Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Bit of Photo Editing Fun

I was recently fooling around a bit with some photo editing software and came up with a set of fun images to share. Regular readers of the blog have probably noticed that I often create composite images and photo collages for my articles by using a combination of Photoshop and Microsoft PowerPoint. My skills with Photoshop are only so-so -- mostly I just use it to clean up images. MS PowerPoint, on the other hand, is in some ways easier for me, and is surprisingly useful when it comes to combining images. Even the headbadge collage that makes up the background of the whole blog was created using PowerPoint (I had a whole step-by-step article on that process about three years ago).

During the Victorian era, when both photography and bicycles were the latest thing, and when people probably first started becoming obsessed with their pets as little miniature humans (an obsession that totally continues through today), it was really common to see people photographed with their bicycles, or to get their pets photographed dressed up and posed like humans. On a whim, I started creating pictures that combined all these notions -- people, animals, and bikes.

I've got my finished results below, along with the original images that I started with - take a look and (maybe?) have a chuckle.

For this one, I combined this advertising image of a bicyclist with the little playing card image of "Mr Fox." Part of what made it work was that both pictures had a similar artistic style and color palette. The colors in the fox image are a little brighter, but it would work. You'll notice I had to flip the fox image and alter the angle a little to get it to match up - but the end result is pretty convincing. By the way, I did flip the fox image, but I did not flip or alter the bicyclist - the original artist put the drivetrain on the wrong side of the bike! I toyed a bit with the idea of putting the cyclist's cap on the fox, but in the end decided it looked better without.

The attitude of the dog in the top hat seemed like a natural fit for this fellow posing with his prized penny farthing. Again, I had to flip the image of the dog to get him facing the right direction - and in the cropping his pipe became a cigar, but it still works. The tint of the two photos was slightly different (the dog photo originally had a bit more of a brown tint) - but that was pretty easily altered.

The little terrier with the cap seemed like a perfect fit for this Belgian racer. Again, the tint was slightly different, but easily fixed.

The fox on the left seemed to be in the perfect pose to match up with this early 20th century track racer. The tint was a good match too.

Both images here were engravings as opposed to photos - but the style was close enough that they'd match up well. The dog, apparently, was one of Queen Victoria's pets. I had to work on the tinting but it worked in the end. I did a version where I put the cyclist's wide-brimmed hat on the dog, but didn't like it as well - he seemed to lose something when you couldn't see his perky ears.

Hope you enjoyed!


  1. That first one reminded me of some of those Art Nouveau cycling advertisements, so I thought I'd have a (very quick) go at one:

    What do you think?

    1. Am I getting credit on that?

    2. Deleted that one, here's a new one:

  2. Thank you, Brooks! This is one of the funniest items I've ever seen. As we can see, even without the special photo editing software it was possible to make dramatical changes of the photos taken. It's awesome, isn't it.

  3. This made my day. I especially like the dog with the top hat and penny-farthing.

  4. You're going to add Bernard Hinault......right?

  5. Thank you for this post, very interesting.

    I am a marketer in Grenoble (France). I use on an everyday basis Gimp and Canva.

    Gimp is not very intuitive, you need months and months of use to begin making amazing stuff with it.

    On the other side, Canva is the most intuitive photo editor ever. In 5 minutes you can create catchy images, background that do not look like an old ‘paint’ image.

    So the best combo is to modify your image with Gimp, put it in PNG format, and ‘work’ on it with Canva. Hope it will give you ideas


    marketer at

  6. i really like this description that you have given here, thanks