Week 8 – Marie Skłodowska Curie

For the past three weeks, we’ve been exploring more contemporary but less famous human beings. This week, we are back with a more famous person that most people know at least by name, Marie Curie.

Born Maria Salomea Skłodowska, she was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize, first in physics in 1903 and then in chemistry in 1911, for her work on radioactivity and the discovery of two elements.

Born in the 19th century in modern days Poland (back then part of the Russian Empire), she then moved to France where she married Pierre Curie with whom she shared her first Nobel in physics.

Impact of her scientific work

Her pioneering work on radioactivity was based on earlier work of Henri Becquerel. In particular, she is known to have discovered two radioactive elements: polonium and radium. She is also the one who coined the term radioactivity.

Radioactivity can often have a negative connotation because of its relation with bombs, catastrophes, and accidents. Indeed, Marie Curie herself died from prolonged exposure to radioactivity because of her research. But radioactivity has also numerous applications that benefit humanity.

Think about the use of radium in medicine to fight cancer or conduct radiography. Or carbon-14 dating. Or generating truly random numbers. And of course the maybe more controversial use of nuclear fission as a source of energy.

Marie Curie as a person

Marie Curie’s influence is not limited though to her scientific discoveries. She also had an important societal impact. Because she was a woman, she had to face and overcome many cultural barriers to achieve such a successful scientific career. In many ways, she was a precursor feminist figure in science.

She was also a fervent promoter of science and making it as universally accessible as possible. For example, she didn’t patent the process to isolate radium so that it would be freely available to the scientific community for further research. She also advocated for monetary compensations for scientific awards to be given to scientific institutions rather than her.

Your photo

What will you create this week? Will radioactivity and its positive or negative uses inspire you? Or will you rather be inspired by Marie Curie’s life and personality? Be sure to let us know and don’t forget to tag your photos with #SiPgoes53 and  #SiP_Marie Curie on social media.

The Apocalyptic Contest

Well, it has been a while since we last unleashed some good old school creative “fun” contest. You know, one without too many rules. So we thought it´s about time we did it again. And what better occasion could there be than to celebrate the LEGO Movie 2 ?? With just that in full swing all around the world we want to get your creative energies back to the max.

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Lights in the castle

Light is Life!

We have already talked a lot about light on the blog.
We talked about the importance of light, about techniques like how to harvest the power of the sun for our pictures, about hardware like using a lumecube.

Yes, Light is Life! And it can be of any shape and size.
You can now find LEDs small enough to be used with our Minifigures and accessories directly inside our pictures.
Last year, I already wrote about it here on the blog. I used micro-LEDs in the new lantern accessory to make a cool wolf picture, and we used them, too, in our Creator Expert car project with TLG.

Remember these pictures?
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The LEGO Movie 2’s Suit Minifigures

This blog post is part of a series about the new LEGO Movie 2 Collectible Minifigures Series. Thanks to the folks from LEGO for providing us a box of Minifigures that we sent to 9 creative toy photographers to review for the blog.

I started to shoot LEGO a few months ago, so as a new member in the toy photography world I felt so happy when I heard that I could participate in that review project.

When I first saw that new minifig series on the internet, I fell in love with the giraffe suit guy and the crayon girl. SiP sent me these two and also added the Watermelon guy. That was pretty cool too.

Giraffe suit guy

Giraffe suit guy: « There’s a new animal in town. »

The giraffe suit guy is the new member of the animal suit minifig family. The other minifigs are crazy about that very tall guy who feels famous with all those animals around him.

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Week 7 – Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson is a well-known American filmmaker and I’m really excited we have his name on the list of SiPgoes53. For me, he is one of the greatest directors of the beginning of this century.

He’s the director (and the writer) of The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited, Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel. A lot of actors are coming back in a lot of his movies: Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, Andrien Brody and Rob Balaban. Watching a new movie of Wes Anderson is like going on a joyful family meeting once a year!

Isle of Dogs

He makes movies with real actors but also stop-motion movies, that is close to the toy universe (from my point of view at least): Fantastic Mister Fox and Isle of Dogs, released last year. If you haven’t seen them, I highly recommend you watch them, no matter your age, you will probably love both movies.

