Week 49 – Walt Disney

I doubt there is much need to introduce Walt Disney. Loved or hated, it is hard to deny the cultural impact of his company when most currently living generations (at least in the Western world) have grown up surrounded by Disney animation movies.

For this week, I decided to pay tribute to Disney by making a series of photos rather than a single one. (A bit like I did for J.K. Rowling.) I mixed and matched my collection of Elves and Disney minidolls. Practically, that mostly meant making elvenized versions of Disney princesses.

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Best Photo of 2019?

Every year, towards the end of the year, Flickr creates a group called “Your Best Shot”. This year’s group will be open on Monday.

Every year, it is an occasion for me to reflect on my own photography. Decide what is my favorite and most representative photo of the year. Reflect on a journey and think about how to plan the future. But this year I actually have a hard time choosing a single photo.

For the past four years, choosing my favorite photo has been relatively easy. From the time I had taken and edited each of them, I had that feeling of “it might be the best of this year”. But so far, it didn’t happen in 2019.

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Week 48 – Ada Lovelace

This week, our human being of #SiPgoes52 is no one else than Ada Lovelace. Daughter of Lord Byron (a key figure of Romanticism and one of the first modern celebrities), she is known as the first programmer… A century before the construction of the first computer.

Raised by her mother who encouraged her to pursue her interest in mathematics, she got into contact with scientists and intellectuals from the 19th Century including Faraday and Dickens. Because of her keen mathematical sense, she collaborated closely with Charles Babbage who had invented a machine similar in essence to modern computers.

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Week 47 – Magellan

Ferdinand Magellan, in his original Portuguese form Fernão de Magalhães, was the man who led the first circumnavigation around the world. This week is all about the age of discovery and the great explorers from the 15 to 17th century.

Christopher Columbus is the most well-known explorers, yet we picked Magellan as a less obvious choice.

I’ve always been fascinated by Magellan. It’s with certainty to discover a route South of America that he led his expedition to success. Moreover, we now know that Columbus wasn’t the first European to set foot in America. While I don’t want to reduce the significance of the (re-)discovery of America by Columbus, I find that circumnavigating the world is one of the most important milestones towards a globally connected world.

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A little bit disappointed …

Last week I got an email from LEGO asking if I was an Original.
You most probably got the same.
We all got it.
How original is that.
Yet I was intrigued.
A beautiful crafted LEGO minifigure.
Five-time the size of the real deal.
An exclusive, handcrafted oak minifigure, challenging to unleash my creativity.

An exclusive, handcrafted red oak minifigure

Challenging me to unleash my creativity …

I was hooked.
And I clicked the link, and swiped my credit card.
I am after all a fan of all things LEGO, and this exclusive Original begged to come over to my place. The checkout page told me I was limited to two pieces max. While I was tempted to buy two, the pretty steep price point (yes, pretty steep) made me think twice and I only bought one.

On Friday I got a notification a package was waiting for me.
I got that creative feeling that this would be fun, and my mind drifted away to all the things I could do this weekend with my new minifigure in red wood oak.

Unboxing

Take it out into town.
Have a portrait photoshoot with my new camera (more on that later).
Get some creative street photography with my new friend.

I could not wait with unboxing it.

A little bit disappointed …

And that is where the disappointment started.

This little dude is completely not poseable.
A minifigure whose arms can’t move.
Whose legs are frozen in time.
One solid block of LEGO wood.

A sustainable block of wood as the FSC stamp stands for.
And a nice little visit card for roomcopenhagen.com which I was surprised to find here.
I would have hoped to get a unique serial number, since every piece is handcrafted, but I doubt my (H)/0001 is a real serial.

A beautifully crafted dead weight I can have on my desk to hold my Wacom pen.

Now, for 1399 SEK (130 EUR, 144 USD, 0,016 Bitcoin) this is a pretty expensive high-end dead weight. And LEGO advises me to get creative and build the buzz by painting or carving this beautiful dead weight. Now, at 1399 SEK one is not directly inclined to make a disruptive move.
At least I am not, as the object is beautiful on its own.
And so it actually does not invite to be a blank canvas that screams to be sculptured.
While you can see the inspiration may come from the CowParade, at this price point it is very elitish and I am not sure a lot of creatives will buy one to “create the buzz”…

My Buzz

My creative buzz … for now.

And this is where I think LEGO did not get it all right in this first of its Originals.
Or maybe LEGO tried to get too much in this little minifigure.

  • A collector item – yes
  • An expensive price point – yes
  • Beautifully crafted – yes
  • An inspiration to get creative with – maybe
  • A blank canvas – no
  • Playable – not really
  • Poseable – nope
  • And did I say – very expensive? Very expensive indeed.
  • And not something you give to kids to draw on and make their own art.

