avanaut Follow the sound and you'll find them. Noisy things they are. 2d
  •   avanaut @joanmarcf Thank you very much! I am happy you like my book. I haven't photographed LEGO for a while but I have something special waiting on my LEGO pile... :) 2d
  •   dancookephotography @avanaut sounds interesting. Looking forward to seeing that :) 2d
  •   smokebelch2 Oh my!! That's a bit wonderful! 1d
  •   starwarsreacts Sorry me if it sounds repetitive in your ears, but I really really enjoyed your book! Oh my gosh, I read it so slowly because I didn't wanna finish it! It was awesome, I loved all the strategies you adopt to take pics of your LEGOs and how you've explained them I've tried to take cool pics of Star Wars LEGOs many many times, trust me, but I never managed it; you're awesome, I estimate you so much for your work @avanaut 18h
  •   avanaut @dancookephotography The LEGO pile? Yeah, trying to find a peaceful moment to dig into that. :) 17h
  •   avanaut @smokebelch2 Thanks Mark! The Falcon photo is several years old, the trees are from about a month ago. Gotta love modern photomanipulation tools. :D 17h
  •   avanaut @starwarsreacts The book has proved to be a big adventure for me, not just because I had the great honor to have it published, but also because of the feedback I keep getting. I didn't expect that to happen, I am flabbergasted by it all. So, not repetitive at all, I am very happy to hear your thoughts on the book. You are very kind, thank you! 17h
  •   starwarsreacts Oh np man! I completely understand you! Great work! @avanaut 17h

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avanaut For no particular reason I have photographed the Millennium Falcon's aft a lot recently. I didn't even realize I was doing that.

Thinking about it, I guess it's simply because I have been trying to avoid the ubiquitous front quarter view of her. You know, the angle it's first seen from in Mos Eisley's docking bay 94.

Or it just has been because of the way that old piece of junk has been parked.

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avanaut Hey, look, a cool little tugboat!

It was a nice cold evening in Helsinki mid-January and I was walking downtown with my camera. I saw this nice tugboat and thought I'd use it to try doing one scale model mashup without having anything in front of the model to help blending it to the scene. A free flying spaceship against the sky is probably the most common of these type of photographs, but I haven't really done those (except once). I think they are difficult to do. This time I shot a few frames of the tugboat for trying this out.

I tried to match the models to the lighting and atmosphere of the original photograph the following night, but the delicate winter light wasn't that easy to catch. I tried a couple of times but the subsequent sunsets were very different than on the night I shot this (the behind-the-scene photographs I posted a few weeks ago). There are some issues that don't go away even when I edited the photo quite heavily.

Now the weather outdoors is wet and almost all the snow is gone, I'm not going to keep this hanging on my computer desktop anymore hoping I might be able to improve it some day soon. I probably couldn't anyway.

I like how the engine reflection on the sea water turned out, it's a nice little touch, I think.

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avanaut A couple of weeks ago I posted a photograph of my old MPC snowspeeder scale model, it was built about 35 years ago. The paintjob was not good and even though I was determined to save it as it was, I needed a platform to practice my painting and I didn't want to buy anything just because of that.
So, I thought what the hey, and here's my revived snowspeeder with grey insignia and (X) emblem instead of the ZZ that should be there on the side of the canopy. I didn't have a replacement decal so I used what I had. I think it kinda fits, though, it's like a testbed speeder, not from the rogue squadron. I also made a small opening on the armor with the orange guts revealed. The opening is smaller than in the similarly fashioned model used in The Empire Strikes Back, I know. I just wanted to have some fun while painting this and I kept and painted the panel that was cut out as well, the opening can be covered with it.
I have now spent months building and painting miniatures, a few for practice and one for future project. There's more ahead. Phew!

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avanaut The thing with the earlier shoot was not really about the tarpaulin, or to be more exact: it wasn't there just for the looks. The tarp was there because I needed it to protect the Falcon from being snowed in. See, the powder I use for snow gets everywhere, it's really nasty stuff, if it got inside the cockpit, I would have no way of cleaning it. So, I taped all seams, flung the tarp over the windshield and applied the snow as shown here in this bts snapshot.
Too bad I had planned this shoot as follow-up to an earlier photo from the same angle and I did not realize the tarp wouldn't really show that well from there. I followed the plan, that was all I had. In the small Instagram size (on cellphone) the tarp is barely distinguishable.

