Photography has been such a huge passion in my life but I do have a second passion that was re-ignited recently when my kids started to get into Legos. I have such fond memories as a child building cool creations and now as an adult have enjoyed playing with Legos as much as my kids :). Thinking about passions I do have to say that I can also Geek out with anything Star Wars so was blown away a few months ago when I ran into this awesome photo on Google +.
Great macro photography of Star Wars legos! This image was just too cool and I had to Interview the artist. Here is an Photographer Spotlight on Christoffer Östberg:
What is your current project all about?
During 2014 I did a LEGO-365 project, which for all intense and purposes, is about posting one picture a day for the whole year. This took some careful planning and in case of a broken schedule I needed a buffer stockpile of photos to upload. This didn’t always work as intended, but I can happily say that, for the most part, I had about one week of photos ready. After that endeavor ended at New Years I have just had my inspiration take me wherever I feel it might bring me. This has included several weeks of nothing, but I am happy to say that every time I bring out the camera and those small plastics I feel the joy of creation sear through me. As of late I lean more towards natural light shootings and not the dominant dark room setting, as last year, still I find it challenging and fun to figure out new ways to bring those figures to life, telling a story.
How did this project get started, where did the inspiration come from?
I first got into shooting plastics end of 2013 when I found the toy community of IG. It was an inspiring bunch of wonderful people who was always helpful and encouraging. Some relations developed and I now talk to them on a daily basis. The LEGO-365 project was really an accepted dare from an IG user I now have the honor of calling my friend, @harleyquin and her InkBlot Photo on Flickr. I’m in awe of the inspiration she is to many others, and me and to see her feed as she this year entered her third in a row LEGO-365 project. As for most of us we do have our idols and mine was Vesa Lethimäki, @Avanaut (IG/Flickr), his stunning way to create cinematic scenes had me stare at the screen for hours.
The Reason you love what you do?
At first this question may have seemed easy enough and the answer self-evident, but looking deeper, there’s nothing simple about it. What are our personal reasons for taking photographs? The answer is different for all of us. It can be as simple as love, a story that needs to be told, or a way to revisit childhood. I have only been active in LEGO photography for almost two years now, and my reasons have changed as time past by.
How did you get started in photography?
Photography for me has always been present in my life, as I did eventually marry a photographer who stands as a beacon of knowledge, know-how and inspiration to me, the love for the picture is something we have in common. But the real reason I started with LEGO photography was, I needed a hobby as the kids grew older and I got back some spare time, now a hobby I share with my son. Both of my children stand as an unending source of ideas for new ways to play with LEGO.
What does photography mean to you?
When I first started out I made a promise of always challenging myself in photography and find new ways to play with these bricks, to cast away the innate limitations and bring them to life, sometimes with the help of the four elements. Especially close to my heart are those pictures involving fire and natural light. It’s about not having control of the situation, acting within a limited time frame with the camera to capture that which is unpredictable, be it fire, wind, water, or earth. What I appreciate about the unpredictable photographs is that they capture a moment in time, impossible or almost impossible to reproduce, triggering a realistic cinematic feeling.
Alexander Rodchenko said, “One has to take several different shots of a subject, from different points of view and in different situations, as if one examined it in the round rather than looked through the same key-hole again and again.”
For me there are endless perspectives on the simplest of objects, and all of them tell a different story. There is a story behind every image, and it is a great feeling when my family and I decide to frame one of them and hang it on the wall. The images may seem uninteresting to people, but to me they are a reminder of what ideas spawned in my mind and what emotion stirred them to life.
Your photography specialty?
I don’t know if I have a specialty as I always strive to learn new things, but I do however feel very passionate about using fire in my photos. It’s dangerous, for the figures, unpredictable and difficult to make the flames or sparks small enough to set them in relation to the LEGO itself. But I have to say this: I found that even though I strive to make all photographic effects in front of the camera, with as little post-processing as possible, my goal is to express my emotional response to the scene. This has led me to modify the image captured by the camera. If I did not alter the image, I would be showing what the camera captured, not what I saw and felt in my head. Even so, I still work more with the camera using the post-production software only to enhance effects, not create them afterwards.
Who is your photo idol?
I choose to interpret this question as what is my favorite object to photograph, and it would be, hands down, the Stormtrooper, or trooper in any form, be there snow, scout or sand.
If I would claim to have an idol in photography it would have to be the one who has inspired me the most: Vesa Lethimäki, aka @Avanaut the king of LEGO winter.
Lens of choice?
I use mainly two lenses and that’s the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR G, and the Lensbaby Composer which indeed make a photo session seriously aggravating as well as enjoyable.
Favorite photography product?
I shoot LEGO, and LEGO, Oh and the iconic Stormtrooper. There’s really not much anything else for me.
I have to say the original trilogy of Star Wars, especially episode V, Empire Strikes Back. But beyond the obvious of Star Wars I’d have to say “The usual suspects”.
Last rental you watched?
In the age of high speed Internet, rental might not be the word to use. But if we say “stream” then it would be last episode of The CW production of “The Flash”.
Where can you be found on days off?
Mostly at my home north of Stockholm, Sweden, spending time with family, silently planning for next photo to come alive.
What superhero would you be?
Well since I don’t see myself as a hero in any sense, but have always had a love for the Batman, especially in combination with the Joker as I see them intimately connected. Not sure I’d be the Batman though… Maybe Alfred, he’s a hero yes.
If I am typically carving something it is?
A freshly made, ice-cold smoothie made from; bananas, orange, carrot and pineapple, possible a few blueberries to go with, for the color effect.
What is your most favorite photo you have recently taken?
I recently, with the help of my wife, I needed four arms for this, successfully combined water/rain and sparklers to create the scene with the rebel technician engaged in repair work, welding parts of the iconic B-Wing in place.
Do you know of a awesome Photographer out there that we should spotlight? Leave a comment below and let me know!
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