Today’s post is a quick reflection on past, present, and future. This weeks word on #SiPgoes52 is Inspiration. And it is the 47th word of the series. Only 5 more weeks and this challenge of 2018 is coming to an end. Actually, 2018 is coming to an end in only 5 weeks. Time flies they say.
So how am I doing. Not that awesome. I am more like Julien, who got caught up with life. I too have a seriously backlog. And I kicked them today in a little list. Thirty words completed (with some backtagging today). Twenty two to go. Seventeen in the backlog. Five to look forward. I mission I will complete, and report back here in the last week of 2018.
So back to the King of Pop. I bumped into the King of Pop when we had our art exhibition in Birmingham last year. He has been traveling along for a long time. I have to admit I was not inspired by Michael Jackson. Yes, it is Michael Jackson and not Elvis. I mean the real one. The singer. Not the one from Minifigures.com. It is a bootleg. Not an original LEGO one. But then again, I never have been a big music fan. I am sure the King of Pop has inspired whole generations. Bootleg or not.
This is my tribute.
Twenty-two to go.
Why now? Well, it was one of those creative brain twists, triggered by that other King that has shown up on my foot. King Kalle. From one King to another.
This week’s word on SiP goes 52 is Trust. And I am seriously late. Quite a few words to finish. And a few other projects to get on the tracks like SiP goes Korea (yeah, how cool is it to have your own work exhibited on the other side of the globe).
Now there is more to this sweet Unicorn. Who does not want to be a mythical character and who does not want to be a 1B valued startup company. Another definition of Unicorn.
My creative challenge this week was not so much how to trust a Unicorn. That tagline stuck with me. Trust me. I am a Unicorn., Soon it turned into how I could shoot not one but at least three (and maybe four) Unicorns, ready to post. A creative challenge in its own. The rest of the week will see if I managed. Or not.
Last but not least
I am taking a Big Bad Unicornlook at all my social accounts and you may want to subscribe to my new FB page (ot not). Anyway, here it is.
King Kalle is back. Not the Kalle you all know. But one of my plastic friends I have been traveling with. King Kalle and his little red bike. I first bumped into King Kalle when visiting Drottingholm just outside Stockholm somewhere in two thousand fifteen. He was bicycling around in the garden, we connected and he decided to tag along.
Fast forward to the spring of twenty sixteen and King Kalle ran off. I looked for him, but the only thing I could find was a letter that he was off to discover the world. King Kalle and his little red bicycle. And while I missed his companion during some of my travels, I fully understand that even Kings need to broaden their horizon, discover new worlds, and learn from travelling.
And then last month we traveled to Skærbæk for a pop upexhibition with the rest of the crew of Stuck In Plastic, and guess what. King Kalle bumped into W. and the rest is history. Or at least we are traveling again together. Reunited. Until such time little King Kalle and his red bicycle are off again.
We had some great fun shooting plastic selfies in Skærbæk with our bowl of awesomeness and I could not resist putting King Kalle through the same today for me getting back on track with SiP goes52. You may remember what it was all about. One word a week. One reflection. And one image. I kind of succeeded to somewhere around the word Respect. Which was April. And we are now October. Week 42 and a new word. I for sure have not been leading by example.
Week 42. Leadership
A little known fact is that when we started with the idea for SiPgoes52 I got inspired by a leadership training I took part in the year before. We got offered a deck of cards (which is made up of 52 cards, equally as much as weeks in a year) with human values written up. And we had to select our top five. Not an easy task.
Down-selecting them to twelve is easy. But getting to the core. To what really matters for you as a human being was (and is) not an easy task. I remember Humanity jumped out for me. Then. And still today. But back to leadership.
I selected King Kalle as my image for Leadership, as he combines a lot of different viewpoints and opinions. At one hand he carries with him the legacy of what is called the Divine rights of Kings. The blue blood thinking that one has the birthright to lead and truly not my cup of tea (although I have grown to appreciate the role the royal families in Europe play today, that is a completely different post). Other leadership models are based on individual talent and skillsets and put the individual first (regardless if she is a natural born leader or one that has been nurtured into her role). However, the individual leadership styles continue to greatly differ. From authoritarian (we have quite a few of those types today, even in the next category) over democratic to laissez-faire.
King Kalle on his little red bike has a little bit of everything. The red bike has for sure a reference to being one with the people. Exploring green ideas to preserve the planet. Yet he continues to wear his crown and his red winter cape with Ermine. And he loves to travel and explore. Listen and learn. And be a runaway.
A new project.
And that is not all. King Kalle just accepted a new mission. A secret project I will tell you more about in the not so distant future. But for now, back to packing and the little Riddikulus challenge we are running on SiP.
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 …