Winter Holidays at the Elven School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Over a week ago, I noticed it was already February and that the Winter Holidays (and 2019) were already far behind us now… Yet I still haven’t written about the photo project, centered around the 2019 LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar, that kept me busy in December.

Without any doubts, this calendar was for me the best LEGO ever made. Not a single gift felt unnecessary, uninteresting, too simplistic or lacking details. Maybe this was because of the novelty and maybe the next one (assuming we will get another HP calendar) will feel repetitive like the other Star Wars or City calendars. Yet, I loved it so much that I don’t care if Christmas is long gone and I can’t wait until next year to write about my little HP/Elves cross-over project.

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The Mt Clutchmore Winter Classic

I’m sure like me you were all glued to your TV sets this weekend watching the sporting event of the year, right?

What do you mean you’ve never heard of the Mt Clutchmore Winter Classic?! It’s the most incredible show of athleticism in LEGO City! I was lucky enough to be there this year and I even paid for my own ticket this time (last time I got one for free!).

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Composition – Part 2

Last time, we talked about composition being the organization of the elements of visual arts according to the principles of said art (in our case photography). We explored point, line, form, texture, color and the values as the basic elements of composition and created a padawan challenge for you. This week it is time to look at the guiding principles of harmony, balance, dominance, emphasis, similarity, contrast, and movement.

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The new LEGO DC Collectible Minifigures

For my first blog post as part of the SiP crew, I decided to write a review of the new LEGO Collectible Minifigures of DC characters.

Mister Miracle

Mister Miracle is a fictional SuperHero and his alter ego is Scott Free.

He first appeared in Mister Miracle #1 (April 1971) and was created by Jack Kirby.

This superhero had various Abilities like: Immortality, Super Escape Artist, Master hand-to-hand combatant and he is a Genius Inventor.

This minifigure comes with a few accessories like a green cape ( my bag had 2) handcuffs and a large chain.

The green colors of the suit, the hands, and the cape match perfectly.

Mister Miracle comes with one face printed.

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Next stop, Tallinn!

Tallinn SiPgoesTallinn 2020

While kicking off SiPgoesTT, we’ve also been looking to find where (and when) to go for our next toy safari. After debating and disagreeing about locations, we finally decided on Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. It is not too big, reachable from all around Europe, and after Denmark will certainly feel slightly more affordable.

After two toy safaris at the beginning of the summer, we’ve decided to go back to late summer/early Autumn and meet up on the first weekend of September. Just like the two previous years, we will keep our tradition of (officially) starting on Thursday evening and finishing on Sunday before lunch.

Tallinn SiPgoesTallinn 2020
Edgar has worked hard and studied maps for finding the best location for this year’s safari.

So if you want to spend an epic weekend with us and toy photographers from all around Europe (and who knows, maybe from outside Europe, too?), be sure to mark the dates in your calendar: September 3rd to 6th (2020).

While more details will follow later this year, we have already opened a Facebook group (and a forum here on the blog) for starting the planning and organization of this epic weekend. Whether you are sure to come, or just considering it, don’t be shy, join and be sure to ask any question. Either here in the comment section, on the forum or on Facebook.

Woody and his friends can’t wait to cross the Gulf of Finland. Will you join them?

Around the world in 90 minutes

You may remember back in July 2019, the image I created of the Apollo 11 Lunar Lander appeared on LEGO social media. The good folks from Billund have now sent me the not yet released 21321 LEGO Ideas International Space Station to review in preparation for the official launch at the beginning of February.

The International Space Station

For those of you who do not know what to expect, here are three interesting facts about the ISS:
1. It is one of the largest single structures that mankind has ever put into space.
2. The space station was taken into space piece by piece and gradually built in orbit.
3. The ISS circles the globe every 90 minutes at a speed of 17,500 mph.

I really did not know what to expect when I said yes to reviewing this set. I knew it would either be something else or just space junk. Once my son put it together we could see just what I had to work with for producing images for LEGO.

It’s big… And it really has to be if LEGO is going to create a replica model. Indeed, the actual space station including its large solar arrays, spans the area of a US football field. This scaled-down model spans a width of 19 inches (49 cm). The solar panel width span is 12 inches (38 cm) so you are going to need ‘SPACE’ to store it.

The International Space Station

It is fragile, oh boy is it fragile. I would not recommend you purchasing it for children to play with as it will be broken into the tiny little pieces it started off as. It is definitely a display model if you have the ‘SPACE’. The attention to detail makes it like the actual real thing and this set includes eight movable solar panels.

Three are a Team

The ISS generally holds crews of between three and six people who are responsible for science experimentation and maintaining the station. Included in this set are officially two (well actually three) Astronauts. However if you are expecting the usual size mini-figures I will have to disappoint you. These figures are only half an inch high. Nevertheless they add to the scale of the model. In addition as a nice little touch, a little Space Shuttle is also included.

