Yesterday, a friend of ours stopped by to show off a couple of her new kittens. Of course I grabbed the camera and started firing away! It's dangerous holding them because you begin to rationalize... "You know, we could travel around with a cat. Yeah, they basically take care of themselves!". Reality sets in as soon they are out of sight... "How would a cat do in the desert heat, living in a van and/or a tent? We'd have to keep the litter box at the foot of our bed". Okay, that settles it... NO pets! "...but I want one..."
All summer long, Kurt has been seriously working on developing his new character: Agent 187. Who is Agent 187? Kurt doesn't even know, the guy kind of dropped out of nowhere. We know this much about him: he is a good guy (whatever that means) who puts his life on the line to fight injustice.
Kurt is currently working on making figures for this series and we're looking for missions to send Agent 187 on.
Un Petit Monde turned 5 this month! Kurt and I were reminiscing about how the project started one late afternoon in June 2010. For those of you who never heard the beginnings of Un Petit Monde...I'll let Kurt tell the story:
"Edwige was out working in the garden one evening and I was not too far from her photographing macros of insects and plants. She dug up a June bug and as I was photographing it she suggested I get one of the HO scale figures I had as a child and place it next to the June bug to photograph it. The rest is history."
Since the inception of the project, Kurt has grown both his technique and style but has stayed true to his original vision.
"I guess coming from a background of editorial and landscape photography I still have the drive to document things in their natural environment but with a whimsical touch. We can take ourselves a little too serious at times and photographing miniatures in the natural world is a great way for me to express myself artistically."
To commemorate the event, Kurt pulled out of the Un Petit Monde vault some of his earlier work and made the prints available for purchase in our online store until the end of June. Click here.
When Kurt and I left Joshua Tree National Park to return to our home state of Minnesota, we decided to revisit Route 66 with the miniatures and explore more of Highway 54.
Our first stop was in Amboy, California. Kurt had been eying Roy’s sign for a while. The Motel's sign was nicely preserved as well as the Motel’s lobby. The challenge was to find the right perspective. After spending a couple hours trying, we disengaged and toured the rooms and Kurt saw the light (literally) coming through one of the windows, it was perfect for the scene!
Kurt and I are currently in Joshua Tree National Park working as volunteers and in our down time Kurt is photographing for our Un Petit Monde project.
Joshua Tree NP is notorious for its climbing opportunities as well as its off-road driving, night skies and of course, Joshua Trees. It’s a good thing that the miniatures in Kurt’s bag are always ready for adventure and exploration.
While exploring a wash in the Southern end of the park, Kurt found a good spot for his 4x4 jeep convoy. The sand was smooth enough for their tires to be able to deal with it. Half hour earlier the sky had the most unique display of clouds, it would have been a perfect addition to the scene!
On a separate occasion, we scrambled up granite boulders so Kurt could document a miniature climber in action.
Towards the end of 2014, Kurt went back to work on the Disney Infinity Project and produced a new Christmas Series.
The release of our Disney Infinity Christmas Series is a bit of an anticlimax for us, now that we are in the 80°s and Christmas is long gone NONETHELESS, we hear that some parts of the world currently get snow (!) so we are pleased to unveil the latest Disney Infinity Christmas Series including: Anna & Elsa, Stitch, Mickey & Donald, Tinker Bell and Hiro & Baymax.
This Christmas series was a challenge as the majority of the photos were shot prior to Thanksgiving, when there was no snow and no decorations up yet. But, amidst a brown Minnesota we found white, powdery snow in Taylors Falls and Kurt photographed Anna & Elsa making Olaf the snowman. In the historic town of Stillwater we came across a window display with the ideal Christmas setting for Stitch to be eating his mincemeat pie. Later in the season, we stopped in the quaint little town of Williams in Arizona on the night of their Christmas parade and found the neatest Christmas tree we'd ever seen for Tinker Bell to perch on.
As usual, Kurt added his personal touch to the Disney Infinity character by painstakingly painting and building props, it turned out to be a lot of fun!
Thank you to Wild Mountain in Taylors Falls, Minnesota for allowing us to photograph Anna and Elsa on their slopes, thank you to Käthe Wohlfahrt in Stillwater, Minnesota for giving Stitch a perfect Christmas setting, thank you to Edinburgh USA Golf Course in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota and last but not least Copper Canyon Trading in Williams, Arizona for giving us access to the prettiest Christmas tree on Main Street to photograph Tinker Bell. We could not have done it without your gracious help and generosity!
Kurt and I are happy to announce that our new Un Petit Monde downloadable wallpapers are available for purchase in our Etsy Store!
For now, the digital images are available for iPhones only and are made to fit the screen size of the iPhone 4(s) and 5(s). We started the collection with a few images revolving around the themes of travel and adventure and plan to add more in the future.
The digital files are available for $1.99 on Etsy here: Digital Wallpapers
The temperature was cool enough that the smell from decomposing fish was bearable. The Hazmat crew were the only miniatures used at Salton Sea. Kurt found plenty scenes for the crew to investigate.
Yesterday, Kurt got an early Christmas gift: a visit to Old Tucson studios where western movies like Tombstone, Three Amigos and Rio Bravo were shot. We knew it was going to be good we just didn't expect it to be this good!
Prior to our visit, Kurt worked on transforming one of his miniature figures (an auto mechanic) into a outlaw by painting and gluing parts from other figures. The holster and the gun came from a policeman, the hat from a gardener. The auto mechanic clothes were painted over and patterns added to the side of the pants. The miniature sheriff was stock.
The temperature was cool and comfortable. We roamed the old western village so Kurt could look for angles and perspectives. The sun was a challenge at times but Kurt loved the drama added to the scenes by the harsh shadows. Think Old West, it's hot, it's dry, it's dusty and Old Tucson was all of that and then some.
Kurt had more ideas than we had time. We had a lot of fun and never a dull moment. The Old Tucson actors were very talented and skilled. Those guys were not your typical weekend warriors. They played serious roles, humorous ones, perform their own stunts, fell off buildings, these guys were impressive! At the end of the day, Kurt's comment was "I don't wanna go!" I think it's safe to say he loved his Christmas gift.