Subjective perspective

Subjective perspective

Get down low and go, go, whoa!

Seeing so many wonderful behind the scenes shots from the recent Seattle Toy Photographers meet-up, got me thinking about lying on the ground just to get a photo of a toy. And why most of my jeans have stained knees.

My legs are achin’
My eyes are sore
I haven’t washed my jeans
In three months or more
Dirt Jeans – Magic Dirt

I remember discovering Instagram 5 years ago and being instantly excited by how it made me look at where I was with different eyes. It challenged me to think about where I was standing and how that certain location could be viewed differently, more creatively. I wasn’t just seeing my surroundings as a “holiday snapshot” anymore. I was being dared to think how I could capture a vista in a more interesting way.

Gargoyles
Gargoyle turmoil

Long before Instagram, I was given “Nightmares in the Sky: Gargoyles and Grotesques”, a book of wonderful and disturbing photographs of gargoyles taken by avant-garde photographer f-stop Fitzgerald, by my then girlfriend, now wife. In the book Stephen King introduces us to the gargoyles as the faces we rarely see but are always watching us. In King’s text, we are told to always look up, as we never know what might be watching us from above. Ever since first reading this I crane my neck skyward whenever I’m in a city, looking for gargoyles and grotesques. And, whilst looking up for those looking down, I’ve learned to see my surroundings in another way.

Taking photos of toys has also changed the way I look at my surroundings.

Before photographing toys, I can’t think of a time I was taking a photo and wondered “what would this shot look like if I lay on the ground?” Before shooting toys, I can’t remember lying on the ground to capture that angle ever. Before toys, I don’t recollect admiring what worlds were down at my feet. Before toys, I don’t recall admiring plants or rocks for their proportionate scale. Before toys, I didn’t appreciate small-grained sand. Before toys, I don’t think I looked down, and appreciated what was down there, as much as I do now.

Taking photos of toys has made me appreciate my environment through little low altitude eyes. This low-slung viewpoint offers a new world. It opens up a completely unique experience.

Think of me.
(It’s a tiny little world)
Watch what you do. Watch what you say.
Tiny Ugly World – Alice Donut

Whilst travelling Europe many years ago, I can’t recall seeing folks in Venice’s Piazza San Marco lying on the pavement to capture a different angle of St Mark’s Basilica. I’m pretty sure I didn’t see a single tourist lying on their stomach to capture Sagrada Família either. Nor did I see anyone lying on the ground attempting to upskirt Michelangelo’s David in Venice. But maybe things would be different today? Maybe with the growth of toy photography and social media to share such photos, there might be more horizontal, ground-slithering photographers?

And, this is why, I somewhat pity people who don’t have some toys tucked away in their camera bags. Without a toy in their pocket, every time someone pulls out their phone to snap a photo, they’re missing out on something. It’s this small world vantage point they’re missing; a whole new way of viewing their surroundings.

It’s a whole new, tiny little world they’ll never know.

And I expect all the knees of their jeans are clean too.

A LIGHT IN THE DARK

Oh my…

Just as everyone seems to be all busy preparing their journeys to the north east of the United States and looking forward to this weekend’s Seattle Toy Photography Meet-Up, I´m rather feeling torn between going green with envy and simply being sad because I can´t be there…

…to meet all the fantastic attendees from all over the place!

…to  actually meet many of those tiny digital people from inside my mobile device in real life!

…to get together with like-minded individuals and feel the spirit amongst toy photographers!

…to learn more and more about taking photos and about other cultures´ toys!

…to simply have a massively great time!!!

But, there is a light in the dark.
Continue reading “A LIGHT IN THE DARK”

The Storm Before the Calm

With less than a week to go before the Stuck-In-Plastic Meet-up I can officially say that I have begun my descent into madness.  The preparation, planning, expense and anticipation leading up to an event of this caliber are enough to drive a man straight into the plush, padded rooms of “Arkham Asylum”.  Add on the extra stressors of needing to decide which action figures to take, cleaning camera gear and remembering to pack a toothbrush alongside completing an inconceivable amount of custom action figures and I have effectively topped off my “stress Sunday” with a ripe-red cherry.  So why do we do it?  Why do we add this pressure onto an already weary body while knowingly turning our PTO Balance into a shadow of its former self?  

The answer, to me, is simple.   Continue reading “The Storm Before the Calm”

It Never Gets Old

I confess, I like taking photographs of T-Rex chasing little helpless mini figures; it never gets old.

Whenever I set up one of these shots I snicker and I’m happy. If I can’t make myself laugh, then how can I make you? If I can’t please myself with my photography, why should I expect you to like them? So here we are, it’s Monday and I’ve posted yet another one of these silly photos and my day got a little better. Continue reading “It Never Gets Old”

Real World Friendships

What does a toy photo safari look like? What does it feel like? I think it’s safe to say that most toy photographers start out taking pictures alone. It’s not every day you see an adult with a backpack full of children’s toys squatting in the wilderness, camera in hand, cursing when their action figure blows over or crying when their white ninja washes out to sea (full disclosure here: my white ninja washed out to sea…so sad). Continue reading “Real World Friendships”

How the…? What the…?

Somewhere along the line I lost year.

It goes like this. My wife asked what I would like for my birthday (1/6 scale Sideshow Collectibles C-3PO with light up eyes, full articulation and bonus com-link!) when my age came up.

“48! Guess you’re an old man now!” she said jokingly.

“48? I’ll be 47.” I replied. Adding a year to my age . . . HILARIOUS!

“No Honey. You’ll be 48. We’re 47 now.Continue reading “How the…? What the…?”

You’re invited to Seattle!

You’re invited to Seattle to attend the next epic toy photography meet-up from May 20-23! My good friend Jon (Dinoczars) and I will be hosting our second US Stuck in Plastic meet-up because like my favorite philosopher said:

“Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

When I posted last fall asking for input to help choose between Chicago and Seattle for our next meet-up, it seemed that Chicago would be the winner. But when I factored in those who had changed their mind or those who were flexible , there was no clear winner, so I have decided to go with what I know. I would be pleased if you would join me and my co-host Jon, in Seattle from May 20-23, for a weekend filled with toy photography and related silliness.  Continue reading “You’re invited to Seattle!”