David's Blog

Tag: Portraits

Growing Old: Photoshop Portrait

GrowingOld_GrowingYoung

Here are two images both produced by overlapping 88 different photographs and playing with the opacity. My original intention was to create a (now so fashionable) time-lapse of my partner’s now 87 year old grandmother growing up and ageing through childhood, teenage-hood, marriage, motherhood, grandparent hood and now enjoying her old age with biscuits and TV.

I rummaged around and scanning every photograph I could find (over 100) and whittling them down to the ones with the face looking in the same direction. In Photoshop I adjusted the opacity and began overlaying the images matching the eye-line. All this was intended only to simplify the After Effects process. What I ended up with was something rather beautiful instead.

Playing around with each layers opacity and slight colour enhancements I think brings out each individual image, I believe theres a real depth to the pictures. I then went back and recorded them to show of her younger self, her old age ghosted in the background. What’s interesting is not what has changed but what has stayed- while the Portuguese sun has added wrinkles her smile has never really changed, assaying the same while the rest is a blur.

And what about the original video that kicked all this off? Well, I will get around to that…. Eventually.

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 18.12.37

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The imperfect Portrait (Alternatively: Embrace Your Mistakes 2)

ThonMuseam

Looking through my hard-drive I found some photographs gathering (theoretical) dust taken in London’s Natural History Museum in January. I love this museum and bully people to go every time I am in London. I have created a Flickr Set for you to look through, but this post is about just the above portrait of my good friend and fellow filmmaker Jonathon Reynolds.

Seeing “Embrace Your Mistakes” was my most viewed post so far I thought I would do a follow up. A far more traditional shot than the “Balem tower” mishap, it still shares many of the same failings:

1. The subjects eyes are out of focus- an amateur mistake, as viewer will go straight to the eyes.

2. I did not use a tripod creating motion Blur (low light).

3. Slight “highlight” on chin and stubble from over use of “sharpen” tool on Photoshop.

4. Not enough headroom, the poor man’s scalp has been chopped off.

However, with all this in mind, I think there are some positives:

1. The colours are great.

2. The bokeh background is nice, (thank you museum and helios!), although, not as nice as this one of the same day.

3. I like his rather blank expression

Every photographer (however amateur) has a image in their mind before they snap away. This perfect platonic image can very rarely be reached and often leads to crying at your screen. For me the genius of Robert Frank (surely one of everyones favourite photographers?), Robert Mapplethorpe and David Hockney, in fact whoever, is that they create an image pure enough that it says something both about themselves and the person in the portrait.

I am not as assured on portraits as I would like, as I am sure you will become aware throughout these Mistakes... posts. If you want to follow my journey of discovery then you can follow my Portrait Flickr Set. If you have a favourite photographer or photograph, or indeed, any tips on how to take a great picture, send them my way.