You Are Awesome !

Thank you all for your awesomeness !
This is our 100th post here on the stuckinplastic blog and we thought we share some stats of awesomeness with you all !
Our very first post was posted only 4 months ago and attracted a good 17 page views and no G+ recommendation.
In average individual posts today get an average of 54 page views and our most viewed individual posting got a good 136 individual page views and 19 G+ recommendations.
We accumulated a great grand total of  11K page views.
The top countries visiting us are US, Sweden, Israel, UK, Australia, Russia, Finland, Singapore and Belgium. 
33% of you awesome people are using windows and another 33% use a Mac and 21% actually likes to visit us from the comfort of their iPhone.
We accumulated a good 115 comments here, but get much more traction on G+ (do visit our G+ community if you have not yet done)
And last but not least (and I know some of you will not believe this, including myself), Shelly and Me2 posted each approximate 50 posts each.
Thank you all for awesome support the last 4 months.
Looking forward to another quarter of awesomeness together with you !
Shelly & Me2
 

Crash Test Dummies …

While Crash™is telling great stories and enjoying ice creams in Oslo on the Awesome After Party and really likes you to vote for us on facebook we experienced another not so nice crash this week.

We were having a great time in The Studio™planning and prepping for our next big adventure (more on that later next week – but rest assured the plans do not include dinosaur train stations) when the whole studio turned dark. 

Or at least the viewfinder turned dark.

It did not matter what lens we put on, the viewfinder became more and more dark, and we could not even focus correctly anymore.

Something was seriously wrong and even the display threw an odd error message.

We felt like a painter who’s brushes just turned into stone or a writer without a pen.

What did just happen ?

We only had a full clean and check up a little while ago and so with shivering legs we went to the mothership to get the verdict on the damage and the ETA of the repair.

Especially this last one was a big concern as we were planning a first set of shoots next week, before the start of the next big adventure in three weeks time.

The young trooper behind the desk took our body into the dungeons for a thorough check, and after a while a more senior trooper returned with the verdict.

A tiny little screw got lost on my lens and this ultimately damaged the aperture mechanism, turning the viewfinder dark as the aperture ring was bent.

My favorite 105 got a replacement screw, but the body needed to stay for repair.

The senior trooper advised to check occasionally for this little stop screw and even take a little screw driver along (yes sir, rest assured I will check this bugger once in a while).

So, if you are shooting DSLR and change your glass on a regular basis do check for the little stop screw on your lenses as it is a critical component and you don’t want to be caught out like us.

I had no clue about that little screw and the damage it could do.
I am sure most of you are not checking for it either.
Here is a quick post on flickr showing the missing screw on a lens (not my lens, I just googled for missing stop screw) 

At the same time the young trooper returned with a replacement body so we could continue our planned shoot while awaiting the final repair.

Awesome service.  

Thank you, Nikon !

Me2

PS. If you are planning to go on a longer trip (photo safari, holiday, art project…) it is always good to take a second body along (your iPhone is the backup of the backup) and check your gear a week ahead of the departure date so you can work out any last minute hiccups you may encounter …

Remember, the gear of a photographer is an essential piece of kit to produce awesome art or cool pictures and you dont want to be caught out when you traveled far and beyond.  

Here is my small pre-flight checklist for photo shoots abroad.

Check your gear at least a week ahead.
This really means taking some pictures with all your lenses and look for dust spots.
If dust spots, go get a cleaning of your sensor at a certified photo shop.
Make sure you have a second body with you (which you also tested).
Make sure your batteries are fully loaded, and you have a travel adapter along.
Make sure you have the possibility to backup your memory cards on a hard-disk and online.
Make sure you have sufficient memory cards along so you can at least survive two days.

Sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something.

While we await news of +me2’s grand adventure, I’ve been having a small adventure of my own.

When I left town a few days ago, I packed a wonderful collection of Lego and all my camera gear with grand intentions. My family and I would be driving nearly 1800 miles (2824 km) across the US and we would be passing by some of my favorite places in the country like Yellowstone National Park and Moab, Utah. I was going to be ready!

