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PictureBook – ‘Stoker’ – by Benamon Tame

We are absolutely thrilled to publish Benamon Tame’s latest article (#34th) to his PictureBook Column with us. PictureBook is full of creativity and imagery in words and in pictures. It is a complete joy to read, view and publish – thank you Benamon.

The concept behind the PictureBook column is not just about capturing stories but creating them, the journey behind and the image we present. PictureBook draws on Images selected from Benamon’s own story series and also looks at the work of the other story tellers within the community’.

Over to you Benamon (foreword by Joanne Carter)…


“Syster moved aside the heavy encyclopedia she had been using as a door and pulled herself through the gap and into the dark space behind her workshop. She had taken over a cabinet and pulled it forward to create a secure space to keep her more curious or less successful creations. Moving down the crowded space she passed the remains of Celeste, her time-ravaged form now propped up on two crutches; fragments fell continually from her torso like grains of sand in a timer.

Hurrying on she caught sight of a ruddy glow and carried herself towards it, the red light reflecting off a pair of arms carried in Systers own lower set. Her latest creation was almost finished and the arms were the final piece, acquired on the exchange of a Compass for one of the Myrme.

“Stoker” she called out into the dim light

“Time to rise and shine”



‘Stoker’ – ©Benamon Tame

Syster spends most of her time helping out other toys, or creating situations which will mean they will need her help. In the spaces between she will often try and create toys and Stoker is one of these.

The parts of Stoker came from various members of the Myrme family, when the family was rescued from Barrow House what limbs were left were used to trade for the compass limbs they quickly came to prefer. With the parts left over Syster began to construct Stoker, Stoker had originally been made in response to Lokis request for a more fearsome toy he could use against Toy Town but once he was finished he was found to far to un predictable to be of any use. When the fire burned high within him
he would become energetic and excitable, bouncing around on each foot and eager for attention like a new puppy. But when his fire burned low he would become slow and sleepy, talking like a record on the wrong speed and clumsily moving around.

Stoker is fascinated by Syster’s mermaid creation, Barmun, but as he gives off so much heat Syster has to keep them apart to stop him boiling up Barnum’s water. Syster keeps Stoker close as his tummy is quite useful for getting rid of things when they go wrong.


‘Stoker. Typewriter Remix’ – ©Benamon Tame

The initial inspiration and raw shot for Stoker was recently bought Chimenea and the stubby body gave me the vision of the red glow in the corner of the toy room, lumbering forward into the light and revealing little limbs and head. Reminiscent of Tic Toc from Return to OZ.

The initial shot of the Chimenea was opened in Juxtaposer and added to the hall wall. The body was then edited to remove the stack and widen just above the body to make an iron collar. This was built up using cloned sections added to build up a solid black and then trimmed to give more depth with a section from the top of the chimney to make the collar. I then added the legs, arms and head which I had taken separately.

Wanting to keep a clear boiler motif I decided to add chinmey’s to the top of the head using cloned sections in juxtaposer using the ‘Stamp top image’ option.


‘Stoker 1’ – ©Benamon Tame

It was at this point I realised that I had not been paying attention to the shadows on all the Chimenea parts I had been using and they were not matched up so I had to start again! It is the little details that can make a piece more realistic, they might not be noticed but their absence or wrongness will be. With Stoker back in balance I added smoke using cloud samples, using the blend brushes and the opacity function that was added in the last big upgrade.

I then opened the piece in Snapseed and used the ‘Selective Adjust’ to brighten up the fire and to darken the space beneath his feet. I opened Juxtaposer again and blended the new image with the pre Snapseed.

Bringing out the brighter fire and portions of the darker image to create the shadows under Stoker. Texture was added using DistressedFX with sections removed or tones down using Juxtaposer. More texture, vignette and fine tuning was completed in Snapseed.

Links To Apps Used


‘Stoker 2’ – ©Benamon Tame

Juxtaposer, Snapseed, Distressed FX, Diptic. Lo-Mob, Iris Photo Suite, Phonto, Label-Box, Image Blender, PictureShow

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Benamon is a UK based Photographer, iPhone photographer, writer and Gothic Surrealist. His work has been featured on iPhone photgraphy websites and blogs of note. International Galleried artist including the Mobile Photography Awards 2012, the International iPhoneography Show, LA Mobile Arts Festival 2012 and most recently the Light Impressions at Art Basel Miami.