school photos, green screen problems, st. patrick's day

A young girl posing in front of a green screen.

When I was a kid growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, on school picture day you posed in front of a backdrop that resembled something you’d see in a Sears portrait studio. But these days a lot of school photographers pose children in front of green screens so their parents can choose a background later.

The process is called “chroma keying” and it’s used for dropping digital effects into movies. The problem is that if you wear green in front of the screen, part of you will disappear when the new background is added.

Sugar Grove Elementary in Indianapolis, Indiana ran into some serious problems earlier this month after it decided to have picture day on St. Patrick’s Day. The school had scheduled its spring photos twice but the dates were changed due to inclement weather.

A few days after the photo shoot, parents got a real shock when the photo proofs arrived and their kids were partially invisable in the photos. They had floating, disembodied heads, and their clothing seemed to blend into the background of the shots.


Amanda Snow, the mother of a kindergartner at the school, thought the proofs of her son were hilarious so she posted them in a local mothers’ group asking if anyone else had the same issue.

“Honestly, I just couldn’t wait to see other parents’ pictures, and it ended up being a hilarious fiasco. Just because it’s so funny,” Snow said. After Snow’s post, the photos began pouring in.

A girl became one with a flower bed. One young boy blended into the fence near a pasture. Another boy was cut in half by a dirt road. After the photos were sent to parents, the school's principal sent a message home saying, "Don't worry, the photography studio can fix this in post-production."

Snow's son was understandably confused by the photos.

"It was kind of hard to explain to him what was happening because he's 6, but as soon as he saw all the different options, he was just laughing because it looks like he's a fence or looks like he's a field," Snow said. "So he thought it was really funny."

The photos came with a warning from Inter-State Studio, the company that took the photos.

"The image is not the final product because it gets fixed in post-production," the company said. "We appreciate the opportunity to respond to this specific instance. Everyone has had such a good sense of humor about this!"

The photos have been so memorable that Snow wants to keep the original proofs. "I might reach out to the company and see if I can get the unedited ones because honestly they've brought me so much joy and laughter over the last days,” Snow told WKYC.

The botched photo shoot goes to show that sometimes doing things the old-fashioned way is the right way to go. Let’s hope that the next time the school has a photo shoot on St. Patrick's Day they remind families to send their kids with an extra set of clothes.

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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