Tag Archives: Photography

These LEGO test bricks are fantastically photogenic [Feature]

When it comes to LEGO, Beryll Roehl is both a collector and artist. LEGO test bricks are the focal point of her collection, and she takes this hobby to the next level by beautifully photographing pieces alongside objects with similar colors. LEGO’s test bricks were produced in a multitude of materials and colors for the purpose of research and development, and they have an exciting history. To learn more about these unique relics of LEGO’s past, be sure to read our informative interview with Beryll. Since then, Beryll has photographed even more bricks like these black BASF bricks with a little bumblebee. How cute!

Black is beautiful!

See more of Beryll’s beautifully photographed test bricks

I’m only happy when it rains

Photo-realism is very hard to achieve when you also include LEGO minifigures as the protagonists. Sure, LEGO enthusiasts are comfortable with the not-quite-human proportions, but there’s still that feeling that you’re looking at, well, toys. Not so with the work of Lego_nuts. This builder is also a photographer who knows how to transform a well built set into a stunning composition that feels like a frame from any on-screen Marvel movie. In Raining Battle, Iron Man and War Machine face off against a horde of alien nasties, amid the backdrop of a drenched New York alleyway. Rain and water are everywhere, diffusing the light and giving an air of menace to the scene as a whole.
Raining battle
The alley’s LEGO details include trash cans and waste bins, a newspaper box, and plenty of railings and fire escape ladders. But the vertical span of the buildings is what gives this image such a sense of depth. It feels like our heroes are at the bottom of a very deep hole. I’m sure they’ll win, though.

We recently featured another beautiful LEGO photo from this artist, featuring the entirely different fantasy world of Harry Potter.

Ollivander’s shop looks wand-erful in LEGO

My preferred style of LEGO build is the kind geared towards a fully immersive photograph. The lack of edges, the painstaking arrangement of light, and precise positioning of the minifigures contribute to a realism that is gratifying with tiny bits of plastic. It is about the photograph. The work of up-and-coming builder Lego_nuts is in a similar vein, with splendid use of light. The subject matter will be apparent to anyone who has seen the first Harry Potter movie, as Harry tries just about every wand in Mr. Ollivander’s shop before finding the right one, making a huge mess in the process (though why anyone cares about messes in the wizarding world is beyond me, as it cleans itself up with a flick of a wand). But what excites me about the build is the light streaming in the window in the back, giving it a feeling of harsh daylight outside on Diagon Alley.

Oops, sorry Mr. Ollivander...

The stacked wand boxes are also beautifully arranged, utilizing a number of different elements to create the effect, from ingots and grille tiles to masonry bricks and grille bricks. I love how many of them are at an angle, just stuffed in there wherever they can fit. The desk has some wands for display, of course, highlighting the different colors that one could have (perhaps the different woods?), along with a ledger and quill. Some 1x4x1 fence pieces make for great wrought-iron risers on the stairs, too. What sells the build, though, is the tiled ceiling and the light fixture hanging down, finishing the space. It’s the details like those that are the difference between a lackluster immersive build and a lustrous one.

Twas the night before Halloween

Builder architectlego has amazing skills in creating ethereal LEGO scenes with great photography, lighting and photo magic touchups. This Halloween themed build is one more that does not disappoint.

Halloween around the corner… elixirs brewed in advance for peak potency,
Luring the young and innocent.. with all things sweet and savory,
Isn’t it obvious? …stay away outsiders,
Dead giveaway! …cracked windows and spiders,
Complete in costume with a crooked pointy hat,
No witchery wicked ways are complete without the companion cat.

A sweet dream in LEGO

I love LEGO creations that fool the eye. When I first saw Sweet dream in the old garage by AdNorrel, I thought I was looking at a well composed photo of a real-life moment. I was scrolling through images of LEGO creations at the time, so I knew that couldn’t be right. So I took a closer look.

“Oh,” I thought, “that’s a LEGO minifigure in the center. So the garage is probably brick built. Yep. Looks like they put the build in front of their garden outside to get the background….no. Wait.”
“….”
“….wow.”

Sweet dream in the old garage

There are a lot of details partially hidden in the shadows of the garage. The tiling on the wall expertly mimics the slightly warped wood of an older building. Trophies and statuettes hint at past racing glories, blending in with the more functional aspects of the garage. Custom printing on many of the signs adds tantalizing hints of the larger world this creation inhabits. There are indications that a lot more is happening just out of sight, too, as there’s a crane to the right and the front end of a car to the left. Continue reading

A picture’s worth a thousand bricks: vintage LEGO photography [Feature]

When it comes to collecting LEGO items, there are plenty of avenues to pursue. While vintage LEGO sets and gear are perhaps the most obvious choices, I prefer collecting LEGO ephemera. I have spent many hours scouting out old catalogs, brochures and instructions. Out of all the ephemera I have, period photographs of children enjoying LEGO sets are among my favorite pieces. Owning a retired set is enjoyable, but images from the past help contextualize LEGO products in a way a set alone cannot do. Photographs provide a window into the past when now-retired LEGO products were new, which is why I am sharing some of my favorite photographs with you!

