Fun

Awesome !

Every Sunday the Crew gathers together on the roof of The Studio™ and we discuss the week ahead, the one that has gone by, take a dip in the pool, grill some burgers and enjoy each other company.

Today we had a feature guest passing by for some fun and awesome pizza, beer and burgers.

Benny™  wanted to get all the gear out and extend the fun into the bubble pool, which we did.

We took some great snapshots, played with the strobes and had fun.

Among all the questions we ask ourselves here on SiP, we should not forget it is about having fun.

Exploring the awesome unknown.

Having fun.

Todays shoot is not gallery material and will not make it to the wall of an exclusive Stuck In Plastic collector, yet it was great fun with Benny™.

We enjoyed the moment and had some fun when shooting bubbles, regardless if they are considered art or just a snapshot of the moment (and the above pictures goes into my snapshot book).

This is what Stuck In Plastic all about.

From having Fun™ to Art™ collector material sticking high resolution full sized pictures to the wall of corporate board rooms and private bed rooms alike.

In the coming weeks we will take a deeper dive on why we are Stuck In Plastic and what we want to achieve together with you, but whatever road we take it is all about having fun, one way or the other while we take a deep dive into our artistic self.

Me2.

 

Shot at location in a Nordic Bubble Pool at an undisclosed location midst alien unidentified underwater objects.  

My original royal post has been delayed since Benny crashed the party.

The secret doorway

As most of you know I tend to explore the realms of TED and sometimes I feel very much connected with the people on stage and have the urge to share it with you here.

When I heard Mac explain his professional job is to lie to children and instantly continued with a quote of Pablo Picasso, my interest was spiked.

“We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.” 

Pablo Picasso
.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

I went into the cupboard and looked for the secret door.
I found a long lost brick.

So, go and check under the bed for the green monsters and dinosaurs and check that cupboard for the secret doorway to your fantasy world.

Let us know what you found !

New Metrics Needed

“Do what you love and the money will follow.” ~ Marsha Sinetar

I dislike this quote. It simplifies a very complex equation into a convenient sound bite. 
The first problem is the assumption that a creative individual wants money and their passion to be intertwined. It’s a nice thought, but money changes everything. Just ask Michelangelo. Do you think the Sistine Chapel would have been painted if Pope Julius II hadn’t commissioned it? He was a sculptor, not a painter. But that is what happens when money changes hands. 
Second it presumes that success and money are synonymous. In an age when the arts and crafts are barely supported by the establishment we need to find a measure of success other than money. In the world of Instagram and Flickr where success is seen in terms of likes, followers and comments is this really enough of a metric? I don’t know, but I doubt it
I was showing my photography to a new contact the other day and their immediate response was “I hope you’re making money off of those!” I know he meant this as a compliment, but I couldn’t help being annoyed with a world that equates success with money.
So in the absence of a large benefactor like The Church, Big Inc or a wealthy patron we need to look for another way to measure an artists success (or failure). In a world that does not value photography or photographers with money, we need to develop new metrics; whether they be rooted in social media or preferably the real world.

~ xxsjc

How do you measure the success of your passion? 
I never went into the air thinking I would lose. 

Of Mirrors and Images

I’ve never been much of a community guy. In the past, I preferred to work alone, especially when it came to something marginal, which photographing toys was to me. At the beginning of my toy photography career in the summer of 2009, I reluctantly joined a couple of Flickr groups because I was curious. I wanted to see how it all worked. Then I joined several more.

Strangers’ comments to my first few uploaded photographs puzzled me, as I didn’t really know how to respond. It felt weird – and interesting. I did not go away, however, and gradually the toy photography community in Flickr grew on me. It happened quite fast actually, after I realized the community served as mirror with which I could see myself.

As I post a photo, the response it generates helps me to figure out what I did right and what went wrong. I am blind to most of my photographs; I have no idea of how they work, how people perceive them. I work on a whim. Usually, when I upload something I think is absolute dynamite, I get a friendly reaction, but not the enthusiasm I’d expected. It goes the other way too; images I think are meh at best, not necessarily worth uploading at all, get the most likes. The toy photography community mirror is important to me. I learn from it.

