Tiny Little Shrunken People

Kylee contacted me and said she’d like some new portraits done.  Here’s one I took of her last summer:


Kylee is pretty comfortable in front of the camera so I knew she’d be up for doing something out of the ordinary. All I needed was a clever idea.  I waited a few days for inspiration to strike then remembered that I love pictures of tiny little shrunken people.

I’ve never shrunken anyone before, so I took Boy12 with his frying pan…

2 boy

…and used my shrink ray to have him help out Captain America who is totally losing this fight against Red Skull. 3 unedited toy pic

Looks like Boy12 is handy in a fight:

Logan and frying pan-blurrier edged

It looks great, except you can tell that Boy12 isn’t really standing on the top of his desk like Red Skull is.  Also, as far as I know Boy12 isn’t Peter Pan or a vampire so where is his shadow and reflection?

Cropped out the feet:

Frying pan cropped

Much better.

I suggested to Kylee we could build a Lincoln Log house and have her creeping up to it (in tall grass to hide her feet) and title it “Goldilocks,” but Kylee told me she dyed her hair red.

Kylee! Red? Really?? Goldilocks doesn’t have red hair!  Models ought to consult with their photographers before they go around dying their hair.  Kylee solved the problem by changing the title to “Little Red Riding Hood.”

I lost at Uno AGAIN! Inconceivable!

(FYI:  you can click on any of the pictures to see them larger.)

THIS is why I love living here.  Why would I ever go back to the suburbs, when this is less than a minute from my house??!  Seriously.  I pulled the car over and snapped the picture.  There were no cars zooming by, it was silent, a bit windy…

…but lovely.

Today I’m going to talk a little bit about editing photographs.
The above picture is just as it came out of the camera, except that I put my little watermark on it, and I resized it smaller.  If I don’t resize the pictures, they use up all my allotted space on WordPress.  I keep a copy of the original, a copy of the regularly edited picture, and a third copy with the watermark and resized.

Below is the picture again, as I would normally edit it.  If you look carefully, you’ll see that a white shed is missing, as is a green tank, and some powerlines, and a telephone pole.  The colors are more vibrant and just the fence post and wire fencing have been sharpened.  The field and barn/house/some of the tree line have been softened.

I did all that in my beloved Picnik (which will be gone in April.  I’m still in mourning.)

No, wait!  I take that back.  I used Photoshop Elements to get rid of the powerlines.  I could have used Picnik, but it was actually easier in Elements (for a change.)

All of those edits took about 4 minutes in Picnik.  And for the casual hobbyist, that’s exactly how long I want it to take.  Quick, editing done, don’t really care if it’s perfect.  Just want it to look good enough that I don’t embarrass myself.

Sorry, guys.  I’m still a bit whiny about losing Picnik soon.  I’m not looking forward to how long it’ll take me to play with my pictures in Elements.  And I’m not even sure how I’ll be able to sharpen tiny bits of the picture in Elements the way I can in Picnik.  Waa, waa, waa.

I almost never, ever use the canned editing that they offer in Picnik, because it usually looks super fake.
But not on this picture!  For fun, I tried one of the canned things, and it looked kinda good.  (See below.)  This one was a canned black and white, but I used a little eraser to remove the b&w from the sky.

And for fun, I clicked on the Cinemascope edit.  Wow!  That looks good, too!

And the one called Cross-Process (whatever that is.)  It looks great!  (below.)

And Gritty!  Even gritty looks good!  This picture is amazing!  No matter what you do to the picture, it looks good!

This canned editing thing is called Holga.  I don’t know who Holga was, but I’m thinking she was blonde, with braids, and wore a viking helmet.  And lived in Sweden.  (below)

Lomo looks good.  (below)

And so does Orton.

And even boring old Sepia looks dramatic.  Wonderful!

Below is another picture that I took today, and I’ll walk you through my editing process for that one as well.

This was taken during the Homeschool Co-Op we belong to.  Every other week, homeschoolers who belong to the co-op can take their kids to classes  with real live other children!  Wow!  Homeschoolers interacting with people!  Who knew?!  

While I was supposed to be getting my classroom ready (I teach an art class), I saw these shoes some kids had taken off.  I don’t know who they belong to, but I loved the way they looked juxtaposed together.  The delicate ballet slippers next to the earthy moccasins.   I didn’t have a lot of time to set up the shot, and this picture was the best that I got.  I wish that I’d captured more of the moccasins in the picture, but I ran out of time.

Below is the picture directly from the camera, except for the watermark and resizing.

Below is how I would normally edit it.  I removed the black blob from the upper left hand corner.  I don’t think I did a very good job removing it because that part of the carpet now seems extra blurry-ish, but (again) I’m not really interested in making my pictures look professional; just presentable.  This is supposed to be  fun.

I made the colors slightly more vibrant and got rid of a couple of little cracks in the white part of the ballet slipper.  I sharpened just the ballet slipper and the metal studs on the moccasin.

Here it is:

And to show you why I rarely use the canned edits, here is the same picture using the canned edit of Holga (below.)

And Lomo.

I’ll stop with that because none of them looked good.  Instead of enhancing the picture, they detract.  Don’t you think?

For fun, here’s what I did this evening:

In the above picture you can see that we’re playing Superman Uno.  In Superman Uno there is an extra card called the Battle card (you can see it in my hand.)  When you play this card you pick another player to battle and they have to draw from the deck until they can lay down a blue or green card.

We have the following Uno games (did I already write about this in another blog?  This seems familiar.)






Each of those different versions has their own extra card.

In the above picture, I got a shot of K drawing cards, because we were sure that’s how the evening would go, with K drawing card after card and losing soundly.

Didn’t happen.  As you can tell from the below picture, K won four rounds in a row and the rest of us were pretty neck in neck in our losing.  (neck in neck?  Is that the phrase?  That doesn’t sound right.)

I came in dead last.  Sigh.

It’s late.  Gotta sleep.  Night, y’all!

No time to exercise today (co-op), so no Star Trek.

Watched while cooking/cleaning in the kitchen: Malcolm in the Middle.

Picnik.com closing down

Wait…what?!?!  Picnik.com is closing down in April!?!


I have Photoshop Elements and I hate it.  I really, really, really hate Elements.

I’ve had three different friends sit with me and show me how to use Elements and each time I’m thinking, “I can do the same thing, easier, in picnik.”

Whenever I use Elements, I’m like The Boy doing long division and pencils go flying across the room.   I really hate it and it completely frustrates me.  Something that is supposed to be a fun hobby turns into a tedious chore.

Ok.  Public whining done for now.  I’ll do the rest of my whining in privacy.  (Maybe I should call it mourning?)

If anyone is reading this and knows anything about photo editing, what do you use?



Hey:  it’s April 19th today, and I’ve noticed that a  lot of people keep reading this blog post, so you’re probably as upset as I was about picnic closing down.  Check out iPiccy.com. It’s almost  a mirror copy of Picnic.com.  Shew!  Disaster averted!