Friday, February 8, 2013

Soul - Self Portrait

Still playing with some of the composition techniques available in photoshop as I explore the possibilities with this application. I decided to have a play with the texture wrapped around an object technique and so after emulating a number of the exercises that various tutors have put forward I decided to step out on my own a little with this self portrait entitled; Soul

In order to convey my story which is my love of this country I attempted to show the land from within me and I used the object wrap technique (which is usually a geometric object wrapped by a texture) to capture this mood. 

I recently spent time with my daughter and son in law on a small holding just outside of a country town here in Queensland and the waterhole or rather, dam is on their property. The fence is old and rusted, it has some recent repair additions which stand out as new in contrast. With posts that have been weathered by insect, storm and cacti. To the left is a beautiful (relatively) young  gum tree which has almost completed shedding it's old bark. Laying on the ground beneath the tree is an old branch that the gum no longer has use for and so has shed it too. The sky is a little overcast with some sunlight filtering through the clouds of white with shades of grey. The clouds display evidence of moisture building, they would later become heavily pregnant, dark and ominous before giving birth to the storm. At the time of the photo, the water in the dam is still and calm making for a very tranquil setting.

I'm blessed with looks that are conducive to a grunge effect and believe that I have made good use of this strength. I took a recent self portrait in strong light, clipped the face, desaturated it, adjusted the levels to remove as much of the mid tone as I could before creating a gaussian blurred distortion map. I then wrapped my original desaturated image in the landscape using the distortion map, applied another (slight) gaussian blur to the image before placing it onto a duplicate of the original landscape. Finally I adjusted the opacity of each element to achieve the finished product.

I repeated the above process with a recent portrait of my beautiful daughter, however her appearance is definitely not conducive to any grunge effect so I thought about her childhood and recalled her love of having her face painted so with this thought I used a free Shutterstock image from EVA105 to achieve the following effect.

I believe that I have conveyed the story I see in my daughters soul and so I have not touched the (windows) eye's or lips. She is my little girl, delicate and fragile to me but she is woman to the world, strong and self assured. What you see is what you get, and for me that will always be that innocent, fragile, delicate, "Tickle me Daddy" little girl.

Till next time, take care and God Bless!

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