For the surreal self-portrait, I decided to photograph my friend Alyssa and turn her into my own version of Medusa. My inspiration for this piece, was Rhianna's snake skin photoshoot. What I did was I photographed her while she was laying on a table and her head was upside down. Then, I toke that photo, flipped it and using the background eraser tool, I erased the background from behind the hair. Then I changed the background to a cracked desert ground. I, then added the snake crown to her head. Afterwards decided to changed her plain white shirt to a snake skin shirt by cutting and pasting into the shirt, then changed the blending mode to colour burn. Finally, I changed the colour levels of the whole image and darken it, to match the mood of the image. One of my biggest challenges for this image was to erase the background of the image without erasing most of the hair. After trial and error, and watching a lot of Youtube tutorials I was able to remove the background without erasing any of the hair with it. The coolest part of the piece is the snake crown, without the snake crown the piece wouldn't have come together the way it did. I wouldn't have been able to re-create the medusa feel, if it wasn't for that crown. With the skills I learned, I can now easily remove any background from any image without damaging the image itself. Which would make all my photoshop tasks a lot easier and faster to complete. Overall, I really enjoyed creating my first surreal portrait and look forward to making many more.
Traditional Photo Portraits
For this image, the lighting was front lighting. Using that specific lighting would emphasize her confused look and her features in general. Using front lighting would also, make the photo less dramatic.
Side lighting was used for this image to create a more edgy look, matching her hands and facial expressions. The shadow this light creates adds to the mood of the photo. As well as the grey background this lighting creates.
This photo was taken using high frontal lighting. The high lighting creates a soft light, that softens the subjects features. I used that to capture a happy mood, matching the subjects facial expression.
This photo was taken using hard light. The reason behind that was to create harsh lighting and eventually a very dark and dull mode. Which is created by the lighting, the facial expressions, and the dark background created by the light.
What did I learn from Steve Carty and how I can use it in the future?
I really enjoyed the workshop with Steve Carty and learned so much from him. One of the most important things that I learned and stuck with me, is to explore portrait photography more, and to shy away from candid. That's something that I tried implimenting right after the workshop and try to do so more often than not. Another lesson I learned, was the different types of lighting and how to manipulate the lighting to change the mood of your image. From learning that, lately I have been trying to be careful with the way light is used in my photos and from which direction it is. It's helped me get better, and more crisp photos. Lastly, I learned that if you want something you should go and get it and to not wait for opportunities to come to you. This is a lesson that will stick with me for the rest of my life and hopefully I would continue implementing this lesson always. I really enjoyed spending time with Steve Carty, and would love to see him for more than once a year.