The Eagle Has Landed…

One small step… you know the rest!

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, LEGO has released the Creator Expert 10266 NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander set.

This is difficult set for me to review. Well, difficult to review from a toy photography point of view anyway. Let me explain why…

This set touched down already built… and glued, for a LEGO photography project. Sure, that cut the time it took to deliver photographs back to LEGO, but it also impacted on my inspiration process. You see, when I’m photographing a LEGO set, a big part of the inspiration for me comes from the building. As the set takes shape, photography ideas also take shape.

“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.”
– Neil Armstrong

NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander

Another thing that made this a challenge to photograph was not having the box or the instructions. It wasn’t until I’d finished photographing it, that I accidentally discovered some of it’s playability features…features that could’ve added to the photographic inspiration! There is a hidden compartment that open to reveal the camera that filmed Niel Armstrong as he climbed down the ladder to the moon’s surface. There’s another compartment on the opposite side on the Lunar Lander too.

The ascent stage detaches from the landing stage. It consists of three parts and the “front and back” sections can be removed to open up and expose it’s interior. Again, I didn’t discover this until after I’d sent LEGO my photos. Now that I have, I only wish there was an easy way to inject some light into it.

NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander

OK, maybe my review of the NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander, isn’t really a review of the set and its photographic potential. Maybe it’s more a review of my creative process with LEGO photography. Sure, I struggled to find inspiration in an already built set. And yes, the scope of the project requiring submissions to reflect historically accurate images stifled any addition of humor into the photos I create. But, the NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander is a fun set to photograph!

NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander

It’s small enough to transport easily, yet big enough to make an impact! And now that the LEGO photography project is done, I’m sure I’ll be photographing it again…now that I know some of its hidden features and being able to inject some humor into the photos I can create.

NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander

For those attentive readers, the first three photos in this post were taken on the “lunar landscape” of dry cracked mud under the bridge at our lake. And for those who sent me good wishes for rain, that location is now a foot under water!

– Brett

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  1. I can definitely imagine how it would have been hard shooting this set with very little info, and also like coming up with ideas when I build. Limitations aside, these are great shots! I love all of the colors, it’s such a wonderful, unexpected surprise seeing all those tones with the Lunar Lander.

  2. Wow, your photos came out great! I love the “lunar landscape” that you created 🙂 I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to photograph a set that was already built and glued together. I feel the same as you do: a lot of my inspiration comes during the building process. The photos are fantastic though!

  3. Mary Wardell

    You definitely overcame the limitations with the photos you got, Brett! I get a lot of my ideas as I build too, I’m looking forward to have that set in our home although since it will be Mark’s I may have to be patient.

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