First off, lemme chime in, along with everyone else and their mom, that the new Tomb Raider is an amazing
work of art. You can clearly tell that Crystal Dynamics poured their heart and soul into this labor of love. It's been a while since I've played something this good; if you haven't played it yet, go play it now!
So yeah, this has been one long-ass month of staying up til 2~4am most nights to work on this after I get out of work. I lost track of how many hours it took, but my slow ass took over 100 hours to work and rework the pose, angle, background, lighting, and details and I still feel like I could keep working on this for another week or more. In the end though, I'm really happy with the result; definitely one of my best works and hopefully a worthy homage to the awesomeness of the new Lara.
I tried to make the literal theme of ascension cool-looking (Lara fearlessly rock climbing in a beautiful/dangerous environment) while keeping the figurative theme of ascension subtle (Lara's struggle through Hell to reach salvation above) so that it wouldn't come off hammy. I also wanted to prominently feature the storm in the background because it played such an important role in the story, as well as to add an overall sense of impending doom/urgency to the image.
Oh, and btw, the climbing axe: most awesome piece of equipment ever.
Hope ya dig.