So what do you tend to think about when you are going to take a portrait of someone - or when you are having someone take a photograph of you?
Hair style? Check.
Makeup or no makeup? Check.
Location of photoshoot? Check.
Mood or ambience of shoot? Check. Although that can change throughout the shoot, usually you start with an idea of what kind of shots you want to end up with.
Years ago, I used to take pictures and take them to the local drug store to be developed. They came back as either colored or black & white prints depending on the type of film that was used to take them. Typically the color could vary somewhat depending on what photo lab was used to process the film. You couldn't depend on the color from negatives taken to Hooks to look the same as the color from negatives taken to Jacksons.
Here is a photograph of one of my very favorite subjects. I take most of my shots in raw format and then process them myself. This is the way the photo turned out when I originally processed it. The colors are very true to what the beautiful Emilie looked like as I shot her in my studio.
After processing the film to the original above, I decided to see what the shot would look like in black & white. I thought that it would probably look really nice since the stark contrast would enhance the drama of this already fairly dramatic shot. Voila! Here it is in black and white!
I did - and do - like it in black and white but I wasn't sure that I had really done all that I could with this shot. I really like this pose a lot. Emilie did a great job of assuming a blank face - no expression - which can be hard to do. Lots of times if you ask someone to give you a blank expression or "resting face," they will have a hard time letting go of all of the tension in their facial muscles and might even have a little bit of a frown. No such problem with Emilie. I decided this great pose deserved a little extra tinkering.
Next I decided to go with a less saturated colored photo. I liked the starkness of the black and white but I also loved Emilie's pink hair. I felt like this option would give me the best of both of these first two attempts. As I look at this photo after posting it, I think I am going to further tweak it just a wee bit by heightening the contrast - as I said - just a bit - so that her features are a bit more defined but without getting her hair or skin any more vivid.
I love the above version but was not finished playing. A friend of mine (who truly is my favorite photographer in the world - check out Simon Shadowshow and/or Fallen Angels Social Club unless you are offended by nudes in which case bypass it), challenged me to do an antique-y, aged version of this picture. I've worked on that one for a bit
although not quite to my satisfaction. First, I am posting a fairly typical sepia version of the picture. It has maybe a little bit more texture than some sepia pictures but nothing out of the ordinary. This also is a bit darker than sepia photos tend to be most of the time. Anyway, I did this first sepia to show you what a typical sepia shot looks like.
Now compare the photo to the left to the photo below. I have used layers in the bottom photo to create more visual interest. To be honest, I am not too keen on the layers I created for this photo and will probably re-do them. I also think I might need to bring a bit more light into this photo as well as get some of the cracking - not all of it but a good deal of it - away from Emilie's face. I will probably take my time working on it because I have a lot of other projects I am working on now, too and there is no rush to get this done. Still, I've been wanting to get this posted because it is too easy to delay something and never get it done. I've already flown right by a couple of other things I'd intended to post so I don't want to do that with this topic. Because of that, I think we can live with a couple of images that are not 100 percent where they will be when I am completely finished with them.
Basically today I just wanted to challenge you to think beyond the ordinary in your finished photographs and realize that there are all kinds of options available to you when you start deciding
how you want your photographs to look. I could easily come up with another ten or twelve ways to make this photo different from the ways I've shown it here! It all depends on what look you're going for. Sometimes you might not know what you really want until you stumble across it while you're playing! As for me with this shot, right now I think I slightly favor the desaturated colored version of this photo but I have more to do on the more complicated "grungy old time" version and might end up really loving that one once I get it where I want it! Thanks for stopping in! Back to playing with pics for me!!