An Homage to Great Films

Words by Skip Cohen, Jesse Feyereisen
Edited by Eryka Bagwell

As I’ve written before, the real fun of photography is in the friendships that come out of everyone’s love for the craft. Now, combine those friendships with some incredible creativity and passion for capturing images that leave people awestruck, and you’ve got Jesse Feyereisen.

Jesse’s no stranger to Platypod forums. He’s a photographer from Minnesota with a passion for creating images that leave us believing he was right there on the sound stage while great movies were being filmed. 

He recently shared this photograph of Darth Maul, along with the BTS showing his setup. In a phone conversation with Jesse, he talked about his goal so often with his images – to make the viewer think it’s a live actor. Well, that’s precisely what he did with this image.


"At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge." ~ Darth Maul

My name is Jesse Feyereisen and I’ve been enjoying photography as a hobby for the past decade or so. A little over a year ago while experimenting with product photography ideas, I inadvertently discovered the genre of “toy photography”, and completely fell in love with it.

For this shoot, I set up a Star Wars 12” Darth Maul figure with a few 3D printed sci-fi wall panels behind him, those were held up with a Platypod Mini-Super Clamp. In order to get the low angle I was aiming to achieve, I mounted my camera on my Platypod Ultra. I used two speedlights in 12”x24” softboxes to set the lighting for the scene. One of those was mounted on a second Platypod Ultra behind the wall panels and the other was mounted above the figure. After a few test shots, I realized I needed to add a white bounce card to help light his front side. Once I had a shot I was happy with, I did some basic exposure corrections in Lightroom subsequently opening the image in Photoshop for some fine tuning. I did quite a bit of dust cleanup, removed a seam in Darth Maul’s hood and added a bit of a soft orton glow effect. I also added some subtle light leaks with the Boris FX-Optics plugin. I finished up the final image in Lightroom by adding a few more localized exposure edits, some color grading and a final crop for export.

Canon EOS-R + Tamron 90mm; 1/125, f/5.6, ISO 100

To see more of Jesse’s work, visit his website which further demonstrates his skills and love for the craft.