A Girls’ Day Out

You may remember.
A few weeks ago we at Stuck in Plastic had a VIP seat on The Blue Carpet.
We got to see the new Marvel Superheroes show off in front of the camera provided by our dear friends over at The LEGO Group. We decided that we also wanted to share the excitement with our new friends. So, we reached out on our Discord Chat Channel and asked a few lucky heroes and heroines to accept The Blue Carpet Marvellous challenge.
And they did.
So we ended up shipping a full box of Marvelness around the world, and this is what our heroines came up with.

First up we introduce AliceBrickland and her Girls’ day out

Right — even Superheroes need a break sometimes.
And Scarlet Witch, Monica, Sylvie, Captain Carter, and Gamora decided to take a trip to Harry Potter’s film set Diagon Alley.
A day full of nerdy fun, magical adventures, and tasty sweets.

But first things first.
No girls’ day can start without the compulsory group picture.
Yet, Gamora hates it…

A compulsory girlie group photo

On Set

Cheerful and excited, the girls enter the magical hurly-burly of Diagon Alley and stroll open-mouthed through the real-looking street with all its little shops, dressed-up wizards, and delicious smells. 

“Let’s go to Ollivanders Wand Shop!”

Scarlet Witch suggests.
Inside she found her perfectly matching wand within seconds.
To the amusement of the others Voldemort’s wand it is!
Maybe that’s why Scarlet Witch acts a little disrespectful?

What is up Next

Next, the heroes want to test their flying skills. While the others admire the different brooms, Captain Carter is kind of bored.
Sure she will be faster on her own shield.

“I accept this challenge!”

Gamora laughs.
And so the two of them compared themselves in a little air race.
What is your guess: who won?

Broom vs Shield

After the exciting race, the girls need to cool down and take a break.

Sweets it is.

So they went for delicious ice cream.
It seems that Alligator Loki loves gelato too.
Maybe even a little too much.
Out of sheer greed, he bit Sylvie on her hand and her chocolate ice cream fell down on the floor.
Luckily her hand isn’t badly hurt!

I Scream or was it Ice cream

Strengthened, the friends visit Scribbulus Writing Implements and the bookseller Flourish and Blotts to buy some souvenirs. Sweets in huge quantities can’t hurt either so they stock themselves up at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. And of course one or the other might have exaggerated …

As a grand finale of a great day, Monica wished for a nerdy fan snapshot with a Hagrid double.

A fan shot :)

Pleased from the fun day the girls start their way home and agree that regular excursions will now become an annual tradition.

And so our marvelous girls end their visit to Diagon Alley.

Have you any suggestions on what the girls could visit next?
Maybe a stop at the Xmas village?
Or take that Fender out for a concert.
Write it down in the comments below and get Astrid inspired to shoot her next adventure.

Thank you, Alice

Thank you Alice for these wonderful photographs and storyline.
We enjoyed reading your girls’ day out and can’t wait to see what you come up next.
If you dont follow Alice on IG, we can really recommend to tag along and explore her journey and her Kingdom of Elandria.

Now, who will be next?

Running 10K and then some

It is Sunday evening and soon a new week is about to start.
A new week.
A new challenge in our TGIF journey.
The end of our #SiPgoesTGIF Pirate Challenge.
And quite a few other things in the pipeline are ready to hit the ground.
It feels like we are running a little 10K run here on SiP.
Not at all that acoustic, some may say.

But hey, it is fun to run a little.
Like pirates without a plan.
Just hitting their next loot.
Or so they think.

Running 10K? A header image that did not make the cut.

And so we also made the 10K on IG.
Something that only took us seven and 1/2 years.
One cannot say we are not acoustic over the long run.
We like slow food, slow cooking, slow creating.
Going at our own pace.
Follow our own rhythm.
No stress.

So thank you for hanging out with us on IG, on discord, on our virtual workshops, and on our card exchange. We love you all.

The 10K winners.

We did say we would do a little giveaway to one of you who helped us out to reach the 10K mark and our innocent child hand could not get enough of it and selected not one, not two but three lucky winners: @ben.stories @sir_legoade and @pulup congratulations.
Thanks again for helping us out and reach the 10K mark.
A message is in your IG inbox.

The TGIF challenge.

And this one also feels like a 10K adventure.
It all started as a little fun spin-off from the summer workshop, and now our weekly creative challenge on #SiPgoesTGIF is getting even more traction, and we have had on the last three close to or over 100 fun images each. Just in case you missed the last three themes here they are again. Pirates, Sunsets, and Reflections.

And we like to celebrate all the creativity with you and want to encourage our creatives.
So moving forward we will at random times and random intervals select some great photography that caught our crew‘s eye and rewards them with a little surprise.

And we kick this one off with Janee from Australia.
We really loved this sunset which was part of the B/W creative challenge.
Janee we will be in touch to get your shipping address.

That´s all!

That’s it folks for this little Sunday eve update.
But first, go give Janee some love, it is an awesome feed.

Header image.
We selected one of our sweet memories from shooting the LEGO Ideas Baracuda that did not make it into the final cut. How cool is that? Talk about recycling like a pirate.

