HomeFamilySNGF: Staats Not Gonna Follow [the rules again] – The Alexander Staats House, Then and Now

Randy, Randy, Randy…you should know by now that I sometimes have trouble coloring within the SNGF lines. At least this time, I technically did follow them, I just took them a couple steps further.

1)  Review Denise Levenick’s (The Family Curator) three blog posts on the Present Photo Challenge. World Photography Day is coming up Aug 19, and this seemed like a fun thing to do something genealogy-wise.



2)  Identify one or more photographs from your own photograph collection that you could use for the Present Photo Challenge.
3)  Show us the photographs that you could use on your blog, a Facebook status or a Google Plus Stream.

I really latched onto the idea of recreating the photos. However, I wasn’t going to jump in the car and head to southern Ohio, and ask to take a picture in a stranger’s front yard. So I did the next best thing. I faked it.

In a previous post, I shared pictures of my great great grandfather’s house from a family album, and a picture as the house stands today. Using those pictures and some technology sleight of hand, I made one up:

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How I made this:

In photoshop, I added the two photos of the houses in separate layers, resizing and cropping the old photo as best I could to match the difference in distances and angles  from which the two pictures were taken. Once I had that where I liked it, I added a border to the older photo to make it a little more realistic looking.

Now I needed some digits. The hand holding the photo is actually two separate pictures. Why? Because they needed to be in separate layers for the picture to be “held” between the thumb (in front) and finger (behind).  So I took the pictures, added them to new layers in the photoshop file, , deleted everything but the digits, and sized and adjusted them to look kinda like an arms-length away.

After playing around with different levels of transparency, I decided that the only right way to do it was to put it all together and animate it using Adobe Flash. From photoshop, I exported the individual layers as separate files and put them back together in flash. Then I set up the fades between photos, uploaded the result, and viola!

For some reason – the result of this strikes me as very sad. I hate to see my ancestors disappear from the property. My 2nd great grandparents, A.A. Staats and Maggie Summers, are the one sitting in front of the door, and my great grandfather, Wilber Staats is on the far right. The photos that are in the windows are of the children that were deceased at the time the photograph was taken.

So sorry Randy, for yet again not quite following the directions, but sometimes good things happen when you break the rules. And isn’t that what Saturday night is all about anyways?


SNGF: Staats Not Gonna Follow [the rules again] – The Alexander Staats House, Then and Now — 6 Comments

  1. Very nice, although a bit sad to see the past fade away. I did mine in photoshop too. I didn’t make it so fancy though. No hand and no fading in and out. I think I will try another one. This was quite fun.

  2. Thank you all for the kind comments. It is much appreciated.

    Just for clarification – I did the editing (resizing, skewing, etc) in Photoshop. The actual animation was done in Adobe Flash. I initially tried a static image with different levels of transparency, but it kept leaving me with a desire to see one or the other photo without the other one in the way.

    I think it is the fact that the past disappears from this photo that saddens me, as well. Even worse, not to get overly corny with the analogy, but it is literally slipping through my fingers. Well, maybe it’s technically slipping through a picture of my finger and a picture of my finger that have been merged but…ya, I’m just gonna go with being sad it’s slipping between my fingers.

  3. Wow… very striking results. Very poignant as well – it’s hard to see our ancestors disappear from the picture, and you’ve captured that feeling perfectly. Beautiful work.