Week 28 – Isabella Andreini

Isabella Andreini is one of the most famous actresses from the Italian Renaissance. She entered the troupe “I Gelosi”, performed in front of the nobility of Italy and France, and eventually led the company. The stock character “Isabella” of the commedia dell’arte was named in her honor after her death.

Why Isabella?

When we came up with the list of human beings for #SiPgoes53, Isabella was one of the last to make the list. As the list was almost complete, we were still missing a few names. We wanted, in particular, to add diversity to the list. One art form that was missing in our list was the more traditional acting. We had plenty of cinema actors, but no actor from before the age of the cinema.

The first two obvious choices would have been Shakespeare and Molière. Having always preferred comedy over tragedy, my personal preference leaned towards Molière. But then, I thought about the commedia dell’arte which was a major source of influence of Molière. Moreover, Isabella was among the first female comedians, something rare at that time as it was considered disgraceful for a woman to act and female roles were usually portrayed by men.

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The June Recap

June is over and it’s time for our monthly #SiPgoes53 review. Last month we explored Christopher Lee, Jodie Foster, Eric Clapton, and J.K. Rowling. It’s time to look at your entries that caught our eyes on Instagram.

(If you want to join in the SiPgoes53 series, you can still join at your own pace and leisure. Just tag along and creatively explore our handpicked humans. One every week.)

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Photographing large toys – part 2

Last week I talked about how I forced and trained myself photographing larger LEGO sets. Eventually, this led me to the Ultimate challenge of photographing the second tallest LEGO set: the Disney Castle.

This blog post is the continuation of last week, focusing on my two photo sessions with the Castle. The difficulties encountered and the lessons learned along the way.

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Week 25 – Eric Clapton

Our Guest This Week

The person in focus of this week´s edition of SiPgoes53 is British musician Eric Clapton. Rumour has it that there are people who haven´t heard of him before (as for myself: my first tattoo showed a cover of my favourite Clapton albums, but that’s a completely different story). Still most everyone will recognize some of his famous tunes like “Layla” or “Tears In Heaven”, as well as his versions of other artists’ songs like “Knocking On Heaven´s Door”(by Bob Dylan), “I Shot The Sheriff”(by Bob Marley) or “Cocaine”(by J.J.Cale).

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Photographing large toys – part 1

I’ve always felt quite uncomfortable when I have to photograph relatively large toys. I’m used to photographing minifig-size toys and when I need to move to a larger scale, I usually struggle. It’s completely out of my comfort zone. Bokeh is an important element of my photography and with a larger scale, it gets more difficult to rely on it. As an outdoor toy photographer, another challenge with large LEGO sets is transport.

For over a year now, I’ve been forcing myself to photograph larger toys, mostly complete LEGO sets and builds. My main goal has been to have photos of the entire build, not some close-up shot of details. (I consider close-ups as cheating as it would amount to going back inside the comfort zone.)

In this two-part blog post series, I want to look back at how I practiced photographing larger toys, in particular, large LEGO builds. Today, I will talk about how I rehearsed and trained myself. This will lead to talking next week about the story of how I ended up photographing the Disney Castle as the Ultimate Challenge. and what I learned along the way.

(And maybe there will be a third part later after receiving the new LEGO Dino…)

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Week 23 – Christopher Lee

For this week of #SiPgoes53, we’re starting the month of June with another movie celebrity, Christopher Lee.

The actor

Christopher Lee has a cinematic career spanning almost 7 decades. He is best known for his iconic roles as a villain. Most notably, Dracula for the oldest ones, Count Dooku and Saruman for the youngest ones. In addition, he’s also known for playing other villains such as the Creature of Frankenstein, Lord Summerisle, Sir Henry Baskerville or Francisco Scaramanga.

One key feature of Christopher Lee such was his iconic strong deep voice which led him to also to voice acting. I can only recommend listening to the beautiful original poem of the Nightmare Before Christmas he narrated.

Although limited by his age, Christopher Lee continued acting until passing away 4 years ago (on Friday) at the age of 93.

I always ask myself ‘well, what else could I do?’. Making films has never just been a job to me, it is my life. I have some interests outside of acting – I sing and I’ve written books, for instance – but acting is what keeps me going, it’s what I do, it gives life purpose.

Christopher Lee

The singer

To me, Christopher Lee is also of importance for his work as a music singer and narrator, and in particular as the oldest Heavy Metal singer. Having grown up with French dubs of Star Wars and the Lord of the Rings, I actually heard Christopher Lee’s true voice for the first time as a teenager while listening to Rhapsody’s Magic of the Wizard’s Dream.

Following this first collaboration with a Heavy Metal band, he continued to do narration work for Rhapsody. (I can only warmly recommend the wonderful 16-minute long “Mystic Prophecy of the Demon Knight” which ends with Lee’s beautiful narration.) Later he also replaced Orson Welles as the narrator of Manowar’s re-recording of their first album. His last musical appearance was as the narrator on the opening track of Hollywood Vampires, a rock band formed of Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, and Joe Perry.

But next to these collaborations with existing bands, Christopher Lee also ended up with his own personal project and released two concept albums about Charlemagne. He even became the oldest person to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his heavy metal version of Jingle Bell.

My Elven Charlemagne, inspired by the cheesy but never tiresome video clip of the Bloody Verdict of Verden.

Your image

What will you create for this week? Which aspect, or role, of Christopher’s Lee life will you reuse? Let us know and don’t forget to tag your photos on social media with #SiPgoes53 and #SiP_Christopher_Lee.

Week 22 – Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci, another brilliant mind that is so famous it seems pointless to present him. Yet while his “Mona Lisa” could be the most famous painting in the world, Da Vinci was a lot more than a brilliant painter. Inventor, drawer, writer, sculptor, engineer, mathematician, and so much more. Da Vinci is the ultimate example of someone who was truly interested in anything with a neverending curiosity and imagination.

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Week 21 – Anton Corbijn

A Photographer From The Netherlands

It is my very pleasure to introduce you to this week’s person in focus of our #SiPgoes53 series. Let’s have a closer look at the works of Dutch photographer, music video- and film director Anton Corbijn. Should you not instantly recognise his name but have a love for music, you will most probably have seen one or more of his 80+ music videos. Included are clips from bands like Metallica, Bryan Adams, Front242, Johnny Cash and Coldplay, to name a few.

Born in 1955, for more than thirty years now he has been the creative director of visual album design and stage designer for the tours of both U2 and Depeche Mode. He also made the last music video for Nirvana in 1994.

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Week 20 – Florence Nightingale

This week it’s me, @bevvypix, who is helping us out with a little write up for this week’s #SiPgoes53 Human being. This amazing lady is the iconic Florence Nightingale, OM, RRC, DStJ. She was an English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing.

Florence Nightingale was a revolutionary figure in nursing. Her dedication during the Crimean War earned her a worldwide reputation. As more soldiers were dying from infections than from battle injuries. Nightingale and a team of nurses greatly improved the unsanitary conditions at a British hospital, working night and day to reduce the death count by two thirds.

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