Three X-Wing Fighters

3 min readMar 17


I know that about half of the photography universe is being groomed to hate AI Art. It’s how it goes every time there’s a technology shift. The old guard is afraid, or just worried their domain is at risk so they badmouth the new tech so as to dismiss it out of hand while hoping it justgoes away.

It doesn’t — go away that is. Hardly ever.

Over the 50 years I’ve been active in photography I have seen lots of changes and one thing that has allowed me to stay in the game is that I have always embraced these changes.

And it’s no different when it comes to AI Art. Now I must say that I am particularly well-situated to get the most out of this new technology because it lends itself perfectly to toy photography. I mean, after all, nobody can dog me because my toy shots “aren’t real.” That’s kind of the point.

Because I learned LONG AGO how to light products for blue or green screen, I’ve been photographing inexpensive toy models I bought off Ebay against blue or green screens and then compositing them into AI Art backgrounds.

I admit I probably have as much fun creating the AI Art backgrounds as I do making the photographs. Sue me.

The AI Art background I started with to make this image…

In any event, for this image I made an AI background using a combination of Jasper AI and Dall-E AI. Then I extracted the X-Wing fighter from the blue screen shot I made and composited it into the AI Art background.

But that’s just the start. Once in Photoshop, I used Content Aware Crop and made this a 16x9 frame. Once the compositing is done, I then call up BORIS FX Optics as a plug-in on an adjustment layer and I go to town.

In BORISFX Optics and added some stars, and some atmosphere including an exploding star — and some dust. Then I sent it back to Photoshop and made a selection of the X-Wing and composited it on top of the background. Next, I duplicated two more fighters from the original and made them slightly smaller to keep a relative size to distance ratio. I also made very minor changes to each fighter in terms of shading, battle damage, etc. so they wouldn’t appear to be identical. Nobody will see that work but me. But I did it anyway. (That’s what you do when you’re sold out for your art. You do stuff that only you will notice and you do it with a smile!) (And yes I am sure there is a more efficient workflow but I do it this way because it helps me “see” the result I want better. Your mileage may vary.)

Then I brought the composited image back into another layer with BORIS FX Optics and applied a color grade. After round-tripping to Photoshop one last time I finished with an adjustment in Topaz Photo AI (again called up as a plug-in) and this is how it all ended up.

I photographed the X-Wing toy using my Fuji X100V which was mounted on a Platypod and Platyball.

I used a LumeCube Panel Pro and reflector to light the scene.

Remember, toys are joy.

For a list of my toy photo gear and props go to:

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I'm a toy photographer. I'm also delving into AI Art. I also help people get the most out of their Fuji X100 series cameras. (C) 2023