Week 50 – Agatha Christie

I’ve always loved a good old classic detective story. You know the kind where the reader is presented a set of suspects, follows a detective and gets the same clues. Eventually, the detective gathers the suspect to reveal how the murder was done. At that point, if you’re as smart as the detective, you should know who’s the killer.

Agatha Christie’s stories are probably the best example of such stories.

While I’ve actually read only one of her novels, I’ve seen plenty of adaptations of her stories on TV. In particular, I’ve always been a fan of the ones with Hercule Poirot.

For this week, I would really have loved to take a photo inspired by my favorite Hercule Poirot story, Death on the Nile… But that’s not really an option in Northern Finland at the start of winter. (And I’ve already done the Egyptian Elves in the Snow.)

So instead I decided to go with probably the most famous one, Murder on the Orient Express. The snowy environment being much more fit. To get some inspiration for this week, I decided to (re-)watch a couple of the film adaptations of Agatha Christie’s work.

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Week 49 – Walt Disney

I doubt there is much need to introduce Walt Disney. Loved or hated, it is hard to deny the cultural impact of his company when most currently living generations (at least in the Western world) have grown up surrounded by Disney animation movies.

For this week, I decided to pay tribute to Disney by making a series of photos rather than a single one. (A bit like I did for J.K. Rowling.) I mixed and matched my collection of Elves and Disney minidolls. Practically, that mostly meant making elvenized versions of Disney princesses.

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Best Photo of 2019?

Every year, towards the end of the year, Flickr creates a group called “Your Best Shot”. This year’s group will be open on Monday.

Every year, it is an occasion for me to reflect on my own photography. Decide what is my favorite and most representative photo of the year. Reflect on a journey and think about how to plan the future. But this year I actually have a hard time choosing a single photo.

For the past four years, choosing my favorite photo has been relatively easy. From the time I had taken and edited each of them, I had that feeling of “it might be the best of this year”. But so far, it didn’t happen in 2019.

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Week 48 – Ada Lovelace

This week, our human being of #SiPgoes52 is no one else than Ada Lovelace. Daughter of Lord Byron (a key figure of Romanticism and one of the first modern celebrities), she is known as the first programmer… A century before the construction of the first computer.

Raised by her mother who encouraged her to pursue her interest in mathematics, she got into contact with scientists and intellectuals from the 19th Century including Faraday and Dickens. Because of her keen mathematical sense, she collaborated closely with Charles Babbage who had invented a machine similar in essence to modern computers.

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Week 47 – Magellan

Ferdinand Magellan, in his original Portuguese form Fernão de Magalhães, was the man who led the first circumnavigation around the world. This week is all about the age of discovery and the great explorers from the 15 to 17th century.

Christopher Columbus is the most well-known explorers, yet we picked Magellan as a less obvious choice.

I’ve always been fascinated by Magellan. It’s with certainty to discover a route South of America that he led his expedition to success. Moreover, we now know that Columbus wasn’t the first European to set foot in America. While I don’t want to reduce the significance of the (re-)discovery of America by Columbus, I find that circumnavigating the world is one of the most important milestones towards a globally connected world.

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Week 46 – Edith Piaf

One of my favorite things about not living in a French-speaking country anymore is that I don’t have to put up with French music on a daily basis. I truly dislike (or should I even say despise?) most music sung in French. There are a few exceptions though. French punk. French and Breton folk music. And Edith Piaf.

Edith Piaf is one of the most famous French singers from the mid-20th century. This is due to her incredible voice. I’ve always been stunned by how powerful, unique and so hard to imitate her voice was.

