What do I bring for SiPgoesDenmark safari?

OK everyone! I’m giggling with excitement this week because on Thursday I will fly to Billund in Denmark to meet some crazy toy photographers for the SiPgoesDenmark toy photography safari!

As I didn’t take a lot of pictures this year, I’m looking forward to spending a long weekend shooting my little skeletons and talk about toys and photography with friendly people.

Unexpectedly, I managed to make my bag and my selection of toys this weekend. That’s quite a big achievement for me. I’m always doing stuff at the last moment. Hope I will not forget my bag on Thursday morning!

First, the toys

Of course, it’s easy for me, I’m taking all my skeleton family. But as my dog chewed one of them a few months ago and as they wear out quickly, I’ve placed an order to refill my stock. So I’m bringing a “fresh” family with me (as fresh as a skeleton can be!).

Continue reading “What do I bring for SiPgoesDenmark safari?”

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.

Continue reading “Photographing large toys – part 2”

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).

Continue reading “Week 25 – Eric Clapton”

Rawr Rawr Rawr I’m a dinosaur!

Earlier this week, we shared the announcement of the new Jurassic Park: T-Rex Rampage set featuring a brick-built dinosaur. At the same time, our friends in Billund were sending us two copies as part of a toy photography collaboration. I received one on Friday. I binge-built it in order to enjoy the sunny weekend with Rex.

In this blog post, I want to share my first impressions about this set from the point of view of a Jurassic Park fan, LEGO enthusiast and, of course, toy photographer.

Continue reading “Rawr Rawr Rawr I’m a dinosaur!”

Buggy Review

Stuck In Plastic’s #sip_apocalypse challenge was great fun. I really enjoyed creating characters, stories, and pictures to illustrate the survivors of the doom. My work was appreciated by SiP’s crew and I ended as runner up of the challenge. One of the prizes I won was 70829 Emmet and Lucy’s Escape Buggy which I review below.

The Buggy

Although there is plenty of sand and dust here, Apocalypseburg is not a sandbox, definitely not a place to play. It’s the landscape after the battle. These special time and place require special vehicles, and under the inconspicuous name of “escape buggy” hides a monster, ready to run through the wilderness of the ravaged world of bricks.

Just look at its silhouette.

Continue reading “Buggy Review”

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…)

Continue reading “Photographing large toys – part 1”

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!

Continue reading “Better Run… Or Get Your Camera Out”

The May Recap

May is over and it’s time for our monthly #SiPgoes53 review. Last month we explored Carrie Fisher, Haruki Murakami, Florence Nightingale, Anton Corbijn, and Leonardo Da Vinci. 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 52 humans. One every week.)

Continue reading “The May Recap”

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.