This photo was shot at night during my birthday roadtrip vacation in late October 2015, and taken in the housing development where I grew up in during the early ’90s. This housing development is known as The Village of Olde Hickory, right outside the city of Lancaster. For this shot, I used a vintage telephoto lens, a slow 10-second shutter speed, and an aperture of f/1.8. I placed the two minifigures on a tree branch in an open field, and during the slow exposure time, I stood behind the minifigures while dangling a flashlight for backlighting. Meanwhile, I would breathe heavily in the cold air to create mist, and lastly, I scattered leaves amongst the mist to cause distortion. Thus, the misty air and refracted light is what creates the warped background for this image.
The above photo is actually a composite image of three different shots merged together in Adobe Lightroom, in order to utilize the HDR effect.
This particular photo is one of the final shots prior to being merged with others. I personally think the hard backlighting on the red spaceman looks superior compared to the final HDR image, but I chose the former due to the warped, cloudy background.