Computer crash

Disaster...

Computer crashComputer crash

My computer crashed two days ago... not a small crash... but a disastrous one. Repair would cost me almost 1000 euro's... and of course my laptop is out of warranty since a few months. Needless to say this wasn't my best week. Luckily I have a complete backup of all data so nothing is lost. Yet, I can't work on Foolish Lego as long as I don't have my computer (or the replacement) back, I need the specific software setup on there and I don't have other Mac in the house.

Before I decide to fix or replace it I have to discuss a few legal issues with Apple... there is a chance the price will go down substantially. This discussion + repair/ replacement will take some time, but I don't know how long.... I will keep you posted on the progress in the comments. I'm really sorry and Foolish Lego will try and return as soon as possible!

 

Addition (23-09-2017);

I'm finally back! Luckily, Apple was so kind to extent the warranty and replaced the motherboard and casing of my laptop. Almost feels like I have a new computer :)

Anyway; I got my computer back on Monday but needed the week to get everything back on track at work (yes, a loss of my computer had quite the impact there too). Today, a new comic episode!

 


Dwaas is working out

Foolish Lego - origins

Dwaas is working outI recently wrote a blogpost on the origins of the Foolish Lego website. I did this for an amazing blog on all things toy-photography.

Do you know the blog: 'Toy photographers'? If you do; good for you! And if you don't you're really missing out and I highly recommend it.

It's an inspiring blog about all things concerning toy photography. The main focus seems to be Lego, but other toys are discussed too. It's a small (but growing) yet engaged community.

One of the creators and editors is the wonderful Shelly Corbett, a Seattle art photographer who, besides creating amazing toy-photography, seems to master the art of 'getting the best out of people'. She asked me to write a blogpost on the 'why' of Foolish Lego and so, with her help, I did.

The article below is a reprint of that blogpost.


Foolish Lego

First off, I’d like to introduce myself; In the real world, my name is Danny. Yet, ever since my first steps on the Internet – somewhere in early nineties – I am Dwaas. I am the keeper of foolishlego.com, the home of my Lego photography and webcomic. ‘Foolish Lego’ and Dwaas are special to me. Both partly born out of the feeling of wanting to escape (or make sense of) reality and for the other part born out of wanting to share stories.

Have you ever felt the desire to do something whilst knowing you just couldn’t do it? I used to feel like that. I had many shards of stories in my mind; images, words of wisdom (or quite the opposite), small scenes, undefined thoughts, etc.

As a kid, I got the ideas out of my head by playing in my own little childhood world. As an adult that world broadened and I couldn’t figure out how to give my ideas form anymore; I’m not a gifted writer, nor can I draw any good. I tried a personal blog (in Dutch), talking about all kinds of things that were on my mind but it just wasn’t it.

Then, in late 2012, I ran into the brilliant site of a guy called “Dan of Action”, one of the Lego photography pioneers. Actually, I think he might have been the first one to do a Lego 365-project (go check it out!) and I instantly loved his brilliant work! At that precise moment, everything came together.

This was it! The perfect way to express myself besides being fun. Furthermore, I finally found a use for my Lego collection and this was the perfect opportunity to do something with my photography. Up until then, my camera was only collecting dust mainly because I had no inspiration for photography. Also, I was convinced I sucked at photography and didn’t make the time to learn. I’ve been told It’s always easier to learn something if you know where you’re going. Now I had found that goal!

I stopped thinking and just started. To put the bar up high and force myself to search for inspiration I decided to do a 365. In the real world, it’s easy for me to simply ‘forget’ to relax, a heavy workload as a medical specialist can do that to you.  So, to give me some extra pressure to keep going and prevent life from getting in my way, the 365 would have to be a public one. January 1st 2013 felt like the perfect starting date and so it began.

The toast

LEGO 001: the very first one. January 1st 2013. I made this one in front of the TV. No clue about lighting, or any other technical possibility of my camera for that matter. No clue about color-correction either. And while you can’t see it because of the color-problems; I used flesh and yellow parts in one photo… even within one minifig (a sin to me these days, I only use yellow).

