SiP Card Exchange 2019

Summer is reaching an end in the Northern Hemisphere. Here in the North, temperatures are dropping and the days are getting shorter fast. Last week, the first snow fell in Northern Lapland, and with a bit of luck, the first snowfall could happen in less than a month here in Oulu…

I’m thrilled and excited at the idea of winter coming. It’s for me the start of the toy photography season. I recently ordered a pair of photography gloves for winter and now I’m left waiting for winter to come so I can try them.

I’m also excited about winter because it’s going to be time for our now traditional card exchange. It’s a precious experience to spend time making a photo, printing it and sending it. And then receiving cards from all around the world.

So to occupy myself while waiting for the snow, I decided to already start with the preparation for this year’s card exchange. While there is still plenty of time, I decided to make this post so those who are as excited as I am can already register and start thinking about the photo for their card.

Gingermamma and Gingerpappa are waiting for this year’s card exchange while enjoying a subset of the cards we received last year from Natasja, Stacy, Caro and Mathieu, Elena, Bennett, and Sacha.
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Run Forest, Run.

A few months ago I joined my first ever photo marathon in Stockholm. Not sure what to expect, I started to prepare. And I went a little bit overboard. And here we are. Less as 24 hours before the real deal here in Stockholm starts again, and yours truly got a starting number and is (not) ready to do it again.
No preparation at all.
Not well rested either.
And yet very much excited.

My start number from the previous one. Together with my little other half. Too well prepared.

First things first. What is a photo marathon?

But first, let’s take a step back and look what a photo marathon really is.

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Better Run… Or Get Your Camera Out

The News Is Out

Today the LEGO Group announced some great news for all fans of Jurassic Park AND for toy photographers. Whether you’re into dinosaurs or not, this set will probably be a gem if you like to spend your time taking pics of toys.

The Set

The new set to come, 75936 Jurassic Park: T. rex Rampage,  will not only consist of a fantastic model of a beautiful dinosaur as the Dino will be  accompanied by a giant gate and six minifigures (three of them brand new). Additionally, the gate will be framed by a wall. If you turn this around there will be six rooms that were inspired by movie scenes. That sounds like a whole lotta fun!

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The Eagle Has Landed

The LEGO NASA Apollo 11 Lunar set 10266 also known as “Eagle” has landed. It is since yesterday available in LEGO stores around the world. A good month and a half ahead of the fiftieth anniversary of Neil Armstrong being the first man to set foot on the moon. This set nicely completes last years NASA Saturn V rocket. One which got Stefan running around in Hamburg with the rocket in one hand and making woosh woosh sounds.

The Eagle is beautiful, fragile and very discreet and has a prominent place on my working desk.

One small step…

And while the detailed replica of Apollo 11’s Eagle lunar module may not be ideal to run around within the fish market in Hamburg on a Sunday morning, it is an epic nostalgic build. I replayed those magic first words of Neil a few times while holding the set in my hand and making touchdown on the Sea of Tranquility. From the iconic “Houston, the Eagle has landed” to the first step on the moon. “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”.

One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind …

Now how to shoot this set?

That was the question that ran around my head for a while. First, I was thinking about taking a step back and go analog. Getting some good old film into my Hasselblad. I quickly came to the realization I do not have an analog Hasselblad at my disposal. And even if I had to, I would most probably get frustrated with the analog process of not having instant validation on the digital big screen. For those of you who are wondering what Hasselblad had to do with the moon landing, have a look at this beautiful page over at their website.

A selfie with a Hasselblad (*)

LEGO Space

And while I was contemplating how to get this set on the wet plate, Pink from Benny’s Space Squad came over and had to take some quick snapshots. After all, this felt for her like going back in time. A nostalgic moment she learned everything about in the Space Academy. And while she liked the gold touch on the helmets of these iconic men, she felt much more comfortable in her pink space suit.

Pink (**) is getting some snapshots from the Eagle.

The Golden Van Allen Belt

The Eagle has quite a few golden parts on it. When looking at them I thought that these golden parts were there to protect against space radiation. And while I ultimately was wrong in my assumption(*’), they brought me to the idea of shooting the set with a different kind of camera. An X-Ray camera.

