Renaissance Self Portrait
I chose Barthel Beham, a German engraver and painter in the 1500's. This project was difficult in some ways. At the start, I chose to do three different faces in one photo. But with the time that I had, I just decided to keep it simple and went with the front facing photo. Firstly, choosing a portrait that fit well with my face was very hard. I had to keep switching between different portraits because none of them were able to fit my face. Another part of the project that I struggled deeply on was the masking portion of it. It took me a while to understand but after a while I got used to it and was able to transfer those skills over for the two objects that I chose. I think the one part that I was impressed by is the lighting/brightness. I was able to successfully adjust the brightness of my face to match the painting. I especially learned a lot in the project. I learned how to mask properly and how to adjust different levels and brightnesses to match with other objects.
My piece I want to call "Kaleidoscope" is a trippy take on this project. At first, I wasn't sure if this was surreal because most surrealism art include fantasy world or weird looking objects. However, I believe surrealism art can be anything that looks bizarre or "unreal" but pertains some sort of meaning. A kaleidoscope symbolizes the changes that occur in our life. When you look into a kaleidoscope, you witness a beautiful display of colourful beads in a symmetrical pattern. But when you shake it, destroying it, and hold it up against the light, you will see a different creation. Everyone can relate to this because it represents the hard work and initiative we have to sustain a good quality in our lives. However when life continues to change and we are continuously challenged, things fall apart. But they can always be put back together again achieving ultimate beauty with a new look, but only if we “hold it up to the light and look inside."
I used several effects but the most prominent one was the mirror effect. To get the "kaleidoscope" look, I cropped out a portion of my face, reflected it and then rotated each image clockwise 60 degrees. I decided to combine the first research photo with the last one because I initially was going for a slight different approach to this project. Instead of it being a kaleidoscope, I wanted it to resemble looking through a peephole of a door. But then I realized that the continuous patterns looked like it would be in a kaleidoscope. Other people think that it looks like an eyeball looking inside a kaleidoscope with the pattern being reflected off the eye. I think the coolest part of this project is the fact that it can depict different aspects of the drawing. You can look at it from one way but you can also look at it from another way as well and it will still portray the same meaning.
The hardest part of this project was adjusting the lighting and tone of my face. Since the background was dark and low in exposure, I had to bring down the brightness but had to be cautious not to bring it too low or else my face wouldn't be visible. Lastly, I would like to use this skill in the future. Not only does it make you a better photoshop user but it also allows me to think outside the box and extract a meaning towards the piece.