Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Gift

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek


About 4 months ago, I was thrilled to find out I had won a gift certificate to Photofiddle.com. I won it just by commenting on one of Dawn's blogs here. See? Sometimes wasting time commenting on blogs is profitable.
What is Photofiddle you ask? It is a fun site where you can upload any photograph and choose a style of painting and they will turn your photo into a painting. There are several styles to choose from and options for photo collages too. There is everything from oil painting to cross stitch and everything in between like fantasy and sponge painting, impasto or even light bright. Check it out, it is really fun! Any how, I thought it would be fun to get a painting made for my husband to take to his office. (Because at home, it wouldn't last long.) I like to paint, but I would never get around to making a painting for a gift, so this was a quickie way to get it done, right? One would assume.
First, however, you need a great photo. Turns out, I didn't really have one. I mean, if I used a photo of just one of the kids, it would upset the others who weren't in the picture. I could do me, but I am extremely un-photogenic, so any good picture of me, if I could find one, it would be so old, probably I would no longer be recognizable. So I decided to take a picture of all the kids together.
Trying to get everyone together at once and have everyone actually wearing clothes or clothes without holes and stains was not an easy feat. Once I managed to do that, I had issues with getting everyone to get together and get something looking decent. We tried inside:
Cut the faces, and lose the football!Great! There's still a hole in a knee and some goofy smiles and an unhappy diva.Still can't settle down and keep our hands to ourselves. There are several more pictures like this or worse. So we went outside. It was FREEZING. We got shots like this:Someone's upside down, someone's hiding behind his hood. Best we can do, but those are pretty cheesy frozen grins and the background is just more cluttered than I'd like. I decided I would need to get them all dressed in something like school clothes and take them right after school when it was warmer to somewhere really scenic and get some shots of them in a more natural setting. Plus, then maybe the coats could hide stains. So, we got some good shots. From behind. The front facing ones were more like this:Laser head. Need I say more?Maybe their faces are just naturally goofy? From behind, I had several great choices. So I deliberated and narrowed it down to about 8. then I fiddled. I fiddled, and I fiddled, and i fiddled. I tried different styles, different cropping, I tried photoshopping different saturations, etc to see how it affected coloring. I asked questions, asked for tweaking, and in general, drove the photofiddle people crazy. I had gotten them to fix the shading and detail on one painting, but since I had done some photoshopping messing with the same pose, I found it impossible for us to get the original without the mess in the background so it would all look the way I want. So, I tried a similar pose. Then I couldn't get anyone who spoke English or Artist to understand the one simple little thing I needed adjusted on it. So, I decided on another pose that didn't need any help. I tested it in different frames and in a room with different colored walls, etc. I chose it in oil painting, but frankly, it looks like watercolor to me. However, it looks really great. If you are not an artist, you will love this site. If you are, you may save everyone a lot of trouble and just paint it yourself, or just don't be as picky as me. Honestly, it took me as long to fiddle in the end as it would to paint. It still seemed lazier doing it on the computer. And in the end, it turned out great and Papi LOVED it. So do I. It totally captures our kids, right down to the untied shoelaces and unfailing hats and hoods. Here it is. If you click on it, you can see it up close and in detail. And that's all she wrote for now.

34 comments:

Wayne said...

what great photoes they all look like they were having alot of fun.

Great phto friday

Michelle said...

I really love the pictures from behind. :)

Chris said...

Walking away from the camera is my favorite pose of all time -- your shot is terrific.

Though I have to say I'm a little partial to "Laser Head" too.

4boyzmdmom said...

What a cool picture! I will have to check that website out. I would have just as much trouble getting a decent photo of all my kids together. The final result is fabulous, though...good idea to use one from behind.

Izzy 'N Emmy said...

I'll have to go over and check that out, it sounds great! I love the shot you chose. It turned out great!

david mcmahon said...

Thanks for the visit and the comment. I actually like the last shot the best.

Indrani said...

Great details in the painting, Amazing!

Lori of I'm no super Mom said...

It turned out beautiful!

Steph said...

Those are awesome, isn't it so fun trying to get all the kids making a nice face, to get a good picture of all of them? I always have that problem!
The painting turned out gorgeous though!

The Cranes said...

It looks like water color to me, too, and I'm not an artist. It looks great, though. I am going to have to check that website out!

Emily said...

love the behind pictures...too cute! I'll have to check it out...

RAQ said...

Love it and the photos front and back!! Love those stinkers!!!

Peter Dyrholm said...

Getting 4 healthy energetic kids in line for a photo... yeah there is a challenge ;-)
Great results though :-)

Jennifer said...

The last one is my favorite. Thanks for your kind words on my blog :)

Momisodes said...

I love these pics! What a great time, and I love the final shot you chose :)

imbeingheldhostage said...

Oh I LOVE how it turned out-- that is a great painting... I think those shots are far better than the posed ones (we all have goofy faces too in every posed shot).

Congrats on your win, what a bonus!

Killlashandra said...

You definitely put the ole college try into getting a group photo that's for sure. However, I really like the way the one you picked turned out. Them all walking down the path together. That says alot just by itself. :)

CC said...

Too fun! But the outside ones did work out better. ;)

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

very cool site - I need to check that out!!!!! nice photos

lisaschaos said...

Very nice! I know it's a challenge to get that many kids to cooperate! :)

Lindsay said...

I'm gonna go check it out! I love "from behind" shots....no goofy faces to cut out! LOL.

Casey's trio said...

I always love pictures from behind of my kids...LOVE them! Great choice!

kaye said...

Sounds like true to life story and I like the way the painting turned out. Thanks for visiting today

mannequin said...

You certainly ran the gamut there, didn't you? In the end, you chose a very nice one although really, to an observer, each one is very nice. It shows everyone's personality!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Cool idea. I So know what you mean about getting all the kids to look good and neat in a photo.... I find the ones from behind are the best. Great choice!

Krystyn said...

Oh, that's great!

I think you chose a good one.

Congrats on your win.

That Girl in Brazil said...

LOVE the photofiddle tip. I might have to scoot on over there right now ....

And I do love the photos. They really capture the personalities.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

FUN FUN FUN! Great pics! : D

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

What a fun family! And a fun site. Your result came out great.

Mary Ellen said...

I LOVE IT. Awesome. I've never heard of that site, but I'll have to go see about it now!

Kacey R. said...

Love the final product! See, all that hard work paid off!!

Honey Mommy said...

Getting good photos of kids is like torture! And I only have two kids!

caramama said...

I think they are all great pics! Beautiful family!

Ashley said...

Wow, I LOVE that! Great choice, I totally would have picked that one too!