Adventures with the Land Rover

When I found out I had the chance to shoot this iconic vehicle, I couldn’t wait to get out in the local streams and woods where I thought this set would be right at home, but first I faced a bigger challenge, building the Set. With it being a Technic set I knew I had a big job on my hands but I took my time and built it over 4 evenings so not to lose what is ultimately the point with any set, the enjoyment of the build.

What stood out from a lot of other technic sets was the realistic look of the vehicle. It seemed very photogenic and rugged just like the real thing. The amazing innards of the vehicle are probably lost on a lot of people but the suspension and gears are a wonder of modern Lego design.

When I came to shooting I was faced with my usual dilemma how to transport the set and keep clean and in one piece. I had to get the set to my selected location without losing half the pieces so I opted for the bulky but secure enormous plastic box. Having to walk to the secluded location took it out on my arms and back but there’s alway a few awkward steps when doing something you love.

The early Monday morning clouds had given way to a clear sky but my preferred favourite spot in a shallow stream had become a raging torrent due to the usual seasonal weather conditions in the North West of England. But I had my heart set on this location so had too improvise. Luckily I had worn my Wellington boots so I trawled the steam for pebbles and rocks and built a platform for the Land Rover to sit on set just below the surface of the water. I had to take extra care not too lose any pieces of they’d be lost forever. Somewhere downstream.

The bright sun was presenting some harsh shadows but also some interesting shafts of light through the overhanging tree branches. These were enhanced with the help of some Atmosphere Aerosol smoke and I managed to capture some satisfactory shots before the clouds rolled back in for what was to be another wet day.

All that was left to do was to take the set and trudge back to safety (before I ended up with a soaking wet Land Rover) and spend the afternoon editing my images down to a handful of ‘keepers’.

A Dino in the Park

The new Jurassic park set is here. I’ve been lucky enough for LEGO to have sent me the set a bit earlier to shoot.

The set

As I opened the box I was immediately surprised by the sheer size of the set, clocking up 3120 pieces! The great thing about the build is that you can share it with a friend. There’s one book of instructions for the iconic “Jurassic Park” gate and another for the star of the original film, the T-Rex.

I set to work on the big beast and loved the way you can build it up section by section. You can then click each part, such as the tail sections, together.

My wife, Helena, tackled the gates and loved the fact that she got to build all the minifigs. She’s a big fan of the Jurassic World series so she knew all the characters’ names right from the off.

The first problem to hit me after the build was how on earth I was going to transport the model out to my version of Isla Nublar!
With plenty of small pieces on the gates, and the T-Rex being pretty heavy, I knew that I had a big job on my hands.

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The Mustang Mission

Can You Keep A Secret?

It’s a grim-looking Friday morning and I’m sat at a bus stop in the wind and rain. I’m waiting. The bus is late but I’m okay with that because I’m not going to my day-job today. I’ve got my camera bag on one shoulder and a rather innocuous-looking carrier bag containing a very special LEGO set on the other. I’m on a top-secret mission into deepest Manchester’s city centre in search of the perfect setting. This is going to be a shooting session with the new LEGO CreatorExpert #10265 Ford Mustang.

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Everything was Awesome

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.

What’s going on in the new LEGO movie? Something has changed and it is if darkness had spread across the land.

Benny

Take a look at Benny. That face looks like he’s been through a lot. What has happened that means he needs a cybernetic arm? Perhaps something happened to wipe that smile off his face. He certainly looks like he’s been through the wars since we last saw him. With a brand new tool kit hopefully he can help put something right. Then again, some things just can’t be repaired with a wrench or a spanner…

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The Mini

I was really excited when I received the email from SiP asking for some helping out on a creative project. And what a project. The opportunity to shoot this iconic car. I even woke up that night thinking about potential locations that would fit for this amazing set.

The comfort zone ...

There were a few go-to outdoor spots that I had used before, but I decided that I needed to test myself and step out of my comfort zone to come up with something new. Something original. Since it was mid-September and heading into autumn, I immediately thought of the color palette that nature would supply at this time of year. Colors complementing the racing green of the classic Mini. Images of the car, speeding along a country lane with leaves falling all around under autumn’s golden sun, started to emerge. I was all ready.

MINI more

Security begets Confidence

Leading on from one of last month’s words, confidence, is security.

So I asked myself “Where do we find security?”

It's in routines, in friendships, and in the familiar. Security begets Confidence.Click To Tweet

When I picked security as a word to tackle this month, I thought it would be pretty easy to come up with an idea. However, as I delved deeper, and asked a few friends for their interpretations, I realised it wasn’t such a simple task.

So when I eventually came up with this shot I, felt it encompassed the word on different levels. Vader feels emotionally secure surrounded by friends, confident in his own abilities, but also physically safe and sound in his own bed.

My First Toy Safari

I finally did it.

Well, I’ve done it, I’ve finally met a fellow toy photographer!

I’ve wanted to do it for years. I’ve watched from afar, read articles on blogs about Toy Safaris in far-away lands and even posted the odd comment on Instagram and Facebook posts.

The thing is, toy photography has always been a very personal and private thing for me. Yes, I’ve chatted online and even sold some of my work, my friends also know about my toy obsession, but the actual creative process was something I’d always done alone.  Continue reading “My First Toy Safari”