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Week 45 – Ingrid Bergman

This week’s human being is no one else than Ingrid Bergman, one of the most famous Hollywood actresses of all time. To be honest, I don’t who picked her to be on our list, and even less why. (Besides being one of the most famous actresses of all time…)

Personally, I know Ingrid Bergman for three roles: as the co-star in Casablanca, for starring in Gaslight and for her supporting role in Murder on the Orient Express. Out of those three, my favorite is Gaslight, and thus the one I chose this week for inspiration. (That said, we might revisit Murder on the Orient Express in a few weeks…)

Like The Birds, Gaslight is one of those classic movies I watched as a teenager thanks to Arte. While it’s nothing like The Birds, the movie has some truly beautiful film noir cinematography and Ingrid Bergman’s performance is at its best. (I also can’t resist mentioning the appearance of a 19 years old Angela Lansbury.)

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Week 44 – Newton

This week, our human being is Newton. Isaac the physicist and mathematician, not Helmut the photographer. Although I’m the one responsible for putting him on our list, I’ve got to admit I regret it.

Newton is one of those famous people we put on our list as “an easy human being” that anyone knows. However, I wish I had chosen one a bit less obvious, like Galileo or Copernicus.

Newton is said to have completed, with his “Principia” published in 1687, the scientific revolution that started a century earlier with Copernicus. These early discoveries are what laid the ground for modern science and made possible most of today’s technology.

For this week, rather than focusing on Newton, I wanted to go back to the root of the scientific revolution: astronomy, observing the celestial objects, and trying to explain their movements.

Without any doubt, all advancements in physics started with Copernicus and all the way to Newton wouldn’t have happened without advancements in optics which led to the invention of the telescope.

Week 42 – Alfred Hitchcock

Many consider Alfred Hitchcock among the best and most influential filmmakers in history. If you’d ask me, I’d say he was the best. And it all boils down to one movie: The Birds.

The Scariest Movie of all Time

I haven’t seen a lot of Hitchcock’s films. Only the most famous ones: Vertigo, Psycho, Read Window, The Birds, and potentially North by Northwest. (I’m not really sure about the last one). I saw The Birds for the first time around 10 years ago. Since then, I’ve considered it as the scariest movie of all time.

As a kid, I’ve been used to watch horror movies from a quite young age, thanks to a father who has always been obsessed with horror. Contrarily to my brother, I never caught that same horror movie obsession. Maybe this is because I’ve been exposed from a young age to the horror genre and been explained I shouldn’t be afraid because it’s not real. Thus, I find most well-known horror movies to be frankly quite boring, very cliché, predictable and mostly… NOT scary. There are a few exceptions, but they are rare.

Why I think that Hitchcock and The Birds are the Best

The Birds is one of those exceptions. Watching the movie itself is not really scary. In many ways, the movie hasn’t aged well. One could easily argue that it’s a relatively slow and boring movie, with outdated visual effects, uninteresting characters and a scenario filled with plot holes. But there’s one thing that “The Birds” does better than any other movie I’ve ever seen: it builds tension to a point where it leaves you with a fear of birds.

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Collectible Minifigures Seris 19 and Minidolls

It’s been already a month that the new CMF series has been officially out (and more unofficially)… Yet it seems like yesterday to me.

Because Boris received the box of minifigs late, we decided to not proceed with our usual crowd review of the series. Still, Boris asked if one of us wanted a full series to review.

My first reaction was “no”. From the images available online, I wasn’t particularly excited about this series. There were a couple of cool minifigs I wanted, but I wasn’t feeling like photographing the 16 minifigures. To me, the series was too focused on new accessories and some of the minifigures were rather “meh” once the accessories removed.

But then I thought… What about focusing on these new accessories and see how many of them I can reuse for my LEGO Elves photography? So I ended up saying yes. But somehow it still took a full month. First the Swedish or Finnish (or both?) has been slow. Then I got on the same day the Gingerbread House which got prioritized. And then it took longer than I expected to gather all the photos I wanted and come up with a (rather lengthy) blog post.

In this (rather late) review of series 19, I will focus on the accessories that inspired me for my LEGO Elves photography, and more generally to use with Minidolls. There are however quite many accessories I didn’t use. These include generic accessories that didn’t spark a flame, new ones I didn’t care about, new ones I like but don’t fit my Elves, and most animals as they actually don’t need to be used alongside another figure.

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