SiP card exchange 2021

Summer is just about to end in the northern hemisphere and we are waiting for our Autumn workshop next month. Yet at the same time, we are already looking towards winter, Christmas … and our annual card exchange.

Even though Christmas is more than three months away, we have already started preparing this year’s card exchange. We have opened our registrations through our Discord forum and as of now, we already have more than 20 people signed up.
We are now opening the registration to all toy photographers and are expecting even more people to sign up.
Yep. You. We know you always wanted to join.

We are super excited about this.

So excited we are just stealing Karin‘s images from last year’s post and really hope she will join as well. Steal like an artist, they say.

Continue reading “SiP card exchange 2021”

Santa’s Visit

We know, we know it’s only September, so don’t panic. But do read on as we anticipate the arrival of a Santa’ Visit in the form of the wonderful new LEGO Christmas Winter Village set 10293 due for release on October 1st. But wait, Santa tells us there is a presale starting on 16th September for all LEGO VIPs. When we had news that our dear friends at The LEGO Group were sending us two presents ahead of release, we couldn’t resist getting all christmassy. We gave Julien and Bev the task of creating some Christmas magic.

Flashback

During the RMFL days back in June. We were given a sneak peek as Designer Chris McVeigh presented us with the finished build. He told us about his mother’s secret cookie recipe and how he incorporated this tiny little detail into the set. After all what is Christmas without the smell of cookies baking in the oven, made with lots of love!

Bev passes by a few weeks before and saw dad posting a letter to Santa

Twas the Night before Christmas

Picture the scene, it is the night before Christmas. As we snuggle up with family and watch tv or play some family games, you may even bake some cookies while we await the arrival of Santa Claus.

This brick built house is truly beautiful and full of exciting details. First we take a look at the exterior. A snow covered roof protects the family all warm and cosy inside. The house is made up of blue bricks and has a cute little elevation above the front door in which we get to spy a little present left behind hidden in the attic. The windows invite us to take a look inside, especially when we see the little bird sitting on the windowsill. Perhaps waiting for bread and cookie crumbs to take back to her bird box hidden in the snow covered tree.

Julien pays a visit before Santa arrives

And the all important chimney stands proud covered in snow waiting for Santa to visit and drop down below. Not forgetting the Christmas Tree, decorated so nice and complete with its very own lights.

The Arrival of Santa

One red suit, one red hat, two black boots and a white beard perfectly groomed, and yet never to be seen. Beneath the moonlight in the still of the night, he visits from house to house delivering presents to boys and girls around the world.

“Hey Bev, Did Santa get stuck in the Chimney? ”

Did Santa get stuck in the chimney? We can reveal, no he didn’t. In true Santa style, he drops down the chimney with all the presents ready to place under the tree. Once inside the family home, there is lots to explore, from a fitted kitchen with super cute accessories, a table for the family to sit around, eating cookies and drinking hot chocolate. Then resting in front of a beautiful fireplace, before going up to bed.

You are really going to love this set as much as Julien and I do. On that note, we will leave it up to you to explore the inside on Christmas morning. So, while the Autumn leaves begin falling outside, we will leave you with a little Stuck in Plastic recipe to get you into the Christmas Spirit.

A Santa’s Visit Recipe

by Bev

Ingredients

3 Cookies for Santa
1/4 glass of milk
1/2 Cup of Sugar & Spice
1 Spoon not naughty but nice
1 Cup of Love
3/4 Hang up the stockings high up above
Ps. Don’t forget the carrots for the reindeers

Method

  1. Go to bed early and close your eyes tight,
  2. Make sure you are sleeping, so you don’t see who’s coming tonight.
  3. Add some magic and some all purpose flour.
  4. Add in the chimes of the clock by the hour.
  5. Stir in some cookies and a little nice treat,
  6. Add in a pitter-patter of reindeer feet.
  7. Next listen for the clunk and the clatter, as Santa Visit’s our house,
  8. But no sound on the rooftop, not even a mouse.
  9. Mix in the silence of Christmas eve night,
  10. Bake until morning as the day turns to light.
  11. Add in the presents that you receive,
  12. And remember to dream, imagine and believe.
Santa enjoying his cookies and milk before the clock strikes 12 and secretly spotted by Bev

A final touch before Santa leaves, he greets with a snowman and gives him an extra little gift. On that note, from all the crew, let us be the first to wish you all a very “Merry Christmas,” “Joyeux Noël,” “Frohe Weihnachten,” “Prettige Kerst,” “Nadolig Llawen,” “Hyvää joulua!” and “god jul!”

Santa doesn’t realise he has been captured on camera by Bev

Let us know how you will be spending this Christmas eve, do you stick with tradition or do you go with the flow?

Zetros, the thunder truck

The beast in the woods.

When Boris asked for volunteers to receive from our dear friends at LEGO the new TECHNIC 42129 Mercedes-Benz 4×4 Zetros Trail Truck, my hand rose by itself, as if with a will of its own.
Big truck, big wheels, and some driving challenges, it is useless to resist (and LEGO do have cookies).