A 365 turned out to be more challenging than I expected. Overall, shooting one photo per day was okay. Yet, there were the busy days and stress was detrimental to my inspiration. Looking back through my photo’s I instantly recognize the uninspired ones. Other challenges were vacations and business-trips. My minifigs travelled the world with me; Nepal, Turkey, The U.S., etc. By the way, I t was always a fun moment watching the looks on the faces of customs-people at the airports, pulling the bag filled to the brim with minifigs out of my hand luggage.

View from Poonhill - Nepal

Lego 330: NEPAL! (I love the people and that country btw) After climbing 3201 mtrs (!) Dwaas reached the top of Poon hill to watch the sun rise and light up Dhaulagiri (a part of the Anapurna mountain range in the Himalaya and the highest one in this photo). It was so early and absolutely freezing cold… Dwaas kept falling over because of the wind and I had no good place to put him either. The stone is placed on an old, rotten bench. And my wife is standing right outside of the frame trying to hold the wind back.

Despite the challenges I (mostly) absolutely loved doing a 365! So much that at the (first) end I had completed a 730! I learned so much. A lot of technical stuff about photography & cinematography, and about all kinds of communities (a. o. Lego, photography, Lego-comics and toy-photographers). I learned photoshop, which also comes in handy in other areas these days. I also learned Lego-photography relaxed me, dissolved irritations and put some issues in perspective. Besides, it forced me to take time for my hobbies; It’s quite nice to only worry about a photo for a short time each day. I learned about how other people looked at me, always surprising to see people laugh at first, eventually becoming intrigued and quite impressed. I learned to see small, secret worlds within the world we live in. Also, I learned about myself. Each photo shows something of myself and I noticed that if I combine a couple of (recurring) characters on Foolish Lego… well… they are me!

Lastly, I learned about telling a story within a single photo, loving the fact that many of my photos can be interpreted in different ways. Nevertheless, these fragments or sparks of stories within the single photos weren’t enough for me. More on that a next time.

Dwaas

lego steven bookbunny bookworm book reading

Lego 022: 2017 A recent appearance of Steve the Bookbunny (he never understood the concept of the ‘bookworm’ 😉 ) This photo shows part of the progress I made if you compare this one to the photo from his very first appearance (photo 12; 2013).

Cool Chef

Lego 006: 2013 The very first appearance of Cool Chef; one of my frequently featured recurring characters. My wife went out of the kitchen for a second and I swooped in and put the minifigs in her ingredients. That surprised look when she returned and saw me fumbling with Lego… my camera… in her ingredients 🙂

Lost Teddy

Lego 150: 2013 One of the early times where photoshop played a large role. Many possible stories in one photo… To me personally a photo about a boy dreaming he lost his beloved Teddybear… unreachable high…. but even in his dreams he’s not able to think out of the box.

Lego happy new year

Lego 001; January 1st 2016; My favorite photo of Dwaas. He’s throwing out the X-mas tree. It took me half a day to set this one up in the basement and I was very proud of the lighting and atmosphere at the time. The snow I would differently now.

inner peace meditation monk lego fun

Lego 161: 2017 A recent one making me wonder what is going on here and why is the monk looking at his guest like that ? (on a personal note, this photo is the result of the fact that i meditate, and this expresses my feeling of wanting to find the rest of a monastery (for a couple of weeks) learning more about meditation, whilst knowing I’ll probably never go there).


Man screaming in fear because a caterpillar is one him

Life of a minifigure

Somedays, the minifigures living in and around my house don't have the easiest life. Take for example the guy from yesterday's photo (here). Sadly our yard is infested with these beasts, and not only our yard, but the whole neighbourhood and probably the whole city. These 'things' kill all boxwood-bushes they get their sticky little paws on.

Anyway, usually I have it pretty easy. Minifigures are very patient and know how to stand still for extended periods of time (except when it's windy that is). However, anytime a living being is involved, things change. This little guy had to go through a lot to get you yesterdays photo.

