For Your Eyes Only

Some time ago Stuck In Plastic contacted me asking: “We are looking for a creative photographer to join us in a creative challenge…”  It turned out that LEGO was looking to get some of its iconic cars shot by creative toy photographers. Did  I accept the mission? Of course I did. 

From Denmark With Love

At the beginning of October 2018 I received my parcel from LEGO. It was shipped from Billund, Denmark, straight to my doorstep. Inside the box there were two classic cars; my favourite, the James Bond Aston Martin DB5, and the Mini Cooper.  They were brand new in their boxes and still had to be built.

Mail from Denmark.

The Boy With The Golden Brick

Aston Martin DB5: I did have help building it as my youngest son took control and started emptying the packets, ready to build. The Bond car is not a model for the faint-hearted as there were lots of bricks. When I say lots I mean 1295 altogether.  The amount of creativity and problem solving during this build made it clear this was a project in itself. But eight hours later it was completed. And wow, it was something else. I can not even image where you begin to start when designing something so iconic. But then there was the next challenge of photographing this classic out in the great wide open. 

Young hands assembling an old car.

Quantum Of Locations

I knew I personally had to give it a movie type of feel. After all that’s where it would have appeared, so I took a cinematic approach. Camera in hand and the car handled carefully, I set out on various shoots. I did not want anything to distract from the final image. So, the locations I decided to choose were car parks, mountains and dockyards. 

Shooting an icon.
View through the lens.

On SiP´s Secret Service

I happily remember the times when I was asked if I was ok, because I was lying on the ground in public areas.  At one point, I was 45 minutes away from home in the mountains. Someone I knew passed by, obviously stopping and asking what I was doing. The hardest part of the whole challenge was probably to keeping this mission Top Secret and for StuckInPlastic´s eyes only. I continued shooting over a few different days and times. One day it was cold and sunny, the next it was dark yet mild. I had a few issues to overcome. Especially the number plate kept turning after I placed the car on the ground.  I wanted the plate to read BMT 216A. Funny enough these are my actual initials of my full name. This connection has made me go above and beyond to get these shots of the Aston Martin. 

BMT 216 A
“Are you ok?” Toy photographer´s most asked question.
On location for Brickfall.

Build And Let Build

Mini Cooper: I left this until I finished the Aston Martin. I simply felt the cars needed a different approach. Again I had help with building. This time my eldest son started to build this model.  On inspection his younger brother could see an issue, so he rebuilt it. 

At the harbour.

This car was slightly easier to photograph due to its colour and where it needed to be shot.  I felt this was more like a family car. Therefore I choose a park and by the sea.  I think it has worked well.

On a family roadtrip.

We Have All The Bricks In The World

I have enjoyed stepping up to this mission and completing the challenge.  I feel honoured to have been one of seven amazing photographers who were chosen to join the challenge and capture the LEGO Classic Car range. And who knows: you may see some of my photographs and perhaps they will become iconic images in themselves.

Approaching Xmas

It’s cold outside

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Temperatures are dropping (at least in the northern hemisphere), most city centres are illuminated opulently and Santa and his elves are busy preparing everything to be ready in time.

Cards are arriving

While I’m also still preparing, feeling like one of Santa’s little helpers, the first cards from our Xmas Card Exchange arrived in my post box. These early birds are giving me bad feelings of being late. Fortunately there’s still time to be in time. Today I ordered my cards and envelopes. Stamps are waiting to be attached. The pen is ready to be put to use.

All that’s left

Right now I’m waiting for my cards to return from the printer. This is the time to enjoy some Spekulatius and a cup of Glögg. And it’s also a time to remember the soon ending year, the people we’ve met and the places we went to.

Traditional cookies and glögg  milk

Are you also almost done with preparations? Or are you yet to start? How do you spend your time before the feast? And most importantly: When are you reading your Christmas cards? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks for being awesome and hoping to read from you soon.