Three Astronauts

The Mission

My mission was to photograph the International Space Station ready for the official release. As a matter of fact, it was a challenging mission. Firstly I needed ‘Space’ and not to mention good lighting. The model reminds me of the size of an old fashioned television aerial, remember them? Secondly, I knew I would have a few hours editing the final images. Nevertheless, the build itself took a few hours and I have created five different images in more time than the ISS circumnavigates the world. (Keep an eye out for the pix, remember to check every 90 minutes).

The question is, would I purchase this set? Personally I do not have the ‘Space’ to display it but if I did, yes I would, simply because I love the idea of this set and what technology can do for our learning experiences. I will never get close to the real International Space Station (ISS). Still this set gives me the opportunity to explore and learn. It allows my perception to envisage just what Space Agencies are achieving. The fact that different nationalities live together in harmony shows that it can be achieved. The team from LEGO Ideas has created something special and again I will say: If you have the ‘Space’ then make this station yours, too.

SiP goes Cape Town

No, Cape Town isn’t the destination of our next toy safari.
It’s the sequel to SiP goes Korea.

More than a year ago, we exhibited our photography in an art gallery in Daejon, South Korea, after Suné sent us a most mysterious email. This time, she asked us to hold a pop-up exhibition in a café, in the city center of her hometown of Cape Town.

And of course, we said yes.
So here we go again.

Two dozens prints from a total of 8 toy photographers will be on display at Crust from February 6th to February 18th and tell some of our stories of 2019.

Two dozen prints carefully selected.
Each image telling its own unique story.
Printed with love on fine art paper.
Wrapped and packed, ready to go to Cape Town.

Boris will fly there (together with the prints).
And just like last year, some of us will join for the grand opening using the magic of the Internet.
And you are invited.
Online or in-person at the grand opening in Cape Town on the 6th of February at 18:00. The opening is part of Cape Town’s famous First Thursdays series and so there will be plenty to see, including toy photography this time.

Right now the crew is selecting their twenty-four images and making sure no dust is to be seen…

PS. Here is the FB event. Feel free to join or forward to people you known in Cape Town.
PPS. And if you are a toy photographer (or always wanted to be one) and are living in Cape Town, let us know and we love to meet up before, during or after the show.

What’s the Best Disney of 2019?

This blog post is a bit different from the usual ones about toy photography. But being a (toy) photographer is not only about taking photos (of toys). It’s also about inspiration. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might have noticed that I’m a Disney fan. Like LEGO, it’s been an integral part of my childhood and something I can’t separate from being a toy photographer.

During the holidays, I decided to catch up with all the Disney releases of 2019. Initially, I wanted to make a short Instagram post about my opinion on last year’s Disney movies. However, it quickly became too long so instead, I decided to write it as a blog post. Maybe this will be the first post in a series about movie reviews.

Elsa invited her “LEGO colleagues” to enjoy the mild Nordic winter so Woody could pick his favorite movie of 2019.

Frozen 2 – the one I wanted to see most

The only one I was genuinely excited about was Frozen 2. I usually don’t expect much from sequels though. But the first trailer got me quite intrigued. And after all, Frozen is the Disney movie about the North.

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Twenty-Twenty Eight

Hey there. Twenty-Twenty is in full swing. Our new SiPgoesTT challenge is out and well kicked off, we have a new exhibition in the making on the other side of Planet Earth and we are eight now.
Yep.
We are eight.
Beverley, Natasja, and Chris have joined the crew and we are super excited to have them on board for our adventures in twenty-twenty and beyond.
Not with five, but with eight core crew members to keep you delighted with awesome toy photography and creative challenges alike in twenty-twenty.

No introduction required.

Our new crew members don’t need any introduction as they have been regular friends here on the blog.

Chris Rose

Chris posted his first blog post on why toy photography in 2016. Since then he has had many creative reviews and contributions and joined us in Scotland for a toy safari along the way.

If you want to read up or just browse Chris´ posts , we put them in a list for you.
And if you don’t follow Chris on Instagram already, then now is the time.

Beverley Thomas

Beverley’s first full blog post goes back to the summer of 2018 when she was featured in our Feature Friday series. Since then she has been a regular in SiPgoes52, SiPgoes53 and a creative contributor to our LEGO photographic reviews.

Here you can find all contributions of Beverley in one nice list and also Bevvy can be found on IG.

Natasja

Our third new crew member may be better known as Anna as she goes by the alias @by_a.n.n.a on IG. Natasja made her first official appearance on the blog in an interview with Karine for the Hispabrick FFOL interview (Female Fans Of LEGO) early last year. Since then Natasja has kept us all smiling with her contributions. From the laughter in our Apocalypse challenge to reviewing the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. set for LEGO.

Natasja’s posts can be found here.

Twenty-twenty eight

Please put your hands together and welcome Natasja, Beverley and Chris to the crew.
Twenty-twenty with eight it is.

And the first real event with all eight on the calendar in twenty-twenty will be our upcoming art exhibition in Cape Town, South Africa, next month.
But more on that later next week.

The Five.
Welcoming The Three.
So we are Eight.

Best,

Karine, Julien, Maëlick, Stefan and Boris

The Eight in Twenty-Twenty