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Mitchel Wu Toy Photography Behind the Scenes: Yoda Levitating Rancor

Updated: Aug 21, 2018

Here's a BTS on a fun image I recently created. I think what makes this image have immediate impact is the incredible size difference between diminutive Yoda and the colossal Rancor. And the fact that Yoda appears to effortlessly levitate the Rancor in mid-air makes it even more shocking. As you'll see in the video, I set this up on the patio in my backyard. I've thrown a lot of dirt in my day, but this is definitely the most dirt I've ever thrown during the creation of an image. It took longer than usual to get the exact flying dirt and debris effect I wanted, mainly due to the large size of the Rancor. I've been asked why I don't just set up everything indoors...well this mess is one of the reasons why. After my shoot I ended up getting out my heavy duty leaf blower and blasted all the dirt off my patio. Now that's hardcore toy photography haha!

You may have noticed two wires that looked like they were supporting the Rancor in the air. All the heavy lifting was actually done with the fishing line. The wires were just used to prevent the Rancor from swinging around in the wind.


The overall setup with the Manfrotto Lykos Bi-Color LED providing fill lighting to the scene.

A simple blue poster board in the back doubles as my sky.

And the final image...

I created this image using the Canon 5D Mark III paired with the Canon 135mm f/2L - ISO 1000, f/3.5 at 1/1250sec. You need to shoot at a higher speed like this if you want to capture the flying dirt and debris. The camera was mounted on my Manfrotto 057 Carbon Fiber tripod. Thank you to my sponsors at Manfrotto , Spider Holster and Lowepro camera bags.