Posted in BJD, doll adventure, doll photography, Dolls, graphic novel, In the picture, miniature adventure, miniature photography, miniatures, photo novel, Photography, Photoshop, toy adventure, toy photography, toys

Underfoot 05: Underfoot and Under Bed

In our last episode, Cosette befriended a rat, and the whole team spent the night in the sewers under Paris. We continue our story on the next morning.


For all of my fussing about Mathilde this week, clearly my (surprisingly) calm dog, Sydney, was the star of the episode.


What I learned this week is that it’s (not surprisingly) very difficult to photograph dolls under a bed. First, in its normal state, under the bed is a fearfully dusty place – full of lost items which are better to remain lost. Second, it is very dark down there. Third, photographing small objects under the bed necessitates lying on the floor with aforementioned star dog Sydney sniffling around ones’ head.

That said, I think they look pretty darn cute down there. The only (slight) misadventure is that, after my first day of photographing them, I was unable to locate Jinjur and her dog, until I realized that I’d left them under our bed all night. My husband, normally calm and supportive about all of this doll foolishness, seemed a little creeped out that he’d spent the night with dolls under the bed. So, note to self, collect the dolls before going to bed.


Next week, I return to the In The Pictures story. As a clear-eyed look into my “process,” know that I have not the slightest idea at this point what the story is going to be about. The only little snippet I wanted to weave in is having Bodger retrieve a Rin Tin Tin video and attempt to jump into it. Beyond that, who knows. Hopefully the dolls have some good ideas.

Posted in BJD, doll adventure, doll photography, Dolls, graphic novel, miniature adventure, miniature photography, miniatures, photo novel, Photography, toy adventure, toy photography, toys

Betwixt 02: The rescue


I was worried all week that the pieces of this episode wouldn’t come together – right up until the last few days, I didn’t actually have a plot – but, in the end, I’m pretty happy with how everything turned out. My one remaining concern is that this is an awfully truncated version of a story. If I’d had this plot in my original doll adventure, it would have dragged on across many episodes. And, there’s a cost to this truncation – the whole thing plays out before you really have a chance to get involved.

OTOH, I didn’t feel like I had anything to add beyond the plot. I *could* have played up the rescue scene, so that it wasn’t clear until the end whether they’d get away. But, really, I know things turn out well – why put everyone through all that trouble 🙂


This is the episode where I painted (using photoshop) the background photos. For the characters, I just put them through a simple Photoshop filter to make them look more like drawings, so they’d fit in with the background. I like the painted effect, and will probably use it in other stories when characters leave the real world (as they so often seem to do, in my stories.)


I really love how different the three main characters’ faces are in this series. The big guy is all angles, the pixie is all eyes, and the kid just looks like a kid. The dolls in my other series all share some kind of family resemblance. These three look like they come from different worlds.

Next up is the Underfoot episode, where I’m thinking of moving them under my bed. We’ll see whether that photographs well 🙂

Posted in doll photography, general discussion, miniature photography, Photoshop, toy photography

Learning new things: Painting over stock photos

Once it starts raining in Oregon, all of my photography moves indoors. That means that, for my larger dolls who are too big for set-building, I use a lot of stock photos as backdrops. You can see some of them in the first Betwixt episode.



All of which is a nice, easy way to create a shot, but it’s an odd mix of my creative process and someone else’s work.

So, for my second Betwixt episode, I’ve been trying something different – using stock photos, but altering them in Photoshop with a mixture of brushes, filters, and textures. That gives me a background that’s really mine, and not just something I grabbed off the web.

Here’s a sample of the transformations:

Here’s an original stock photo:

and here’s its altered form:

In this case, I left the leaf alone, used a textured brush to alter the water, and then applied a filter over the texture.

Here’s another:

and the altered form:

In this case, I just used the photo like a coloring book and painted over everything.

I think this works particularly well for the dreamy segments, like this second Betwixt episode where they find themselves miniaturized and sent on a quest in the world where Ester has sent them.

I haven’t figured out how I’m going to deal with the dolls in these pictures. I might leave them in photographic form, or I might alter them as well.

In any case, that’s my project for this week but, before I publish the Betwixt episode we’ll catch up with Camellia on her ocean journey.

Posted in diorama, doll photography, Dolls, general discussion, miniature photography, Photography, Photoshop, toy photography

ABP – Always Be Photoshopping

You know your miniature world building has gone wrong when most of it is done in front of a computer. I don’t know about other miniature world builders, but for me much of the delight is peering into their tiny worlds, or glancing up and seeing them mid-action in their tiny world.

But, once I got frozen and then boiled out of my garage workspace, the quality of my world building has plummeted until now I’m pretty much just tossing dolls down on the desk to photograph them and then photoshopping them into something more suitable.

That’s ended up making my home much less magical. There’s a lot more magic in glancing over and seeing this setup in my dining/doll room:

than there is in this:

Or in this magical space

contrasted to this table top

Sometimes, of course, I have no options. There simply is no way I’m going to capture this

in my dining room.

But much of it is just sheer laziness on my part. I mean, could I really not have made this photograph using real world props?

Heck, I might even have gotten the scale and angle right.

My next episode is the second “In the Picture” episode, so I actually have to do photoshopping to get my dolls into the pictures. But, I’m trying to make their real world space more . . . well . . . real. We’ll see how that goes