Shooting another variation with the tarp and snow may take a while. Even though the cockpit stayed clean, removing the snow from the rest of the ship was really not something I'd like to do again.
  •   avanaut @dominicpcl Thanks! 2w
  •   avanaut @fancy_parts In the old shot it was powder and the Falcon alright, the trees in the background were added later. If you look closely, the powder is not on the Falcon, it's next to it. :) 2w
  •   avanaut @ericbadis Oh, that's very nice, very kind of you, thank you so much! I hope the son liked the book. :) 2w
  •   fancy_parts @avanaut Oh I see. Anyway the backing powder is always trying to lay everywhere when you're blowing on it :) 2w
  •   avanaut @fancy_parts It really is the worst. I figured out what went wrong with this one. I presume a little bit of real snow got on the setup and as I carried it indoors it melted into water. My mistake was that I did not clean the model instantly and the tiny amount of water had time to react with the powder. When that happens the powder turns solid and sticks to the surface it's on. It's hard to scrape off without damaging the paint. 2w
  •   fancy_parts @avanaut Bad thing for plastic scale models... It will never happen with Lego one :))) I took the spaceship (from my previos posts about Ice Planet) of my friend in backing soda for about a week. And when just used a shower to make it clean 2w
  •   darrencroft Once again you have managed to take an amazing photo under extreme conditions. I just laybuy'd your book. I had a quick read through. Wow! You should be incredibly proud. Google where I live to put into perspective how far your art has reached. Daz, Launceston Tasmania,Australia 1w
  •   millionbackyard Superb work and account 2d

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avanaut Work, work, work... That's what I've been up to. It has been very difficult to find the time to make new photographs.
I had a little break today, met a friend and took a nice snowy walk on the field nearby. I thought I'd check on the spaceship that was there before we got snow. Do you remember it? Well, it was still there and it looks as if it's going to be there for the winter: the doors were closed and all lights were off, a tarp was pulled over the cockpit to protect it from the harsh winter weather.
So, here's my friend's snapshot of that ship while I'm too busy to make new photographs. That's me next to the ship, by the way. :D
  •   peterkraften Stunning! 3w
  •   avanaut @enamic5 Thanks! I try to do as much as I can in camera but with these miniature shots that is too difficult. This is made of three photographs. It should have been two but it was snowing quitea bit and the snow kept sticking to the camera lens so that I had to combine two frames for the background alone. 3w
  •   avanaut @peterkraften @mr_gizmo_ Thank you! 3w
  •   dominicpcl Your gallery is amazing! 3w
  •   matt.burn That's the truth! I'll have to get on ordering some more detailed. Thanks for the specifics. One more question for you if you don't mind... How do you seamlessly blend both images together in regards to the depth of field? I've been trying and trying, but I just can't get this part to work for me. Appreciate any advice you may have. 2w
  •   avanaut @dominicpcl Thanks! 2w
  •   avanaut @matt.burn The depth of field is a bit tricky sometimes. It's easier on bigger models when using the smallest aperture for biggest dof available. There is also a technique called "focus stacking", it's even trickier and some Photoshop skills are needed, but the results can be amazing. Just look it up, it's interesting. 2w
  •   matt.burn I really gonna need to clean my sensor if I'm gonna go all the way to the smallest f/stop! Lol. I've played with focus stacking here and there but nothing too extensive. I should have thought of that. Lol. Thank you for the reply, @avanaut! I always appreciate you taking the time to helping out the community that looks up to your work. 2w

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avanaut The second session with the Millennium Falcon and the Y-wing. I built a good rig from aluminium and steel tubes for suspending the models. Now they did not swing around too much and they were easy to shoot.

It was quite cold outdoors, -16°C, and the battery in the Falcon died just as I was about to finish. Batteries don't like cold. The engine was not as bright as I'd hoped for but I think it's good enough. It was not on as I took this. The sunset wasn't as spectacular as it was a couple of days ago, it was just a regular sunset without the "blue moment", as we call it.

