The eyes of this child are hypnotic. It’s hard for me to look away…all the while, wondering what she might be thinking.
This is a father and daughter – part of a family of five I was working with for a family portrait. He was carrying her as we walked to another setting in the outdoors.
To view a larger version, click on the photo.
1. forming an attractive subject for photography or having features that look well in a photograph: a photogenic face.
When you look up the word “photogenic” in the dictionary, you should see Sara’s photo.
No doubt about it. Some people are photogenic. I’m blessed to have a wife that is one of them. However, she’s not always willing to jump in front of a clicking camera. I usually have to do a little coaxing.
This was a shot from the Happy Birthday to Me session.
It was my birthday (55) yesterday and when my wife asked me what I’d like to do, I told her I wanted to get outdoors and take a new photo of ourselves. I take a lot of pictures, but rarely capture both of us together.
We had an enjoyable afternoon, a fun time…and I’m pretty pleased with the result. Isn’t she a beauty! (Inside and out) I’m a blessed man!
You can see a larger version of this image by clicking on the photo.
Chalk this one up to the magic of Photoshop and hours and hours and hours and hours of tedious work.
The background story: A good friend came to me with this photo and asked if I could fix it. The photo is a little more than 50 years old. The subjects are siblings that were separated shortly after this picture was taken – I believe, due to the death of one or more parents. My friend’s father (little boy in the overalls) is the one who had the original, and only known copy. It was recently discovered rolled up and literally falling apart. My friend wanted to have it restored, as much as possible, and present it as a Christmas gift to his dad.
The original was a bit smaller that 16×20 inches. It had been printed on a thick paper that time had made very stiff and brittle. My first step was to scan it and create a digital file that could be manipulated in Photoshop. The My scanner will only scan 8.5×11 inch images. To get the full photo I had to make multiple scans of it, being sure my scanned images would overlap. The photo itself presented a lot of problems, because of its stiffness and the areas of major wrinkles actually had small small pieces of the image that were falling off. That stiffness also prevented the image from laying flat on the scanner. I was very worried about damaging the original just by unrolling it.
After scanning was complete, I had to join all the pieces of the puzzle to come up with the image you see on the left. (Actually, some work had been done to it try to even out the tone and remove the tiniest of wrinkles before I saved the “before” image you see here.)
Once I had the “before” view you see above, it was a matter of removing the big wrinkles and recreating some of the areas where the image had flaked off, like on the boys knee or the tall boys face and neck.
When I first saw the photograph, I wasn’t sure how good I could make it look. Trust me, the “before” image doesn’t do it justice. I actually took on this project to test my own skills – to see if I could really do it.
After the multiple hours of eye straining work, I think it turned out pretty good. I’m not completely pleased with it, because I can see plenty of other things that need to be fixed. I would have also liked to work more on the background. Time decided for me, when the project was complete. I had worked on it when I could, for several months, and stopped the week of Christmas, so I could get a 16×20 print made for the gift.
I learned a bit through the process and honed my Photoshop skills as well. The greatest lesson learned? Do not take on another project like this unless… 1) you have a lot of time…and… 2) someone is paying you a boatload of money. Now that I know I can do it, that challenge is not as motivating.
Final word: My friend presented gave his father the photo for Christmas and everyone was delighted and amazed by how good it looked. I also gave him the file on a CD so they can print more copies for the other family members.
I consider it a happy ending.
You can get a closer look at this side-by-side image by clicking on it.
On a trip to Green Bay’s Botanical Gardens, hidden among the foliage, I happened upon this precious, delicate flower. I believe, among all the beauty of the gardens, this was the best image I captured that day.
It’s taken me some time to post this photo because it took a lot of work to present what you see now. What you don’t see, from the original, is a triangle-shaped shadow that ran from her eye, across her nose, to her lip – created by the leaf near her eye. You also don’t see the tripod and jacket on the ground that was protruding from behind her head. Obviously, this wasn’t a planned, posed shot, but an on-the-fly capture.
This is my friend, Lindsey. She has the personality to go along with those dimples and smile.
To get a better view of those bright eyes, just click on the photo.
When I asked if I could take his picture, his eyes lit up, he smoothed his hair a bit, removed his glasses and asked for his horn. (It’s kept in a case on the nightstand next to his bed.)
Bill loves his family, he loves Jesus and he loves playing music. I believe he’s mostly self-taught. Because of his condition, he doesn’t play with the same proficiency he once did, but, as you can see, he plays with heartfelt passion.
While playing, his expression looks pained, but in reality, it’s the look of concentration – on breath control, notes, tone, technique… And, more than anything, you see the portrait of a man intent on persevering; a man playing with all his heart.
He gave a mini-concert that brought compliments and encouragement from the passing care-givers. (God bless them.)
Larger images of these photos can be seen by clicking on them.