3 Lessons from the Devastator Imperial Star Destroyer Model from Star Wars

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I still remember watching Star Wars A New Hope for the first time at the Coronet Theater in San Francisco in 1977. The opening scene was absolutely stunning with the  Devastator Imperial Star Destroyer filling up the entire screen, while it chased the Tantive IV Blockade Runner. It blew me away and introduced me to the Star Wars Franchise in a huge way. This got me hooked instantly to the Star Wars Universe.

It is really interesting that the Tantive IV Blockade Runner model was larger than the Star Destroyer model. The Tie Fighter model also looked gigantic next to the Star Destroyer.

Seeing the actual movie filming model of the Star Destroyer was a Star Wars fan’s dream. The entire Star Wars exhibit at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose in 2013 was the best Sci-Fi exhibit experience for me.

As I review these old pictures, I am amazed at the detail on the Star Destroyer. As indicated in the the signage for Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer, the fine details were magnified by filming closely to the model. Even though the model was small compared to their other single seat supporting fighter models like the Tie Fighter, their technique of slowly filming up close to give the impression of a large Star Destroyer was most impressive.

3 Lessons about Perspective in shooting objects

  • Reflections can give interesting dimensions to pictures as seen in my photos of the models in the clear cases.
  • Size does not matter, but positioning and proximity does matter. i.e. The Star Destroyer looked much larger due to the proximity and speed of filming the ship. Positioning the different models also gave a different impression of their sizes.
  • Accentuate details of an object to create a different impression. Focusing on the details of your photo’s subject is important to capture. Experiment to see how the details can give another unexpectant dimension to your picture.

Study photos to learn how to improve your skills as a photographer!

Photos Teach!

Stunning Movie Model of Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing Fighter

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I spent about 3 or 4 hours at the Star Wars Exhibition at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose back in 2013 and had a blast viewing and photographing the items on display. I wished I would have spent more time as I felt I was rushing through the exhibit. I have not seen a Star Wars Exhibit of this magnitude since. I wish I could time travel back to 2013 to see this exhibit again and spend multiple days viewing and photographing the items on display.

Why am I so fascinated with the various models from Star Wars?

When I was a boy, I was fortunate to have lots of playmates. We would regularly visit our grandparents and could play with our cousins. So what do little boys do? We enacted different scenarios of shooting and fighting games. My cousins and I are still skilled at making our own gun sounds. We were able to run around to shoot and attack one another. My mother would not allow me to own any toy guns. So we used our imagination to find ways to shoot each other. Of course, there were no fatalities in our world of fighting.

Examining the AA-589 model (which is the designation of the T-65 X-wing star fighter piloted by Luke Skywalker) is a continuation of my love of fictional fighting. My love for fighting vehicles has become more sophisticated with the development the Star Wars’ World of technology.

It is interesting to see how my initial love of saying “Bang Bang” has grown into my interest in examining and shooting photographs of these models.

Examining what we loved as children and seeing how it has changed over time is a good exercise. 

What did you love doing as a child? Have we forgotten about our former self? It also helps us to understand who we are today by remembering what we loved in the past.

Photos help us reflect!

Alone at Candlestick Park

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I enjoyed my solitude at Candlestick Park. I arrived a couple of hours before the SF Giants would play ball and go exploring. I probably explored every nook and cranny at the Stick. There is not a single person in this photograph.

Solitude allowed me to examine the architecture and design of this great sports stadium. I would walk up and down each row. I would climb to the top and make my way down. It’s too bad digital cameras did not exist at this time. If I had a digital camera, I would have shot even more pictures.

We all need some time to examine without distractions. I would roam around the stadium searching for interesting shots. I found my creativity and love for stadium art. I applied my lessons from art college about photography as I was shooting. This was my time of discovery to find out my identity as a photographer.

In these quiet moments, I concentrated to shoot Candlestick Park with a different perspective than an ordinary sports arena. It was my goal to present Candlestick Park from all angles and to “show it off”. My photography marked my beginnings as a photographer. I was in my “happy place” when I was shooting photos at the Stick.

When I shot photos at Candlestick Park, I never thought one day it would be gone. I’m so glad I have these photographs which represent my beginning passions as a photographer.  These photos allow to remember the person I was to compare with the person I am today. It is a reminder of where I was and how I hopefully progressed.

