There is always time to look at something you know in a new, unusual way. That sounds almost like Jedi wisdom, doesn’t it? Well, maybe in that way, the Finnish photographer Vesa Lehtimäki is a master of his own kind.
It’s been five years since Vesa Lehtimäki began taking pictures of Star Wars Lego figures. Originally he did so just for the amusement, using his son’s toys. Vesa toyed with various ways to put Lego Stormtroopers, Rebels, vehicles and ships into interesting environment and perspective, using whatever material he could find at home. It wasn’t always just Lego, but it was Lego that brought him fame. He soon decided to share his creations with the public, and under the name Avanaut published his pictures on the Internet.
It is fairly amazing how much can one do armed only with a (good) camera and household supplies. For example, just a bit of baking powder and the correct lighting, and you have a dramatic picture straight from the icy planet of Hoth. Granted, the main part is creativity and imagination, because that is what you need to even start. But that is what Avanaut has. And creativity and skill advertises itself, as his fans have noticed.
The pictures on the internet were liked by people so much, and they reached even international fame, that Vesa Lehtimäki decided to step out of anonymity and publish under his own name. His fame went so far that even Lego’s own representatives noticed him. It did not take long and he was contacted with the request to take pictures for Lego’s advertising material. Vesa agreed, and thus became part of a “secret operation”: in order for him to take pictures of Lego figures and products which were not yet released, these had to be carried to Helsinki by plane in secrecy and Vesa had to hide them in his basement. He could not let even his son know about them, because there was the danger of the boy spotting them and then, for example, mentioning them at school.
Vesa Lehtimäki continues doing photography of Lego figures, but as he himself has confessed, it is becoming more work now than hobby. It’s the beauty of his photography, however, that matters. A book collecting his pictures, named LEGO Star Wars: Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy, is due to be published by DK Publishing this November (but is already available for pre-order). If you are interested in really creative art, I suggest taking a look at some of Lehtimäki’s photography. It is very inspiring.