Not the one used in space guns, but the ones used in Hospitals and Airports around the world to see through the plastic with a different lens. And so I sent the Lunar model for an X-Ray check up with my co-conspirator and operator of big cameras, and the result was special. Very special. Feel free to maximize the video below.

The Eagle for sure had landed.

(*’) The golden parts on the Eagle are not there to protect against space radiation but against the heat of the sun. Technically that is also radiation, but I was more thinking about the evil Van Allen Radiation Belt. The golden foil is actually Kapton multi-layer insulation blankets, and they act as a heat barrier to sunlight.

Worth buying?

Well, every LEGO set is worth buying of course, but this one is special and makes a perfect gift for the upcoming Father’s day (Mother’s day just happened in most countries so you were too late to get it for that occasion, but of course you can still gift it as a late present). The Eagle won’t break the bank as much as the iconic Porsche or Bugatti (another Father’s day present). It sells for a comfortable 89 EUR at the local LEGO store in Hamburg (Stefan, just in case if you want to land in the Fish Market).

The set is great fun to build and packed with nostalgic memories to a time when landing on the moon looked so easy. And with it’s grey and gold Kaplan-like color scheme it nicely fits in any library or office space and it won’t take up too much space.

And for those who are into collectibles, the LEGO stores around the world have a unique LEGO NASA patch available. Limited editions I was told.

Please note that Pink (**) and Hasselblad (*) are not included in this set.
They were added by yours truly as part of the creative review process.
TLG provided the set for review and picture taking.

Animal Life In My Neighbourhood

A Sunny Day

The other day I took a walk in a nearby park. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and the clear blue sky offered a spectacular view from pole to pole. I was happily enjoying the day when suddenly I heard some tiny and high-level voices. I stopped and looked around but couldn’t spot the voices’ origin. I slowly kneeled down to search on the ground. There! Among some blades of grass, I saw something. First I couldn’t see what it was until finally, I spotted… two chipmunks!

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SiP goes Denmark- The Agenda

The Story So Far

As most of you know, this year toy photo safari will take us to Denmark. Between the 27th and 30th of June we are going to spend some happy times taking pictures, laughing and creating memories with old and new friends alike. And finally we can share the detailed agenda with all of you. Including the final registration form that we want you all to complete. But first things first: the agenda.

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The Survivor of the Apocalypse

The Story So Far

For the past month, we decided to run a little contest to celebrate the release of the LEGO Movie 2. After returning from the 2019 edition of Floating Bricks, we are overwhelmed to having found more than 170 entries. No less but ALL of them are great! Some may even be a little greater. And while many participants truly sent us into an apocalyptic mood (thanks for some sleepless nights), there was a handful that really surprised and inspired us. We do know that we´ve been letting you all wait for far too long. So grab a bag of popcorn and a drink and let us announce the winner of our Apocalypse-contest.

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The Apocalyptic Contest

Well, it has been a while since we last unleashed some good old school creative “fun” contest. You know, one without too many rules. So we thought it´s about time we did it again. And what better occasion could there be than to celebrate the LEGO Movie 2 ?? With just that in full swing all around the world we want to get your creative energies back to the max.

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Stars All Over The Place

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.

Movies, Tales and a Confession

Here’s a confession I need to get off my chest: Although “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” is surely one of the sweetest melodies I have ever heard, I’d never seen the movie “The Wizard Of Oz” until recently. I hadn’t even read the book. And to be dead honest: I didn’t even know what the story was all about!

Of course, I knew the main characters: Dorothy and her dog Toto, the Tinman, the Scarecrow and the Lion. But what on earth were they doing together in this land called Oz? And why couldn’t I remember an image oft he Wizard himself?

Hadn’t it been for LEGO to include (most) of all of the above characters in their latest series of collectible mini figures (CMF) I’d probably never have found out. But the release of the gang was the ignition spark I needed to find out myself.

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Benny´s Space Squad- First impressions of the next generation

Yesterday our weekend shopping was done in no time. To me that meant there was some extra time. Extra time I could spend visiting a local toy store. As soon as I got there I went to check out the latest LEGO sets from the upcoming LEGO MOVIE 2.

Discover the best set of 2018, with Benny’s Space Squad …