When Shelly asked me to join SiP I hesitated at first, but after some consideration I decided to jump in. Why? I wanted another mirror, a mirror I have not yet experienced: a mirror of a text, without the photo as the obvious lead.

We’ll see.

~ Avanaut

This is from my first photosession with Lego. Well, first with uploading in mind.

Misty Mountains

Shelly’s post touched me.
” … One day we will all become dust or random particles. Depending on your beliefs you may return as another life form, you will pass on to another plane of existence or simply stop existing. What ever your beliefs, our time on earth is short and mostly inconsequential … I am also arrogant enough to want to leave my mark on this earth; sort of like my initials carved into a tree or a painting in a cave...”
Leaving a personal legacy behind and trying to create my personal rock painting is for sure one of my personal drivers.
I really hope some of my pictures will once adorn my great grand children walls and they will inspire them to go places, meet bricks, and remember this great grand father who took pictures and inspired them to travel the world and beyond and connect …
 
Taking about places and connecting worlds … 
 
This picture was shot at the Oktoberfest amongst 6.3 million bricks who visited the Oktoberfest in 2014. 

6.3 million visitors also brought a lot of hunger and thirst with them which resulted in 112 oxen, 48 calves and 6.4 million liters of beer consumed at the Oktoberfest.

A social gathering of mankind and bricks alike.

Connections

I’ve been watching documentaries again, this time it was Cave of Forgotten Dreams. This interesting documentary by Werner Herzog is about the relatively recently discovered Chauvet Cave in southern France that contains some of the oldest human-painted images ever discovered. These rock paintings were created approximately 32,000 years ago. It was a good documentary and considering the subject matter it was actually riveting; I recommend it.

Why do I bring this up now? How is this relevant to our discussions on “Why”? In all our conversations we have never mentioned legacy or more specifically immortality. One day we will all become dust or random particles. Depending on your beliefs you may return as another life form, you will pass on to another plane of existence or simply stop existing. What ever your beliefs, our time on earth is short and mostly inconsequential.

For me the desire to create has many different facets. I am driven by my inner voice to create much the same way my ancestors were driven to create their rock paintings. I want to use my art to connect with other people. This can be as simple as a brief interaction on IG or an in person meeting that has turned into a friendship. I am also arrogant enough to want to leave my mark on this earth; sort of like my initials carved into a tree or a painting in a cave.

As my husband is fond of pointing out, I have met all my current friends through the internet. (Ok, maybe not quite all, I think there are one or two that I actually met in person through some long lost job or my kids school.) But by and large, the majority are people I have collected in my social media journey. They are a large and diverse group and they are all precious to me. This is what drives me.

So I will keep creating, I will keep reaching out to meet new people and I will keep trying to make my mark on this complicated world we live in.

If you ever want to know my answer to the question “Why?” it is all over this blog, it is in everything I write and in every image I create. I want to connect with as many people as possible before I sink back into the dust.

~ xxsjc

If you are curious about the concept of Immortality I highly recommend a book of the same name by Milan Kundera. An excellent read for the artist and non-artist alike.


If dinosaurs died out 65Million years ago and the oldest human fossil is 4Million years old and those cave paintings mentioned above are from 32,000 years ago, no wonder I feel like a short timer. 


170 degrees

This is post 170 since our very first post in February of this year.

The first post featuring Shelly landing on unexplored shores in Nordic countries.
A post quickly followed by our second post where Shelly explained we are an art collective, continued with a rollercoaster of other posts.
An average of 20 posts a month.

A journey of posts exploring our own artistic selves, looking for influences and the reasons why we shoot what we shoot and are what we are.

