Just a spoonful of sugar.

Just a spoonful of sugar.

Souvenir from Garfunkel’s, a restaurant in London’s Piccadilly Circus. I wanted to have it sitting on an image of Mary Poppins, but couldn’t get the lighting right.

I ate at Garfunkel’s right after an apparent bomb threat in Piccadilly Circus in August 1998, and perhaps during it. I had just been taking a photo of one of the square’s statues and when I looked around I found I was in the middle of a taped-off area. For some reason the police didn’t notice me there in plain sight. Troops were marching into the square and I quickly got on the good side of the tape. Police were pushing everyone further and further back from the area, and when I asked an officer how far we should go, he said, “It depends on how much you want to live.” They stopped pushing just before Garfunkel’s, and it was supper time, so I supped there. The staff told me bomb threats were a common occurrence and everyone had a sheet of questions to ask anyone calling in with a threat. I couldn’t find anything in the news about the incident afterward.

I was in London for the Babylon 5 Wrap Party. Harlan Ellison served me black pudding in his pajamas there, and I got to put a tipsy James White to bed one night.

The statue photo was the last one on the roll and didn’t turn out, of course.



Clean and Jerk

Clean and Jerk

Tigress raises the bar for action figure weightlifting.

For the FlickrFriday challenge “Raise the Bar”.



Most people would shine a flashlight under their chin when telling scary stories around a campfire, but Tigress thinks she looks spookier lit from the side.

Technical notes: I lowered the contrast to reduce the glare and make her face look a little darker. She’s holding the keychain flashlight herself in her right hand, which is steadier than me holding it and trying to take the photo with one hand.

Tip the Waiter

Tip the Waiter

I found Tip in the kitchen behind the refrigerator. I don’t know how he got there and I don’t remember having him before then. He’s the handle of a vintage bottle opener. He’ll open bottles that aren’t vintage, too. He appears to be holding a beer mug and growler for Oktoberfest. I think he’s had too many bottles. He looks tipsy.

Making simple double exposures in Photoshop

I found there’s no simple “just merge two photos together” option in Photoshop, and the File/Automate/Photomerge option hates photos that don’t fit together exactly.

The simplest way I found:
Load both photos into Photoshop.
Click on the Move icon (the four arrows in all directions).
Right-click on the tab of one photo and select Move to New Window. It will minimize slightly.
Drag that photo into the other photo. That creates two layers in the other photo’s frame with full opacity.
Reduce the opacity of each layer so you can see both layers for positioning.
Drag each layer into the position you like, and select the opacities. Full opacity will bring back the original for a layer, and 50% or so will make that layer a ghost image.
Select both layers in the sidebar.
Select Edit/Auto-Blend Layers. You may want to have Seamless checked.
If the settings look good, click Okay, and you should get the blending you want.
You may need to experiment a bit with the steps, but at this point you can do whatever other processing you want, and save.