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The LEGO Movie 2 Minifigures in the real world

This blog post is part of a series about the new LEGO Movie 2 Collectible Minifigures Series. Thanks to the folks from LEGO for providing us a box of Minifigures that we sent to 9 creative toy photographers to review for the blog.

When I heard that I will be participating in the creative review of the new TLM2 minifigure series, I was so happy! I started looking at product photos on the internet and thinking which ones I would like, and what I would like to do with them.

Then they arrived and they didn’t really care about my ideas.

Unikitty

The first one to jump into action was Unikitty. She is not the one that inspires me most, but that didn’t stop her from jumping in the snow.

I guess Unikitty loves snow as much as I do.

I guess snow is better than the apocalypse of her own world.

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Stars All Over The Place

This blog post is part of a series about the new LEGO Movie 2 Collectible Minifigures Series. Thanks to the folks from LEGO for providing us a box of Minifigures that we sent to 9 creative toy photographers to review for the blog.

Movies, Tales and a Confession

Here’s a confession I need to get off my chest: Although “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” is surely one of the sweetest melodies I have ever heard, I’d never seen the movie “The Wizard Of Oz” until recently. I hadn’t even read the book. And to be dead honest: I didn’t even know what the story was all about!

Of course, I knew the main characters: Dorothy and her dog Toto, the Tinman, the Scarecrow and the Lion. But what on earth were they doing together in this land called Oz? And why couldn’t I remember an image oft he Wizard himself?

Hadn’t it been for LEGO to include (most) of all of the above characters in their latest series of collectible mini figures (CMF) I’d probably never have found out. But the release of the gang was the ignition spark I needed to find out myself.

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Toy Photography Rembrandt Lighting

On Monday I mentioned Rembrandt lighting as one of the characteristics of Annie Leibovitz photographic style. Following that, I felt the need to play with toys and lights… at home. Something unusual for me who mostly plays outside.

Just out of curiosity, I wanted to see how easy (or difficult) it was to get something close to Rembrandt lighting with toys, and in particular with LEGO Minifigs.

Rembrandt lighting

A Rembrandt lighting is a technique used in portrait photography that imitates the lighting style of Dutch painter Rembrandt. One characteristic of many of Rembrandt’s paintings is the specific use of low-key light creating a shadow shaped like a triangle below one of the eyes of the subject. The goal is to create interesting shadows and lights driving the eyes of the viewer through the frame.

Self-Portrait of Rembrandt (1658)

In photography, this is usually achieved by placing the main source of light above the subject at a 45° angle.

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Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

This blog post is part of a series about the new LEGO Movie 2 Collectible Minifigures Series. Thanks to the folks from LEGO for providing us a box of Minifigures that we sent to 9 creative toy photographers to review for the blog.

I was so happy when I found out that I would get to review some of the minifigures from the new LEGO Movie 2 Collectible Minifigure Series! I was secretly hoping that I would be able to get the tin man, but to my surprise not only was I sent the tin man, I was sent all four of the Wizard of Oz minifigures.

I remember as a kid being petrified watching the Wizard of Oz. That wicked witch really got to me! However, as an adult, I have really grown to enjoy the movie. I marvel at the effects that they use in it. They had no computers. No green screens. No Industrial Light and Magic. Yet they executed some amazing things given the time period. Then I think of today and how much technology we have literally at our fingertips. We have smartphones and apps that can do amazing things.

A couple apps that I have been incorporating into my toy photography lately are Werble and Pixeloop. With a few taps you can create some really fun affects like this.

The tin man is feeling a little congested :)

I’ll touch on these apps and how to create these fun effects at the bottom of this post, but for now, let’s get into my review of the minifigures. I love what I have seen so far of this new wave of collectible minifigures, but I think these Wizard of Oz characters might be my favorite.

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Week 6 – Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz is an American photographer, most well known for photographing John Lennon on the day of he died.

She made her debuts as the chief photographer of Rolling Stone magazine, her career led her to take photos of celebrities for the cover of magazines like Vogue and Vanity Fair. From touring with the Rolling Stones (the band this time) in the 1970s, to the controversial photo of Miley Cyrus in 2012, without forgetting the iconic photo of John Lennon naked next to Yoko Ono, taken a few hours before being murdered.

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