Photo of the day: My Name is Donder

by DaniGirl on December 3, 2014 · 3 comments

in Ah, me boys, Photo of the Day

This might be one of my favourite Christmas photos of the boys ever. My friend Henry on Flickr gave this one an alternate title that I also really like: we’re going to need a bigger wagon!

My Name is Donder

Fun, right? The expression on the reindeer slays me. That’s a Donder face if there ever was one.

This one almost went sideways on me right from the start. The idea was to have Bella pulling the wagon, and I was going to put some reindeer antlers on her in the style of Max the dog from the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Except as I was getting the boys settled on the wagon, she managed to find a pile of poop in the front yard and roll in it. We don’t actually allow her to poop in the front yard, so I have some other neighbourhood dog to thank for that gift. And we were quickly losing the light, so we had to improvise.

This was the original shot:

My Name is Donder - before

I loved the expressions on their faces. The dog was a bit blurred though, and even with a few other poses to choose from, it just wasn’t working out to be what I imaged. The boys had been good sports and adorable, though, so I wanted to make it work.

I started by cloning Bella and Beloved out of the image and editing it for exposure and white balance. I found the perfect reindeer, but he was too big for the canvas, so I extended the edges of it upwards and to the right. I positioned the reindeer and tweaked him a bit so it looked like he was standing in the grass. He was already wearing the red harness, so I took Bella’s leather leash from one of the other poses I hadn’t used and painted it to match the harness, then stretched it to fit into Lucas’s hand. And I painted a bit of a shadow for the reindeer. I had to play a bit with the colour and contrast of the reindeer to look like he was actually standing in the same light as the boys, and then I tweaked it a bit more overall for the bright and contrasty look.

What do you think? It makes me chuckle when I look at it, which makes it a win in my books!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah McCormack December 3, 2014 at 10:06 pm


2 Mary @ Parenthood December 4, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Participated in Cumberland Heritage museum’s lovely Christmas program for schools today (best hot chocolate ever; need to get recipe!)

But one thing: they have their reindeer named Donner!!! I pointed out that this was just not right, but seeing as they are a sponsor and all I decided to rat them out to you;)

3 DaniGirl December 5, 2014 at 7:44 am

Mary, nooooo! Clearly it’s time to polish off the reindeer rant and share it with our friends at the museum network!!

(I did not know they had a school program – that almost makes up for the egregious reindeer error!)

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