LEGO Ideas ‘Landscape Photographer’ Kit Pays Tribute to Ansel Adams

LEGO Ideas 'The Landscape Photographer'

A photography-themed LEGO set has garnered significant support on LEGO Ideas, LEGO’s community-centered portal for creative builders to share their creations and even make proposals for future official LEGO sets.

LEGO Ideas member LobsterThermidor has proposed a LEGO set called “The Landscape Photographer.” With nearly 6,700 votes of support, the project features a photographer set up on top of an old wood-panel station wagon, capturing a photo using a large-format analog camera. Photography enthusiasts may instantly recognize the scene in the LEGO Ideas set.

The Inspiration Behind the LEGO Ideas Design

LobsterThermidor, who is photographer and LEGO builder Nick Micheels, began designing his landscape photographer LEGO set as part of an official LEGO Ideas contest centered around nature activities.

LEGO Ideas 'The Landscape Photographer'

“The inspiration for this set came as a response to the LEGO Ideas platform hosting a challenge for fans to submit ideas based on the theme of nature activities. As a fan of photography and an amateur photographer myself, I knew I wanted to make a build focused on landscape photography, and I wanted to build a large format camera at minifigure scale,” Micheels tells DIY Photography.

LEGO Ideas 'The Landscape Photographer'

Landscape photography is a great way to get out in nature, and photographic history enthusiasts will know that photography played a crucial role in inspiring Americans to explore nature, and photography even helped shape America’s celebrated National Parks.

LEGO Ideas 'The Landscape Photographer'

LEGO Ideas 'The Landscape Photographer'

Who is the Famous Photographer Featured in ‘The Landscape Photographer?’

Micheels drew inspiration from one of history’s most famous photographers for his set and asked LEGO Ideas users if they could name the photographer in The Landscape Photographer set, using LEGO-themed teaser images as clues.

LEGO Ideas 'The Landscape Photographer'
These three graphics that Micheels crafted on his computer are ‘LEGO’ versions of three famous photographs.

Despite being simplified version of three landscape photos, it’s instantly clear that they’re Ansel Adams photographs. Adams was a significant photographer at the intersection of art and conservation was Ansel Adams, and arguably the most famous landscape photographer in history.

The rightmost LEGO photo is clearly The Tetons and Snake River, which Adams captured in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming in 1942. It’s among the most well-known and easily recognized landscape images ever captured.

The leftmost image is from Yosemite National Park in California. However, it was a popular subject for Adams, so it’s not immediately clear precisely which image it is. It might be Clearing Winter Storm, captured in Yosemite in 1937. It could also be Thunderstorm from 1949.

The image in the middle is Aspens, a serene scene Adams shot in New Mexico in 1975.

Micheels tells DIY Photography that he has long been inspired by the work of Magnum photographers and the famous Group f/64. He doesn’t do much landscape photography himself, but the indelible mark that the work of great landscape photographers like Adams left on Micheels remains.

LEGO Ideas 'The Landscape Photographer'
Micheels went through three revisions for the famous station wagon.
LEGO Ideas 'The Landscape Photographer'
The old-school camera also went through an iterative design process.

There’s a lot of detail in the LEGO Ideas set. The Landscape Photographer draws heavy influence from an image captured by musician and photographer Cedric Wright.

The influential photographer born in 1889 met Ansel Adams on a hike in the 1920s, and the pair remained close friends. In 1942, Wright captured a famous portrait of Adams standing on top of a station wagon, capturing an image in Yosemite National Park. Even the car’s number plate is accurate to Wright’s portrait.

LEGO Ideas 'The Landscape Photographer'
There are quite a few pieces to “The Landscape Photographer” LEGO Ideas set.

Making ‘The Landscape Photographer’ LEGO Set a Reality

For Micheels’ excellent LEGO build to become a reality, it must get at least 10,000 votes on LEGO Ideas. The set needs about 7,300 more votes at the time of writing, with 729 days remaining in the campaign.

If “The Landscape Photographer” gets 10,000 votes, the official LEGO team will review the set and see if there’s a way to turn it into an actual set in collaboration with LEGO. Micheels will receive a portion of the royalties if the set ends up on store shelves.

Image credits: LobsterThermidor (Nick Micheels) on LEGO Ideas