Thursday, February 28, 2013

New Ideas, New Approach

self-portrait, with texture

I have tried creating my portraits so that the bulk of what I want from the portrait happens in the immediate moment... in camera. I tend to shy away from using Photoshop as key focal point of interest in my images. I'll be the last person to shoot and then say, "I'll fix that in post."

Recently I came down with bronchitis. While sitting around sick as a dog, coughing up nastiness, I decided I had to do something creative. Getting outside to shoot was simply out of the question. Working with recent self-portraits, and playing with the idea of using textures and layers gave me another avenue to explore. I feel like there is a lot of potential in this layering of textures, but from what I commonly see, it tends to be used with a very heavy hand. Much like HDR, most photographers tend to follow presets or actions, moving sliders here and there. They think that makes it their own. My goal was to find a way to create something without it ending up looking dated. We'll see how that idea fares over time. Your thoughts? Does the added texture add anything to the composition? Is it extraneous?

Here is the original image:


  1. Your original is precise and striking with the light and contrast. I love the shadow on the left. Ah, but the textured version adds a whole new field of depth and warmth. Very wonderful in its own way. I think it depends on what you want to see, the emotion you want to evoke. Beautiful work, Alex.
    Love, Gran

    1. Thanks Gran. As much as I try to capture the first time round, with just light and shadow... there is sometimes a little something missing. Just a gentle push in a different direction. This is something I have been reluctant to play with, but during this time of recovering from bronchitis, it has been a joy to explore. We'll see how it works into my normal workflow.