The Zetros is a powerful truck like the Unimog (remember TECHNIC 8110 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U400?), you could buy in 4×4 or 6×6 configuration. Here LEGO propose the 4×4 one, which is enough to have some fun. A 6×6 version would have required one more L motor, making the price really not affordable.

One more time, a great building experience, with very interesting mechanical parts, a brand new differential locking system, details in the driver’s cab, the hood opening system…
And, of course, some stickers: that’s the price with such models, to reflect the reality of paintings and real stickers.
But here we go.

Let there be rock.

Danger Zone

As a toy photographer, I’m more used to minifigs, which are way smaller. It’s like the dark side: quicker, easier, more seductive.
When you take pictures of bigger models, you have to care more about the space all around it in the frame, for the formats of today’s publications would change depending on the SoMe you share your images.

And to be honest, I have been forced to go out of my photography comfort zone, when shooting, but also while post-processing my images.
The first step was to find a place where the model will fit in, where it will fully express itself.
I mean, a Zetros isn’t a Lamborghini Sian or a Mustang, you’re not going to take it to the city. It’s a wild beast, made to overcome obstacles.
Besides the classical forest zone where I took it first, there was a pile of stones that was just waiting to serve as a background for the Zetros.

The setting
The picture

Once there, I put the model in various positions and play with the incredible trial ability.
Believe it or not, but the Zetros has climbed up and down the stones, with an incredible grip and thanks to the differential locking. It’s slow, but it climbs the way we find it.

At first I was tempted to simply put the Zetros in impressive or very aesthetic positions just to get some stunning images.
But in the end, I felt better with realistic positions, and playing with the Control+ app gave some more fun to the sunny photo session.
An advantage of the stones spot, which was a bit higher, I did not have to lie on the ground for the shots, whereas in the forest, I had to do it.

The F word.

Then, the post-processing step came, an other kind of fun.
Boris suggested me to test some filters effects on my images.
Filters. Me. LOL.
Except when doing mobile photography, where I edit images with Snapseed, I don’t use filters. Of course, I can spend time to find the night effect that fits to the story of the picture, using layers, but preset filters?
And you know what? Boris was right.
It took me some time playing with the several options and find the combinaison that would makes me happy. And it will take time again until I am at ease with this.
The experience here was nice: my original pictures were a bit flat compared to the final result.

The duck keeps an eye on you.

To conclude, I would say that I really enjoyed the different stages of this photoshoot.
I was forced to change my comfortable habits, whether it was framing or processing photos. And getting out of your routine, even if it’s a little scary, it helps to progress in the creative process.
So I can only encourage you to take the plunge, take pictures of models of the size totally opposite to those you have mastered, to test other ways of processing your images.
It’s satisfying to see the result, even if you have to start over a few times to get something that works for you.
Many thanks to SiP and LEGO for giving me this opportunity.

I Love New York

Have you ever been? You know that place that’s been nicknamed The Big Apple or commonly known as New York City. As a photographer, I have been inspired by some of the greatest photographers who have walked the streets of NYC. Especially those such as Alfred Stieglitz who has timelessly captured these iconic buildings. One building in particular stands out in my mind, the image of the Flatiron captured in black and white.

Sadly, I have not had the pleasure myself to visit. But hey, one can dream and imagine what it feels like to walk those streets at any time of the day or night and find those hidden treasures.

And hidden treasures are what I have recently discovered when I was asked to review the Briksmax LED lighting that are compatible with LEGO.

Continue reading “I Love New York”

To Photoshop, or not to Photoshop

To Photoshop, or not to Photoshop, That is the question? Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous editing. Or to take arms against a sea of images. And by opposing end them. To die – to sleep, No more … Yep you know the rest. Excepts taken from the Prince of Denmark’s most famous speech, with a little photographic twist added.

Which in fact leads me onto a discussion that came up on our Stuck in Plastic Discord Chat Room. And it had me thinking back to the long term debate around photoshopped images. It also had me thinking back to the history of photography and rethinking the photographers intent. And that is too photoshop, or not to photoshop?

Continue reading “To Photoshop, or not to Photoshop”

Feature Friday

It is Friday.
We launched our #SiPgoesTGIF weekly challenge on Instagram this morning and for those of you who don’t like Mark and are ignoring FB and IG, it is all about Black and White Photography.

You can read the challenge below (and in the unlikely event you don’t follow this crazy bunch of toy photographers on IG, then now is the time, we just hit 10K followers and are a little bit proud of that).

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The Blue Carpet

Today at 15:00 Billund Time the RLFM media got invited to the blue carpet unboxing event of the brand new MARVEL STUDIOS Minifigures. And of course, we also tried to get a little spot at the table. The heroes were so excited to finally officially get out of their bags and talk to the Big Boys like Brothers Brick, The Rambling Brick, Brickset, and New Elementary that a little bit of chaos erupted on the blue carpet.

Our local SiP presser nonetheless got his camera out and tried to catch a glance of our heroes and heroines before they ran off to their respective press meetings.

Continue reading “The Blue Carpet”