Oh and me too btw (not that I'm complaining) Lying in the front porch, people walking by probably wondering what I'm doing, lying flat on my belly on the ground before my house, the occasional dog sniffing along. Wrestling my new camera because I can't find the right buttons (in time) yet, my wife complaining that my clothes could go straight into the laundry, the caterpillar moving faster than I hoped for, focus locking wrong and pain in my neck because I needed to look through the viewer (close to the ground) and I couldn't figure out how to adjust focus in liveview (now I do :) ). Well... it turned out a funny series and me and wife had some chuckles over the poor Lego minifigure.

set of photos showing man with caterpillar on him

 


The end

What are you the most proud of?

In the comments on my very first Foolish Lego blogpost Pi3rk asked me one of the more difficult questions... "What are you the most proud of; the comic, the first 365 or the second 365?"

Now, that's really a difficult question. All these projects have brought me different things. The first 365 I started was purely because I wanted to practice my photography and get my imagination flowing through the use of Lego. It was a challenging year, especially during vacations, taking along my minifigures and trying to get pictures in Nepal or Turkye or Miami... etc... Sometimes it was frustrating because I had no ideas (and the uninspired photo's are easy to spot.) In the end I was relieved I was done, and happy with the achievement. On the other hand, I couldn't stop yet because there was still inspiration and though I did see an improvement in my photography skills, it was not enough. So I went on into the next 365. A year later again I was happy to achieved the 720 daily photo's but this time real life caught up with me. Work was too busy to keep on going in a daily routine. And so it stopped. But I kept learning and I believe the photo's did get better (overall). And without the daily deadline I noticed a dwindling amount of inspiration (probably also caused by real life stress).The toast

The first one

On the other hand there are the comics. Yes there were a few stories in the 720's and some characters got a little development but I wanted to do a real story, so I started the comic. 248 episodes later it's moving towards the end and I learned a lot about storytelling too, so much in fact that I' not too thrilled about the dragon story. So after this one I'm starting on the next one and hopefully the story itself will be better.

What I like most is that most of the cast are slowly growing personalities.

Now... I was told I have to choose... looking back I choose the first 365, the one that started everything and the one that gave me a new hobby and the opportunity to make new friends.

So there you have it, what are you the most proud off concerning your hobbies?


Happiness

New beginnings

Happiness

Welcome everyone!

New website, new section. A blog. All around me I hear that personal blogs are quickly becoming a thing of the past so naturally I have to try this, now that it's too late.

What will the blog be about? I don't know exactly yet. Mostly about art, photography, behind the scenes, Lego, or just random Foolish thoughts. If you have anything you'd like to know about, just let me know.

So...

Once every one or two years I change the site around a little, just to keep it interesting. The last change I wasn't too happy with to be honest, it was much too dark and the homepage was a little too gloomy. The problem was I tweaked the base-theme too much. In fact I tweaked it so much that it turned out to be impossible to just update the theme without breaking the site. It was even difficult to change the littlest thing... and so the look of Foolish Lego became a thorn in my eye.

This time around I tried to do thing differently, I stayed within the theme and I developed the site offline with the help off a program called: "MAMP". That worked like a charm! After working on it for a few weeks (every day a little), it's ready to be uploaded.

I'm only worried about a few things:
- What will you guys think about the changes (not so much a worry, just wondering)?
- Will my database update all the links correctly?- How will the site behave on mobile devices (especially the frontpage-header)?
- How much problems will there be the first few weeks.

If you find any problems, or if you have any suggestions to improve the site, let me know. It should be much easier to change the site without doing a mayor overhaul this time around!

Let me know, what you like and, sometimes even more important, dislike.

Cheers,

Dwaas


A toast to the start of Foolish Lego

Foolish Lego; A 365 toy photography project

Welcome to "Foolish Lego",

Foolish Lego is a 365 project. Finally Dwaas found a subject for a 365-project. Maybe not that original, but still a lot of fun. He became aware of the fact that his house is infested with Lego Minifigures and starting January first, 2013 the plan is to post one photo a day, involving the Lego minifigures he can find roaming around and combining two of Dwaas' largest hobbies. Dwaas knows there are more of these projects out there but that couldn't keep him from trying to make a succes of this own.

I hope you enjoy this trip as much as Dwaas expects to enjoy fabricating these pictures.