Our family’s homeschooling experience taught me that the best way to learn something is to make it fun and meaningful, so when I wanted to get better at using Word 2013 to edit photos—see this Goodwill Community Foundation superb tutorial—I gave myself a project, something I think of as the Floyd Fotobomb Series.

Falling in Love with Floyd

Let me explain. Floyd is our betta fish. He is actually Floyd II (aka Floyd 2.0 aka Floyd Too), the successor to the original Pink Floyd, the betta that was my daughter-in-law’s while she was a college dorm R.A. When she and our son moved to Boston last year, the aging Floyd could not make the trip, so I cared for him until he died last fall.

By then I had grown quite fond of the little fish. Within a week I got Floyd II to keep the legacy alive and also learned how to keep a cycled five-gallon tankBetta splendens, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, are as engaging and personable as they are beautiful. Floyd II loves to look at human faces, swishes his fins excitedly whenever one of us walks by his tank or even waves from across the room, and eats with the appreciative gusto of an adolescent boy. The video below from the International Betta Competition offers a glimpse into the world of this fascinating species.

Making Learning Fun and Meaningful (at any age)

How does this all relate to photo editing? Using the GCF tutorial and old-fashioned trial and error, I’ve been editing photos of Floyd II to include in various photos and images, mostly public domain art works or government photos, since those are easy to find online (FUN). Then I text the final creations to our son each morning as a daily form of connection (MEANING). Below are some of the results so far, from earliest to most recent, so that you can decide for yourselves if I am getting any better. Regardless of my eventual proficiency, I’m having a fish-load of fun.

Floyd Crossing the Delaware

Floyd Crossing the Delaware (photo via Wikimedia)

Fab Floyd

Fab Floyd (photo via Wikimedia)

Apollo 11

One Small Step for Floyd (photo via Wikimedia)

Floyd Pop

Floyd Pop (photo via Wikimedia)

Mad Fish

Mad Fish

Renoir Floyd

Sur la Terrasse avec Floyd (photo via Wikimedia)

Rainy Day Floyd

Rainy Day Floyd (photo via Wikimedia)