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.