Five days later, not a single Lego picture was taken, not even a quick iPhone photo. What happened? In our spare time we decided to do stuff a 9 year old boy wanted to do: a train museum and a dinosaur museum were the highlights. Besides having fun I realized I was actually taking a much needed mental break. I have enough photos on my iPad to feed the Instagram beast for a couple of weeks and it was more important for me to take a breather.  
When you embark on your creative path, it’s important to realize that when you’re not working on your work…you probabaly still are. Even when taking a break, your mind will continue to be working out those artistic road blocks. And this is what happened to me this week. At some point while driving I realized where I wanted to go next with my Lego photos and what my project would look like. Now I can’t wait to get home and get started. 
If you’re feeling stuck or unmotivated, simply kicking back and relaxing is the best course of action. Let your subconscious work it out, more than likely it’s already got the answer. Sometimes you have to do nothing to move forward. 
I have had a request to do more photography tips on the blog. If this is something you would like to see, please leave a comment below.


The Awesome After Party Continues …

Thank You !

After an awesome day in Stockholm Central Station it was great to see all the support on IG from the far away friends around the globe trying to get a vote in on Facebook and the  innocent by-passers who clearly were attracted by the The Awesome After Party build which took us into the 10 finalists.

At the end of the first day we are proud to say we are running strong in the top three and with all the engagement and emotion we saw in the central hall today with innocent by-passers young and old we do hope (fingers crossed) we can continue this position during the rest of the week when we travel to Copenhagen and Oslo.

Indeed, the exposition and supporting challenge for master builder of Scandinavia continues and we do need your continues awesome support to take us to the next stage.

Tomorrow is a travel day where all builds are transported to Copenhagen, Denmark and will be shown on Thursday, 26 June in Fisketorvet.

We will not be able to travel along and it would be great if some of you could sent us some pictures of the exposition (and post on Instagram with the hashtag #TLMscandinavia5 as every picture of our build in Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo counts as a vote).

After the Copenhagen visit, the journey continues to Oslo where all the finalists will be shown in the central station of Oslo on Saterday 28th June and the voting endsend of June.

The challenge has only started and continues to need your support !

So, here is how you can help.

Vote on Facebook:

A lot of you has told us that voting is not always working, and we believe this is a build in challenge to test our perseverance. Just try again and here is a quick run down how :-)

Voting is a simple five step process:

1. Open the app in FB by clicking on the link here or here

2. Depending on the randomness of the app, you may be asked to first like Warner Bros Scandinavia Page. This is OK, just like the page (they sponsored The Movie after all) and then continue to like our submission on position 5.

3. Like #TLMscandinavia5 so it looks like the below and the little Like link is checked.


 4. Click on “Dela” which let you post a personalized link on your FB page where your friends and family can do the same. Everyone spreading the word enters automatically in a draw for a special signed version (thanks to everyone who already did it).

5. Make sure your kids, other halves, mothers, fathers and grandparents do the same so you effectively double your chances of winning an exclusive signed Me2 print of the Awesome After Party.

Vote on Instagram:

Here the rules are simple, just head over to Copenhagen and Oslo, enjoy the builds and post a picture of your favorite build and hashtag it with #TLMscandinavia5 and since you did not travel alone, make sure friends, family and pets do the same on their respective IG accounts as every vote counts.

If you havent posted your pictures of Stockholm Central Station, please make sure you do it before the end of this month and give them the right #tag.

Thanks again and we keep you posted on the great adventures ahead of us !

Me2 and Crew.

Who you gonna call ?

Tomorrow the Me2 Crew will be crashing the awesome after party in the Central Station of Stockholm (and guess who we called to drive us to the the party ?)

If you want to meet Me2, the Me2 Crew and some other infamous celebrities you are more than welcome to join us in Stockholm Central Station where LEGO and Warner Bros are celebrating the release of the best movie ever on Bluebeard and other related devices as of 10 AM CET.

We have some secret gifts for those of you who make it to Central Station and get a picture posted on Instagram tagged with the awesome #TLMscandininavia5 tag and Me2 included.

But no despair for those of you who cannot make it to Stockholm, Oslo or Copenhagen in the coming days as the folks at LEGO and WB have created an awesome Facebook App for all of you to let you vote remote (and even make you win a personalized print).

Here are the 5 easy steps (and you even get a fantastic sneak preview of the build):

1. Hit the link here: Facebook App
2. When asked to first like the WB homepage, just hit like.
3. Then vote for the awesome after party by selecting #TLMscandininavia5 and giving it your Facebook vote. So the fifth picture it is :-)
4. Tell your friends, kids and grandparents alike to do the same.
5. Say done here in the comments (or on IG) and you enter into the draw.
 