The Winter Village Station

Second Advent.
The second Sunday in the period of advent. A week closer to the return of the light. Only two more weeks until the turning of the solstice.
Another grey and rainy day here in the Stockholm Archipelago.
A day of some LEGO building and exploring some photographic skills with LEGO Winter Village Station. A story that continues where the Winter Village Fire Station ended last week. The sequel so to say.

A set listening to number 10259

The Winter Village Train Station is still available in the LEGO shop and retails today for 70 EUR give and take. The set is maybe not the most inspiring one in the whole Winter Village series but it is connecting the tracks in our ever developing story… and provides for a good latte or should I say a Santa’s Eggnog or a Ho Ho Cocoa …

Ho Ho, let the story begin.

900 plus pieces, including two trees brings us to the snowy winter landscape where our story from last week continues. 

The story is about to start

A story of long travels through the barren landscape in a warm and cozy bus. Bus 318 to be exact. A pretty cool bus from the outside. I am not convinced the inside inspires me that much, but it is good enugh to take us to the next level of our story. 

Bus 318 getting ready for the story …

When suddenly…

A railroad crossing shows up out of nowhere. In the middle of the white snow.

The crossing and the bus are two distinct elements of this set. Is this where our firemen were called to in the middle of the night (see previous week). Or is this just another cliffhanger in out little build?
Time will tell. 
I really did not like the stickers on the railroad crossing and given that this is such a common utility piece, it should really be printed.
It looks good from far, but the close-ups are far from good.
Ho Ho Ho, this set is packed with stickers…

On the other side of the stickers snow

Two new figures show up. 

Two new figures show up. Each holds their own sign. And yes, both signs are stickers, but actually here they do work better. 

And they do not just come with stickers, but with a true Winter Village train station. 

Holding a post box, a ticket office, a coffee shop with a news stand and a magic clock or two. There is of course more in the box and I will come back to the magically “microphone” Amsterdammertjes (sorry Dutch only, more to come). Stay tuned. 

Guess what …

Ho Ho Ho. Our friends from the previous set 10263 are coming to the rescue. While train conductor B. is putting the ticket sign up, our firefighting friends show up in their classic fire truck.  The late-night telephone call to the Winter Village Fire Station from last week Sunday must have been related …

Yep, getting ready …

So we find driver engineer Joan high up on the ladder putting up the Winter Village sign while C. is enjoying one of this special Ho Ho Ho Eggnog’s. Is there some romance in the air?

Wait but why …

Wait but why. Another blog in a completly different dimension we warmly recommend.

Why is our conductor B. waiving with a ticket? 
Why is the railroad crossing closed? 
Is there more to come? 
Why is the clock 20 minutes to twelve?
And what is so special about ticket 0937?
Time will tell.
In this developing story.
Stay tuned, for more breaking news … 

The missing ticket

The missing ticket

Most probably my absolute favorite piece of this set is the printed ticket tile of mystery ticket 0937. I am sure it will play an important role in the next chapter of this little adventure.
Or not.
But it is really a beautiful piece. 

Stay tuned for the next development in this breaking story.

FourBricksTall goes VW Camper

As a LEGO minifig photographer, I knew going from shooting something four-bricks-tall to shooting the VW Camper was going to be a pretty different experience for me.

I switched out my prime macro to a mid telephoto zoom lens and relieved my bag of the tripod. Already everything was feeling lighter including my mood too, as I thought about all the locations I could shoot in that I had previously deemed inappropriate for my minifigs because of scale.

Continue reading “FourBricksTall goes VW Camper”

The Corner Garage

Last year around this time, The LEGO Group announced my absolute favorite set of 2018. And they are doing it again. The corner garage unveiled. 

The Corner Garage

The new Creator Expert 10264 Corner Garage is the natural extension of the Downtown Diner. No doubt,  I will be queuing at my local LEGO store here in Stockholm on January, 2nd to pick up my Xmas present. 

