Taking my toys outside – Part 1

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I collect toys and I play with them. That’s what they’re for. The “playing” usually involves setting up dioramas in my living room, posing robots or flying jets around the condo (patrolling the skies for alien invaders). Today, I took all of this to a different level – well, I took it all outside.

I grabbed a few of my tiny Japanese buildings and some giant monsters and headed out to a quiet stretch of dirt and train tracks near Toronto’s eastern harbour. My only worry was having to explain myself to passersby but thankfully no one was around. Once I got going – setting up scenes and photographing them – I was having an awesome time. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to the abandon of playing when I was a child.

In fact, I think I figured something out about play. Even as a kid, running around and playing G-Force, I never really believed I was Mark. But I did feel like I was glimpsing his world, feeling a little bit of its magic. That’s what it felt like today: I was bringing these weird little scenes to life. Incidentally, that’s also what cosplay feels like.

Anyways, back to the toys. This was a test run of what I hope will be a long series of photos. I went for something pretty straightforward: scenes of giant monsters around a Japanese village in relatively realistic surroundings. But I didn’t want regular photos, although some of the macro ones are pretty cool. So I brought along a fisheye contraption I built for my digital camera, plus my cel phone – it takes saturated, lo-fi images if you get up nice and close. You can see some of the pics in this Flickr set.

My next mission is to set up some dioramas on a busy sidewalk downtown. I now know that having to explain my strange hobby will be more than worth it.

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