I am not saying you should not buy this for an AFOL that is looking for a timeless beautifully carved sculpture to have in their AFOL cave. But be aware of the limitations. This is not really a toy for kids to get creative with, and for us toy photographers it is a very static model, to say the least.

Looking for my Geppetto

So, here I am.
A little bit disappointed…
And looking for a carpenter that can make me a real poseable minifigure out of this one. With moveable legs and arms. My Gepetto…

Anyone around that knows someone that could help me out?

Week 46 – Edith Piaf

One of my favorite things about not living in a French-speaking country anymore is that I don’t have to put up with French music on a daily basis. I truly dislike (or should I even say despise?) most music sung in French. There are a few exceptions though. French punk. French and Breton folk music. And Edith Piaf.

Edith Piaf is one of the most famous French singers from the mid-20th century. This is due to her incredible voice. I’ve always been stunned by how powerful, unique and so hard to imitate her voice was.

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Week 45 – Ingrid Bergman

This week’s human being is no one else than Ingrid Bergman, one of the most famous Hollywood actresses of all time. To be honest, I don’t who picked her to be on our list, and even less why. (Besides being one of the most famous actresses of all time…)

Personally, I know Ingrid Bergman for three roles: as the co-star in Casablanca, for starring in Gaslight and for her supporting role in Murder on the Orient Express. Out of those three, my favorite is Gaslight, and thus the one I chose this week for inspiration. (That said, we might revisit Murder on the Orient Express in a few weeks…)

Like The Birds, Gaslight is one of those classic movies I watched as a teenager thanks to Arte. While it’s nothing like The Birds, the movie has some truly beautiful film noir cinematography and Ingrid Bergman’s performance is at its best. (I also can’t resist mentioning the appearance of a 19 years old Angela Lansbury.)

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Off Roading the Land Rover Defender

LEGO Technic Land Rover Defender 2019

The wonderful designers at the LEGO Group have only gone and done it again. The new Land Rover Defender 2019 has been released and like its original design, it is a force to be reckoned with. The new model 42110 from the Technic range is authentic and iconic. Developed in partnership with Land Rover, this impressive LEGO replica does not disappoint.

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Week 44 – Newton

This week, our human being is Newton. Isaac the physicist and mathematician, not Helmut the photographer. Although I’m the one responsible for putting him on our list, I’ve got to admit I regret it.

Newton is one of those famous people we put on our list as “an easy human being” that anyone knows. However, I wish I had chosen one a bit less obvious, like Galileo or Copernicus.

Newton is said to have completed, with his “Principia” published in 1687, the scientific revolution that started a century earlier with Copernicus. These early discoveries are what laid the ground for modern science and made possible most of today’s technology.

For this week, rather than focusing on Newton, I wanted to go back to the root of the scientific revolution: astronomy, observing the celestial objects, and trying to explain their movements.

Without any doubt, all advancements in physics started with Copernicus and all the way to Newton wouldn’t have happened without advancements in optics which led to the invention of the telescope.

Pippilotta Rollgardinia Victualia Peppermint Longstocking

Pippilotta

This week’s person in the spotlight of our SiP goes 53 series is the creative storyteller behind the rebellious Pippilotta. Pippilotta Rollgardinia Victualia Peppermint Longstocking to be precise. Pippi in short is the red-haired, freckled, unconventional and superhumanly strong kid that lives in Villa Villekulla and embarks on amazing adventures with her horse and Herr Nilsson. And she has a suitcase filled with gold.
You must have heard about her.

Pippilotta was also the name of a red-haired adventurer I accidentally bumped into in a little village called Sparkle. It was in the middle of the nineties. The sun was shining and I just returned from an encounter with Lars.
She smiled at me and gave this newbie more silver coins than I could carry.
I must have made an hilarious impression while I thanked her blushing profusely and ran back and forth to the guild to level up my skills to kill rats in the docks.

Sparkle

If you start to wonder where Sparkle is located, you can find it in the old school text based mud game called genesis.
A (text-based) world of its own.
Full of fantasy and lore.
And fate made me bump again into this mysterious adventurer with green eyes and red-haired ponytails in the docks of Sparkle and she asked me to join her.
I took her up on the offer, and we set out to bash some some orcs and hobbits, wandered the lands and eventually got married.
And then we decided to meet up IRL in Paris.

The rest is history.

That Sparkle (tongue in cheek) turned into a real live adventure.
We fell in love.
We got married.
And we decided to name our firstborn after a character out of another book of this amazing storyteller from the North. Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter.
Don’t worry, our second got named after one of Walt’s classics.

Astrid Lindgren is her name.

The amazing storyteller of books like Pippi Longstocking, Emil i Lönneberga, Karlsson-on-the-Roof, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, and The Brothers Lionheart has left a lasting impression on me with her stories and her characters.
And if you have not read any of her books, I can warmly recommend them.
They are for all ages…

Astrid Lindgren is our SiPgoes53 person of this week.