Awesome Tree Time

Awesome Tree

It is that time of the year again we go out and get our tree sorted.

Getting ready for celebrating the turn of the seasons, celebrating the days are getting longer, spending quality time with friends and family, age old traditions celebrated across the galaxy and beyond …

As most of you know I have something with solstices and equinoxes alike and I guess it must be the photographer in me that is just closely linked to the changes of light (my typewriter, Lyn) and is just getting excited and happy to get a little bit more sunshine to shoot those epic sunrises and sunsets across the globe after spending time with friends to celebrate around the trees.

My booklets are ready, on the way to the mailman, and this years exclusive Xmas cards are ready to be sent as well.
Xmas cards shot on location when Benny decided to help us out in selecting our little Xmas tree. They are just awesome.

Do you want a signed, limited edition, Me2 awesome Xmas card in your mailbox with a special greeting or sent to one of your loved ones with a special word from you ?

Easy, just register and comment below.

The innocent hand will select the lucky ones on Sunday eve (the 48 hours have just started now).

Me2

Collaborations

Yesterday Me2 dedicated a post to one of our dearest community members Lyn Miller Lachman. Lyn has been one of the first and most supportive members our our community. Since Me2 and I are blogging newbies her advice has been appreciated. She is just one of the many unique people who we are happy to be #stuckinplastic with.

Today I want to talk about another interesting member of our community: Gordon Webb.

I first met Gordon in the G+ version of our Dark Room Forum where he posted images of his MOC’s (My Own Creations) and asked for feedback. He wanted to improve his photography so he could show off his creations in the best possible light. Gordon and I bonded over our mutual love of the Lego Galaxy Squad line and our mutual respect for each others work. (Gordon has the best Instagram tag for a builder: #instructionsareforwussies!)

After receiving such a great response when I posted a picture of one of Peter Reid’s Lego robot creations on Instagram, I have wanted to do a photo series of small robots exploring the world. This would be a chance to break away from traditional mini figure photography and bridge the gap between photographers and builders. Unfortunately I am not a builder, at least not yet. When Gordon posted a photo of Dutch on IG I fell in love with him and reached out to see if he would be open to a collaboration. Lucky for me he was!

I am excited about this project and I wanted to share it with you. StuckinPlastic is a unique community with lots of opportunity to work together and support, nurture and feed off each others ideas and energy. As you become familiar with our new home I hope you will take the time to post a few photos in the forums and lets see what else we can develop together.

I am happy to be StuckinPlastic with you!

~ xxsjc

Dutch

Thank you Me2

I want to take a moment to thank Me2 for all his (on going) hard work behind the scenes for StuckinPlastic.com. He was instrumental in setting up our original blog on Blogger and making it look pretty. Now he has moved us lock, stock and barrel  to Word Press with minimal problems. Way to go!

Yes, their has been a few kinks, but with your help and feedback we are working them out. This community is not only a platform for conversation, growth and support, it’s a group effort. We are all StuckinPlastic together.

I am most excited that this new site will allow us to interact more effectively as a group! We have incorporated the various rooms created on G+ here at our new home so we have one place to post, interact and help each other on our individual journeys.

Here is a brief explanation of the different forums:

  • The Foyer: This is a place to post topics of general interest that you find interesting or important. This can run the gamut of “simple chit chat and bubble talk” to heavy hitting issues like copyright and trademark issues. You decide the topics.
  • The White Room: This is where we encourage you to post your photos. Whether you are looking for a friendly critique or a round of applause, this is the place. In time you will be sharing with both collectors and artists alike.
  • The Green Room: This is where we would like you to introduce yourself. Please post a representative image of your work or your signature figure and tell us a little about yourself. As Me2 says: “anything goes as an icebreaker”.
  • The Dark Room: This is where we can talk shop: camera gear, lighting techniques, editing software, organization techniques are just a few ideas. Let’s geek out together!

When Me2 asked me to join him on this adventure at the end of 2013, I had no idea where it would lead but I was more than open to the possibilities. I feel this past year we have made good progress, we added our friend Avanaut and built the foundations of a wonderful community. But I want to do more! I want to take us all to the next level and I feel Me2 has given us the tools to do that.

Thank you my friend!

~ xxsjc

IMG_1336

Under Construction

Under Construction

We are moving our fantastic little spot here on the web to our new home this weekend and that will include some high tech geeky wizardry with changing name servers and other web related stuff.

It may be a little bit bumpy and some elements may cause some disruption in our quality of service but I am sure you will support us in these times of change.

Off course we will keep you posted and up to speed, both here and on all our social platforms we tend to hang out.