I hope I can use some of these for what I have in mind. We'll see.
  •   issogud.62 You are starwars addicted 3w
  •   legoistics Even with no lights and the rigging included it's still an amazing shot. And better is still to come. Can't wait to see. 3w
  •   arsyi.fatah Its totally awesome can't wait the others pictures 3w
  •   avanaut @swittpics Thanks! 3w
  •   avanaut @pokemon_poacher I don't usually remember to shoot any but with these I had time to do that whilst waiting for the models to stop swinging. It's fun posting them though. 3w
  •   avanaut @issogud.62 You think? :D 3w
  •   avanaut @arsyi.fatah Well, that may take some time. What I'm trying to do is a bit tricky and I'm not sure if it works at all. We'll see. 3w
  •   darrencroft Bloody hell that's cold! 1w

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avanaut This is the last time my Millennium Falcon is in one piece, I lost one part in the snow. It was a very small part, I think I can replace it well enough for it to not show much after the repair.
It was a good session, but not good enough to actually make anything of the photos. It was really, really cold and I was slow to adjust things, I had to warm my hands every now and then to avoid frostbites. Then, just as the light was perfect, a weak breeze appeared and the models started to swing a bit. I added an extra wire to the Falcon to stabilize it and lost the precious last minutes of the sunlight. The moment was over before everything settled.
I'll get the shot next time.

I thought the light was great outdoors and I snapped a few frames with my phone while waiting for the models to stop swinging.
  •   avanaut @muffinlove10 I use a Canon 5DMk2, that's the one you see in the picture here. 3w
  •   muffinlove10 @avanaut aa ok sweet man i have a old crapy nikon. So i need to up grad my stuff and id like something good 3w
  •   avanaut @muffinlove10 Some of my personal faves of what I've done were shot with a Canon 400D. It's an entry level crop sensor camera, not the best you can imagine, but I think I never really had as much fun shooting with the 5DMk2. I miss that old camera sometimes. 3w
  •   gambitender So cool to see what you're doing with the Falcon! These came out awesome! @avanaut 3w
  •   muffinlove10 I found a second hand Canon 50D that i got, know its not the best. But i think it will work to take some good close up images. What do you think? I got a lot of extra stuff but dont have it all in my head. 1w
  •   avanaut @muffinlove10 I don't know the 50D firsthand, but it's far better than what I used to have (400D) and I am absolutely certain you will have a wonderful time with it. If you can, get a good lens to go it, it really pays off. 1w
  •   avanaut @gambitender Cheers! :) 1w
  •   muffinlove10 @avanaut sweet man feels good to know that i got a good cam. Have not been takeing any good images in a long time now. For the most part i just use my smart Phone to post things on the net 1w

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avanaut "The Treetop Falcon" from about three years ago. This has been flying around recently, which is nice, of course, I like to see my photos posted here and there. However, with this particular image there is a problem. See, I originally posted it here cropped to square and run through an Instagram filter and it doesn't look very good. In fact, I don't know what I was thinking filtering it like that. Anyway, that crummy version is, of course, the one that now flies around a lot. Sometimes it feels like it's a cellphone photograph taken from it on someone's (uncleaned) computer screen. It has been a bit painful to watch at times.
So, I'll just post a proper version of the low altitude gears-down Millennium Falcon ready to land. First time for this photograph to be on my IG account in it's original form.

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avanaut I do have a snowspeeder but I have not photographed it that much. See, this MPC scale model was built when it was new and I very young. The silver engine parts and that brown rear radiator thing just never looked that good on photos. Furthermore, it was painted with a brush and the strokes show pretty bad. Weathering is soot from burning the model with matchsticks. Yeah, I mcgyvered it because I had no idea how it was supposed to be done.

I never bought another snowspeeder, not even when the FineMolds version came out a few years ago, not to mention the more recent Bandai speeder. These were cheap on eBay at some point, but no, I didn't feel I needed one.
Now, as I look outside and see the gorgeous winter, I am feeling the need to play with a snowspeeder. Any snowspeeder.