You see how easy that was ?

See you soon !
Me2 & Crew

Work in progress

I have been very silent the last few weeks both here and on Instagram.

The reason for this was not that I preferred cooking or laundry above my duties as a Sunday photographer (guess what day it is today), nor was I caught up completely in long night meetings with Darth Inc (there were a few of those as well) hoping I could trade the corporate world for a more bohemian lifestyle .

No, the reason was from a very different and much more artistic nature.

We got an invitation to participate in an artistic challenge here in Scandinavia and the last few weeks have been full of designing, building, rebuilding, shooting and reshooting an epic adventure which took all our creative energy and focus.

And yes, the hard work and focus did pay off and we made it to the ten finalists (more on this tomorrow). 

If you are in Stockholm on Tuesday (24/06), do pass by the Central Station and say Hiya !

And now back to putting the last bricks in the shipping container and making sure we are all set for the exposition coming your way.

Stay tuned !
Me2 

So You Want to Be an Artist

Congratulations! Like many people you might have the fantasy of quitting your mind numbing job and joining those carefree bohemien artists creating and selling their art. This is an admirable goal and I salute you.

Before you embark on your dream I ask you this one question: do you support the arts yourself? Do you buy from artists directly? Do you attend arts & crafts shows? Do you purchase the music you listen to?

If you want people to support you as an artist you need to support other artists. It’s as simple as that.

If you were to come to my house for dinner I will prepare the meal using a hand made knife and cooked in a hand made skillet. I will serve your meal on hand made dishes and glasses upon my hand made table. (If I really like you I will pull out the fancy hand made silverware!). As I am preparing your meal you can look at my walls covered with original paintings and sculptures that have been collected over the years. I might be wearing one of my many hand made sweaters and most certainly some hand made jewelry. Of course since my house is always filled with music, we will be listing to my latest music purchase. While you are waiting you might even browse my extensive collection of band posters, records or books…  all of which I have purchased to support the various artists that I love.

To me this is what supporting the arts looks like and I have a very good reason for living this way. If I buy from artists, they will often buy from me. Artists will often be your first paying customers. If they have money in their pockets they support the arts, because like me they know how important it is to purchase from artists directly.

I’m not saying you have to buy all your gifts and household items from artists, but next time you are out looking for a creative gift, look beyond the mall and you might be surprised at what you will find. Supporting the arts doesn’t have to mean writing out a donation check to some semi-anonymous arts institution, it can encompass an entire life filled with hand made goodness.

Simply put, what goes around comes around.

~ xxsjc

Do you support the arts?
If so, how? 
If not, why not?

I do get bored of posting my own pics on this blog. I would be happy to post other members images here as well. If we are not connected through Flickr, lets make that happen. 

The Burden of Dreams

I confess I’ve been watching documentaries again. This one was about Werner Herzog and his epic struggle to complete his movie Fitzcarraldo. The documentary, Burden of Dreams, concerns a movie maker on a seemingly Sisyphean task who’s main character is on a similar, nearly impossible task. 

As Werner Herzog is talking about his project, after hitting the umpteenth major snag, he said the following:

 “If I abandon this project, I would be a man without dreams and I don’t want to live like that.”

The above quote really struck home. 

It is good to remember that dreams are a burden. They ask much of us; sometimes too much. But like Mr. Herzog you have to keep going, no matter how tough it gets. You have to  nurture your projects and the dreams they come from. It doesn’t matter if success or failure await you; living without dreams would be a very bleak existence. 

~ xxsjc 


Have you ever though about quitting?
If so, what kept you going?



Summer is upon us …


While some of our plastic photographer friends down under are preparing for winter, the northern hemisphere is getting ready for summer.

Here in Sweden another solstice  is upon us, and you will for sure see some more party pictures in the coming days coming your way while we are exploring the deeper meaning of midsummer, dancing around a pole and singing strange songs about small frogs (which is considered an art on itself).

In preparation for midsummer next Friday here in Sweden I have been travelling the world and beyond to get the best ice cream for this summer parties and as you can see in the picture above we went all in.

So, we have one question for you:

Which ice cream you like best ?

Me2