Jack Climbs the Beanstalk with Gloves, Luigi Decorates with Pumpkins, and Iron Man wears a Costume

Today I’m going to post my fairy tale pictures.

Apparently, I can only handle one outlet for creativity at a time, because once I started The Blog, I ran out of ideas for these fairy tale pictures, so I have only eight of them.

All but the last two pictures were taken on my first digital camera, which was a $150 Kodak point and shoot.  I call her Daisy Mae.  It took a lot of effort to get the pictures to look the way I wanted on such a limited camera.  The nice thing about my newest digital camera, Alex (a Nikon D5100) is that the pictures come out looking the way I want practically effortlessly, when compared with Daisy Mae.  That’s why an Alex costs more than a Daisy Mae.

Here we go:

Jack was glad he remembered to put on his grippy leather gloves before starting the climb up the beanstalk.  –Sept 13, 2011

This picture was inspired by the plant.  This plant hangs from my bedroom ceiling and the vines grow too long, and droop to the ground.  Which made me think of Jack’s beanstalk.  And one day, when I was putting off trimming the vines, it occurred to me that a Lego mini-fig’s hands were probably the right size to grab onto the vines.  That might be a cute picture, so I grabbed a mini-fig to see if he fit.  He did.

Then it was a matter of trial and error to figure out what angle worked best, along with having to work with Daisy Mae’s limitations.  For instance, she couldn’t figure out what I wanted to focus on, and kept trying to focus on the plant or the curtains–anything but Jack.  Very frustrating.

I also learned a lot about angles and distracting backgrounds.  I got the shot I wanted by getting close to the subject and closing the curtains behind him, which gave me this very simple image.

Once I got the shot, I wrote the caption, “Jack and the Beanstalk.”


But what could I do?  I had no other ideas for the caption.  And at that point, I hadn’t started writing The Blog and honestly had no clue that humorous writing would come so easily to me.

Also, it bothered me that Jack’s hands were black, but his face was white.  I considered trying to re-take the image, but I was worn out from all the photography that day and didn’t feel starting over again.  Really.  I’d been on the floor, standing on chairs, on the bed, moved the bed, moved the wardrobe, up close, far away, put everything back…tired.

I was staring at those black hands in the picture trying to drum up the energy to re-do the whole thing, when inspiration hit.  Jack’s hands were black because he was wearing gloves!  Of course!  If you’re going to climb something, it’ll make your hands hurt, so you need gloves.  I fooled around with the wording, until I got it right.


Luigi enjoyed the autumn season best, and would often decorate his humble home with pumpkins that he had grown himself. –October 20, 2011

Once Jack and the Beanstalk was done, I felt inspired to do more fanciful shots like it. This Lincoln Log cabin was decorating my house and I had a niggling feeling that there was something I could do with it. Maybe something about Little Red Riding Hood. But I have boys, so I don’t have any girl dolls.  And no red cloaks, either.  Every time I’d walk by this house, I’d stare at it for a moment, waiting for inspiration to strike.

One day, I noticed that this Luigi figurine fit nicely inside the house.  I took pictures of the house with Luigi inside it on my dining room table next to the pumpkin that was decorating my table.  Which made me think that if I liked to decorate my home with pumpkins, well, Luigi might, too.  And I just so happened to have little pumpkins in my shadow box.  (There’s a story behind the shadow box, but not enough room to tell it here.)

To make the picture more realistic, I took the cabin, Luigi and the pumpkins outside for a little photoshoot.  The rabbit seemed a nice addition as well.  I learned that sometimes you have to lie down flat in the middle of your yard to take pictures from the angle that you want, and I didn’t even care who saw me.  Or that the grass was wet and messed up my clothes.  Thus began the slippery slide into photography obsession.

I didn’t know what the caption would be, but I worked with the wording for a while, and soon it all came together.  I liked the idea of Luigi puttering around his house and growing things in his garden.  I pictured him living in the English countryside and wearing wellies and having sheep dogs for pets.


Tony Stark’s favorite holiday was Halloween and each year he wore a different costume. This year, he went trick-or-treating as a Jedi. –October 26, 2011

Just 6 days after my Luigi picture, I was inspired again.  This time, I was helping the boys clean their toys and noticed that Anakin Skywalker’s Jedi robe fit Iron Man nicely.  Halloween was just around the corner, and it popped into my head that wouldn’t it be funny if Iron Man went trick or treating in a costume.

