Written by | Exclusive Shoot

Exclusive shoot by Janan Lee

Many thanks to Jack and the team at the Exclu Collective for the opportunity to participate in this theme challenge. I must confess it is a secret dream of mine come true to be on Exclu! Brief introduction – I’m Janan, originally from Singapore but call Melbourne, Australia home with my wife and our soon-to-arrive baby in February.

The theme challenge word is “Outlander” meaning foreigner or stranger. After some thought, I decided to have 5 different stories featuring a person/object/person+object in an outlander situation, occasionally appearing slightly outlandish. I had heaps of fun playing around with these tales and I hope you will enjoy them.

Lord of the Stones

Outlander 01

Frodo stealing something precious and powerful like an Infinity Stone seemed like a really bizarre yet apt crossover idea. After destroying the “one ring to rule them all,” Frodo decided to rid the universe of powerful gems.

I wanted to give the impression of him charging into the fires of Mordor hence the choice of erupting lava as a backdrop. I felt that the greens and blues gives an outer worldly Doctor Strange vibe as well.

Execution wise, I used a digirama approach, applying tips from Jason Yang’s (@workmoreorless) amazing 3-part tutorial series. Green and red glow were from the Color Screen app on the iPhone and iPad casting upon Frodo.

 La vie Parisienne

Outlander 02

Baby Groot has to be one of the cutest characters that graced the MCU screen and I thought why not have him stranded on Earth? I lived in France for a couple of years and loved exploring the cobblestoned small alleys and streets in Paris. I’m sure Baby Groot would have a blast there as well with his tiny bicycle.

I chose purple light here to give a sense of being alone. Not sad and lonely; just alone on an adventure. The reflection was an unplanned surprise which I do like as it does coincidentally look like one of the vantage points where photos of the Eiffel Tower are sometimes taken from.

Wrong theme!

Outlander 04

Jimmy turned up to a costume party all excited to have pulled his Spidey homemade suit together only to realise he misheard the theme as “Marvel” instead of “Horror.” Poor thing!

The idea behind this image is to show someone feeling like a “foreigner” in what is usually a familiar environment. (I’m sure we have those days sometimes.) This is the first time I experimented with fairy lights to give a party feel and it did take some tweaking to get the overall lighting balanced.

Lost in Space

Outlander 03

Benny, a.k.a. 1980-Something Space Guy, finds himself drifting through space (in his spaceship of course) and landing on a mysterious planet. Unknown to our blue outlander, he was on Planet X, home to the Floral Colossus. 

This was taken in my backyard with succulents creating Planet X’s green landscape. Having a mother-in-law who has green thumbs comes in handy. Although almost all the shots in this series were taken indoors, my preference is actually outdoor photography – artificial light is fun but natural light is beautiful.

The Original Outlander

Outlander 05

Whilst preparing for this theme, I found out that “Outlander” is also a comic series of Star Wars: Republic, telling the tale of Sharad Hett, a red lightsaber wielding Jedi Knight turned Tusken Raider warlord. Now that’s something worth Googling!

I had to pay homage to this outlander, hence, the shot of him on Tatooine just before taking out a womp rat. The red glow is predominantly via Color Screen App. At this juncture, I would like to thank a really good friend of mine, Jonathan Au (@runswithwampa, @thewampirestrikesback) for letting me rummage through his collection of figures as well as introducing me to this great community.

List of equipment used:

  • Canon 80D
  • Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
  • Color Screen App
  • Post: Snapseed, LensFX, Adobe Lightroom

List of Figures used:

  • Toy Biz Frodo
  • Takara TOMY Groot
  • Funko Spiderman homemade suit
  • LEGO Benny, Marvel Legends Groot
  • Kenner Tusken Raider

A glimpse behind-the-scenes:

Thanks once again to Jack and the team for this great platform to share. I believe photography has the ability to evoke emotions and I hope this has brought some smiles.

Janan M. Lee


A huge thank you to Janan for curating an in-depth and compelling shoot so be sure to head over to his Instagram portfolio to check out more of his work!

Last modified: December 10, 2017

2 Responses to :

    1. Thanks so much Trevor! I really appreciate it!

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