Looking back at SiPgoesTT

Time flies…

We’re reaching the end of the first quarter of 2021, and my last blog post dates back to early December when I wrote about my Elven Harry Potter project for SiPgoesTT. But even though we’ve already announced our project for 2021, we’ve never concluded SiPgoesTT.

The truth is, since December, writing a recap blog post about SiPgoesTT was on top of my to-do list.

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Back at the Elven School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

In yesterday’s post, I didn’t mention Harry Potter. It’s because my relationship with Harry Potter is complicated. I already talked about it last year. I discovered the book series as a 10-year-old and fell in love with it. But the movies disappointed me. Still, I can’t deny that, alongside the Lord of the Rings, they are the most emblematic fantasy movies of the 21st century.

Originally, we picked Fantasy as the last movie genre of SiPgoesTT as it’s perfect for the holiday season. Last year I had so much fun with the Harry Potter Advent Calendar that I thought it would be ideal to do another project with the Elves as part of SiPgoesTT.

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Collectible Minifigures Series 19 and Minidolls

It’s been already a month that the new CMF series has been officially out (and more unofficially)… Yet it seems like yesterday to me.

Because Boris received the box of minifigs late, we decided to not proceed with our usual crowd review of the series. Still, Boris asked if one of us wanted a full series to review.

My first reaction was “no”. From the images available online, I wasn’t particularly excited about this series. There were a couple of cool minifigs I wanted, but I wasn’t feeling like photographing the 16 minifigures. To me, the series was too focused on new accessories and some of the minifigures were rather “meh” once the accessories removed.

But then I thought… What about focusing on these new accessories and see how many of them I can reuse for my LEGO Elves photography? So I ended up saying yes. But somehow it still took a full month. First the Swedish or Finnish (or both?) has been slow. Then I got on the same day the Gingerbread House which got prioritized. And then it took longer than I expected to gather all the photos I wanted and come up with a (rather lengthy) blog post.

In this (rather late) review of series 19, I will focus on the accessories that inspired me for my LEGO Elves photography, and more generally to use with Minidolls. There are however quite many accessories I didn’t use. These include generic accessories that didn’t spark a flame, new ones I didn’t care about, new ones I like but don’t fit my Elves, and most animals as they actually don’t need to be used alongside another figure.

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The Elves’ Treehouse

Last month, I got the chance to take part in a photo collaboration with LEGO on the new LEGO Ideas Treehouse. Thus, I got the opportunity to build and photograph this beauty before it was publicly unveiled. And it ended up being quite a surprise. (That said, it wasn’t the total surprise I was excepting. Like most people, I saw the leaked images that were circulating online while the set was on its way to Finland.)

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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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The Elves are going 53

At the end of 2018, while I was about to complete #SiPgoes52, I was already looking to what was coming next. As soon as we started to discuss #SiPgoes53, I was excited. But at the same time, after putting so much effort in #SiPgoes52 during 2018, I didn’t know whether I could do it again for a whole year.

Like last year, I wouldn’t be home during the holiday season, and defining a project revolving around a rather specific idea (like Julien did) wasn’t really an option as I wouldn’t have time, energy, motivation and/or inspiration for taking new photos.

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Week 2 – Cleopatra

For this second week of #SiPgoes53, our human being is the oldest woman of our list.

Cleopatra

Descendant of Ptolemy I, a general of Alexander the Great,
Cleopatr
a was the last Greek ruler of Egypt. She is also the first member of the Ptolemy dynasty to have learned the Egyptian language. She is famous for having had an affair first with Julius Caesar, and then Marcus Antonius. In addition, Caesarion, the son she had with Caesar, was the last pharaoh of Egypt. Following her suicide (with a snake), Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire.

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Week 1 – John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

As the first of the 52 human beings we will explore in 2019, we chose J.R.R. Tolkien as a relatively easy one.

Tolkien is most famous for being the father of modern fantasy literature and creating the world of Middle-Earth, filled with Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Dark Lords. The books of the Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion have inspired for the past 70 years, generations of movie makers, modern fantasy writers, illustrators, role players, game makers, musicians and of course… toy makers an photographers.

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LEGO Elves 2018 – Final roundup

Today is #ElvesDay

After having a look at all the creatures (the Eagle, the Turtle, the Lion, the Fox, the Wyvern, the Wolf and the Bat) from the new LEGO Elves sets, it’s time to have a look at what these sets contain. For this week’s #ElvesDay, we’re having a look at the minidolls, the small bats acting as the main bad guy gal’s minions, and one of the buildings included in the set.

The Minidolls

The major characters all come with an updated minidoll. Apart from Faran which always look a bit plain to me, the new outfits are nice even though the old ones were already great.

Azari with her new shiny armor and giant hammer

Lumia is by far one the best-looking of the new minidolls. I love the white outfit contrasting with the dark skin tone. Continue reading “LEGO Elves 2018 – Final roundup”

LEGO Elves 2018 – The Wolf and the Bat

Today is #ElvesDay

After a series of three posts about the creatures (the Eagle, the Turtle, the Lion, the Fox, and the Wyvern) from the first wave of new LEGO Elves sets. For this week’s #ElvesDay, we’re having a look at both the Wolf and the Bat. Continue reading “LEGO Elves 2018 – The Wolf and the Bat”