We downloaded the Switch version of Lego Worlds. I’ve been virtual LEGO’ing.
It’s actually been a little while since our little travelling companion Vulk came along on a trip with us for some travel-photo shenanigans, but he stowed away with us on our recent accent of Mount Robson and the Berg Lake trail (a more in depth post about that coming soon!)
I fact, atop that hike I was not alone in my photoshooting of random toys. While we were sitting and sunning (as much as that is possible) by the glacier-fed lake one afternoon, another hiker showed up, posed a stuffed mountie bear in front of the crystal blue water with the massive ice wall in the background, and snapped a photo with her camera.
For those who are not familiar with this exercise, about three years ago we were looking for fun thing to do while travelling, and a way to add some interest to our vacation photos: in other words, a prop for some travel photography. Some people bring along a little garden gnome, or pose a favourite hat on statues, or something like that. I found this little red LEGO Mixel character, a limited run posable creature, who turned out to be super-expressive and light enough to pocket on even the most weight-sensitive expeditions (like last week up a mountain). And since then, he’s come with us around the country, to Iceland, and even Hawaii.
(I’m still not brave enough to pose him on a Disney property!)
Alas, Vulk has spent the bulk of his time in the last year in a drawer, waiting for some travel-based inspiration.
And so climbing up the back side of the Canadian Rockies’ highest peak seemed like a good opportunity to wake him from his plastic-slumber and take him out exploring:
Photo of the Day Theme
A saturated symmetrical photo of a toy.
Ok, I admit. These photos are getting a little weird.
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But I mean, c’mon! A saturated symmetrical photo of a toy? Really? In that vein I think I got pretty darn close… though Claire was quick to point all the bits and pieces on my LEGO model that didn’t fit her strict definition of symmetry.
I was actually more interested in playing with the shadow. It was a little complex, if only because the light source I had at my disposal was a little harsh for this purpose. I needed a direct, bright light to create the shadow, but the LEGO bits are high gloss and tricky under those conditions.
My loyal photography subjects are out for the evening so I did some yard work and started looking for a place to point my camera.
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Of course I was still a little disappointed with yesterday. After snapping a lovely-but-not-particularly-special pic of Claire at the park yesterday, the late-evening weather presenting with a showstopping thunderstorm… right after we went to bed. I was laying there in my pajamas, watching the lightning flash through the curtains, and pondering just what an amazing photo op I was missing.
The weather will probably do the same thing tonight, but I figured (by way of the closest I may actually come to a theme on this daily photo thing) I’d find a subject and get my photo done before I went to bed just in ccase it doesn’t: as that turned out, little miss LEGO here was sitting on the buffet looking bored so I put her (and my macro lens) to work in the flower beds… which are also quite lovely right now.
Does LEGO count? If not, then it’s been a while.
LEGO has a good thing going. We had to register a month in advance so that Claire could spend fifteen minutes building a little LEGO kangaroo at the free monthly mini-build last night. The place is becoming a bit of an amusement park: they’ve got some passionate staff who are engaged with the kids and draw them into the moment. Of course, it turns us both into loyal customers who will return some day to spend heaps of money on little plastic building blocks, but then that’s the point isn’t it?
I wanted to do some photography with the snow and some toys and messing around with the light. So I dragged a variety of LEGO bits out into the backyard, toque pulled down around my ears to fight off the chilly winter air, and fingers chattering against the shutter button as I was trying to hold everything steady enough to get a focus lock with my macro lens.
Remember Vulk? He was the most cooperative.
I mentioned my fascination with travel-prop photography in a post I’d set to publish while I was on vacation. In that post I’d mentioned that I’d be bringing along my little LEGO dude, Vulk, to Iceland and that he would be the star of a few photos.
Result: not as many as I thought I’d snap, but a good number. In the end, Vulk photo-bombed about sixteen of my vacation snapshots, and I forced myself to learn a little bit more about mixed-perspective photography in the process.
Vulk was apparently fond of isolated, rocky vistas… particularly in locations where there were few (or no) people around to wonder what a grown man was doing hunched over near the ground taking photos of a little red LEGO toy in the middle of Iceland. Funny that.
1) You can’t take a picture of your prop if he’s in the car and you’ve just hiked twenty minutes up to the base of a waterfall.
2) You may have time to set up an awesome shot, but when you are on a fast-moving vacation, on the road, and going from location to location, you need to work fast.
3) There is a sweet spot in the depth of field of a photograph when snapping a prop, and it’s between (a) some mild and artsy bokeh and (b) the background is so blurred is may as well be my backyard.
4) It takes a lot of shots to get a good mix of proper focus, interesting framing, and good lighting… so like any other portrait session, really.
5) If your prop has removable parts, a ziploc bag is your best friend, particularly on a beach in the rain.
6) Some people will look. Others will keep their distance.
7) Wind and prop photography are not friends. There is a lot of wind in Iceland. No really… lots.
I wish it were something more inspiring, but with a 6-year-old in the house, no. “Everything is Awesome” by Tegan and Sara plays frequently in my life these days. *sigh*
Claire and I went to the LEGO store this afternoon to check out the Master Builder event. We came home –of course– with some new plastic blocks. I picked up a couple more of those awesomely photogenic little characters called “mixels.”
So… remember Vulk? Well, it seems he’s got another pal hanging around the yard. But I’m not so sure how they’ll get along quite yet.
Our pre-ordered copy of the Lego Movie just shipped… apparently.