Packing Pickle

Yep, it’s that time again. The time I spend hours agonising over what to pack, and what not to pack, for a brickstameet, a LEGO photography trek around the streets of Melbourne.

As I’ve mentioned before, I live near the coast. I know the beaches, I know their tides, their cliffs and their light, and I know what works with them. Packing for a trip to the beach is easy. And even if I forget something, there’s only a short drive back home to gather the forgot, or there’s always the next day.

Travelling beyond a short car trip throws up the added quandary of not wanting to leave anything behind. Plus, I’m shooting in a different environment. The urban landscape of Melbourne presents me with another pickle. “Sorry Dewbacks and Tusken Raiders, you won’t be required this time!” Or will they?

Light up the wheels and go for broke
Stomp that pedal with a sniftin’ stroke
Smack that roadblock caught in a pickle
I’m gonna hit that line like old Dick Trickle
Ween – Stroker Ace

If this wasn’t enough

And if this wasn’t enough, I’m heading to Melbourne the day before to be the “official welcoming party” for out international and interstate visitors. That’s one less day to pack, one less day to agonise over choices, one less day to apologise to those who don’t make the cut! 

Double the indecision

So, with less time to pack, plus having to pack for an overnight stay, I also want to subvert the LEGO regime by taking other toys to shoot. That’s doubled my indecision. Is it possible to be twice as indecisive?

Been so long since I been gone
Ziplock bag holding my comb
Beck – Ziplock Bag

By the time this gets published, it’ll be Wednesday morning here, and with only two nights left to pack before I head to Melbourne for the brickstameet, I know damn well I’ll be no closer to finalising my selections than I am right now. Seriously, you’d think after four of these, I’d know what to pack?

brickstameet: Packing Pickles
Packing Pickles

Wish me luck!

– Brett

How do you choose your travel buddies? Does your destination dictate your choices?

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Tackling the six-headed beast

When Shelly first spoke to me about the concept of the Six Image Narrative during one of our regular video hangouts, I thought, “Cool! I can do that!” Little did I know, that just like being asked “Why”, this would prove to be a bigger challenge than I could’ve predicted.

Maybe I put added pressure on myself, but I wanted six images to tell a story.

“Duh! That’s the whole idea Brett!”

I know! But I wanted them to tell a story without any words.

I’d wrestled with this concept before when I embarked on my first joint exhibition with my friend Christoffer (@east_mountain) last year. Could my photos hung on the gallery walls tell a story without accompanying words? Would they need to be explained? Would I need to be Mr Teacher, or would the visitors to the gallery like the colour red?

As if that wasn’t enough, I also wanted to revisit some old shots. The subject of those shots was IG-88, or Iggy. So as well as attempting to tell a tale in six images, without words, I also wanted to rework old photos, AND I chose a subject with inert legs! “Good one Brett!”

So, that being said, how did I tackle Scylla, this six-headed beast? How did I take on the six image narrative challenge?

Revisit 

Shelly’s suggestion to look back through my work for unconscious threads led to finding a series of photos taken back in 2014 revolving around a LEGO IG-88. This series of melancholy and downheartedness was something I’d also liked, but it was also something I’d always wanted to revisit.

And now I had the “boot up the backside” to do it.

Plan

I’m not one to painstakingly plan my photos.

Sure, I have a general idea of what I want to achieve before I venture out, but that’s about it. I have a rough idea of what the photo should be and what story I want it to portray.

Having to plan six photos that told a story, six photos that created a harmonious narrative was far more work than I’d ever put in before. But to craft a narrative that worked it was crucial. I even sketched out my ideas beforehand to see if the six shaped a coherent story; something I seldom do.

Recreate 

Jennifer’s recent post about recreating old images, together with this month’s G+ challenge (with prizes!) inspired by her reworked images, made me want to take this on after finding my inspiration in my old photos.

Revisiting and recreating past photos not only gave me the chance to fix anything irksome that had bugged me all those years, but also the opportunity to strive for what I couldn’t quite reach with my iPhone back then.

Execute

I wish it were as simple as a step-by-step process.

I was more of a circular process. Revisit. Plan. Recreate. Repeat. And not always in that order either. Sometimes the planning led to revisiting, sometimes the recreation lead back to revisiting, which again led me to planning again. Shots were scrapped, leading to holes in the narrative and demanding the plan to be adapted.

The whole process was adaptive and fluid; it had to be. Weather conspired against me. A long weekend was forgotten about and hordes of visitors crowded “my” beach. Imagined shots didn’t pan out and the story had to bend.