Stuckinplastic is more than just a hashtag on Instagram or the random ramblings from Shelly and Me2. Stuckinplastic is looking to define an art collective of like minded photographers, digital illustrators, story tellers and visual artists alike who want to take their work beyond the instant gratification of likes on IG, Flickr, FB or any of the social media we all crave once in a while and share a common goal, passion and understanding.

We want to take our plastic work into the printed walls of galleries, board and bedrooms alike and connect with our audience.

Define our bricked photography as the soup cans of our age.

Stuck In Plastic is not an easy or fast road, it is not an instant movement of the next great picture or awesome effect that blasts us all away like a genie in a bottle of soda.

It is not about the gear, the bricks or the tricks of the trade.
It is about all of that and yet it is soo much more.
It is about finding our artistic selves and meeting new people.
 
Sometimes we ask too much questions or dive too deep.

It is a long and windy road and we are just at the beginning of this great journey.

A journey you are all part of.

From being a distant reader who enjoys our posts, to some of you walking along and helping define the soup cans with us here on IG and G+ or giving us guidance by walking ahead and being an inspiration for all of us as a distant legend.

We are extremely proud to welcome our third member of the inner circle of the order of the soup cans here at Stuck In Plastic.

A member who doesn’t need any long and windy introductions.

Welcome Avanaut.

Behind the Scenes

Challenging yourself is a continuing theme on this blog. Ok, maybe it is just my thing. (Although I do seem to remember +Me2 set himself a challenge earlier this year to post daily to the blog.)

Earlier this summer I challenged myself with a rather large project and set Christmas as the deadline. Time (and good weather) is running out and I need to buckle down and get the rest of my photos shot if I am going to make this lofty goal.

Yesterday was one of those wonderful days where I finally nailed a pivotal photo I have been chasing all summer.  My earlier frustrations have been a combination of poor planning and lousy locations. But yesterday the weather was good, the kids were gone and I had no good excuses left to avoid this shot. 
I have learned that pre planning is everything. I have had enough experience with all that has gone wrong that I felt I was ready for success. By building the set before hand all I had to do was drop it into the location and shoot away. This way, all I had to concentrate on was lighting and camera angles, not the subjects floating away. 
I thought I would give you a behind the scenes glimpse into what that photographic journey has looked like. Now I have to get going on the rest of the photos…
~ xxsjc

Do you ever have an image in your head that you’ve struggled to capture?

Lower Snoqualmie Falls, June 2014

Lake Washington, August 2014

Puget Sound, September 2014

Magnuson Park, October 2014

Dinoczars

 
 
Why do I take photographs of toys?
 
For me, it’s pretty simple. There is a very brief and special moment that sometimes happens in my toy photography. If I’ve done everything correctly, I obtain realism. At least, enough realism to make a viewer pause for a second, look a little closer and ask “how’d he do that?”
 
I am trying to show dinosaurs in a realistic way. That’s pretty much the only thing I am consistently trying to achieve with my artwork. That is my goal and what I view as most important over everything else. That is my own measure of a successful photograph.
 
As I see it, there are 6 key components of toy photography to achieve a strong level of realism. They are; perspective, composition, lighting, depth-of-field, contrast and colors. To strike a strong balance between them is difficult to do and rewarding to achieve. I attempt ‘realism’ quite often and feel successful at it frequently enough to keep enjoying the process.
 
I share my photos on instagram (@dinoczars) and have a number of enthusiastic followers there. I also try to sell prints of my best shots from time to time in art shows and on my easy store (www.etsy.com/shop/Dinoczars). But both the fans on IG and the sales aren’t my biggest motivators, I was shooting dinos before I was on IG and if the app crashed tomorrow, I would still be shooting dinos. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the positive reactions I get from people, and that certainly is a motivator, but ultimately, even if they all stopped paying attention to what I do, I’d still be doing it. Because I love dinosaurs and being able to recreate them in a believable way is a joy for me.
 
Why do I take photographs of toys?
 
I guess it boils down to this: I saw Jurassic Park at a very impressionable age and have been trying to bring dinosaurs back to life, in my own way, ever since.