Today I reshoot an image that has always been special to me.
One of those images you remember.
That stick with you.
A transformational one.
When I first shot Padmé in November 2012 and posted the shot on IG as the Phantom of the Opera, it was the first of a series of really close up low key portraits. I remember discovering the technique of low key photography on a youtube video I was looking at, and I had to try it on my little friends.
And Padmé was the first.
When I was looking for inspiration this morning for this weeks word at SiP, my eye fell on little Padmé and I knew I wanted to see if I could reshoot her portrait.
A technical challenge combined with a creative one.
The whole reasoning on how I got to her you can read on the SiP blog. I left out the inner monologue on the sad events in Syria and the troubled times we are living in, although the dark red of her grandson may have a not so subtle influence on the image, after all.
I must say I am not unhappy with the results.
For sure, I will evolve.
Grow stronger and become better.
And maybe in six years time, I have to do a reshoot of Padmé.
For now, I need to get some football pictures edited.
The season has started.
This weeks word on Stuckinplastic is Passion, and after my musings on last weeks word with Friends, I was thinking what does passion mean for me.
Wikipedia calls it like this:
Passion is the feeling of intense enthusiasm towards or compelling desire for someone or something. Passion can range from eager interest in or admiration for an idea, proposal, or cause; to enthusiastic enjoyment of an interest or activity; to strong attraction, excitement, or emotion towards a person. It is particularly used in the context of romance or sexual desire, though it generally implies a deeper or more encompassing emotion than that implied by the term lust.
Hmm. Another topic listening to a letter W comes to mind, but that will be a different post, with different kind of images. Maybe. Later.
So, back to the eager interest Wikipedia was talking about. An interest that reminded me of fishing rods.
A good 15 years ago, when we moved to Sweden, we made the move from the big city of Leuven to the awesome country (or should I say water) side of the Stockholm Archipelago. We got ourselves a little boat and started to explore the Stockholm Archipelago from the water side. One of the first things I bought once we had our little boat was a fishing rod.
Being out on the water, trying to catch some fish sounded like a good idea. I managed to catch everything from seaweed to hats and caps of my fellow boatsmen, but actually never any fish. A few tries later, and I permantly exchanged my fishing rod for a new camera and have been out on the water taking pictures ever since.
P as in Photography
I am not sure what would have happened if I would have caught some fish on those first few trips, but for sure my passion for photography was rejuvenated the day I decided to exchange the fishing rod for a new camera.
The rest is history and photography has been my passion ever since.
When a few years later I returned from the dark ages, and added LEGO to my photography subjects, my passion extended into toy photography.
I took this picture of Albert this morning on the cliffs of Kungshamn while out and about with some good friends in the other Archipelago on the West Coast.
While our boat is still on land (two more weeks to go) my passion continues.
With plastic friends and their fishing rod.
Taking pictures of their adventures.
A passion for (toy) photography.
I am having a little backlog here.
I was supposed to share some of our adventures in Paris, keep you posted on some of the other words we are exploring at StuckInPlastic and share we are heading to Hamburg in a good two weeks time for the second SiP exhibition of the year as part of the Floating Bricks event. Unfortunate I have been suffering like some of you this epic Batman Flu and I am now officially heading into week five where I am still not 100% completely “frisk”.(*)
No worries, our local family doctor told us it can take up to seven weeks to be completely frisk again. Only two more weeks to go with ups and downs and a pretty annoying cough. Should be completly recovered for our next toy photography safari in Paris later this spring. Or is it summer.
This year’s flu season was a tough one.
Impacting the worldwide community of flu sensitive sapiens at large. Not a real pandemic, as a pandemic only applies to new virus strains but for sure a bad flu year that got me coughing like an old smoker (and hey, I am close to 10 years of no smoking now – another post in the making) and made me humble in understanding how fasts pandemics can hit us.
Luckily it is just the flu.
Albeit a bad flu.
With a cool name. H3N2.
Not to be mistaken with his bad ass sibling H2N3.
Has anyone seen C3PO or R3D2?
So, I am having a little backlog here.
Last week I embarked on a new experiment with free building amongst a lot of kids which I tagged on IG with bravery.
Issar from Awesome Projects called me and asked if was interested in a little LEGO project.
How can one say no to such a question?
After a few calls back and forth we landed he was looking for a live build.
Those that know me (that is all of you), will shiver and timber on having me out and about amidst a large group of kids without being fully in control.
I am after all a more solitary toy photographer and not a team builder that builds LEGO with and or amidst a large group of kids.
LEGO Heron City
Creative challenge accepted, and I went ahead with my Master Builder (Birk) to build a World of Imagination.
Not just any world.
A LEGO Heron City World of Imagination.
A pretty large freestyle build or should we call this one Wildstyle build that took us the better of two days.
A build that also needed to be a sweet lasting memory of the community event that HERON City organized for all their kids.
A build to last.
The reason why I wanted to share this story here today with you (and me, as I see this as my personal star trek captains log agenda) was not so much about how cool it was to build for Big Inc. HERON City (super cool btw – thank you), but for the community of kids that during these two days were part of my building experience.
