A Family Portrait

Hello everybody!!

Today I would like to tell you a story. This is the story of how a family overcame obstacles to reach a goal. The most difficult thing for me is translating some typical Italian expressions, but i’ll do my best.

Recently, my wife and I, along with my little daughter and my aunt, were invited for lunch at my parents holiday’s home. At the end of the lunch, while my wife was taking my daughter to sleep, my mom brought the coffee. After the first sip, I asked:

“Mom, do you have an inflatable swimming pool here?”
“Yes, it’s downstairs, what do you need it for?”, she asked.
“I want to take a picture.” I replied.
“Of the swimming pool?”
“No. Dad, do you remember karate kid?” I asked, while watching my dad.
“Of course!” he answered.
“And do you remember the training on the beach?”
“Yes, crane kick!” he quickly responded. “Do you want to take a picture of a minifigure doing the crane kick?
That would be nice!” my mom exclaimed.
“No mom, I’ve already done that, I want to take a picture of the training on the boat. That’s why I need the swimming pool.” I said.
“The one that we have will need some time to be filled” she clarified. “But if you want, I have a smaller one”

Then she brought a small circular inflatable swimming pool with bright orange border. I said, “Ok, let’s try”. My dad took the pool and started to fill it while I was preparing the minifigs on the boat. When the swimming pool was filled, I brought over the little boat.

“Okay, it floats. What I need now is to find something to hold it in place because I also need some waves.”
I was thinking about a big pile of LEGO, of course.
My aunt asked “Would some rocks do the job?”

Without leaving me time to answer, my dad started searching for all the stones he could find and putting them in the pool, making a big pile.
After emptying the pool a bit, I placed the boat on top of the stack. I gave a first look at the camera and noticed the white ground of the pool.

“We need something to cover the bottom.”
My dad came back with a piece of green wood and other stones, exclaiming “I feel like on a movie set!”.

Then we moved the rocks around to hide the bottom, while my father covered the back of the very orange pool with some grass, even if the camera would have never framed it. But you know, details are everything.
Just as everything seemed to be in the right place, I remembered one thing: the waves!

“Dad, do you have a small fan?”
“Let me check”

Meanwhile, I noticed the front edge of the very orange pool which would show at the bottom of the camera screen. I know that later I could easily crop the picture, but it still bothered me. I put a hand over it and lowered gently until it disappeared from the viewfinder. And you know what?

That movement created waves.
Small waves like the morning wind on the sea.
It could have been the afternoon wind, but the morning was more poetic.

Soon after my father and mother came back, both with empty hands.

“I’m sorry, I thought I had a fan but I can’t find it” he apologized.
“Don’t worry dad, look here,” I said, lowering the edge with continuous, quick movements. He looked at my mother and said, “Well, I can’t believe it.”

While they shared the disbelief, I noticed some harsh reflections on the minifigs and the water, so I mumbled:

“The sun is killing the ninja …”
“Want an umbrella?” My mother asked.
I thought for a couple of seconds, then I said, “Why not? Let’s try it.”

Then she brought the umbrella and opened it while I directed her to cover the sun. I took a couple of shots and modified them a bit in post-production for the end result. Even though I am very happy with my final photo, the journey has been, by far, the most important thing for me. My family was involved and I want to thank them because this picture is really a family portrait.

Marco (The APhOL)

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

Behind the scenes of “These are not the droids…”

Another photo which I created for the Stuck in Plastic Star Wars contest is “These are not the droids we are looking for” and you can easily understand why I titled it that. What? Wait a minute? Haven’t I just written that I tried something different from my usual Benny and Mr. Robot adventures? Well, that isn’t exactly 100% true, as you can see here. I woke up one morning with this idea in my mind and I couldn’t help but take this photo. I kept chuckling. 🙂 Continue reading Behind the scenes of “These are not the droids…”

A Behind the Scenes look at “Killer Score”

This is the first of three photos I took for the Stuck in Plastic Star Wars contest two month ago. The title is “Killer Score” and I was playing with the bounty hunter nature of IG-88. He was probably thinking: “I’m gonna get you, damn Han Solo! Just let me unlock the multiballs!” None of these photos were chosen but Star Wars LEGOgraphy is not exactly my thing; there are many, many photographers out there much better than I. Continue reading A Behind the Scenes look at “Killer Score”

A toy safari is a chance to share a passion

We just have to accept that Kristina is not a group person

I have spent five amazing days in Seattle with the Toy-Safari-group. This is my second safari, since I attended my first in Waxholm last summer and I meet Shelly and the European StuckinPlastic people for the first time. Without the great experience in Waxholm, I would never have ended up in Seattle for this safari. Why? Because just as the quote says in the beginning of this blog post, I’m not a group person, or maybe I’m just a  group person for a toy-safari. Continue reading A toy safari is a chance to share a passion

Photography is a Road Trip

I’m not one to share work-in-progress pics, preferring instead to focus on the final result. A side effect of this strategy is that people may assume photography is somewhat effortless for me. That’s simply not the case.
This is a comparison of my first test shot and the final photo for “Are you still there?” In between, there are 77 additional images. Continue reading Photography is a Road Trip