But what made it even funnier to me, was to think that Tony Stark (who is the guy in the Iron Man suit) would put on his Iron Man suit, and then dress up as a Jedi before going trick or treating.

I found the little basket in the same shadow box that holds the pumpkins from Luigi’s yard and put some candy corn in it, taped the light saber to Tony’s hand (wish I’d hidden the tape better) and considered where to take the shot.  I knew I wanted the shot from below Tony, so he would loom large in the picture, and needed somewhere for him to stand without toppling over.

This is taken in front of my shed door at the top of a crumbling staircase leading to the shed.  The door is covered in dirt, so I love the color and texture it gives behind Tony, when it’s blurred out, and I also love the leaves around his feet.  You can tell that it’s October in the shot.  The steps leading to the shed are completely crumbled and I was kneeling on sharp shards of broken rock for the pictures, and in danger of the steps sliding out from under me.

I took the shot, and stared at the picture for awhile, and played with it on a free online picture editing software, and soon a caption came to me.  I worked with the words a bit until they were nice and concise, and voila.  In two sentences we have an entire story.  Tony loves to trick or treat and loves wearing costumes.  You can picture him getting ready to trick-or-treat, and walking from house to house and then going home and sorting through his candy.

I also like the expression on Tony/Iron Man’s face.  Sort of, “What?  So, I dress up as a Jedi and go trick-or-treating?  What’s it to you?”


No.  Wait.  No next.  I’m already at almost 1200 words and that’s too much for you to read in one sitting.

I’ll continue tomorrow with the picture of the Shoemaker and the Elves, Peter Rabbit, and some monkeys, and if there’s room, The Loch Ness Monster picture, which is by far the best.


Picture of the day:

I invited my family to Kevin and Brandi’s house this evening.

They were kind enough to accommodate my picky eating, and served chicken.  I guess they don’t mind that I invite myself and the family to dinner at their house, or else it would have been seal eyeballs.

And they purposely didn’t read The Blog this past week, just so we’d have stuff to talk about.  Because if you read The Blog, I sort of don’t have anything to say when you ask me, “What’s new?”  If you read The Blog, then you know what’s new.  And there’s nothing left to talk about.

It was kind of nice getting to tell my blog stories in person, instead of in writing, for a change.  And faster, too.


2 thoughts on “Jack Climbs the Beanstalk with Gloves, Luigi Decorates with Pumpkins, and Iron Man wears a Costume

  1. I take all of my pictures on a camera that was less than $200 if I remember properly, but then I always have – I think it’s good practice because you can take very good pictures on a less expensive camera in the same way that a person can take poor pictures on a very expensive camera (not that you do – all of the ones I have seen of yours have been lovely!) but it always reminds me of this one client we had at my last job. He had just returned from a vacation with his family and he was ranting and raving that he had just spent all of this money on this “state of the art” “top of the line” camera – I can’t remember how much exactly he spent, but quite a bit, but he was very upset because most of his pictures still turned out blurry. Unfortunately for him he didn’t realize that dropping a large wad of cash on equipment still wouldn’t make him a better photographer. It’s been funny this week with my sister’s grad because there were 4 of us taking a lot of the same pictures and then we all exchanged pictures and my mom, aunt and I all have around or under $200 point and shoot digital cameras (mom’s is a Panasonic, my aunt’s is a Kodak, and mine is a Nikon) and then my mom’s friend came with her Nikon D60 and then my aunt also brought her DSLR Kodak – and it was so interesting to see not only how the quality of the cameras effected the shots but how our different photography skills effected the shots because we were all taking the same shots in many of the cases – it’s been very interesting to compare! I can’t wait to get my own “Alex” some day so I can see what difference it makes in my shots since I’ve been toiling away with point and shots since I was a kid 😉 keep up the good work – I enjoyed these fairy tale shoots – especially Tony Stark, that’s brilliant.

    • Even if the camera is expensive, if you don’t know how to monkey with the settings, you won’t always get what you want. He was probably trying to take pictures and it was too dark so his shutter speed was slow.

      That must have been fun, comparing the pictures from all those different cameras. And if you get an Alex-type one day, I think you’ll be happily surprised at how much easier it is to get the images you want. You still have to work at it, but it’s easier.

      Yes, the Tony Stark one is the best of those three. I personally, think the fairy tale pictures get better and better, and one day I’ll show the rest. Maybe not this evening. I think I might have something to ramble on about this evening. But on another evening when I don’t feel like coming up with something original, I’ll show more of the fairy tale pictures.

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