The girl that kept on bringing me pieces from the LEGO play pits I needed to include. The boy that absolutely wanted to put Captain Hook in the lava. No matter what, he was ready for it. The sister that kept on telling her little brother to not touch the build, but secretly touched it herself. The girl that asked me why I was mixing Batman with Minecraft and The Simpsons. Because we can! The hundreds of parents that asked me what I was doing (building LEGO) … The kids that were shy, but smiled big time when I asked if they build themselves. The look on the face of that one guy when I said it was the first time I build in LEGO. And the happiness in the eyes of that little girl when I “fixed” her car. A big pink piece to keep it all together made her smile.
I have to admit my anxiety levels were tested when I had adults trying to shake the build in the last few hours when we reached readiness, to see how strong it was, but overall these two days were just plain awesome.
A community that organized a community event for the next generation to come and play and I could be part of it and build something special to give back to that community. Thank You.
The Post Scriptums
PS. Next time, Issar, we need to execute the collaborative plan we discussed. That is going to be even more awesome community experience. A true community build.
PPS. For me, Sapiens is a small intergalactic community we should take care off. No point having the bullies on the playground fighting with each other. If Trump, Putin or Xi are not behaving as community role models, they should be put in the corner of the class. We have more important intergalactic fish to fry.
PPS. Frisk is one of the Swedish words for being healthy.
2018 is well underway.
January is running to an end.
And I have been rethinking my workflow a little.
Still very much work in progress, but I will be consolidating some of my little projects here on this blog and in my little portfolio.
Just a logical evolution of my creative journey.
Me2 got his own blog a long time ago. Then came that little collective called Stuck In Plastic, and it has been difficult to get all the adventures connected.
I have shared a lot of my plastic adventures last year on the SiP blog.
Neglected Me2’s blog and struggled along the way to keep up my promise to post here once a week.
I will continue to actively post on SiP. And I will add some more personal musings on all things plastic here and actually start consolidating Me2 adventures and plastic explorations here on my blog. Evolution.
Fifty-two and a little.
And that brings me to this year creative challenge we embarked on over at SiP. Fifty-two words to explore. Fifty-two odd images. Fifty-two weeks.
And this is week four.
I managed so far to keep up the pace and follow the rhythm.
And this weeks word is fitness.
For those who know me, I am struggling with keeping up appearances at the local fitness club.
For sure I would need to get rid of a good 4K to have a full mens sana in corpore sano approach.
But hey, the next challenge will be the mens sana then.
So back to fitness.
After considering shooting some images in the fitness above the Diner (more on that later), I am happy I did not go that road, as Lynn did a fantastic job on that.
Fitness (often denoted w or ω in population genetics models) is the quantitative representation of natural and sexual selection within evolutionary biology.
Ouch. And it does not get easier.
It can be defined either with respect to a genotype or to a phenotype in a given environment. In either case, it describes individual reproductive success and is equal to the average contribution to the gene pool of the next generation that is made by individuals of the specified genotype or phenotype. The fitness of a genotype is manifested through its phenotype, which is also affected by the developmental environment. The fitness of a given phenotype can also be different in different selective environments.
I have to admit I had no clue what phenotypes are. But luckily Wikipedia had a nice introductory article on genetics. If you want to know more about phenotypes and a good refresher on genetics, I warmly recommend the read.
With asexual reproduction, it is sufficient to assign fitnesses to genotypes. With sexual reproduction, genotypes are scrambled every generation. In this case, fitness values can be assigned to alleles by averaging over possible genetic backgrounds. Natural selection tends to make alleles with higher fitness more common over time, resulting in Darwinian evolution.
And that is where it clicked.
The evolution of (plastic) men into space.
A new take on the evolution of Sapiens (the species, not the book).
The interplanetary species as part of our “Darwinian fitness” program.
To boldly go …
About Space Cowboys
I created the evolution of Me2 as the invite for my 40th birthday (a long time ago) and I thought it was a good exercise to try it again.
I had the idea and wanted to execute on it.
There are some flaws in the picture, but I also wanted to execute the idea in a short period of time. And the flaws actually contribute to the Darwinian fitness program. I kinda like it.
Every year we have a little photo project running during our summer holidays and this year is no different. We had a new friend joining us in our little adventure. A security droid with attitude, listening to the name of Kay. I talked about him in that other famous blog of note (joke intended).
A droid with attitude that will make a prominent place in this year’s coffee table book.
A droid that socialized pretty well after being hand painted by our chief builder and master painter Birk. Maybe he socialized a little bit too well …
Pisa (/ˈpiːzə/; Italian pronunciation: [ˈpiːsa; ˈpiːza]) is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, straddling the Arno (the river, not the Belgian artist, a homograph) just before it empties into the Ligurian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its leaning tower (the bell tower of the city’s cathedral), the city of over 91,104 residents contains more than 20 other historic churches, several medieval palaces and various pizzeria’s.
