What happened to June

It is the 5th.
The 5th of July.
I hope you all enjoyed the 4th.
And stayed safe and sound with all the madness around us that happened in the first part of twenty twenty. The second half is now good and well underway (it is raining here in Sweden), and I could not wonder to ask myself that simple question of what happened to June. If you scroll just a little bit down, you will see that the latest (and greatest) post was also by yours truly and is almost a month old. So what happened to June ?

Well, a long and short story at the same time.

Stefan and I went to the “virtual” RLFM days and we knew that June was going to be a busy month by TLG with all kind of announcements just before the summer holidays. However, since the RLFM 2020 was virtual this year we did not have a lot of “own” behind the scene photographic material. So we kind of let most of it slip and will come back once we get our hands on the real deal.

Do expect a creative railroad review of the brand new 18+ Crocodile Locomotive (we got our hands on one and are putting the pieces together). Some burning rubber with Speed Champs in August (yep, our resident racer will take them for a spin) and some attempt at underwater fun with the new LEGO City National Geographics collaboration are amongst our creative personal summer projects.

And in August we will for sure take a very close look at the new 18+ LEGO Art Wellness series that stole our heart (and most probably our wallet for all the small pieces) and try to get our own artwork next to The Beatles, Marilyn, and Darth Vader.

So, what else ?

Personally, June was a busy month for most of us here at SiP. Some of us are preparing to move. Others have been traveling in distant landscapes and abandoned roads without LEGO. And some of the crew continued to adapt and adopt local lockdowns.
We have been studying ancient and new languages alike.
Celebrating graduation and solstice parties in completely different ways.
And enjoyed (or endured) some of the hottest days in decades here in the North. And we continued some of our (not so) secret LEGO projects.

We shot the real LEGO Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 on location in Stockholm and Hamburg and will soon bring you an action-packed after review of the shoot.

And we have a few more photog ops in the making which we will share with you when the time is right. Teasing, I know.

On to some more adventures…

The SiPgoesTT Adventure month of June has come to an end and we do have a winner (but more on that next week, teasing again). July is comic packed with Louis de Funès and Basil Fawlty amongst others. I am looking forward to seeing which movies our host of the month (read Stefan) will add to inspire you.

…and then there was Tallinn

At the end of twenty nineteen, our plans for this year were travel packed with an exhibition in South Africa in the spring, a toy photography safari in Tallinn at the end of the summer, and a SiP Pop Up exhibition in Skaerbaek shortly thereafter.

And then twenty twenty came along and altered the plans a little.

We have decided to turn our toy photography safari into an online toy photography expedition this year. So, keep/reserve the dates in your agenda (5th & 6th September), as we will be going digital and you can join in from the safety of your country for this 2-day packed photographic weekend adventure. Please note you (ideally) should be in a European time zone as there will be a lot of working together.

Seats are limited this year, and we will be getting more information to you in the FB working group and on the blog in the next few days but do reserve the first weekend of September for the very first online toy photography safari.

Summer, here we come.

Reset

Time to hit the reset button.
Not on twenty twenty, but on our little project we are running here in twenty twenty.
As you may remember we started the year off with the SiP goes Twenty Twenty post and embarked on exploring some creative techniques. We got off with some light reading on composition and moved on to the holy trinity of exposure.
We were working on the 101 of lighting techniques when it hit us (pun intended).
This is not working.
It is not us.
And this is too much technique.
And not enough fun.
Not enough creative exploration from the gut.
Following the heart.
Being inspired by what is surrounding us.
And so we hit the reset button on SiPgoesTT.

Getting ready to hit the reset button …
Continue reading “Reset”

Twenty. A first impression

Today LEGO announced officially the new series twenty and celebrates 10 years of the LEGO minifigure series with a brand new series 20. We got our hands on a box full of minifigure goodness and we will be sharing our first impression here and look for toy photographers who want to review their favorite minifigure for us. Read on.

But first, what is in the box?

You all by now have seen the announcements of LEGO and the detailed box art of the series twenty, and we will be sharing our first impressions with a photographer’s eye. But we can confirm there are 3 full series in the box.

Continue reading “Twenty. A first impression”

Trinity: the basics of exposure for toy photography

And we are back.
A little bit later than expected.
But we are back with the second theme of the year.
After composition, we now get our hands dirty with the real technical details of capturing the image on the digital canvas. The exposure triangle or the holy trinity of your camera.

Long Read Ahead

Composition

We launched our SiPgoesTT challenge for twenty-twenty last week and asked you to take a leap of faith and select three of the works that spoke to you. The initial response was overwhelming and if you haven’t explored your fellow toy photographers, you should. If you were on the brick of joining and haven’t done that, don’t worry. You can still do that now or later.
We are just getting started.
With composition.
And a new challenge for you to complete.

Click here to discover the challenge (long post ahead)

A little bit disappointed …

Last week I got an email from LEGO asking if I was an Original.
You most probably got the same.
We all got it.
How original is that.
Yet I was intrigued.
A beautiful crafted LEGO minifigure.
Five-time the size of the real deal.
An exclusive, handcrafted oak minifigure, challenging to unleash my creativity.

An exclusive, handcrafted red oak minifigure

Challenging me to unleash my creativity …

I was hooked.
And I clicked the link, and swiped my credit card.
I am after all a fan of all things LEGO, and this exclusive Original begged to come over to my place. The checkout page told me I was limited to two pieces max. While I was tempted to buy two, the pretty steep price point (yes, pretty steep) made me think twice and I only bought one.