My Lessons learned –

  • Seek your place for solitude to grow and reflect
  • Who am I today versus who was I once upon a time – Look at your old pictures to remind yourself who you were. Hope you can be proud of who you are today.

Photos are good reminders!

 

Picture Perfect Day at Candlestick Park for SF Giants Game

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It was a great game with a full house on Fuji Photo Day at Candlestick Park on Saturday, May 14, 1988. The Giants defeated the Mets 3-2 with Mike Krukow getting the win. The weather was fantastic this day with sunshine and a light breeze.

I took this picture so long ago that there were no digital cameras at the time. I used a Canon 35mm camera and shot with Kodachrome transparency film and scanned it. I am glad the image and colors held up over the years on the 35mm transparency.

Candlestick Park was almost like a another home for me to hang out in. It was the first stadium where I could easily go and watch the SF Giants play ball. I did not have to plan way in advance (as I have to do now) to attend a baseball game. I could just walk up to the stadium and buy a ticket.

Candlestick Park welcomed all of us to be a part of the games whether the SF Giants or the 49ers. We all felt comfortable attending games with our family and friends. Yes, the stadium was not perfect and became a little worn and old looking as time progressed. But it was a place where we could relax and enjoy a sports event.

Did you ever go and visit somebody’s home where you did feel comfortable? Or maybe you encounter new people and they make you uncomfortable for some reason? They could be not very friendly, or their personality does not fit with ours.

It is an amicable trait when you meet someone who is genuinely makes you feel at ease and relaxed. This is a good characteristic we each could strive to have.

How can we make others relaxed and at ease?

  • Be relaxed and don’t exhibit stress
  • Smile so others will smile
  • Ask a few questions but listen more
  • Be genuinely interested and empathic to others

Candlestick Park was a the stadium where we could practice these things with each other while having fun watching baseball or football. It helped us relaxed. It made us smile. It allowed us to talk or be quiet. It allowed us to have a good time with our family and friends.

Can we make others comfortable just as Candlestick Park made us comfortable?

Photos remind us of our old feelings!

Tantive IV Rebel Blockade Runner

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These photographs were shot at 2 locations – the San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation in November 2013 and The Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland in December 2018.

I shot many different views of the Tantive IV. I do not know if these are the same model or 2 different ones. The difference in the orange/dull red colors could be due to lighting. Also the Ion Turbine Engines at the San Jose Tech Museum were not lighted versus the Engines seen at Disneyland.

This model was built larger than the other ships. But when we saw the ship in the movies, it did not look larger due to the distance of the camera to the ship.

As noted in the above placard, Princess Leia Organa traveled onboard the Tantive IV when the Imperial Star Destroyer Devastator intercepted it. Darth Vader was seeking Princess Leia not knowing she really was his daughter. He wanted to retrieve the Death Star plans which Princess Leia hid to give to the rebel commanders for their future attack.

The Tantive IV was Princess Leia’s ship which she took on several missions. Many years after the end of the Galactic Civil War, a former Imperial senator found the remains of the Tantive IV decrepit in a hangar in the Yarma system. He repaired the ship and returned it to Princess Leia. The Tantive IV was Princess Leia’s personal flagship.

I have a fascination with jet fighters which is why I enjoy shooting photos of the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds. My favorite is the Air Superiority Fighter F-15 Eagle. It had the highest kills per engagement with enemy fighters. It was fast and maneuverable with powerful jet engines.

The Tantive IV reminds me about the real jet fighters which were successful in battle. The Tantive IV had to be repaired a couple of times, but was able to serve the Princess.

Any good fighter may get damaged from the battles. But with diligent care and repairs, the fighter can rise again to succeed in battle.

Can we follow that example to be a fighter to seek victory in our personal battles – even if we may need help to be repaired?

Photos Inspire and Teach!

 

Yoda & Darth Vader at the Tech Museum

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Star Wars where Science meets Imagination! That billboard is cool with Yoda fighting Darth Vader to introduce this old Star Wars Exhibition in the San Jose Tech and Innovation Museum. In actuality, the two never fought as seen in the billboard.

The last battle fought by Darth Vader as a man was against Obi Wan Kenobi. Obi Wan had a better fighting position and warned Anakin Skywalker to stop fighting to save himself. But Anakin’s arrogance would not let down, and he did not heed this warning. As a result, Obi Wan swooped his light saber and severed Anakin’s two arms and legs. The last photo above is a model depicting Darth Vader being put together with new arms and legs as the Evil Emperor allows his new technological assembly.

