Not since the Back to the Future II have I wanted something to be true so badly, but despite how legitimate this photo may appear, X-wings are not real… yet. French photographer Cédric Delsaux is doing a damn good job getting my hopes up with his project the Dark Lens. It’s a series of photographs that juxtaposes iconic and fantastical characters and vehicles of the Star Wars saga against the only slightly less fantastical backdrop of a burgeoning Dubai.
And it is awesome. More photos and after the jump.
What’s really great about this series is that Delsaux does both photography and compositing with equal hand. His raw cityscapes are versatile and credible enough to be at home in Architectural Digest or NatGeo, but toss in an X-Wing or Artoo and suddenly you’ve got pop-art flair and instant mass appeal.
Why Dubai? As a city renowned for having the biggest, tallest, and most expensive everything, Delsaux felt that it already bordered on near mythic status; the characters of the Star Wars universe would fit right in.
He spent two weeks in Dubai shooting the land and cityscapes that would later be combined with photos of Star Wars toys, a process that he explains in an interview with 4 Men magazine:
“The landscape was the most important part [of the photograph]… When I discovered a suitable place, I’d wait for the right light then go back with my photo equipment. And then it’s all studio work – retouching the figurines into the landscapes. The fact that some of the figurines were of poor finish or just simple toys made the process quite tricky…
I used all sorts of figurines – from 5 to 40 cm high, in fact all the figurines I could get my hands on! For the Dubai series, I took it a step further by introducing one character using 3D imagery and some on a scale of 1:1 using actors in costumes. I’ll leave it to the audience to find out which is which…”
Sure, you can tell that some of these photos were photoshopped, but I’m really blown away by how natural droids, jawa, and scout troopers look going about their business in the middle of one of the fastest growing cities in the world.