On Friday I got a notification a package was waiting for me.
I got that creative feeling that this would be fun, and my mind drifted away to all the things I could do this weekend with my new minifigure in red wood oak.

Unboxing

Take it out into town.
Have a portrait photoshoot with my new camera (more on that later).
Get some creative street photography with my new friend.

I could not wait with unboxing it.

A little bit disappointed …

And that is where the disappointment started.

This little dude is completely not poseable.
A minifigure whose arms can’t move.
Whose legs are frozen in time.
One solid block of LEGO wood.

A sustainable block of wood as the FSC stamp stands for.
And a nice little visit card for roomcopenhagen.com which I was surprised to find here.
I would have hoped to get a unique serial number, since every piece is handcrafted, but I doubt my (H)/0001 is a real serial.

A beautifully crafted dead weight I can have on my desk to hold my Wacom pen.

Now, for 1399 SEK (130 EUR, 144 USD, 0,016 Bitcoin) this is a pretty expensive high-end dead weight. And LEGO advises me to get creative and build the buzz by painting or carving this beautiful dead weight. Now, at 1399 SEK one is not directly inclined to make a disruptive move.
At least I am not, as the object is beautiful on its own.
And so it actually does not invite to be a blank canvas that screams to be sculptured.
While you can see the inspiration may come from the CowParade, at this price point it is very elitish and I am not sure a lot of creatives will buy one to “create the buzz”…

My Buzz

My creative buzz … for now.

And this is where I think LEGO did not get it all right in this first of its Originals.
Or maybe LEGO tried to get too much in this little minifigure.

  • A collector item – yes
  • An expensive price point – yes
  • Beautifully crafted – yes
  • An inspiration to get creative with – maybe
  • A blank canvas – no
  • Playable – not really
  • Poseable – nope
  • And did I say – very expensive? Very expensive indeed.
  • And not something you give to kids to draw on and make their own art.

I am not saying you should not buy this for an AFOL that is looking for a timeless beautifully carved sculpture to have in their AFOL cave. But be aware of the limitations. This is not really a toy for kids to get creative with, and for us toy photographers it is a very static model, to say the least.

Looking for my Geppetto

So, here I am.
A little bit disappointed…
And looking for a carpenter that can make me a real poseable minifigure out of this one. With moveable legs and arms. My Gepetto…

Anyone around that knows someone that could help me out?

Pippilotta Rollgardinia Victualia Peppermint Longstocking

Pippilotta

This week’s person in the spotlight of our SiP goes 53 series is the creative storyteller behind the rebellious Pippilotta. Pippilotta Rollgardinia Victualia Peppermint Longstocking to be precise. Pippi in short is the red-haired, freckled, unconventional and superhumanly strong kid that lives in Villa Villekulla and embarks on amazing adventures with her horse and Herr Nilsson. And she has a suitcase filled with gold.
You must have heard about her.

Pippilotta was also the name of a red-haired adventurer I accidentally bumped into in a little village called Sparkle. It was in the middle of the nineties. The sun was shining and I just returned from an encounter with Lars.
She smiled at me and gave this newbie more silver coins than I could carry.
I must have made an hilarious impression while I thanked her blushing profusely and ran back and forth to the guild to level up my skills to kill rats in the docks.

Sparkle

If you start to wonder where Sparkle is located, you can find it in the old school text based mud game called genesis.
A (text-based) world of its own.
Full of fantasy and lore.
And fate made me bump again into this mysterious adventurer with green eyes and red-haired ponytails in the docks of Sparkle and she asked me to join her.
I took her up on the offer, and we set out to bash some some orcs and hobbits, wandered the lands and eventually got married.
And then we decided to meet up IRL in Paris.

The rest is history.

That Sparkle (tongue in cheek) turned into a real live adventure.
We fell in love.
We got married.
And we decided to name our firstborn after a character out of another book of this amazing storyteller from the North. Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter.
Don’t worry, our second got named after one of Walt’s classics.

Astrid Lindgren is her name.

The amazing storyteller of books like Pippi Longstocking, Emil i Lönneberga, Karlsson-on-the-Roof, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, and The Brothers Lionheart has left a lasting impression on me with her stories and her characters.
And if you have not read any of her books, I can warmly recommend them.
They are for all ages…

Astrid Lindgren is our SiPgoes53 person of this week.

Willhelm Röntgen

Willhelm Röntgen, also known as Conrad to his friends, is the german inventor and Nobel Prize winner of my wife’s camera of choice. She (my wife, not Conrad) is a professional studio photographer working with kids, and so when we were looking at great scientists and inventors to include in our SiPgoes53 series, Willhelm went straight to the shortlist. Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, the inventor of the X-Ray camera and inspiration to the 111th element, roentgenium.

There are many other interesting pieces in Willhelm’s life that can inspire you in this week’s episode of SiPgoes53. From being falsely accused and expelled from high school in Utrecht without a diploma, over a marriage of true love to being a big believer of free and open source research without patents.
My inspiration in Wilhelm story is my wife the unknown.
The hidden message.
The image that is hidden from one’s eye.
The limitations overcome.

Continue reading “Willhelm Röntgen”