The city of Pisa did not lent its name to this protected traditional dish of Italy. That is a completly different story altogether. The history of pizza (the food not the city) begins in antiquity, when various ancient cultures produced flatbreads with toppings.
The precursor of pizza was probably the focaccia, a flat bread known to the Romans as panis focacius, to which toppings were then added. Modern pizza developed in Naples, when tomato was added to the focaccia in the late 18th century however the word pizza was first documented in AD 997 in Gaetana.
So, while Pizza and Pisa may after all not be connected, for me they are homonyms that date back to my childhood, when pizza for sure came from that Italian city Pisa with its odd tower. A childhood short of Wikipedia to provide the answer at your fingertips.
On a completly different side note, I just discovered the Wikipedia app for iOS and love the map feature that is included. If you like me have not discovered the app and just used the search in your iPhone, give it a try. A new toolkit in my bag of location aware devices and apps, but that is a post for later.
PS. Posting from the road and learning the tricks of the trade of only having an iPad. Not 100% happy with my image but posted nevertheless. Better one published, then ten stuck in draft.
The Cinque Terre (Italian pronunciation: [ˈtʃiŋkwe ˈtɛrre]; Ligurian: Çinque Tære, meaning “Five Lands”) is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia, and comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a clear No Fly zone.
Exactly. No fly. No drones.
You find photographers in all sizes and flavours. From the pure purists who will only shoot with a Leica and a prime over the brand fashionistas (Sony is a hot brand these days) to the extremes of rugged allround photographers who use their gear, and the geeks who actually talk shop, but may be less in taking pictures (how sharp can a lens be) or printing them for the fear of chromatic abberation (also known as purple rain). You find us in all kind of flavours. From strawberry to caffe latte and I am kind of in the middle. I like my gear, I am a loyal brand fashionista (more because I cannot change my glass that often, and I do hope Nikon will bring out a new mirrorless body in the full frame range in a few years, that let me reuse my glass I invested in over the years), and I believe in the mantra that the best camera around is the one at your fingertips. So as most of you know I travel with my good old Nikon D600, my ever evolving iPhone and my beloved Falcon II (actually it is a DJI Phantom IV, but gadgets need a name).
And here I was. In the middle of the five lands, screaming to get the drone out for the perfect shot, when traffic control decided otherwise.
Time to get the hiking boots out and walk to the end of the jetty to get that almost perfect sunset shot.
And it was crowded there on the Jetty.
So crowded I ended up with getting photobombed by the crew trying to get the attention of Woody while rescuing lens caps of total strangers and hang out with this and other photographers on the Jetty.
Fun it was.
PS. The other members of the Crew where enjoying a local white wine at the top of the hill under The umbrella at the right while looking down on our climbing efforts to get that “perfect” shot.
I have been to Italy before. Yet the cities I have been visiting this summer so far have been new and different for me (special thanks to W). Today’s city of choice is the birthplace of one of the most iconic navigators who by accident found the new world on the other side of the planet. Talking about pure luck.
I don’t want to go here into today’s politics and the most worrisome climate we are living in. Maybe that is something for a later blog post (I must admit it is scary to find military in the day to day cityscape around Europe where I grew up). So back to Christoffer Columbus and his birthplace, Genoa. If our young Italian explorer would not have reached the shores of the New World in 1492, the world as we know it today may have been completely different and this other company founded 400 years later, located in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio would not have been the favorite casual wear of my model of today (again). No hidden sponsorship, just the travel kit of K.
Thank you, Christoffer, for taking the time to sail the wrong way, and put things in motion.
On a completly different note, the images shot here are both the “long exposure” kind without any serious editing (no HDR bracketing as I only can use the .jpeg of the series in my new self enforced back to basics workflow) and guess what, Stefan is exploring this one as well as part of his craftsmanship journey over at stuckinplastic.
I am sure we will exchange some notes on the topic.
The second stop in our little cultural roadtrip is the city of slow food, the original capital of Italy, the home to the House of Savoy, the birthplace of FIAT, the precious guardian of the shroud, and last but not least the hometown of IFK Juventus.
Offcourse we had to stop at this temple of the human body, the celebration of running after a ball to just kick it away.
Just as their T-shirts says. Ambition. It is a matter of black and white.
And no. I will not go into detail on the two hour shopping experience of trying out new shoes inside the Juventus store and walking out with a simple silly T shirt.
The first stop on our little summer road trip this year is a little romantic city just outside Walldorf.
A most beautiful university city I want to revisit next time I may have to travel to the center of the SAP universe in Walldorf. A most symbolic overnight stop (many more to come these two weeks) in an idyllic city as I have to refind my workflow. This is my first ever longer roadtrip I travel without a full fledge laptop. A roadtrip I will try to optimize my digital workflow from viewfinder to blogpost by using my iPad as my main digital workstation while on the road.
The last few years my workflow has become to top heavy, and the fun of getting a quick post out had disappeared. This year I will try to change that flow, and what better city to start this in as Heidelberg.