Our Christmas 2008 Photo

We gathered together on Sunday, November 30, to celebrate Brian's birthday, number 23 (in hexadecimal: we programmers need to get nerdy once in a while). Shane and Christina joined us, but alas David couldn't make it. Busy man that he is, he had made other plans well in advance of our organizing Brian's birthday celebration. But this would be the last time before Christmas that we could get everyone else together.

Dave had been with us in Atascadero for Thanksgiving, when I had planned to take the photo, but Cathy couldn't make it--she and Tori had gotten sick.

We've had Christmas photo shoots in the past with missing members--Jenny was away at school for four and Brian was in Africa for one. So in this one David would be missing--or would he? I started thinking...

Results from the Shoot

Tripod was set up. Camera was pointed just right. Click. The babies were both very attentive! Ten seconds later, BAM! First shot complete. Babies were looking forward, thanks to our collective enthusiasm just before the timer reached zero.

But our luck wouldn't last. With the second shot the babies were no longer attentive, as you can see.

So that was it. Two shots.

First photo--no room for David

Second photo--room for David, but babies have lost interest

Photo of David

Back to David. In mid-October he and I had lunch. I had brought him a bull's horns--a gift from his grandpa--and took this photo of him.

Horns for above his bar

Enter Photoshop

The first shot had the babies looking forward but no place to add David. The second photo had room in the back for David but the babies were no longer at attention. No problem. Mouse click here; mouse click there. Key press here; key press there. And presto!

The final photo

The photo on the card is the second photo with alterations:

  • I added David's head and shirt in the back.

  • I moved the two babies' heads from photo 1 to photo 2 and adjusted Tori's shirt.

  • I changed the sky from overcast to blue.

  • I cropped the photo to fit the card.

Years later David will think he was there!