Backyard Battle

Whilst shooting for the upcoming exhibition, my car has racked up quite a few kilometers on the odometer, however, maybe it needn’t have?

Inspired by FourBricksTall’s Levelling Up with Lego post, and Shelly’s advice to “make the best of what you have” I spent some free time last weekend taking photos of plastic confined to my backyard.

Now, I can already hear peoples’ questions; “Isn’t your backyard 70 acres?” “And doesn’t your backyard contain a lake?” “And doesn’t that lake have it’s own sandy beach in front of it’s own bar?” “And, isn’t your wife an avid gardener, who works at a nursery and rarely comes home from work without a tray of new plants?” “Hasn’t your wife created a virtual rainforest in your backyard?” “And haven’t you harvested moss from around your property and planted it, creating living dioramas?”

Yes, this is all correct, yet I decided to venture only as far as our Wi-Fi signal, keeping me within a reasonable distance of the house and not allowing me to venture too far. I also banned myself from using any living dioramas, or any unusual plants that only my wife knows the names of.

So with my phone close by, ensuring I only strayed as far as our Wi-Fi signal would reach, I set out to explore what I could find, and I didn’t have to travel far.

Served up in the backyard
Cooked too long on high
Flying out the window
Even dogs have passed them by
Helmet – Biscuits for Smut

Growing in the backyard, within two Wi-Fi bars distance from our backdoor, I found this clump of moss growing in the garden, under a fern, between the garden edging and a planter box.

Even a small piece can make for a great setting.

Even a small piece of moss can make for a great setting.

The thing about shooting LEGO out in nature, is you don’t need large elaborate landscapes. As the image above shows, the clump of moss is no bigger than 15 centimeters in diameter.

A minifigure telescope, or similar, makes a great anchor for stubborn minifigures

A minifigure telescope, or similar, makes a great anchor for stubborn minifigures, especially when you require them to bend over without toppling.

I wanted the unfortunate Trooper that had dropped his ice-cream to bend over, looking remorsefully at the ice-cream on the ground. Shelly, and others I’m sure, have spoken about securing minifigures with Blu-Tack, and similar products, in previous posts. However, Blu-Tack doesn’t really work with moss.

So why were you so anchorless?
A boat abandoned in some backyard
Propagandhi – Anchorless

To achieve this bend, without him toppling over, and without any cursing from behind the camera, a LEGO telescope was used to anchor him to the clump of moss. By simply pushing the telescope into the moss, I could get him to bend at the angle I was after.

A long shot of the setup.

A long shot of the setup.

It’s all about what you leave out. This long shot illustrates all the unwanted “stuff” in the background; a pagola post and the garden edging on the right, the planter box and a disproportionate leaf on the left.


“You hit something! The ground!”

So with a zoom, a simple piece of white cardboard used as a makeshift bounce card, a double check that the Wi-Fi signal was still present on my phone, and a little editing, here’s the result of an hour’s work.

Actually, an hour’s fun.

Thanks FourBricksTall and Shelly for reminding me I needn’t start my car in order to discover amazing places to shoot LEGO.