Six Image Narrative

Six Image Narrative

Six Image Narrative

Six Image Narrative

Six Image Narrative

Six Image Narrative

Conclusion

Did I enjoy the challenge of telling a tale in six images? Yes. Is this something that I’ll explore in the future? Yes. Did I learn from the experience? YES!

– Brett

Have you battled with Scylla, the six-headed beast? When you have, be sure to enter your six image narrative into our G+ challenge for your chance to be in the running to win the LEGO Batman Battle Pod polybag. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

If you enjoy posts like this, we invite you to join our G+ community.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get notified when we have a new post ready for you.

Breaking up is hard to do

Dear Instagram,

We need to talk. I think it’s time we had a break.

It’s not me, it’s you.

You’ve changed, and I don’t think I can continue in this one-sided, overbearing, controlling relationship anymore.

What happened Instagram? What changed you? Things used to be so good between us. Continue reading Breaking up is hard to do

Six Degrees of Stimulation

Last week Shelly announced our new series: The Six Image Narrative. A new series? More like a new challenge! And a whole new process to come to grips with!

With Shelly’s announcement fresh in my mind I spent last weekend thinking and planning. I took her advice and looked back through past images, searching for the illusive “unconscious thread”. This search, together with Jennifer’s post about revisiting old images, surprisingly unearthed a series of photos that I’d completely forgotten about; photos taken before the move from iPhone, that told a story, that deserved reworking. Continue reading Six Degrees of Stimulation

Connecting more than plastic bricks

Brickstameet

It’s brickstameet time again! And this time, we’re connecting more than just plastic bricks and taking photos of them. We’re connecting with our friend from across the ditch.

This Melbourne #brickstameet will have an international flavour. Well, maybe a “pineapple lumps” flavour from across the Tasman Sea?

We’re excited to have @harleyquin from New Zealand join us in Melbourne as we wander the streets shooting LEGO. Continue reading Connecting more than plastic bricks

While The Cat’s Away

While the cat’s away, the mice will play. That’s what they say. Well, that’s what Bernie Horowitz says anyway!

toy safari: Gary Larson
“You, Bernie Horowitz? …So YOU’RE the ‘they’ in ‘that’s what they say’?” – Gary Larson

Toy Safari Blues

This past week, Shelly’s been off, gallivanting around in San Francisco at the Toy Photo Safari. And while she’s been away having an amazing time, I’ve been stuck here, keeping the home fires burning, slaving over a hot computer, looking after you kids!! Continue reading While The Cat’s Away

A Raptor Chapter that we hope doesn’t end

The Raptor Pack Day

April the 22nd, just like every 22nd since 2013 was Raptor Pack Day; a day where the Toy Dino Squad invite us to share our dinosaur photographs.

I’ve played along in the past. I’m a forgetful knucklehead and the 22nd either slips past me, or it’s on 22nd that I’m reminded by seeing someone’s dino post (usually the 22nd for them on the other side of the world so it’s the 23rd for me?), but when I do remember, or I’m reminded, I join in. Continue reading A Raptor Chapter that we hope doesn’t end

Gathering more than just photos

May 6th, 2014. When @zenith_ardor got a LEGO Tauntaun for his birthday and I’d just ordered one online, @smokebelch2 joked that there was “gonna be a Tauntaun showdown”. His taunts morphed into a photo gathering, the #tauntaunshowdown. An impromptu get together that spawned many more photography gatherings.

Together with @east_mountain, the four us started ‘hosting’ themed photography gatherings on Instagram from time to time.

There was nothing official about these gatherings. They were just a bunch of friends inviting others to join in and post photos based around a given theme, on a particular date or weekend. The unofficial tagline for these gatherings is “No winners. No losers. Just fun.” Continue reading Gathering more than just photos

Series 17 Winner

When we dreamt up the idea of running a photography themed giveaway, we never thought picking the Collectable Minifigures Series 17 winner would be so difficult.

We had 38 entries on G+ and 203 entries on Instagram. That’s over 240 wonderful photos that we had to sift through to pick just one winner. Not an easy task!

So, how did we do this?

We, the judges were made up of Shelly and I, plus we lumbered our G+ moderators Tony, Jason and Jordan with the arduous task of helping us.
Continue reading Series 17 Winner

Growing little worlds

A strolling Brett gathers mo moss

“Growing little worlds” sounds like a cheesy song title, but it’s a way to create little living habitats for toys to roam.

I was intrigued to see Luigi’s ‘Killer Score’ and ‘The Are Not The Droids’ setups, in particular the scale, or lack of, that he utilised to create these shots.

It was interesting to read Shelly’s post on the outdoors being studios. I especially liked reading that Kristina had shown Shelly that you ‘can do a lot with very little’. Continue reading Growing little worlds