Photoshop Therapy

Robin Botie in Ithaca, New York, photoshops a friend flying in clouds over trees..“Can you make a picture of me flying in the clouds?” my friend had asked, looking up from her wheelchair. That was 3 weeks ago. After cancelling and rescheduling several times, we were finally together in her apartment squeezed between the wheelchair, a big armchair and a card-table.
There were questions to consider: Would she fly horizontally or vertically? Did she want wings? What should she wear?
In my collection of cloud photos there were wispy cirrus clouds in a blue sky over trees. There were bright sunlit mackerel skies. But she wanted thunderclouds, lightning, maybe a tornado. “For my dark side,” she said.

It was raining when we shuffled outside to shoot her in a flying pose. She stood against the brick wall just outside the door, flapping her wings.
“You don’t look very happy to be flying,” I said. “Look down at the ground like there’s something special down there.”

Back inside, I inserted the chip from the camera into its slot in the computer. We sat at the card-table and chose a shot from the 21 images of my friend twisting, turning, banking into the wind with arms outstretched. I cut-and-pasted her form from the brick background to the photo of storm clouds.
“I need to be smaller. No bigger. Can you make me higher in the sky? A little more to the right …” she orders.
“You’re too pale,” I say. “I’m adding blush to your cheeks.”
“What about the dark circle under my left eye?”
“I can fix that.”
“Something’s missing: what am I pointing at?” she asks. “Should we put a rat in the picture?”
“I don’t have any photos of rats. What if we add another shot of you?”

“Let’s name this one ‘Ascension,’” she says, two hours and four pictures later. “Besides making me prints, what are you going to do with all these?”

A friend flies over stormclouds in Ithaca, New York.

Glennon Doyle Melton's book, CARRY ON WARRIOR has just been released in paperback.

I’m still fixing. I’m still a part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir, Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released last week in paperback, CLICK HERE!

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10 thoughts on “Photoshop Therapy

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  4. Elaine Mansfield

    I could only think how happy your friend must be and what fun you had. I love the outcome and hearing about the therapeutic process. Looks like an interesting memoir, too. Thanks, Robin.

    1. robinbot Post author

      Thanks, Elaine. I may have found my life’s work doing this. No income but it’s therapeutic for me as well as my subjects. Interesting memoir?

  5. Kirsten Wasson

    I like looking at all the different shots you did…reminds us that what you see the first time is just one version. So many ways to frame a life. Well done, Robin!

    1. robinbot Post author

      well one of these days I’ll have to add lots of different shots like you do in your blogs. talk about framing a life, you are a pro.

  6. Gladys Botie

    That was sensational! I’m always in awe of your photo shop productions. I send them to my friends (those my age who have computers) because I’m so proud of you! Mom

  7. Lynne Taetzsch

    This was a lot of fun, Robin. I’m sure it lifted your friend’s spirits!


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