Me2

Achtung Baby


PS. Maybe good to bookmark all of them, just in case :)

The one and only www.stuckinplastic.com

Our new home.
Our old home (thank you blogger for the good times)
Our Facebook Page
Our G+ spot on the Web
Our official Twitter account

And last but not least, our IG feeds: Me2 xxSJC Avanaut

Change is Constant

It was a good week for photo books, +Me2 was not the only one getting his book ready. I sent all three of the books I am working on out for their first pressings. In addition the Lego book has been through its final edits and the final copies have been ordered. It looks like I will meet my self imposed deadline.

Putting this Lego book together was so much fun. It really helped me look at my work critically, evaluate what worked and what didn’t. I have already begun to make plans for the new year and I realize I need to clear my plate to make room for bigger projects.

The biggest change to come is that the current mods of Brickcentral (including myself) are stepping down as of January 1st. It’s been a great ride moderating Brickcentral for much of the past two years, but one I feel is coming to its natural end. The landscape of Instagram has changed dramatically since I began posting nearly three years ago. Many of the people who where active Lego photographers have moved on. There are lots of new people to fill those shoes, but their needs are different.

The concept of a photo group to celebrate and support Lego photography appears to have lost it’s meaning as our group has grown. Many other Lego groups have grown up to fill those needs; some offering weekly challenges, some offering set reviews and others offering thematic gatherings. When we first started Lego photography was getting very little respect from the larger toy photography groups, that has changed dramatically over the years and I often see Lego photos featured.

I have been running Brickcentral on auto-pilot for the last few months and I am grateful to the other moderators who have helped to keep it going: especially dear Brickandmordor who makes everything better. I also know that to truly serve this Lego toy photography community I would need to step up my game and I don’t have the time or energy to do that right now.

One of the original founders of Brickcentral will take the site over. I am not privy to his plans but I will be on the sidelines cheering him on and supporting him as I can.

In the mean time I am making plans for an awesome 2015 that includes meeting up with friends in Las Vegas in January and welcoming Avanaut and +Me2 to my city in March for our first exhibition.
Trust me it is bitter sweet to say good by to an organization that has shaped my photography in so many ways. But as we all know…

Change is inevitable. Change is constant. ~ Benjamin Disraeli

~ xxsjc

If you are a fan of Brickcentral, what is your favorite memory?
In the last few weeks of operation, is there anything you would like to see us do?
Will you participate in our final contest, Ninja Christmas?

“If you love something, set it free.”

Getting Ready

Uploading my significant twelve …
This weekend I spent most of the time in my digital light room doing some fun post processing, taking a trip down to memory lane and not being behind the viewfinder shooting new existing stuff. 
I was working on my significant twelve for our Stuck In Plastic book exchange and getting my booklet out to Blurb (yes, I managed).
While I was planning to write a longer post on using Lightroom to create booklets (pretty impressed), and adding some of my findings and musings on creating my significant twelve (yes, I managed to upload and order last night my booklet), Big Inc. has been calling in some favors today and my deep dive into Lightroom books will have to wait a little.
One thing I did want to share with all of you now, is that you still have time to make your own photo book as a perfect Xmas gift for your friends and family (you don’t have to share it with us).
In the below calendar (special kudos to Blurb for the screenshot) you can see your average photo book provider will need your book by mid next week in order to get it delivered under your Xmas tree.

Blurb delivery dates, check your local provider for details …
So, you still have time to create that very personal gift for your loved ones, collect some of your twelve significant moments from your iPhone or DSLR collection, and get them printed in a little (or larger) booklet and surprise the ones you care about with a look back at last years memories.
Use the power of now, and get that booklet created.
Me2
This post is not sponsored by Blurb, nor are we affiliated with them. I just like them and had a very good experience with them. Shelly highligted some other alternatives in this post here.
Did you know that I revealed my camera of choice in the above image ? I didn’t, but dornyika pointed it out on my last post on IG.  

Did you know that you can have a sneak in the dungeons of Stuck In Plastic and have a peak at the new look and feel ?

Parental Advice: LEGO inside.

Photo Credit: Fryd_Lego

The last few days my social network was buzzing with this great Parental Advice picture, popping up from all sides with a little thumbs up, big smile or just a simple so true … focusing on the true positive message of creativity and imagination (at least that is how I read it) when we talk about doll houses and space ships alike.

When Fryd posted the image on red.it I am not sure he wanted to start the whole controversy about gender, just launched a hoax or genuinely wanted to share a picture from the 70’s.

The buzz got quickly picked up in some other articles like this one here on IFL where the focus shifted really to the gender focus of the latest LEGO Friends series and includes a full featured video of Anita Sarkeesian giving a pink colored overview of the LEGO history since the early 70’s including some great sets like Paradisa, Scala and Belleville.

If you have a few minutes to spare, the two video feeds are really worth while watching and reveals a world conspiracy of male domination in the sequel of the series (or just great selective editing skills of Anita ?) and turns LEGO into a dominating evil Big Inc. responsible for male domination.

