkStopper Camera Support. This was connected to a 15” Retina MacBook Pro running Capture One Pro. We used the Think Tank Photo Pixel Sunscreen to reduce the amount of glare on the screen and make previewing the images easier.
What type of compositing/post-processing was involved, what tools do you use?
The final image was straight out of the camera with the exception of a minor white balance adjustment and a quick flip of Rey in Photoshop.
What camera, lens, ISO, shutter, and aperture did you use for this shot?
Canon 5D MKII, Rokinon 135mm Xeen Lens, ISO 100 1/250.f4
My favorite piece of gear is…
Our favorite piece of equipment has to be the Mamiya Credo 60 camera systems we use. The image quality produced from the Credo line of digital backs is exceptional.
My favorite piece of Tether Tools gear is…
We are huge fans of Tether Tools products. In the studio, we deploy a variety of Tether Tools USB and Firewire cables because of their excellent build quality and reliability.