Touching up a Face

I would like to begin by thanking the subject in the photo, for allowing me to share it in my portfolio samsonsays.net.

It can be a tedious job, but if you put some good tunes on, it’s awesome to watch progress happen instantly right in front of you.

Before I go about telling you about what I do and how I do it, I want to make a point about something that many people discuss with regards to photo editing.

There is a large movement against photo manipulation. They fight against the effects photo manipulation has on people that think that manipulated photos are the real thing. People should be aware not to aspire to be like those photos because they are false. I am not doing that here. What I do is the equivalent of a woman putting on lipstick and makeup before she goes out in public.

I’ve been getting photos from various places to edit, but this one I really wanted to share. When I get a photo to be cleaned up or restored it’s not always a few simple edits and viola! Done. Sometimes it’s not just the brightness, contrast, color, or one of the many general edits that you’re asked to make. Sometimes you’re asked to find “imperfections” that are hidden really well.

Then there are the edits which are not hard to find, but hard to complete. Sometimes reconstruction is needed for pieces of the photo which are needed but missing. For example this photo where I was asked to remove braces. Much of the teeth are missing (blocked by the brackets) and I needed to reconstruct those pieces of the teeth that are missing. The rest is a make-up job.

 

"Air Braces" Comparison

How I did it:

1. Using Photoshop: I will generally begin by cleaning up the original image as best as I can once the major edits are completed. In this case, that major edit was the teeth.

2. After doing a general “clean-up” I will apply “make-up” over all of the areas with face-shine and discoloration. I will sample color from the area around the intended area. Then using a soft edged brush with 22% opacity* I will brush in the color. (*After trial and error I decided That 22% was the “sweet-spot” with regards to make-up. Kinda like… You got it! Kinda like the woman herself applying make-up.

3. I will use a median filter on areas which are smooth (such as the forehead) and don’t have much depth for some extra smoothness. Like the “soft-edged” brushes I need to get soft edges on the edited area. So I select the area, feather the edges using “refine edge,” and copy to new layer, where I make the edit. Finally I make the new layer (which will look unnaturally smooth at that time) transparent to blend it nicely with the original image.

 

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Photoshopped Timeline – Myself

Hey! Welcome back!

In my last post, I explained my new personal project. Photoshopped Timelines.

I had begun by taking images of Rebecca from three of her graduations (High School, Undergrad, and Graduate) and putting them together in one photo to show the continued growth of an individual. I believe that through the eyes of the subject, Life is one big memory. These instances are sometimes recalled together because of the similarities in the memory.

I continued this idea with myself. Not only can ones memories be recalled together as one continuous memory, but life has its own continuity. I took 15 photos of myself and morphed them into a timeline video and created a photoshopped timeline as well.

All of them seem so happy to be taking this photo together. I wonder what they are thinking…

Photoshopped Timeline02

 

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Photoshopped Timeline

Today I decided that I would not end my day without doing a project. At first I thought that I would do an audio project, but after an hour or more of not really progressing I decided otherwise.

I had a project that I planned a while back- locked away for a rainy day. My idea was to take images of people at different stages of life and put them together in one image. I didn’t necessarily have any artsy reason for doing it, only that I want to do it. It was coming from a place of pure curiosity.

The original idea was to take photos of people as adults and as children and combining the images to make it look like the adult version is hanging out with the younger. (Simple enough, right?) Then it occurred to me after my wife graduated from her masters program that I could combine images of her from all of her graduations throughout her life.

Untitled-1

The 3 most recent graduations

 

So far i have only collected images from her last few graduations, but I intend to collect the rest as soon as possible.

Version #1

Rebecca Graduation v1

 

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In Summary

Lately I have been on the move, with time to do small projects that either pop into my head or if someone gives me an interesting idea to play with. For example: Just today i was surfing YouTube when I came across a cute little acapella track. The (i believe Michigan State?) Acapella group “The Friars” were singing a Parody of The Who’s “Pinball Wizard” that they titled “Beer Pong Wizard.” Interestingly enough, about 6 years back, when i was first beginning my quest into the wide world of video, a beer pong incident occured in the school where I was attending. Of course the students, making light of the situation, made a video.
Getting back to today: I took the footage that i still had from 6 years ago, coupled with some found footage from beer commercials, I attempted to make a music video- This is the beginning:

As I was saying (or writing) before I rudely took myself on a tangent. I have been on the move, and now that “life” is truly beginning for me these days I have been on a mission of self-betterment: “Operation: Get a job.”

So I went into my archives, which is really just two Western Digital phantom powered hard drives, and began to put together Demo Reels. So far I am up to the grand total of… two.  Which really isn’t that bad.

I followed a list provided by Premium Beat on key things to be aware of when making a demo reel and followed my own categories of work as I have defined in the menu bar (above) to make my work organized within the videos. the two videos which I have currently completed are for Cinematograhy (film) and Motion Graphics/ Animation. This will allow me to share specific skills with potential employers depending on the job I am applying for.

Cinematography:

Motion Graphics/ Animation:

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Manhattan from the Air: July 16, 2014

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