To Be a Kid Again

Peru-boys playing-paper

To Be a Kid Again. Cusco, Peru, a nice afternoon in December. I lean over the bridge. Observe life in this part of Cusco, outside of the touristy center, this is unfiltered Cusco life. I am quite close to where I am staying, the home of me amigo Adam of PhotoExperience.Net tours. Three boys are playing, throwing rocks at each other. Throw rock, dodge rock, run, pickup a new rock, repeat. Simple, fun. I make a few pictures. My mind wanders. To be a kid again. Don’t ever grow up. Well I never did, but to actually be a kid again. Not that it was always good, nostalgia colours the mind, but still. Fun. Innocent. Safe. Unbroken. No filters. Everything is wonderful or terrible or awesome or sad. Searching for magic and all things amazing. Dreaming, forever the Dreamer. And, in my case, sprinting around our farm with a lightsabre I constructed (your skills are now complete). Willing myself to run so fast I would hopefully fly into space. Has not worked yet but it might one day.

Mind returns to Cusco. I make a few more pictures as the boys run under the bridge and disappear. I see them throwing rocks still as they emerge on the other side, laughing. I smile. Gracias. For the memory trip. The pictures. Small moments that are really the big moments. Back to attempting to run fast enough to fly into space.

Peru-boys playing

The Making of. I have used this technique in my latest books Skyvandrer and Diario Del Peru and since I am often asked how I create these cut-out and pencil effects, here is a quick recap, it is not rocket science. I write my words on a piece of paper and photograph them. Then I erase the background in Photoshop so I can save it as a transparent PNG file. I need it to be transparent so I don’t have a white background, so I can place the items on top of other items or a background and it will look very real. The image of the boys was printed out, then I tore up the paper, then I doodled on it, photographed it and carefully removed the background and saved as transparent PNG. I leave a bit of the shadow so it looks quite realistic. I have also sometimes written directly in Photoshop using my Wacom tablet, saves a bit of time. That is it really, easy, very fun, go for it!

Any questions about the process or how to make your own lightsaber, let me know.

12 Comments on “To Be a Kid Again”

  1. He goes on at length about transparent PNGs and says not one word about making lightsabers. Please explain!!!

    I for one am glad I am not a kid. I had a really good childhood but it also taught me that girls aren’t as capable as boys and should not aspire to be. I would not be doing this now if I were a kid. So very grateful for being an adult – my own adult! Things are more complicated but they are complicated on my own terms, not because someone else decided it was so.

    I would like a lightsaber though please. Did yours also have funky sound effects?

    1. Heh. I was 8. It was an aluminium tube, with a black painted handle and fluorescent green painted energy beam. I made the sound. Also, disappointedly, in real life could not actually cut through anything. It could in my mind though.

  2. Very sucky mate, but my hand goes numb every 1/2 hour or so when I sleep and I can only swim a km or so before it goes numb, paddling now can only go half way out to West end before it goes numb so have to do something…its driving me nuts! 🙁

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