I’m back from a short hiatus due to Christmas preparations. My husband asked me on a short notice to put together a sort of a “Year in Review” photo book as a present for his parents, in addition to requesting that I find a bunch of photos of his brother’s family members for another gift he is planning on making for them. I pulled a few all-nighters there, but also came across some interesting older photos I had lying around untouched in my Lightroom folders.
I find the basic retouching process in Photoshp kind of boring. I much prefer shooting black-and-white film and the beautiful tones that are rarely lacking of anything when you get the exposure right. And darkroom work. Man, I wish I had my permanent darkroom in place already. I just can’t do the cramped make-shift bathroom thing again. Maybe in another month I’ll have something semi-permanent in place… I love Photoshop when I get to get really creative though. Like with this photo. It had quite a bit of potential.
I remember shooting it about a year ago. When I was younger – much, much younger, in my early teens – I spent quite a bit of time staring at my face and trying to figure out if there was a way to make it look better. I know, I was unhealthily obsessed, but I hated my face. I had this big nose and bad skin. I wanted to have those perfect dainty features like some of my friends did, and freckles. I had non of it. I believed that if I had more almond-shaped eyes, I would look much prettier. On this image I stretched my skin to the side by my eyes, just like I did when I was younger and stared at myself in the mirror, to give my eyes a more almond shape.
After minor edits and black and white conversion in Lightroom, it looked like this:
(85mm, ISO 100, f/13, 1/125 sec + monolight with beauty dish)
You see that pinky finger on the hand to camera right that is sticking out? The uneven bangs? The hand on camera left that looks awkwardly large on the bottom part and breaks the symmetry around the face? The shoulder on camera left that looks so much bigger than the right? The hair that is sticking out on camera left? The make-up that seems to sort of stop abruptly at the corners of the eyes? So much of that could have been corrected before the image was taken, but it’s sort of hard when you have to play the model and the photographer at the same time.
I had fun with this photo. And I realize that the final image has only a slight resemblance to the original, but this is “art,” not a portrait of me. And I had fun creating it.