Co.Create

Everything About These Pictures Of A Tiny, Adventurous Lego Photographer is Awesome

U.K. photographer Andrew Whyte took pictures of a tiny Lego man taking pictures every day for a year on his iPhone, and they’re all tiny treasures.

Thanks to Instagram and similar filter-heavy photo apps, artful photography has become so user-friendly that everybody seems at least proficient at it--even, apparently, a little Lego person.

U.K.-based photographer Andrew Whyte shows us the world through the lens of just such a small artist in a new photo series called “The Legographer.” These expertly composed photos, which Whyte took on his iPhone every day for a year, feature a Lego Man, rocking a Lego knit cap instead of the famous bowl cut, lugging around a Lego camera and taking pictures that we will never see. Despite his diminutive size, this little guy seems to have had some big adventures. He scales buildings, he’s chased by a hermit crab, and slips on a giant (to him) banana peel. You know, typical photographer stuff.

“I love to document everyday things and build them into mini-series,” Whyte says. “But quite often there's nothing cohesive about what I shoot from one day to the next. As soon as my kids discovered the camera accessory at the Lego store, which fits in the hand of a mini-figure, I worked out a way to start placing the character in my day-to-day shots and he became a cohesive element. For the whole year, I really never left home without the figure.”

Using just his iPhone 4S, Whyte still managed to capture some fantastic shots of his heroic lensman in action using a bunch of practical tips. Holding the phone upside down, for instance, rendered the lens low enough to look up at the figure and give him a sense of magnitude. The difference in depth of field, by which the background turns blurry, occurs naturally depending on how close Whyte positions the camera to the figure, often less than 8 to 10cm apart. “At that proximity, shuffling a few mm forwards or backwards can make a big difference to focus and the relative size of the figure,” the photographer says. Additionally, for lighting, Whyte uses apps that let him separate focus from exposure so he can dial in the desired levels without having to compromise on the arrangement of the scene.

The images in the series have a higher quality threshold than you’re likely to find in even the more impressive corners of Instagram, but they do possess the same level of variety of the best accounts. There are shots out in nature and there are some in metropolitan settings, there’s interaction with animals and industrial machines, inclement weather and bright sunny days. The one thing there is very little of, however, is shots at night, since lighting is difficult using an iPhone. But there are a few nocturnal shots anyway, from when Whyte had the opportunity to improvise.

“The whole series thrived on spontaneity so for the most part there was no planning involved,” he says. “It was just a case of shooting whatever presented itself.”

Have a look at more images from the series in the gallery above.

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26 Comments

  • Lucinda Hull

    what an amazing perspective. we're so used to seeing the world around us from one vantage point. it's pretty incredible when you change your line of sight and view things from a different angle. i have a son now who is nine months old. he's shown me a whole new world simply by getting down on all fours with him and crawling around. love these legoman photos!

    www.currenttempo.com

  • At the core of LEGO's brand is an incredibly inspiring truth: creation. Anyone, no matter who, can create with LEGO and through the act of creation we fuel our imagination, passions and intellect — all of which Mr. Whyte captures beautifully in his photography. LEGO is simply brilliant! - Colin Lange

  • Andrew here- definitely no photoshop, nor any after effects to alter depth of field. Working so close to the minifigure the background blurs significantly, even on the iPhone. The further away the figure, the smaller he becomes and the less the focal differential between the foreground and background. It was important to me to explore every aspect of what was achievable with my phone: the photography goes without saying, but also all the editing and sharing (to the facebook page; other social networks and to my website) was done from my phone too. I was so removed from desktop editing (for this project) that most people who followed the series got to see the images on a "proper" screen before I did.

  • As a professional designer who uses Photoshop every day, I highly doubt any of these are Photoshopped. You can tell because the lighting is too consistent with the surroundings. It's pretty easy to do selective focus on an object, especially if it's close to the lens; this guy clearly knows what he's doing enough to really be able to play with scale to make the little guy look as good as he does within the composition.

    Although the term is thrown around quite a bit by laypeople, if you know the actual software you understand that it's really not as powerful as most people seem to think. It would require insane levels of tedious retouching to get the lighting, shadows, colors, and such to match the surroundings so well; not to mention he'd have to silhouette the little figure pretty carefully, something that is also pretty tedious. After all of that work for just a series of phone pictures, it's much much easier to just carry the little dude around and take actual photos of him.

  • Peter Urkowitz

    I guess they could be, but I'm not seeing what you are seeing. They say right in the story that there is some digital manipulation of the images for lighting and focus. So what would be the point of adding the Lego figure later, since it is so easy to bring it along when the photographer is shooting every day? Whatever the truth is, they are cute pictures, and the exact details of how they were shot don't really alter that.

  • Christine Joseph

    I think they are great. My favorite is the one slipping on a banana peel. My grandson is a lego fanatic. He would love this.