See more vintage photographs of children and adults enjoying LEGO bricks

Building good fortune on a rainy day

In many Asian cultures, koi ponds symbolize luck, good fortune, and abundance. They also tend to represent courage and perseverance. Perhaps that’s why, even with the abundance of rain, this geisha isn’t afraid of her makeup running!

Banter aside, this expertly photographed build by Architeclego is stunning. I personally find heavy rain beautiful and almost calming. From inside, its enveloping, rhythmic drone is even cozy. This is one of those picture that provokes those feelings.

While the photography in itself is compelling, the build is not to be overlooked! I’m a fan of the layout and recessed pool, and I especially like the inversion of the arch bricks for the roof. We certainly hope to see many more pieces of art like this in the future.

Searching for light in a dark world

Presentation can make all the difference in evaluating a LEGO model. Sometimes the photography is just as impressive as the build itself. Revan New brings us a moody post-apocalyptic scene full of mystery and unique parts usage. The picture is more than just a study on lighting, using a fog machine, or image composition. Instead, it is more about combining multiple camera tricks in order to provide visual context for compelling storytelling.

Lantern Mecha's Islands

The build uses minifig lantern pieces to form much of the mecha’s structure. It was created as a study in parts for the LEGO blog, New Elementary, but the unique parts usage does not end with lanterns. For example, there is the wheel cover piece used as the ship’s engine and all the fun bits piled atop the roof. However, my favorite aspect of the scene would have to be the realistic rocks. Most of the surfaces are well-textured with angles between larger pieces achieving much of the sculpting. , of course done very carefully and not at all random. There are several other photos of this build on Revan New’s Flickr photostream and his article on New Elementary. With the article, you can see how some parts were done but, for me, this single photo makes the greatest impact.

A picture is worth a thousand bricks

Back in 2013 Tyler Clites contributed a fantastic tutorial to the Brothers Brick on how to photograph your LEGO creations; and his latest creation proves once again that not only is he one of the LEGO community’s most talented builders, he’s also a master at presenting his work. Of course the featured spaceship has all the hallmarks you’d expect from Tyler: nice piece usage throughout, wonderfully shaped engines, and appealing splashes of colour for detail. However, as he notes, he wanted more for this craft than a shot of it flying through space. With a repurposed rock base, and the creation of some creepy bug aliens, we now have a story to be told. Hunkered down for repairs in the middle of nowhere, the ship’s auto turrets save the day. Mix in ace lighting effects and a swirling mist, courtesy of a vape pen, and you have what I have previously written about, the perfect marriage between LEGO and photography.

Pitstop

The Brothers Brick to safeguard all LEGO creations featured since 2005 in response to Flickr’s changes to free accounts [News]

Early last month, we noted how changes to Flickr’s free accounts have the potential to significantly harm the historical record of the LEGO hobbyist (AFOL) community. Historically, Flickr provided unlimited storage to its Free account users, but the number of photos that can be hosted on a Free account will be limited to 1,000 starting January 1st, 2019. As a result, many LEGO creations hosted in Free accounts are now at risk of disappearing forever. This is particularly heartbreaking for photos from LEGO builders who have passed away or are no longer participating in the hobbyist community. But we have good news to share, so please read on!

Read more about what TBB is doing to help ensure continuity in the LEGO building community

Wisdom as your sword, knowledge as your shield

In a world where castle means intense textures and exotic part uses, Henjin Quilones brings a breath of fresh air with an all-LEGO library scene.

The Library of Druidham

While there are a few unique techniques like the huge armchairs and nice angles on the roof’s underside, the real quality of the creation is its atmosphere. The composition and posing of the minifigs really set up a great mood. The best part has to be the lighting, with warm sunlight shining through the windows and a lit fireplace. This is one of those cases when a creation is as much a build as an artistic photograph.

The grace of disgrace: an incredible resurrected dragon

It appears Aaron Newman has developed an affinity for flying elements in his LEGO creations, as they appear in several of his latest builds. Floating and flying parts are nothing new, but few builders take the effort of going the extra step to make them look this good (presumably by digitally editing out the supports–or maybe learning black magic and making parts float for real!).

Triumph of the Skelemancer

Aaron has used his editing and presentation magic on more than just the flying draconic skeleton. The purple light emanating from the circle on the ground was achieved with a glass table and a lot of effort, while Aaron says the backlit stained glass windows were just as difficult to get right. We should not ignore the actual LEGO build though. It is all about atmosphere here and every part helps create it. The architecture with the circular design of the hall gives a nice focal point to the scene, and the impression is finished off by the ground texture, passing from a cobblestone floor through a circular section of the tiling into a clean glowing purple area. And if you are, like me, wondering what makes the little purple gaps between the “stones” of the circle, Aaron has revealed the secret: purple quarter-circle roller coaster tracks!