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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The Best of the 2019 LEGO Friends Advent Calendar

My experience with LEGO Advent calendars has been quite a disappointment in the past years. After regretting not getting a Star Wars calendar in 2014, I got one in 2015 and 2016. Then LEGO stopped including exclusive Christmas-themed minifigures in the Star Wars calendars, so I stopped buying them. While I’ve been tempted more than once by the City calendars, I had got one in 2014 and felt like there was not enough novelty for getting one again.

But this year, I decided to get two calendars: the new Harry Potter calendar, and for the first time the, Friends calendar. With not much left to do with SiPgoes53, much of my photographic effort has been focused on these two calendars.

So on this Christmas morning, I wanted to share my thoughts about the Friends calendar.

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Week 51 – René Magritte

This week’s human being is Magritte, one of the most famous surrealist painters. The idea of including him on the list came from wanting to include painters.

When I think of painters, there are names that come first. Like Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Picasso, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Monet, and Magritte.

It seems natural to me for Magritte to come among the firsts, but maybe this is because I grew up in Belgium. If I try to go back to my oldest memories of paintings, I think of “La grande famille”. But I would expect it’s not the case for most people. Thus, Magritte seemed like an appropriate non-obvious choice for SiPgoes53.

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Finishing SiPgoes52

The year is almost over. And with it, SiPgoes53. It is time to reflect. Look at the past year. See what was done, what worked and what didn’t. And start planning ahead 2020.

But before, I want to go back in time. Back to 2018 and SiPgoes52.

Over a year ago, I wrote about completing SiPgoes52. Completing the project meant was that I had at least one photo for each word. But the project was far from over. Back then, I said I wanted to make something concrete out of it.

The plan that didn’t work

My initial plan was to go over the photos, select the ones that matter, and write proper captions. Then, I would focus on making something real by printing them.

I first managed to go down from 52 (or 53 actually as there was one photo I decided to redo) to 27 photos. This was easy as it consisted of removing photos I wasn’t happy with, those that did not fit well the original word or the words that weren’t that important to me. But then it got more complicated than expected. And took more time.

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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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