The return of the pebble

At the start of this year I made a resolution. So what did I want from the year? A pebble in my shoe!

I wanted a pebble in my shoe to keep me shifting, keep me squirming, and keep me uncomfortable. I hoped that this would keep me shifting until I found my style, or until I became comfortable enough to realise my style would never be constant and it’d always need to be changing; just like my stance with a pebble in my shoe.

I don’t want a career, I got enough to deal with here
Screeching Weasel – Ashtray

I’ve still got that pebble in my shoe. Actually, I’ve now got two of those pesky nuisances in there.

The other pebble that’s making me uncomfortable isn’t igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic; it’s temporal.

It’s the pebble of time that’s causing me to squirm and fidget uneasily.

Thanks to James’ reminder that November is upon us, I’ve remembered that there are quite a few toy projects of varying sizes that I need to begin, progress, or finish in the ensuing weeks!

Time: Busy bee
Busy bee

To Do List

There are the regular video hangouts that Shelly and I have to discuss the running of the blog, upcoming events, LEGO news and planning for the future.

There’s the Brickography LEGO fan exhibition this weekend.

There’s the Toy Photographers podcasts that James is championing. I won’t ruin the big reveal, I’ll leave that to the brains behind it, but there’s work to be done for that.

And there’s work to be done for the Toy Photographers book too. A book? Yes, there are plans for a book too!

As well as Shelly and I regularly meeting to discuss the blog, we also spend a lot of time searching for and inviting guests to write for the blog. They don’t approach us, unfortunately. But, if you’re interested in writing for the blog, please let us know!

Brickvention is coming early next year and there’s the fan art silent auction to coordinate, organise and set up again.

And finally, there’s some secret LEGO business that needs to be done too. I can’t say anything about this now, but hopefully we’ll able to shed some light on this exciting opportunity soon.

We’ll be kickin’ ass we’ll be takin’ names
When we’re bigger than Kiss
Teenage Bottlerocket – Bigger than Kiss

And, as well as all this, I’m expected to write a blog post for this week?

As if I’ve got time for that with all this other stuff going on?

– Brett

If you’ve made through all my blathering and ended up here, you should sign up to our weekly email round up where you’ll get a recap of all the babbling from the week.

And while you’re doing things, you should definitely join our G+ Community where we hold monthly contests with prizes and lots of other cool stuff too.

$1 Photo Challenge – The Results

The results of Octobers $1 (or equivalent) Photo Challenge are in!! The premise of this contest was to see if an expensive toy was the secret to great toy photography. We wanted to find out if everyone was limited to taking photos of toys that cost less than $1 or the equivalent, would we see the same quality and ingenuity that we have become used to. The results are in and we can say without a doubt, that cheap toys can also for creative photography.

The winner of this months contest is John Van Regemortel for his “Landing of the Jedi on Dagobah”. He purchased this micro machine for 99 cents Euro.

Second place was awarded to Joseph Cowlishaw for capture of the rare Gray Woolfeep (Ovis Canis) that he spotted in the dry desert regions of North America.

Third place was awarded to Krzysztof Łuszpiński who may not have taken a photo of a toy, his photo captures the spirit of toy photography. I love his creative spirit! Plus he wins the honor of spending the least amount of money: 1/100 Pound (100 clips in a pack for 1 GBP). Awesome job! 

I speak for all the moderators when I say how much fun this contest was. Because our subjects were cheap toys, there was no pressure to make them look good. Since we knew we couldn’t make our toys look realistic, as a group we decided to have some fun instead.

Bellow you will see some other fabulous examples from the $1 Photo Challenge taken by our moderators and our contestants. I hope you enjoy them as much as we had fun taking them.

by Tourmaline
“I am…” by Jason Nvmore
“Good morning Mr. Anderson. While you were out Mr. Bennett called. You’ve got a 10 o’clock meeting with Mrs.Chapman. And you’ve got a 12 o’clock appointment with a bucket of fish.” by Brett Wilson
Lonely me, alone on my own journey… by 莫亞克力
The Lone Wolf: A Study of Three (1 of 3) By Julie Blair
Italian Cuisine by Tomasz Lasek
Shopping at Costco, in the nude? 😳  by Ryan DeRamos
“Redheat” by Jeffrey van Zeijst
Skully sets out his cookies and milk for The Great Pumpkin. He is so excited this year! …… the skeleton and table were bought at the dollar store. The pumpkin, cookies, plate and glass of milk were made by me with polymer clay. by Victoria Eschen
Spider by Wendy Verboom
Landing by Reiterlied
“Somebody There?” by Tobias Schiel
“Operation Tonga” by Tony Tulloch
“Hailing from New York and living in the sewers, these young adolescent reptile abominations hide in the shadows by day. And fight crime by night! ” by Lego Runner
“Hunters will tell you that a moose is a wily and ferocious forest creature. Nonsense. A moose is a cow drawn by a three-year-old. – Bill Bryson” – by Shelly Corbett
New Challenge

We have posted a new challenge in our G+ Community: Detail. Here are the details:

Some say the Devil is in the detail but, here at Toy Photographers, we believe the essence of an image is in detail. Often details are overlooked by a viewer’s conscious observation, but they still add to (or detract from) an image.

