SiPGoesVirtual 2020 – An Editorial Review

We were supposed to be in Tallinn. But this is 2020, and things just haven’t gone according to plan for anyone. And so a new plan was formulated. We were going online. 15 intrepid photographers forging on this strange world.

ShtacyP has participated in seven SiP Toy Safaris: Hamburg, London, Edinburgh, Paris, Billund, Cambridge, and now Digital!

The similarities between a physical and virtual safari

It was always going to be different from our regular toy safaris. No holding of reflectors or lights for other people. No print exchange. And no walking kilometre after kilometre to get to that next spot just 10 minutes away. But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t similarities.

We still had (relatively) early morning coffee-fuelled starts (just no scrabbling to find the nearest open Starbucks). We still had safari bingo cards (#WhereIsBoris). And we still got to hang out with old friends and connect with new ones. And amazingly, we were still able to share toys with each other.

The #RainbowPatrol, passing on their favourite things to friends across 3 different time zones.

The differences between a physical and virtual safari

For this online adventure to work we needed structure. In real life safaris, we will plan to go to different locations, but largely we’ll meander across town playing it by ear, and the photos we take will just kind of, happen. This time though we had been set a series of wonderful challenges by our fearless leaders.

We had photo prompts, narratives to create, and we worked all together, in breakout groups, and individually. Shooting against the clock, so that the newspapers (Planet and Prophet) could hit their print deadlines! To make our deliverables it meant thinking fast, communicating effectively, collaborating (all those good corporate words, right Ian?) It was at times a little frantic, sometimes stressful, but hey, we were playing with our toys, how stressed out could we really get?!

ShtacyP, known for her ability to spin a yarn and tell a story about the most inanimate of rocks, became Editor-in-Chief, wrangling the outputs of her wonderful team of photographers and reporters into coherent (if laughable) stories, worthy of being printed in one of the many publications ran by Green Lantern.

Taking photos

One of my favourite things about safaris is watching how people create their photos, and then seeing them post the photos weeks later and understanding the story of how that photo came to be, where the light was coming from, why the photographer was in that weird position on the floor.

But this time around, the structure meant that photos were produced, edited, and shared almost instantaneously. We could see each other’s photos as quickly as they could be uploaded onto Google Drive (not that any of us snooped in the other teams’ folders of course…).

This process wasn’t any worse, just different. It still worked as a learning experience. Webcams were often left on whilst artists snapped away just out of shot. Tricks and tips were still shared. As were screens: “Do you like this edit better, or this one?” Every day is a school day.

The goody bag

In preparation for the weekend’s activities we all (well, depending on your country’s postal service) received very special packages in the days before the safari. Cruelly though we had to wait to open them. Those packages sat in our offices, on our desks, hidden away in cupboards, just asking to be played with.

Temptations were successfully resisted and as soon as we were allowed to rip them open and reveal the secret contents of the bags, we were off into the first of our challenges! The goodies found inside gave us some common threads that would help us tell our stories. Plus, we had been given hints about what sorts of pieces would be appropriate to pack for the safari, things that would help draw our creative outputs together.

Assessment

By the time Sunday afternoon came around, we had completed all our challenges. We had written our stories, the personal ones, and the collective ones. We had created incredible things, photos, and memories. Things that will be immortalised in hardback, should we want a memento of this one-off event. Friendships begun and firmly cemented, we logged off of the meeting, so that we could rest in preparation for our next viral marketing campaign.

Taking it easy like a Sunday afternoon after a toy safari.

As far as I am concerned the #SiPGoesVirtual2020 weekend was a resounding success. Whilst we couldn’t explore the cobbled streets in the medieval Old Town of Tallinn I think we achieved all the things I’ve come to expect as a toy safari veteran. We took photos of toys, we hung out with friends, and we had fun. Isn’t that what it’s all about?!