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avanaut Yay! We got snow! :D

Have a great weekend!
  •   avanaut @barclaysnaps Thank you very much! I'm glad to hear you like the book. :) 4w
  •   avanaut @darktalent The dog was actually somewhat irritated by my attempts to get it to stay there. It kept jumping around, back and forth, but there was this one frame where it looked up there and that was all I wanted. We left right after this exposure, it was pretty cold. :D 4w
  •   avanaut @phil_korn Thanks Phil! Snow is super! Always loved that stuff. 4w
  •   talegophotography Hi! Great pic btw, bust just a little question about the copyright symbol. Do you put your photos officially copyright or do you just use the sign for copyright? Just wondering so I could protect my own photos (not that they're that great or anything) 4w
  •   avanaut @talegophotography Photographs enjoy full universal copyright the second you take them, regardless of what you write on them. You own your work automatically, period. Using content like Star Wars and such makes it complicated, however. it's still yours once you take it, but you can't necessarily use it freely because of the foreign IP involvement.

    I use the watermark on my photographs knowing it is merely a carrier of the ownership information and a reminder to viewers that it is indeed someone's property. Leaving it out would not weaken my ownership but I like to let the viewers of random posts (which don't always include proper crediting) know who made the photograph.

    In the US you can have your photographs separately copyrighted. I do not know all the benefits of this procedure, but basically, to my understanding, it only makes your 100% ownership a bit easier to proof in certain commercial circumstances. 4w
  •   lkleuskens I see alot of these pictures coming by and everytime I wonder how its done. Is it a 3d model shopped in to a picture? Or a real model that you took with you on the scene? 4w
  •   avanaut @lkleuskens It's a real model shopped into the background shot. 4w
  •   micoops Didnt know Han had a dog? Great picture. 4w

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avanaut Back when I started photographing toys I borrowed pretty much everything from my kid, especially LEGO, I didn't have any. Now I do, of course, but the thing is that the tables have turned.

What you see here is not my setup, I have nothing to do with it. Except for the model, that's mine. I borrowed it to the kid.

I was planning to shoot something today (can't wait to show you a little item that was sent to me today) but this is on my table and I have to wait for my turn. I'm happy with that, though, because I really want to see what comes of this.

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1mon avanaut
Normal Vesa Lehtimäki
avanaut The Falcon and the Snowman. Millennium Falcon was the most famous spaceship amongst the Imperial troopers: elusive, mysterious, unpredictable and fast, boy, was the Falcon fast! Little known fact: For the Imperial attack on Hoth, the troopers briefly practiced catching the Falcon with a flying scale model of the real thing. TK-24/7 was very proud of his job as the only trooper skilled enough to fly the target Falcon.

This was photographed in February 2012 after hearing David Bowie's theme song from The Falcon and the Snowman (a John Schlesinger movie, 1985) on radio. Reposting it today. Godspeed, Major Tom.

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avanaut Last week I got stuck with something I've been building since November. It's a scale model for a photoshoot, I'm all but done with the build itself but I can't figure out how to paint it. It's a little different to the few spaceships I've built and that threw me off, I guess.

So, I took a vacation from that build and spent some time with a Revell AT-AT Easy Kit model that's been gathering dust on a shelf for a few years now. I wanted to try a quick two to three day paintjob project, a carefree experiment with a cheap model that was conveniently built but not painted.

On the first day I added a few simple styrene bits and pieces on the walker here and there to patch some of the errors on the kit. I didn't really upgrade it that much, though, you can still easily tell the model's origins. It could actually be built into a very nice model but it would take a lot of work, I didn't want to go there this time. I accidentally broke one of the rods in the walker's ankles, no biggie, I rebuilt all four of them and that took an extra day. The painting and weathering, which I thought would be a snap, took almost four days. That's mostly because I'm old school and still use enamels instead of acrylics, they take some time to dry, but I'm also slow with this stuff.
The walker is done now, a couple of little details still missing but basically it's finished. I thought I'd have it photographed properly by now, too, but that turned out to be too ambitious a plan. I'll be very busy with work next week so I'll just settle for a tiny detail of the model.