Many toys out there have beautiful detail that we take for granted. Even some of the smallest toys have the odd piece that is worthwhile bringing into the image. In the photo below I have concentrated on the small logo on Cruz Ramirez’s fender. This supports both the smile and eye placements on the car and is true to character.

Why not pick up a favorite toy and look for a pattern, logo/symbol, or some other detail that is true to that character and highlight it in an image. Feel free to do this up to three times during the month. The winning photo will grace the Toy Photographers banner for December, and the winner will receive a cool Ant-Man prize. – Tony Tulloch

I hope you will join in this fun challenge and show us the details on your favorite toys. Tony has posted in our Tips and Tricks section three techniques to help you master this months challenge. So why not head over the community and check out all the details.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our $1 Photo Challenge and I look forward to seeing what you create for this months challenge on Details.

Shelly

Happy #Googleween!

To celebrate the impending Halloween holiday, the fine folks at Google+ announced a fun opportunity yesterday that I encourage everyone in our community to take part in: #Googleween!

Here’s what they said about the special hashtag:

Do you have Halloween plans this year? People around the world celebrate this spirited day in their own ways, and we are excited to see what you are going to do.

For those of you making costumes or decorating your houses, share your tips and progress on Google+. If you prefer to spend this day watching horror movies with friends, tell us about your favorites!

Whether your Halloween plans include haunted houses, trick-or-treating, or your children’s school costume parade, share your day on Google+!

Spread the spookiness all through Google+ using the #Googleween hashtag on your posts!

Brewing up some fun Halloween photo ideas!

Normally I wouldn’t devote a blog post to a hashtag event, but as pointed out by our very own Tony Tulloch, creative posts are often re-shared and highlighted on Google+. So, this could be a great opportunity to not only share your Halloween-themed shots, but get the chance to receive a bit of extra exposure while you’re at it.

But wait, there’s more!

Speaking of Google+, I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you about this month’s photo challenge on our Google+ community! There are three days left to take photos of $1 toys. The winning entry will not only be featured on our community banner, but receive a cool prize as well.

For the price of one Halloween candy bar, you can snap a great holiday-themed pic and kill two birds with one stone!

Happy shooting, and happy Halloween!

-James

If you enjoy posts like this (and fun contests!), 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.

September Photo Challenge: Music

Todays post features the winners of the September photo challenge: Music from our G+ Community. We want to recognize our grand prize winner, some of our favorite entries as well as thank everyone who participated.

Photography challenges are a great way to get the creative juices flowing. That’s why every month we sponsor a contest in the G+ Toy Photographers Community. Last month Jason Nvrmore challenged the community to: “Take the power of music and create images with your toys based on music!”

So we did! Continue reading September Photo Challenge: Music

The LEGO House

The LEGO House is amazing. Really, there is no other word fit to describe both the building and the experience.

I was honored to receive an invitation from the Lego Group this past spring to attend the fan weekend opening celebration. This was a chance for LEGO Ambassadors (individuals who represent various recognized lego user groups) as well as attendees of the Skærbæk Fan Weekend. Needless to say I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity and I started planning my trip immediately. With six months to anticipate the event, my expectations were running high. Continue reading The LEGO House

LEGO House Opening

This month is going to be a month to remember. Why? Because I’m traveling to Denmark for the opening of LEGO House. I won’t be attending the grand opening on September 28th, but a pre-opening for all the LEGO ambassadors from around the world on September 22nd.

I’m franticly getting ready for this epic adventure that also includes stops in Stockholm and Skærbæk. Everyone I plan to meet is connected to toy photography or LEGO in some way. It will be 10 days of visiting and playing with LEGO friends both new and old. Continue reading LEGO House Opening

2018 Toy Photographers Meet-Up

It’s that time of the year when I start thinking about the 2018 Toy Photographers Meet-Up. Honestly I feel like I’m already behind the eight ball. By this time last year, we already had the city picked out and the locations set. Yikes!

But 2018 is still a few months away, so I think we have time to plan our fourth fabulous and spectacular event. In an effort to create an event that can accommodates as many people as possible, I’ve create a questionnaire for any interested participants. Please take a moment to complete this short survey so we can be on our way to making decisions and planning another fun weekend! Continue reading 2018 Toy Photographers Meet-Up

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. Continue reading Packing Pickle

So long San Francisco, you were great!

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article about my motivations to cross an ocean to get to San Francisco for a toy safari. Now that the safari is over, did it fulfill my expectations?

Well…

The weekend was a lot of fun. We laughed, we took pictures in nice places with a lot of talented artists. Shelly summed it up in another article, so I will not write about what we did during those days. Instead, I prefer to talk about what I really liked during this safari. Continue reading So long San Francisco, you were great!

Lego on a road trip!

A behind the lens look at this year’s San Francisco Toy Safari

It’s been a long time since I had taken a road trip. And, I’m not talking about a casual 2-3 hour drive away from where I live.

This one would take 13 hours and some change, cursing through a couple of states, with a few cups of coffee.

But, we were on a mission. Along with Eric (IG:@intangibledandy), we were heading down to San Francisco for the big toy safari photography meet up. Though it was Eric’s second toy Safari, and my first. We were both in much anticipation to meet everyone and start shooting pics. Continue reading Lego on a road trip!