Maëlick in the North

Toy Photography in Northern Finland, Sweden and Norway

Photography Diary – January 2021

January 2021 has been quite a mixed month photographically. It started well with photography projects and a virtual meetup, but the second part has been quite lacking toy photography-wise.

Ninjago

I ended 2020 and started 2021 working on a project for LEGO for the 10 years of Ninjago. In December, in addition to two of the small Ninjago sets from 2021, I got the big Ninjago City Gardens and produced images for LEGO’s social media channels.

I have no intention of sharing these images here. LEGO already shared some on various locations, including the 10 years anniversary webpage. Eventually, all the images, including the ones LEGO won’t use, should be available as a gallery at Stuck in Plastic.

Virtual Meetups

This month I was also invited for giving a talk for the Toy Photographers virtual meetup and attended the full event. Overall, this was a nice experience although quite different from the one we organized at Stuck in Plastic in September.

Out of the weekend, I think my favorite part was the two collaborative challenges we worked on. The first one was about building a series of 6 images around a theme as a group. I worked with @schizzoph and @icefire018 on the theme “Couples”.

(Both the photos of the 6 image narrative and the recording of my presentation should eventually be available online.)

The second challenge was called “director/photographer”. It involved two people, one being in front of the camera and the second giving instructions for making the photo through a video call. This challenge was probably the most fun out of the two. I ended up working with Astrid (@hey.light) who directed me while I was taking photos outside. We came up with the following image.

Grey weather and toy photography

As is often the case around this time of the year, there hasn’t been a lot of sunshine. There were a few sunny (and cold) days after the virtual meetup, but as I’m writing this, it’s been over two weeks since I last saw the sun. This of course impacted my toy photography.

Outdoor toy photography in grey weather in winter is usually tough. Since my trip to Kilpisjärvi, I’ve been thinking more and more that the problem though is not the weather but the photographer. Some of the discussions I had during the virtual meetup reinforced that idea. Toy photography on cloudy days isn’t more difficult, just different… And I think it’s a challenge that I need to work on overcoming.

Cross-country skiing

Yet, since the virtual meetup, the only outdoor photos I took were during those few sunny days. The main culprit is probably cross-country skiing. I bought skis in November and started to really use them this month. During weekends, I often end up spending the few hours of available daylight skiing. It’s the perfect outdoor hobby for cloudy days.

Initially, I packed my toys and camera with me but now stopped as they seem like unnecessary weight. I never took them out of my backpack when skiing. So far, cross-country skiing seems incompatible with toy photography. At least on maintained tracked in a city of 200k people…

(I do hope though that I’ll somehow find a way to combine both once the sun comes back in the spring!)

Running late on projects… again

Finally, I’m once again running late on several projects…

Not only I haven’t finished the Diagon Alley project I started in December, but there are also more photos I’d like to take with Ninjago City Gardens. I still need to write about black & white photography. I also need to reflect on 2020 and write about how it impacted my creative journey. And there are few other projects I would like to start…

It’s mostly because of work sucking (once again) my time and energy that I haven’t made much progress on these. This problem is unlikely to go away before Easter, but I’m hoping it won’t lead to procrastination until then…

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