I'm glad I did this. More later.
  •   avanaut @thekennerboy I asked from my local hobby shop guy why my model (the big X-wing I did earlier) took weeks to dry and he told me Humbrol had had problems with flat white and a couple of other pigments. The solvents their Chinese (Ithink) manufacturer used just didn't work properly. They moved the manufacturing back to England and added a small Union Jack to the paint jars so that it would be easier to spot the new better quality batch. That's what I was told anyway. Cylon Raider, the Moebius one? It's supposedly a quite nice model, studio scale and all. Cool stuff out there these days. 1mon
  •   adrian_canlon Looks great, nice work! 1mon
  •   avanaut @adrian_canlon Thank you! 1mon
  •   thekennerboy It's the Moeibus studio scale Cylon raider and it's quite a model ( huge , heavy and nice details . Going to get a upgrade set for the cockpit but it can be build in blocks so I've build it but going to change the cockpit as I've not glued it on ) and thanks for that update as I've had a white flat that never dried and looked glossy and kinda ruined my space 1999 eagle ship so now I know why :) you should get that cylon raider as that would make some awesome shots ! Although the show never meet Star Wars standard the ships designed by Ralph McQuarrie is awesome ! 1mon
  •   jdslater1 I think as a design it's quite good. It has a lot of firepower if can land on top off a target, as opposed to fire across a battlefield due to its height. The legs give it the all terrain side. Before that in the prequels then seem to be wheeled or tracked vehicles that maybe couldn't go everywhere. It's just a pity we will never have a scene in a movie of them being dropped down to a planet. Their introduction in EAB though the googles was great @avanaut 1mon
  •   fancy_parts I'm sure you will make so much stunning works with this model 1mon
  •   vish416 Literally my favourite book ..... So worth it 1mon
  •   richardadenot Nice "details" you have back there :p I'd love to know what you added to this set to see the before and after, I can't wait for more pics of this little guy. good luck with the workload. 1mon

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avanaut The pit stop. That's why you don't see dogs in Star Wars. In case you ever wondered.
Happy New Year, have fun!

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avanaut The year 2015 is almost over. A quick look back is in order, I guess.

This was the year of the first (and second) @stuckinplastic exhibition. The first one in March with @xxsjc and @_me2_ was a success, Seattle was a beautiful place to visit. Sadly, I did not make it to the second show with @balakov and @kalexanderson added to the crew.

It was a busy year and it turned out I did not have too much time to concentrate on shooting new material. I did have great moments with my X-wing model, however, and some old and new LEGO items, but perhaps the most delightful photography experience after all was with the Action Man diver figure I took with me to a family vacation in Italy. Diving and toy photography was a truly joyful combination.

There was one thing that had an effect on everything I did this year: the Small Scenes From a Big Galaxy LEGO Star Wars photography book (DK Publishing). Making the book took over a year, or six years depending on how you look at it, and it was an amazing experience as you can imagine. Needless to say I'm really proud of it and I'm very happy with all the heartwarming feedback I get from all over the world.

The year 2015 is certainly one to remember, it will reverberate long into my future. Happy new year!
  •   the_legonerd I'm going to get your book next time I'm in easons :D 1mon
  •   galactic_warfighters Just purchased your book. Can't wait to dig in. Your work is an inspiration for me 1mon
  •   lego_xx3 Just picked up your book yesterday in Australia, it's amazing! I'm loving it. Hopefully there's a Vol. 2 :) 1mon
  •   krocans Your photos of Lego and SW scale models are exceptional-such an inspiration for me to also try to make decent pictures of my Lego work. My girlfriend gave me your book as a present recently and this is so good-I must say, that what you do is an art! :) 1mon
  •   enamic5 Hi @avanaut. I am so happy - I got your book for Christmas. It's brilliant. Good to see this. I have been following your photos for quite some time on Flickr and on here. There's a few really good ones missing from your older ones. But the book is lovely and I am often using it now to make up Star Wars stories for my 3.5 year old for bedtime reading. We just built the Lego Falcon. He will be strong in the force. Greetings from London, Stefan. 1mon
  •   kyros_ Oh I saw this book, it's amazing and I loved how you told us how you made the scenes I was telling my parents about the fish tank one 3w
  •   legodude2002 Dude I have your book it iz amazing 2w
  •   blughost_productions wow awesome 2w

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avanaut Sometimes you just get hung up on a photo, not being able to let go. At least I do.
This is probably the fastest and most pointless reshoot of any of my photos and I don't really know if it was worth it. I just wanted to see a slightly different version of it. Same background, same model, different lighting setup. Just being curious about it.

