Quasi-abstract portrait

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by Sharkbait, May 17, 2004.

  1. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    This was actually taken last summer on vacation. One of my summer vacation goals is to learn a LOT more about photoshop, so I'm getting a bit of a head start. I started playing with layers tonight for the first time ever. :-D

    [​IMG]
     
  2. canonrebel

    canonrebel TPF Noob!

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    Hey shark, what a coincidence. You're aim is to spend more time investigating PhotoShop. Since your advice for me in a previous thread, my aim is to pay more attention to my photography and spend less time with the "funky photoshop stuff".

    I adore your quasi-abstract portrait. The eye is righteous.

    Can you explain your technique for processing the iris? Did you use the Hard Light Mode and Overlay Mode in conjucntion with 50% gray fill?
     
  3. aggiezach

    aggiezach Yup...

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    Shark that is an amazing photo! I love the composition and the eye, OH THE EYE! its great yo!

    As rebel asked, please share the details!

    Thanks for sharing
     
  4. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    I guess my overall theory when it comes to photoshop is to use it to enhance a photo. To bring things out, not alter. (I hope I didn't come across too harsh in that other thread, rebel. I certainly didn't mean to (especially when we shoot the same camera!)!)

    Anyhoo, here was my process for this one...

    1. Convert entire frame to b&w, then adjust contrast/brightness
    2. New layer, soften using gausian blur, erase eye and nostrils with very soft-edged brush
    3. New layer from original background, USM quite a bit, erase everything but iris of eye

    The overall effect is the iris of the eye is super-sharpened, the area around the eye is 'normal', and the rest is blurred a bit. My goal was to draw the viewer from the edges of the frame into the eye. I may go back and basically replicate this with a color version, as Kel has the most fantastic green eyes. I might end up with some color problems sharpening the iris like I did though. Something to play around with! :) My technique's still not perfect--there's an area directly under the eye that I just noticed that didn't get into that softened layer, and consequently has some relatively harsh detail that the surrounding area doesn't have.

    But overall, I like the way this one turned out. I think this one might just get a frame on the wall at home. :-D
     
  5. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Oooooooooh! Love it!

    The only nitpick would be to lighten to the left of the eye (and up) just a smidge, but really, that is a superb piece!
     
  6. canonrebel

    canonrebel TPF Noob!

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    Your remarks didn't in the least offend me. They were like a flash bulb that went off in my brain. I could have yelled "UREKA". At that moment, I realized that simpler is better and a simple well executed shot is far better than mediocre shot with a flamboyant PS makover.

    ThanX again, man!
     
  7. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Okay good. I'm always afraid to point out things I think could be improved; afraid I'll piss people off or something.

    BTW, that's an excellent description of your 'eureka' moment. :thumbsup: I was the same way--always putting borders and big titles and stuff around my shots (not that that stuff doesn't work sometimes, I just feel like my work now does better w/o it).
     
  8. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Couple of specific questions I have regarding this shot (I'm thinking I probably should have put this in the critique forum, as I really want honest, pick-it-apart commentary on it. If some admin wants to move it over there, I wouldn't be offended ;) ). I think this shot is one of my best ever, but I want to make it perfect.

    1. The crop, especially on the right side of the frame. Is it distracting to have that tiny bit of eye and/or the corner of the nose cropped off? Unfortunately, that's full-frame, so my only recourse would be to crop it further left. Would down the middle of the nose be a better crop?

    2. Being as this was my first experiment with using layers, I know it's not perfect (for example, there's some hard detail left in just under the eye). But someone more trained in PS than me...is this done okay?

    3. The eye--should I whiten the white a bit more and lose that small vein? It's not really noticeable in this size, but I'm thinking about making this a 13x19 print for the wall, where it would definitely show up.

    4. I'm not a huge fan of partially colored photos, but I wonder how this one would look with just the iris of the eye colored back in--Kel's got awesome green eyes.
     
  9. canonrebel

    canonrebel TPF Noob!

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    IMHO, the overwhelming prescence of the visible eye distracts from any flaws in the right margin crop. The iris is the main attraction for me in this photo.

    The "Patch Tool" would blend the texture and color with the surrounding area.

    The white in the eye is fine. Whiten it too much and it'll look fake. Remember that part of her eye is in shadow and shouldn't be disturbed. Usually a very subtle blue-off-white cast makes an eye appear to be more realistic.
    The blood vessel absolutely has to go. the "Patch Tool" could eliminate the blood vessel and also the two stray eye lashes.

    Irises have subtle black borders that separate them from the whites of the eyes. The 10 O'clock area of this irise's border would probably look better if it were thinner and more semetric

    Remember that the ideas expressed here are merely things to try and not necessarily things to change.
     
  10. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Here's version two...much more complex to leave the color in. I usually dislike photos that are part b&w, part color, but this one is kind of growing on me.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Oh, and fwiw, I thought this was really cool. Here's just the eye, blown up so you can see the detail. This was taken on a 3rd floor balcony of our hotel room overlooking the ocean in Cancun. You can see me leaning over (silouetted), you can see the railing from the balcony, and you can see the surfline, all naturally reflected in Kel's eye. :thumbsup:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. canonrebel

    canonrebel TPF Noob!

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    Shark, That is a brilliant make over of the iris.

    Will you share your technique for adding the color to the iris? I know and use several different ways to accentuate the colors of the iris, but the technique you've used here is probably one that I'm not aware of.
     

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