The SiPgoesVirtual special edition of the Daily Prophet

Remember yesterday, in our special edition of the Daily Planet, we ended up on a cliffhanger with the Yellow Lantern leaving the journal for its parallel universe competitor, the Daily Prophet. Well wewe just happen to have a special edition of the Daily Prophet for today…

The Daily Prophet is getting live reports of an ongoing situation at Azkaban Prison. The known Death Eater and #1 Female Tyrant, Bellatrix Lestrange has staged a breakout. Or has she? We understand that the person believed to be Bellatrix, who has been in lockdown in Azkaban for 7 months now, is in fact, star Hogwarts pupil, Hermione Granger. She has been protesting her innocence ever since and was able to get messages out to the wizarding world via the window in her cell.

Thanks to our special reporter (and editor in chief) @shtacyp

Initially, when people believed the prisoner to be Bellatrix, the suspected mastermind behind the escape was the powerful evil wizard Lord Voldemort. We have since confirmed that Voldemort was spending an easy Sunday morning in his pyjamas, reading his favourite newspaper.

Thanks to our special reporter @ballou34

Our sources claim that Hermione Granger was accidentally under the influence of polyjuice potion. She made the potion herself, a simple task for such an accomplished wizard, but the potion was intended for someone else.

Thanks to our special reporter @bevvypix

In an incident in the Gryffindor common room, Neville Longbottom clumsily tripped over, splashing polyjuice potion in Hermione’s face.

Thanks to our special reporter@sophiefigs

The whole operation almost came to a standstill however, key character Moaning Myrtle got stuck in the toilet! Attempting to pass on a message to Harry Potter (who she is also in love with), Myrtle got stuck in the pipes.

Continue reading “The SiPgoesVirtual special edition of the Daily Prophet”

The SiPgoesVirtual special edition of the Daily Planet

The Green Lantern has taken over as the Chief Editor of the Daily Planet this week. Having had successful spells at LEGO News, Brain Times, and the Gotham Gazette, he hopes he can bring some of his signature wit to his new newspaper.

Thanks to our special reporter (and editor in chief) @shtacyp

And there is more trouble ahead in the DC Universe. Mister Miracle wants to move to Fabuland City. But before he’s allowed in, he has to prove his incredible escapologist powers to the Major and Sheriff of the city. Will he make it and become the next citizen?

Thanks to our special reporter@_me2_

Other than Mister Miracle, Star Girl is already living in Fabuland City. Upon her arrival, she picked up the duty of lighting the stars above the city every night. So far the citizens are impressed and in love with her skills.

Continue reading “The SiPgoesVirtual special edition of the Daily Planet”

Next stop, Tallinn!

Tallinn SiPgoesTallinn 2020

While kicking off SiPgoesTT, we’ve also been looking to find where (and when) to go for our next toy safari. After debating and disagreeing about locations, we finally decided on Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. It is not too big, reachable from all around Europe, and after Denmark will certainly feel slightly more affordable.

After two toy safaris at the beginning of the summer, we’ve decided to go back to late summer/early Autumn and meet up on the first weekend of September. Just like the two previous years, we will keep our tradition of (officially) starting on Thursday evening and finishing on Sunday before lunch.

Tallinn SiPgoesTallinn 2020
Edgar has worked hard and studied maps for finding the best location for this year’s safari.

So if you want to spend an epic weekend with us and toy photographers from all around Europe (and who knows, maybe from outside Europe, too?), be sure to mark the dates in your calendar: September 3rd to 6th (2020).

While more details will follow later this year, we have already opened a Facebook group (and a forum here on the blog) for starting the planning and organization of this epic weekend. Whether you are sure to come, or just considering it, don’t be shy, join and be sure to ask any question. Either here in the comment section, on the forum or on Facebook.

Woody and his friends can’t wait to cross the Gulf of Finland. Will you join them?

All ways lead to…

Well, following the saying they all lead to Rome, Italy.

While this may be true, you know that we do have a special place in our hearts. It is reserved for a certain toy.