The Field of Dreams, vol.2.
  •   avanaut @steadfastzach @gilsousadias I think this one's technically better when it comes to lighting and matching angles, but the first one may be a bit edgier. I dunno, I just posted both. 2mon
  •   avanaut @ajnies @lilprojectemoska @hobbybuzzard Thank you very much! 2mon
  •   avanaut @jjklop @fancy_parts The thing about the first one is that the Falcon was shot on a table in my livingroom. The lighting looks nice in big size on my computer screen, but when I uploaded it to IG the contrasts seemed to play a little trick opn the image and the Falcon looked a bit more dramatic. My reshoot was to experiment what would happen if I took the Falcon outdoors to match natural light to the background. It was interesting to see it both ways. 2mon
  •   fancy_parts @avanaut Vesa, I can just say "hat off to your skills". Thanks for sharing the info about the bts. That perfectly shows I don't need to grab models everytime to natural location. Just more head scratching while post process in PS 2mon
  •   darktalent I agree. The insight into how the shot was crafted is great! Inspiring. 2mon
  •   raffucci07 @melissa_gnzl veo algo asi y muero 5d
  •   melissa_gnzl @raffucci07 noo!! XD 5d

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avanaut There is this field near to where I Iive, an old football field. It hasn't been used for 15 years now, the grass is cut once every summer, that is all. It's a quiet place.

I go for walks on that old football field. Sometimes I take the dog, sometimes I just walk there myself, alone with my thoughts. I always walk this one particular path. It is entirely possible I have made that path, I never see anyone else there.

I like that old football field.

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avanaut The Slave 1 wasn't the ship it used to be. All the heavy action and the numerous Kessel runs had taken their toll and minor kinks appeared every now and then. The landing ramp, for example, refused to open from time to time, and in order to get any skiing done in Hoth, Boba Fett had to exit the ship through the gun bays.

Did I say earlier that Boba Fett was the ultimate planet skier? Yes I did. :) This photograph was shot for an interview for the Finnish broadcasting company YLE. I made this for them to show how my setups look like and, well, it turned out nice and I actually shot it later that day.
Oh, and I saw The Force Awakens today. My lips are sealed.
  •   tesshin10000 Millaisissa tiloissa kuvailet näitä ja mitä kaikkia apuvälineitä käytät? Tosi hienoja ja tunnelmallisia kuvia :) 2mon
  •   vince_tokyo Awesome 2mon
  •   avanaut @anttonisevakivi Yup, I did. Vader ftw! And baking powder. 2mon
  •   avanaut @joanmarcf @vince_tokyo Thank you very much! 2mon
  •   avanaut @tesshin10000 Kiitoksia paljon. Kuvaan olkkarin pöydällä ja kellarin nurkassa, studiota sinänsä ei ole. Tämä on oikeasti tosi simppeliä puuhaa, olen satsannut lähinnä hyvään jalustaan ja kameran langattomaan laukaisijaan. Muu melkein on sitten sitä mitä sattuu löytymään kaapeista ja lootista. 2mon
  •   fancy_parts Love it! Is it a fire or light coming from cabin? 2mon
  •   avanaut @fancy_parts Thanks! I figured it would be a red maintenance light or something like that. 2mon
  •   sldixonphoto Just got your new book. It's beautiful. Congrats! 2mon

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2mon avanaut
Normal Vesa Lehtimäki
avanaut Little known fact: Boba Fett always had his ski suit aboard the Slave 1. He was a keen skier and visited planet Hoth frequently for it's unparallelled off-piste opportunities. 2mon

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