I am not going to argue with Anita that LEGO has a male, testosterone filled side in some areas and there is a good amount of macho in some of the material shown (now who is the true heroine in The LEGO Movie ?) yet I never felt like LEGO was giving me an unbalanced world view dominated by male supremacy, merely giving me the opportunity to build spaceships and doll house alike.

Now, I may be biased, given that my gender is off the wrong side, but there are so many fantastic great female “legographers” out there that I am curious in your view points ?

Is it worth the discussion ?

Is LEGO crippling our future generation of scientists, astronauts and pirates alike ?

Have you ever considered not to purchase a LEGO set because the amount of male and female characters were not equal ?

Is LEGO stereotyping a whole generation, and we all should stop shooting with the bricks and move on to others like Hello Kitty to safeguard the next generations ?

Your Thoughts ?  

Best of 2014 Photo Challenge

It is that time of year when I turn my thoughts to assembling a photo album of pictures I have taken of my children during the past 12 months. This is a tradition I started nine years ago with the birth of my second child. Each book is an epic adventure in its own right, but all the books together is mind blowing. For my 17 year old daughter, it is her most cherished Christmas gift.

After a Twitter conversation with Arby of @Worldofminifigs regarding her annual calendar, I was wondering if this might not be a good exercise for my Lego photography as well. Why not start with 2014 and create a small book of my favorite 12 images that I can then share with my family and friends? You know, the special ones that have been supportive throughout the year.

But I want to add a twist to this project; I want you to do it too.

…and then I want us to swap them.

I want to share my photos with you and I want you to share yours with me. Why?

  • We can feed the Marketing Beast together.
  • It is good practice to edit your images.
  • These images could be the seeds of a future photography show.
  • It is a great way to look back and appreciate your year in photography.
  • We can move one step closer to making our internet friends into real life friends.
  • Create an inexpensive holiday gift for friends and family alike.
  • A tangible way to show people what your passion is.

Not to mention that if we keep doing this every year, making a book of our12 favorite / best images, we will have a great archive and a tangible view of our progress. There is no substitute to seeing your images printed in a book or framed on a wall to give a real sense of accomplishment.

If you accept my challenge, please leave your intentions in the comments below. I will keep you up to date on my progress. Ideally, I will have all books printed and mailed before December 15th.

I hope you will accept my challenge and share your photography with me because I want to share my photography with you.

~ xxsjc

I wonder if I can persuade +Me2 and Avanaut to join in?
This challenge is open to anyone who has been a friend of this blog, not just toy photographers. 

Will this image make the cut?

Putting Social Back Into Social Media

#wwim10stockholm is the hashtag of choice amongst these fine folks behind me2
Today was the 10th World Wide InstaMeet (try #wwim10 out on Instagram)  with folks around the globe taking their cameras and phones alike out for a group walk and meeting other IG people in real live.  
I have always thought about joining a photowalk like these, but never took the deep dive into the unknown (I am most probably not the most social brick around).
Meeting strangers in real live. 
Shaking hands and exchanging lenses. 
A very nice experience I will for sure explore again.
 
After all, we are a social species. 
A species designed to connect and exchange creativity …

Why are these photographers walking in our picture – 50mm lens from another IG’r
People ?!?
Special thanks to:
@iggersstockholm for inviting us to the party, we for sure want to join again … 
@dasha for being such a great host and patiently herd the troops along …
@xxsjc for pointing out the obvious

Aqua

An Homage – Michael Phelps – Gold Medal Summer Olympics 2004

The last few weeks we have had our fair share of posts here on Stuck In Plastic looking for the why.

A most interesting question and I really enjoyed reading back from Balakov over Avanaut to East Mountain and beyond, including the fantastic positioning of Padawans and Jedi alike by Shelly.

One thing all posts have in common is a love for the métier. 

A passion for telling stories, painting with light and taking it beyond the instant snapshot of images that are flooding our retina devices continuously.

When I returned from a full week in the catacombs of Big Inc, another picture was crossing my retina on the flight back in. A picture I saw a few weeks ago when I was enjoying a video interview on one of those intergalactic flights back and forth. 

A picture of Michael Phelps, US gold medal winner in the Summer Olympics 2004.
A picture by Dave Black.

A picture that forced me to take a deep dive into the pool this weekend and get beyond my comfort zone and get wet.

A refreshing experience, and for sure I felt it was worth doing

Now, would I stick these Speedo’s to the wall ?

Not sure, but we did have great fun …

The Speedo Look

And here is an extra Speedo shot of Julien for the other half of Stuck In Plastic as it is Shelly Birthday week and Shelly has a special relation with water …

Happy Birthday, Shelly !