Continue reading “The Corner Garage”

Winter Village

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. It marks the beginning of the Christian liturgical year, and it officially opens the period of Advent. A period of expectant waiting that finds its origins in the wait for the return of the light. The winter solstice. The longest night. A cup of hot chocolate and deep dark nights with fresh snow on a pale moon. Ahh, winter is coming. And so is the Winter Village Project. 

And so it begins.

Here in Stockholm, Sweden it is far from wintery yet. It feels more like the grey November we just left behind. So no better time and place to start the unboxing of the latest Winter Village set. A set that consists out of 1166 pieces, is considered 12+ and falls in the expert build category. A set that listens to the set number 10263 and made me think back directly to the iconic 10197 Fire Brigade.

A grey day here in Stockholm, Sweden.

This beautiful little build retails at 99 EUR in most European countries (89 EUR in Germany) or  99 USD in the US. In Europe this set is on backorder at the time of writing but orders are accepted on the LEGO store and it should ship by December 6th. The US was still shipping.

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How I completed my photography project

A year ago, Boris told us about his idea for a project around 52 words. Even though it didn’t take long for me to feel impatient about it, at first I wasn’t excited. I couldn’t have believed that I would be able to complete this project and not miss a single week.

The problem with SiPgoes52

One of the reasons I wasn’t excited is that I’m not a fan of 52 (or 365) projects. Particularly, those where the goal is to take one photo a week or a day.

There are days or weeks where I’m not inspired or motivated enough to take good photos. Also, as an outdoor photographer, the weather is important and not always cooperative. Finally, in late December and early January, I was in Belgium where I would most likely lack time, motivation and inspiration for photography.

This meant I couldn’t start a project with completely new photos, nor have a common theme common across all of the 52 words like Julien did.

What SiPgoes52 was truly about

Picking old photos

I started my project by looking at photos.
Photos I had already posted.
Photos I had already taken but not posted yet.

Instead of taking photos, I was choosing photos. The challenge for me wasn’t about making a photo based on a word. It was about finding the words within existing photos.

I took this photo in December while we were planning SiPgoes52. After taking it, I knew it was a keeper and wanted it to be part of my photo project. So I browsed the list of words to find the one that would be the most appropriate. (It ended up being “sensuality”.)
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Meet Karl

Today is our last #SiPgoes52 #FeatureFriday interview. This week’s it’s Karl (aka @lego_minifig_photos) who joins us for a virtual cup of coffee.

About Karl

My name is Karl, I live in the North of England (Leeds) but I am from Wales (Newport) originally. I’m coming up to half a century old, although my daughter thinks I act like a 12-year-old. I’m very settled now but in the past, I have done a lot of travelling in the UK, Australia, and Asia.

I lived in Indonesia for a year as part of my Degree course. I’m married and have a wonderful 10 year old daughter. Music is a big part of my life and I love discovering new music (usually via BBC 6music) and going to gigs.

Surprise.

I work in a primary school and often run an after-school photography club where the kids love taking photos of Lego and making stop-motion animation. I am the go-to person for all LEGO related things in school, even the headteacher acknowledges my expertise. Continue reading “Meet Karl”

What I learned from the classic car project

When I learned that we would be doing another project with TLG (read The LEGO Group), I was ecstatic like every time. I find it interesting to work for someone else from time to time. It’s often challenging since you don’t want to disappoint the client and you can always learn something from it.

Respectfully for the client (here, TLG), we refrained to talk about it or to share with you pictures or BTS before they started publishing our work, even though we allowed ourselves (read Stuck In Plastic and the crew) some teasing about the project.

But now that the cat car is out of the bag, let me share with you my experience.

This article is part on a new series on the blog. Every Wednesday, one of the creative who participated to this project will share some behind the scenes with you.

One of my favorite London bus picture in this project
One of my favorite London bus picture in this project

Continue reading “What I learned from the classic car project”