Review - Small Scenes From A Big Galaxy

I get a kick out of all LEGO inspired books. It's a product and company I love. I also find just about anything Star Wars endearing (except maybe those stupid coffee creamers, what the heck?) So when you combine the two, you have my attention. Now add in the fact that this is the product of the imagination and creativity of an AFOL and fan, well this is a perfect storm of LEGO, Star Wars, imagination, creativity, photography and fandom, I'm smitten.

Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy by Vesa Lehtimäki (AKA Avanaut) has been years in the making. We've featured many of Avanaut's pictures here on the blog and have admired his unique and wonderful photography style. Now all his hard work is on one place, a big, beautiful book from DK. This is my kind of coffee table book, heavy, hearty and lovely. The book is very high quality, with a nice hard cover, heavy paper and top notch printing. It's going to grace the table in the Nerd Lounge for some time to come.

The words are minimal in the book, and that's the point, this book is about pictures. And what pictures they are. This is about as far from the "build it, shoot it, upload it" mentality as you can get. Each image is carefully and meticulously crafted. Painstakingly composed, lit and shot by someone who understands photography, bricks and fandom. And it's not simple recreations of situations from the films, there's so much creativity and whimsy that you tumble helplessly into the pages.

And while the text is minimal, it's super interesting. Instead of the expected flowery prose compiled simply for the reason it 'should be there', Avanaut shares the stories of how the images were captured. And again, the creativity and out-of-the-box thinking is absolutely enthralling. He shares the thought process of the work, not just the final pictures. This is as much a master class on creative photography as it is a celebration of LEGO and Star Wars.

About now I should be sharing the not-so-good thoughts on the book, the harsh critique far too many reviewers relish in unleashing. But here's the thing, I don't have any. I cannot find a single fault in it, and I think it would be silly to endeavor to do so. But I do know the mind of an artist, and Avanaut probably has a laundry list of things that could be better, so to call a work of art "un-improvable" is a disservice to the artist, or at least they would simple not agree. What I will say is as far as I'm concerned, it's perfect.

I realize this is a bit of a gushing review, but I can't help it and I won't apologize for it. This book seems to have been custom made for me, it's jam packed with so many things I love and composed with such dedication and skill that it was destined for my coffee table. I can't recommend it highly enough. I give it a very enthusiastic five out of five Nerdlys


This is the part where I normally say "if you're interested in this book" but this time I'm going to say stop what you're doing and order this book, now.

Seriously, stop reading this and click the button.


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