U.S. Marine Corps illustration by Sgt. Matthew Callahan

1st place: “The Last Patrol,” by Sgt. Matthew Callahan, USMC (2015).

Advanced Recon Commandos rush to cover after being ambushed by separatist forces. The troopers were conducting a security patrol outside their company forward operating base when the droid forces attacked.
This image of 12-inch action figures is part of a larger photo essay telling the stories of the rank-and-file ground troops of the Star Wars universe through the lens of a combat correspondent. Conflict generally has been one of the biggest informants in the way pop culture creates stories.

This photo essay, entitled “Galactic Warfighters” tethers the real and fictitious worlds more closely to each other. All elements of this image were captured in-camera. The image was converted to black and white with a contrast adjustment, sharpening and minor burning of the vignetted edges in post.

U.S. Marine Corps illustration by Sgt. Matthew Callahan.

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