Obi Wan Kenobi said

He is more machine than man, twisted and evil.

Yoda said to Anakin Skywalker (in The Phantom Menace) during his training which became true –

Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…hate leads to suffering.  

Do you remember how Obi Wan trained young Luke Skywalker with the Jedi Training Remote? Luke was like his father – impatient and angry. Obi Wan instructed him to let go of his anger to succeed in his training.

I can relate to Darth Vader’s anger. We may not have Darth Vader’s machinery and technology inside of us. But we could be a little more machine inside if we do not allow compassion and grace to grow instead.

When I allow anger to brew, I suffer headaches and physical pain due to this negative emotion. True success is having a spirit filled with grace.

Allow Grace and Kindness to grow instead Anger

This is something I need to learn!

Find photographs to teach us valuable lessons!

Fastest Hunk o’ Junk in the Galaxy! Millennium Falcon for Star Wars IV – VI

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Here are more photographs from my visit to the San Jose Tech Innovation Museum during the Star Wars exhibition.

I love the Millennium Falcon ship. This was my favorite part of the exhibition. The actual size of the model was larger than I expected. There are several models of the ship. There were smaller models used for certain scenes. The display lighting for the Millennium Falcon was good for shooting these photographs. Unfortunately, there was a display case that creates unwanted reflections in the pictures. But of course, the case was there to protect the model. Everyone would want to touch the model which could cause damage.

It is interesting to note the Millennium Falcon, Rebel Blockage Runner, and the Imperial Star Destroyer were all displayed at different locations at the exhibit. Unfortunately, I could not take pictures of the models together.  The models are roughly the same size as per the description in the above picture. They just filmed the models away at different distances to give the illusion of different sizes.

Do you remember Lando’s quote in reference to the Millennium Falcon?

“You know, that ship’s saved my life quite a few times? She’s the fastest hunk o’ junk in the galaxy!”

See above Hans Solo’s quote about the Millennium Falcon?

“She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts.”

Here’s another one of Hans’ quotes about this ship.

“You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon? It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs!”

So even though, this ship may not have had a polished finish or maybe even the latest technology, it was able to perform quickly and efficiently. It still could race thru and get its crew to their destination and win the important battles.

Luke Skywalker’s initial reaction to seeing the ship was “What a piece of junk!”. Why was the Millennium Falcon able to perform? Well, thanks to the expertise of Lando Calrissian, Hans Solo, Chewbacca, and Rey’s special modifications to the ship, it was able to exceed expectations for speed and maneuverability.

Even in “The Force Awakens, Rey said “That one is garbage” when she first saw the Millennium Falcon. When the other ship they ran to blew up, she exclaims “The garbage will do”.

So appearances can be deceptive.

Be careful not to judge that all Junk is actually Junk!

Interiors can be better than the Exterior – Understand the inside and outside of people and objects

Photographs Teach Great Lessons! Keep photographs to teach!

Star Wars Tie Fighter at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose

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I love models! I especially love the models used in the Star Wars movies.

Here’s a photo of the original Imperial TIE fighter from Star Wars Episodes IV-VI. It was on display at “The Exhibition” Star Wars Where Science Meets Imagination at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. The Exhibition was from October 19, 2013 to February 23, 2014. I am hoping that there will be more Star Wars Exhibits of actual movie models and props in the future.

It is interesting to see the progression of technology for using the models with a blue background made it difficult to distinguish a blue TIE fighter. Thus the TIE fighter had to be grey to be seen with the blue backdrop. Fortunately, technology improved and the color of the TIE fighter became bluer.

Poe Dameron was excited to fly one of the new TIE fighters with Finn in the new episodes of Star Wars. He knew about this fighter’s reputation for being fast with great maneuverability. So he had been itching to try out this fighter. The Force perhaps influenced Finn to make the drastic decision to end his life as a Stormtrooper and get out with Poe. They were fortunate to come across a fighter at a convenient time during their escape from Kylo Ren who was seeking the map to find Luke Skywalker in The Force Awakens. They crash on Jakku and are thrown from the ship, before it is sucked under the sand.

I am reminded it is always a blessing to have someone to help pull you out of difficult situations. Having someone around to support you when you are down or facing a big problem is a wonderful thing. It would be pretty cool especially if they had a speedy TIE fighter to quickly fly you out.