We’ve made it a tradition to celebrate our passion for toys AND photography. At least once a year we’re meeting up for a toy photo safari. Should you not have heard of this before then please visit some articles about Stockholm, Hamburg, London, Edinburgh or Paris.

But if you are already happily waiting for where to book your tickets to next, wait no longer. Looking at where the brick was born, we decided that next year’s ways will lead us to a little kingdom that is Denmark.

We’re going to Denmark

To be precise we’ll be meeting up for our next toy photo safari in the city of Aarhus. This may not exactly be the cradle of the brick. (Though, it’s just an hour drive away from it.)

Continue reading “All ways lead to…”

Meet Stefan

After last week #FeatureFriday around ginger tea, this week we’re back to coffee with our good friend and returner Stefan from Malmö.

About Stefan

My name is Stefan (@fubiken on Instagram ) and I am from Malmö, Sweden. I am a 47-year-old man, I don’t have photography as a job but as a hobby. What I mostly photograph is nature, macro, and toys of course. I have been taking photos for a long time, but it is in the last six or seven years that I have been taking it more seriously than before. Continue reading “Meet Stefan”

Exploring the Inner Child in Paris

I’ve talked a few days ago about the Inner Child and how it became my goal after our toy safari in Paris. It’s already been more than two months but… In this blog post, I wanted to share a few moments of that weekend that were all about exploring our Inner Child in Paris. Continue reading “Exploring the Inner Child in Paris”

SiPgoes52 and the Inner Child

The Inner Child

We’re more than halfway through the year and it’s been time for me to reflect on the past months. It was particularly urgent to do so as I haven’t really analyzed where I’ve been and where I’m going since last December.

At that time, Boris chose Humanity as his last word of 2017. When he wrote about it, he mentioned that for the upcoming year he wanted to explore his inner child. I liked the idea immediately, but I never imagined that 6 months later, it would become one of my main goals too.

It took me 6 months, and a toy safari in Paris, to realize how important being aware of my inner child is to me. Continue reading “SiPgoes52 and the Inner Child”

SiP went Paris 2018

After several toy Safaris around Europe, in Stockholm, Hamburg, London or Edinburgh, it was time to visit Paris.
It was the second time for us to be in the City of lights, after an exhibition at Le6Brick earlier this year.

#SiPgoesParis2018
#SiPgoesParis2018 – Picture by @Ballou34

The edition of SiPgoesParis 2018 was awesome.
Everyone seems to have enjoyed this event:

20 people from 7 countries (Czech Republic, England, Finland, Germany, Sweden, Turkey and France),
around 50 km of walk during 3 full days,
hundreds of LEGO minifigures,
thousands of pictures taken,
and very little sleep…

But let me share with you a “10-minute” taste of what happened between June 15th and 17th.
Just follow the guide!

Follow the guide
Follow the guide – Picture by @Nutelasabe

The famous monuments

A weekend in Paris means that some stopovers are unavoidable.
We started the weekend at the Eiffel tower. Even though we arrived relatively early to avoid tourists, it was not early enough and we quickly shared the spot with a few wedding photographers.
Continue reading “SiP went Paris 2018”

Week 9 – SiP goes Paris

Community

This week’s word is community. According to our good friends at Wikipedia, it is defined as:

community is a small or large social group of living things who have something in common, such as norms, religion, values, or identity.

We’ve seen in this week submissions both the idea of geographical community or virtual community.

Particularly, community relates strongly to the toy photography community and to us here in Stuck in Plastic. As a community mostly active through social media, it fits in the category of community centered around a virtual space. However, creating social connections in the physical world and expanding our community into real-life relationships is also important to us. This is why we organize each year a toy safari

So what better way, than sharing some more details about the 2018 edition of the Stuck in Plastic toy safari as part of this weeks word, community!

Here goes … Continue reading “Week 9 – SiP goes Paris”