Action Hero Series: The Soldier

Fighting his way through the jungle the soldier raises his rifle to fire on the enemy.

Fighting his way through the jungle the soldier raises his rifle to fire on the enemy.

In planning for this series I knew I would want to include a soldier themed shoot in the series. Soldiers are a mainstay of action stories from books, to movies, to toys there is no denying that soldiers and action go hand in hand. Once I had made my list of images I began working on locations. For the soldier I had seen this patch of bamboo trees on in front of a home months earlier. It only took a few phone calls and a brief explanation to get permission to shoot on the property. With that secured we put together a wardrobe and prop list. Since we were doing action hero we opted for more of a over top movie version versus a more real to life interpretation.

I preplanned the lighting for most of the sets as much as possible to save time during the shooting. In this case I wanted the light to have as little spill as I could and I wanted it to be edgy and harsh. To achieve this I used a standard 7′ reflector with a 20 degree grid as the main light. A speed light was handheld in the background to create a rim light on Steffen’s torso. I also decided to take advantage of a shallower depth of field to help hide the unrealistic aspects of the gun prop. I am not a big fan of bringing real guns on set if at all possible so I had a prop piece for the assault rifle. While it looked accurate to a non-gun user I knew that a true gun enthusiast would spot the fake immediately. To hide the gun in plain site I choose the shallower depth of field focusing on Steffen’s eyes which caused the gun to go out of focus.

Post work for this image was short mostly focusing on adding a desaturated gritty look and darkening in the background to make my subject stand out from it. This was done with grey scale layers, desaturation, and a multiply layers. Finally adjusting the color to a cool tone to give a feeling a sense of dread to the image.

This is the last image for the first week in the Action Hero series. If your just joining in on these post, this series was inspired by the Captain Action toy line. Captain Action toys came with an assortment of costumes allowing him to be an assortment of heroes. The goal was to create a series that captured that idea of one hero in multiple sets. Ten sets were shot in total and the next five will be displayed next week. So be sure to check back Monday Sept. 30th as our hero gives adventure a new name.