When I was single, my good buddy was always around to go out to eat dinner with me on Valentine’s Day. He knew I would be blue about facing another Valentine’s Day as a single person. In fact a month after I met my “future” wife, I still went out on Valentine’s Day with my good buddy instead of my new girlfriend. I made the announcement I met someone. He was excited and perplexed why I was going out with him instead of her. I obviously was not thinking about my logic for this action either. I guess I am a creature of routine. Fortunately, I did make it up to my girlfriend later.

Learn to be a wingman to someone. Be consistent and faithful.

Be Speedy and Flexible to go with the flow. Life is unexpected, and we need to adapt to the changes. The TIE Fighter is known for being speedy and easily maneuverable. This is a good lesson for me since I love routine a little too much.

Stand out from the background colors – learn to distinguish yourself. I am trying to figure out how to do photography with my own style. I would like to distinguish myself as a photographer which is why I do not alter my photographs to make them brighter or colorize the images – etc.

Photos Inspire! Learn from photographs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke Skywalker’s T-65 X-wing Starfighter

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This is an actual movie model prop of Luke Skywalker’s Rebel Alliance T-65 X-wing Starfighter from Star Wars A New Hope. You can see R2-D2 mounted on top of the X-wing. The model was on display at the Star Wars The Exhibition at The Tech Museum in 2013 in San Jose, CA.

I had so much fun examining and photographing the many movie props on display at this exhibit. I spent the whole day shooting pictures while my friends were waiting for me.

Many of us have grown up watching the many episodes of Star Wars. Watching the new generation of characters in “The Rise of Skywalker” was enjoyable. We planned our outing to go on 12/26/2019 with our group of friends and bought our selected seats a couple of weeks in advance. I did not want to even read the movie reviews to tarnish my enjoyment or expectations for this anticipated event.

One unexpected event was my mother-in-law did not want to stay home alone. She wanted to go too, even though her English comprehension would not allow her to understand the movie. We have good friends who love my mother-in-law and welcomed bringing my wife’s 99 year old mother with us.

Our friend did the last minute arrangements, so my mother-in-law would sit with her a few rows lower to make it easier for accessibility. My wife sat with me, while our friend sat with my mother-in-law.

My mother-in-law watch movies at home with us and just takes a nap or watches quietly, even though she does not understand the English. This was our expectation for this movie. Well, unfortunately this was not the case. Since the movie was naturally loud and the screen was big, my mother-in-law was alarmed and uncomfortable. Plus my wife was not sitting with her. So, my mother-in-law did the unthinkable during the movie – she talked every 30 minutes or so asking for my wife. Fortunately, there were not many people around where she was sitting. Our apologies to our friend and anyone else who heard my mother-in-law who has a pretty loud voice.

Fortunately, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie thanks to a good friend watching my mother-in-law.

I look forward and hope for the opportunity to photograph the new models and memorabilia from this last Star Wars movie in the future.

What did I learn from this last movie that I will seek to achieve in 2020?

  • Learn to Forgive my past hurts to obtain victory for today
  • Strive to win no matter what are the adversary odds against you
  • Do not bring my mother-in-law to the movie theater

Photos inspire and remind us of important memories and lessons!

Display the photographs that matter!

Candlestick Park Red Chair Flare

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This Candlestick Park Red Chairs photograph was shot in the later afternoon before a night game. These chairs are the best memorabilia to remember the Stick! Maybe one day my wife will allow me to own an actual chair. I did buy an orange seat to use as a background for shooting my photo products.

Notice the light flare on the upper right corner. As per 2nd previous post where I mention about most of the time, a photographer will avoid this light flare in a picture. Well this is an example where I wanted the flare to show the light rays over the rows of chairs. The flare also reflects a nice glow on the bright red chairs.

A photograph should show off the best features of the subject. This light accentuates and highlights the good attributes for these chairs at the Stick. The natural flare also gave a great glow to these classic red stadium chairs.

Natural lighting is an important ingredient for a good picture.

My mother-in-law (who is only 99 years old) has a habit of wanting to save money and close the lights. If she gets up in the middle of the night, she will not turn on the light. She already does not have perfect sight, and light will illumine her path to prevent an accident. I have tried to help by putting night and motion lights to help her.

Just like my mother-in-law – we forget how important light is and how much we need it.

Practice shooting pictures with different degrees of natural lighting to see the reflection, flare, and glow in your results.

As always – my photos are not altered via software to give the “glow”.

Get the glow on in your photos!