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 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

Posted in BJD, doll photography, Dollsbe, Iplehouse, miniature photography, Olive, overhead, Photography, Photoshop, Supia, toy photography

Dancing dolls

I take back everything I said about Olive’s (my Iplehouse Amy doll’s) posing ability in my previous post. Apparently, although she’s not always able to resist the forces of gravity, she can totally dance.

I think her dancing ability comes from the way her chest joint pivots. Unlike most of my ball-joint dolls, she can move on all axes at once in that joint, giving her very lifelike bends.

So, this week, in celebration of finishing the floor of the tree house, the sisters dance in the meadow. I tried to give them dance movements that were respectful of their natures.

The littlest one, Fern, is all straightforward enthusiasm:

while Willow, true to her nature, is graceful and reserved.

But it’s the middle sister, Olive, who really shines and just gets carried away in the movements.

Like all of my exuberant doll movements, I photographed these with the dolls lying flat on a surface, and my camera on a tripod pointing straight down on them, like this:

It lets me pose them without having to worry about which one of their joints is going to crumble first 🙂

That’s the floor of the treehouse below Olive – I think it turned out pretty well, for a first effort. In the future, I need to find a tool that will cut straight through Vinyl, but for now, the slightly jagged edges are fine.

Also, you might have noticed that I’ve re-wigged all of the dolls. The cute short wig that Fern is wearing just came in, so I switched her with Olive, and I stole a wig from another doll for Willow. I think these wigs work better on them. To me, it makes them look more related.