Camping – Fall 2013

Cindy and I went camping this past weekend (Sept 27 – 30) with friends on Long Schooner Lake in Plevna, Ontario (North Frontenac Township).  I was really looking forward to taking star photos on this trip because the township has been designated a “dark sky” location by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, one of only 17 such sites in the country. It is unique because the entire township is included, all 1,160 square kilometres, not just a small area.

All outdoor lights must be justified, and must follow certain rules. They must have a cover that prevents light from streaming upward, for example. This care to eliminate as much light pollution as possible allowed me to get shots where you can clearly see the Milky Way.
Milky WayMilky Way


I’m a nerd. There’s really no getting around that. But, more to the point, I’m a huge Star Wars nerd. So, when I was reading the Wired website and saw this Finnish photographer had taken a bunch of pictures of his kid’s Star Wars Lego sets in various dioramas, I was floored. These were amazingly well produced shots. So, despite that fact that I’d be blatantly ripping his idea off, I had to try and see if I could do the same thing.

So, what would I need? Well, Lego to start. I haven’t owned any Lego since I was a little kid, and not having any kids of my own, I didn’t really have a reason to. So, off to Toys R Us I went to get some. Much to my shock, I saw the price tag on this stuff; especially the Star Wars sets! But, I wanted to do this, so I bought a couple of sets…not the ones I WANTED, mind you. I really wanted that AT-AT Walker, but it was going to be $400, soooo, no. I didn’t want to get a divorce, after all.

Then there was the learning how to make dioramas. That was actually pretty interesting. Got some foam blocks and paint, and about eight pounds of baking soda to simulate snow.

Fortunately, I already had all the photo gear I’d need. I would have liked to have had a couple more portable flashes, but, again, that whole divorce thing nipped that idea in the bud.

I was seriously channeling my inner child, because I had a blast building those damn Lego sets, and just as much fun screwing around trying to make foam blocks look like snow covered mountains/hills. Anyway, I’m far from done with this, but here’s what I’ve taken so far: