Tag Archives: Photoshop

Final Piece Ideas 1. Portrait Experiment in the style of Lee Jeffries

How did I create these photographs.

The intention was to create human gargoyles, atmospheric partially illuminated grotesque and weird faces, or faces of unusual character.

The photographs were taken outside at night. The model was sat upon a stool, the face was illuminated with a bright torch and a red light, a reflector was used to help bounce light back on to the models face.  The model pulled faces, moved their head.  The lighting was moved around to create unnatural lighting.

The camera was mounted on a tripod to ensure stability for low light long exposure shots.  The camera was moved and positioned on the tripod around the model to get strange angles to accentuate the peculiar nature of the portraits.  The framing of the face was close to give a very tightly cropped subect of the head  and face.

The photographs were taken with a Digital SLR, once the photographs were taken, they were manipulated in Photoshop.

How I manipulated the photographs.

The colour photographs were loaded into Photoshop.  The clarity was increased to 100%, vibrance to 50%, the contrast increased to 50% or more.

The Photoshop image was adjusted to Black & White, the reds and magenta were reduced, this caused increase the reds on the face caused by veins, blushes or blotches on the skin to finally appear dark shades and black.  The use of the red light when taking the photographs accentuated the skin and red facial imperfections. The blues and cyans were increased to lighten the blue colouration and the whites around the eyes.  The colour photograph was then converted to B+W with very high contrast and strong shadows and darkened skin colouration.

The images were finally modified by using a variety of filters, Sharpen More and the filter, Smart Sharpen, the sharpen was adjusted to around 125%, radius approximately 32 pixels.

The brightness were modified and experimented with to create satisfactory images.

My Opinion

The images produced are the desired grotesque and slightly disturbing photographs.

The photographs where the model moved their face while the shutter was open are very effective, the light that is reflected in the eyes has created white streaks, the motion captured with the streaks from the face moving and the eyes of the models, the pictures look demonic.

The creative effects by the use of lighting, and editing in Photoshop have been very successful. However the images have been heavily manipulated that I have decided not to progress this idea.  The images created are caricatures too artificial, modified, adapted and too far removed from the brief of portraits.

CanonEOS 450D, 53mm focal length, ISO 400, F-Stop f/5.6, 1/4 second exposure


Canon EOS450D, 20mm focal length, ISO400, F-stop f/3.5, 1/3 second exposure


Canon EOS450D, 29mm focal length, ISO-400, F-Stop f/4.5, 1/10 second exposure


Canon EOS 450D, 20mm focal length, ISO-400, F-Stop f/3.5, 1/3 second exposure


Canon EOS 450D, 55mm Focal Length, ISO-400, F-Stop f/5.6, 1/4 second exposure


Canon EOS450D, 51mm focal length, ISO-400, F-Stop f/5.6, 1/4 second exposure


Canon EOS450D, 42mm focal length, ISO-400, F-Stop f/5, 1/20 second exposure

Combining two photographs


How did I create the picture?

I took several pictures of the models in the studio using digital SLR. I identified 2 photographs that had elements I wanted to combine to make a new third image.

I transferred the photographs to the computer and opened them with Photoshop. I wanted the intense colours of photograph 1 plus framing of photography 1. The stance of the model in photograph 2 and the models poses in photograph 2.

I changed the colour levels (Cmd L) of photo 2 to the same as photo 1. I zoomed in on photo 1 (Z). Selected photo 1 (Cmd A), copied (Cmd C), clicked onto photo 2 and pasted photo 1 as a new layer. The image photo 1 and photo 2 needed to be aligned (Cmd T) I moved the layer of photo 1 taking care to align the structures such as the ladder rails so they are continuous.

The 3rd photo created has the improved framing, with increased space above the model standing. In the 3rd photo I used the clone brush and removed the tripod leg that appears near the bottom right hand side, also the black marks on the white floor.

What worked well?

I believe this picture has worked well this is because I have created the effects I wanted rich colours, improved the framing and removed the unwanted distractions.

How can I improve the picture?

I could crop the picture to remove some of the foreground, this would make the viewer closer and more involved and part of the image.

How does this fit in with your theme of issues of concern?

The concern is the power of photographic manipulation, the fact that 2 images can be carefully combined to make a new third image that never existed.



start photo 1


Start photo 2


Final combined image




How did I create this picture?

I took these series of pictures using a digital camera, this is so I could change and adjust the shutter speed depending on the surrounding light. It also gave me a chance to see the pictures immediately after I took them.

I opened the photographs in Photoshop, this is so I could put all of the pictures together on one document and so I could change the colour saturation and make the black stronger and hih contrast where it was needed.Untitled-2.jpg

How does this fit in with your theme?

This fits in with my theme of fears, it  shows my fear of fire and what it can do. I tried to show the fire in different forms making the pictures more interesting and so show the power and what it can do.

What worked well?

I believe this picture has worked well because I have managed to capture various aspects of fire and it’s power and movement.  The explosion of  fireworks, flames of burning matchs, the fire movement leaving streaks of dancing sparks from where the fire moves through the sky.

How can I improve the pictures?

I can improve the firework pictures by using a more sensetive ISO light setting slightly plus a shorter exposure, this will ‘freeze’ the flames, and reduce the over bright points of light and allow more of the colours to come through in the pictures. I can also improve the pictures by focusing in more on some of the fireworks, this would make for an interesting photograph to focus in more on the action and detail of the firework explosion.

What does this picture make you feel?

This picture makes me feel relaxed and peaceful, this is because all of the soft lighting used in the pictures and the flowing lights leading you through each picture.

What does this picture make you think of?

This picture makes me think of the war and battles with the explosions of and the bright red in the firework, the harsh movements in the flames and explosions.  It is also calming the unsusal dynamic shapes and glows created.

How did I create this picture?

I created this picture using two of the photographs above (bright sparks and flames on a match.  I used Photoshop, I combined the two pictures using layers and changed the opacity to merge and create a new third composition.  I saved the new image to a new file.


The photographs I created I wanted to try and introduce similar elements of mystery and mood as photographs created by  Cenci Goepel and Jens Warnecke as part of their series of images called ‘Lightmark’.  Goepel and Warnecke use light painting techniques to create their mysterious photographs set in landscapes with the use of lights and props.

I created my photgraph by capturing the light of fireworks when they exploded and combined with the natural flickering flames and sparks from a fire.

Goepel and Warnecke create a sense of fear in the example below, photographed in a dark wood.  They conjour a fantasy, unearthly and mystical feel created by a variety of illuminated elements, the spots of light, the lines of light that are spouting from the light source in the grass, the glow on the grass around the base of the trees.

Lightmark No.15 Goepel and Warnecke  


Skin Smoothing Technique

Photoshop technique to smooth skin texture. Thereare many methods that one can change skin texture and smoothing.  This method I found works well.

  1. Copy background layer
  2. Background Copy Layer, Apply high pass Filter (Filter>Other>High Pass)
  3. Set the High Pass Radius 9-10.5
  4. Background Copy Layer, Apply Surface Blur Filter (Filter>Blur>Surface Blur)
  5. Set Radius 3-4.5, Threshold 15
  6. Invert Bacground Copy Layer Cmd+I or Ctrl+I
  7. Change blending mode from Normal to Linear Light
  8. Change the opacity from 100% to 55-60%
  9. Mask the Background Copy layer (Layer>Layer Mask>Apply) or click on the icon
  10. Click on the Foreground/Background colour and switch to bring black to the foreground.
  11. Click the Paint tin flood fill icon and click on te image to show original clear picture.
  12. Click on brush tool Cmd+B or Ctrl+B, size of brush 65-100, soft brush (less than 25)
  13. Click on Foreground/Background and switch to bring white to the foreground.
  14. Use the paint brush to soften and remove skin blemishes.
  15. Take care not to soften and blur eyes, nose or the lines that divide lips, hair like eye brows or eye lashes.
  16. To see where the masking tool has been applied hit \ backslash key. This inverts the selection.  If there was somewhere that you applied the masking in error.  You can unmask with the paint brush tool.
  17. If needed you can change the size to smooth larger areas, or small  areas around the eyes where you do not want to blur the eyes.
  18. Once Paintbrush work is completed, you can change the opacity from 55% and increase to 100% to get a smooth dolls face effect, or slide it down 30-60% to see more natural effects, and depending on what effects you want to create.
Wax doll smooth

Click to see full size smoothed image

Photograph of Me
Photograph of Me – untouched

Click here to see original untouched photograph

Softened, but kept natural skin texture

Click to see full size natural skin smoothed image

Liquify PhotoShop

Liquify is a tool and technique to manipulate the image.   The tool is used for shaping, retouching, and special effects

There are 3 main tools used when using liquefy:

  • Forward Warp – moves the image around so you can re-shape objects
  • Bloating – makes things swell or enlarge
  • Pucker –  makes things smaller or pinched

Other effects that change the shape of the image are possible such as Twirl, push left, mirror, turbulance (wave).

The effects are controlled by using the tool options, the brush size, density and pressure.

Make a copy background layer. Make amendments to the object or face using the tools.  The use of the liquefy tools can affect more than the intended object and the background can become distorted.  The use of layers referring back to the background layer can be used to put back an undistorted background.

How did I create this picture?

I created this picture in photoshop I used the liquify tool this was to enlarge and destroy parts of my face.  The tool is found by going on the tool bar then clicking on filter and then liquify or shourt cut Cmd+shift+X.

I enlarged the eyes and eyebrows, fattened the nose and lips.  I also plumped up my cheek.

How does this fit in with my theme?

This fits in with my theme of destroy, this is because my face has been manipulated and destroyed.


Photograph of Me
Photograph of Me – Before


destroy liquifyier.jpg
Photography of Me – After




Colour Curves – Changing Colours or Colour Correcting

Colour curves are used to adjust colour, hue and luminosity.  Colour correction may be needed becuase the photograph was taken not in natural lighting, such as indoor flouresent lighting.  It may be required becuase there was not an opportunity to perform a white balance before taking a series of photographs.

How did I create this picture?

I created this picture using a digital camera. I set the camera shutter exposure at 1 second. This was so enough light will get into the camera making the picture bright enough to see. I put the ISO at 100

With the F stop setting F/14. I placed the camera on a tripod this was to prevent camera shake and making the picture appear blurred.

I opened the photograph with Photoshop, this is so I could adjust and improve the picture. I changed the saturation and of the picture making the colours of the lights stand out and look naturally vivid. The process also meant I could remove some unnecessary shadows and light.

I adjusted the colour saturation by going to image then hovered the mouse over the Photoshop toolbar menus to find adjustments. I then clicked on hue/situation (Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation) or short cut CMD+U (Ctrl+U). I changed the hue bar and the saturation bar to change the picture, this made the picture green. I then changed the brightness of the picture by going into my tool bar again and clicking image > adjustments > levels, I then dragged the bar making the colours stand out more in the picture. This improved the quality of the picture and made it look better.


How does this fit in with your theme?

This fits in with my theme of fear because it shows my fear of the dark and the unknown. Fairgrounds are a place of both fun and excitement but also of shady people in the shadows. Young people coming and going as they please friendships growing apart and new ones starting in a continual loop. I think that the original picture which is the second picture fits in with my theme of destroy  because it shows the colours in the lights are slightly blurred, this shows that the camera was not stable enough when taking the picture, or the focus was slightly off. This can also be considered as destroyed

What worked well?

This picture has worked well because I have managed to make the colours and the people in the picture stand out more making a clean and sharper picture, the dark areas appear darker and the lights brighter.  This picture has also worked well because I have managed to change the colour balance changing the colours and the lighting so that the picture stands out.

How can I improve the picture?

I can improve the picture by making the colours and the picture lighter, this is so you can see more detail of what is going on in the picture


Original picture
bumper cars.jpg
Picture after colour experimentation using curves


How did I create this picture?

I created this picture using a digital camera I put the camera settings with the ISO at 400 shutter speed at 1/800 and the F stop at f/5.6. I edited the photograph in Photoshop so I could experiment and change the colour balance.

test CMYK biles.jpg
Original picture



Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 09.36.33
Picture after altered colour balance

Fears 2

fears blind and lonlieness.     psd.jpg
Fears 2


How did I create these pictures?

I used Photoshop on some of the pictures this was too make some of the pictures brighter so that there was a more even brightness across all the pictures in the montage.  I changed some of the pictures using the hues, saturation and brightness levels tools in Photoshop.  This meant I could make the photos brighter or darker depending on what I wanted.

What does it make you think of?

This makes me think of broken friendships and people growing apart. This is because when you see people in the quadriptych montage they are always dark and not quiet in focus making you think something bad has happened between the group. In one of the pictures the members of the group are walking away, and one of the member of the group is clasping her head possibly in anger or frustration.  This also makes you think of the past and memories of friends not seen for a long time, this is because the people are out of focus and blurred like an old faded memory.

How does it make you feel?

This picture makes me feel nervous as if I’m am in trouble this is owed to the way the people look towards the camera, straight at you, it feels accusatory. It introduces lots of tension between the pictures that all together convey a strong uneasy feeling.

What worked well?

The overall composition worked well.  I like the picture of the reflected person standing in-front of the window wearing a stripped top worked well.  The elements are combined so that you can see there is someone there, but not clearly enough to identify who.  It makes you question who it is, whether it is the person remembering some of their past or whether it is someone who had a fallen out with the group of people in the other picture elements.  The layout of the composition has worked well the large black boarder background pulls the four pictures together as one.

What didn’t work well?

I don’t think that all of the pictures convoy the same mood that I am trying to create.  I think that some of pictures are too out focus.  It might have been better to try using something over the lens to make the picture appear out of focus (Cling film), or taken a sharp focused picture and used Photoshop blur filter to soften the focus where I could experiment easily.

The reflected person in the window with the striped top, the colours are too bright possibly making it distracting against the rest of the pictures in the composition.

Does this fit in with your theme?

This fits in with my theme of the self and fears,  it shows my fear of breaking with my friends and being excluded or left behind.  I tried to show this by making the pictures of the group of people look straight at the camera and blurred as if something was wrong between the viewer and the group.

Photographers relating to my work and inspired me when taking the pictures 

Danie Arbus photographer.  Her subject are the unusual people, people on the fringe of society, the social outcasts.  The fears I have is becoming one of the social outcast.

0034.+Diane+Arbus,+A+woman+with+a+pearl+necklace+and+earrings,+New+York,+1967.jpg (600×601)
Danie Arbus – Photographer



Picture 1 Destroy 

destruction of the self.jpg
Destroy inspired by Andy Warhol & Rankin

How did I create this picture?

I created this picture in Adobe Photoshop. I used the paint bucket tool to fill up certain parts and elements of my face I, used bright colours such as red and yellow so they would stand out against the black and white. I then added a new layer this is so I could add the stripes to the picture and change the opacity making it blend in with the picture and look more natural against the original picture.

Does this fit in with your theme?

This fits in with my theme of destroy because I have managed to use bright colours that can make the picture look un-natural.  My destruction is similar to the picture  of the Rankin image below of Sophie Ellis Bextor that has been destroyed by cutting into stripes and reconstructed with gaps of white highlighting the fragmentation of the image.  I broke my picture up with similar pale strips in Photoshop.

Rankin “Destroy” Sophie Ellis-Bextor

How does this represent me?

It shows that I am sometimes restricted on what I can and can’t say. This also shows that I cant do what I want and I am sometimes forced and pressured  into things by people around me.

What does this picture make you think of?

The picture makes me think of loss of freedom and imprisonment. This is because it looks like there is someone else’s hand covering the mouth. This makes me think that she is not allowed free speech, to say what she wants and if she does then there will be a punishment.  The feeling of loss of freedom is increased by the stripes across the picture these symbolise the prison bars separating the person from the rest of the world.

Does this remind you of any one elses work?

this makes me think of  work by Andy Warhol. this is because I have used bright colours that standout in the picture just like some of Andy Warhol’s work.

Andy Warhol – Marilyn Monroe

What worked well?

I think that this picture worked well because I have used bright contrasting colours making the face and hands stand out against the grey background and darker features on the face. I also believe that this picture has worked well because I have managed to display my point well and keep with in my theme of destroy.

How can I improve the picture? 

I believe I can improve this picture by making more of the face stand out, this is so people can sea more of the girls emotion this would bring more impact to the picture. I could also improve the picture by making the stripes vertical this is so it would give a better symbolisation of prison bars.


Picture 2 Destroy 

destruction colour 2
Destroy 2 inspired by Mondrian


How did I create this picture?

I created the picture by using Adobe Photoshop. I used a photograph of my self, changed the photo to black and white.  I did this by clicking image and then adjustments, clicked on black and white. I made a new layer, and added a another picture of bicycle wheels to the new layer.  I lined up the outline of the hair to approximately the same lines of a wheel to frame the face.   I changed the opacity of the picture making the face still visible through the bicycle wheels.  I used the paint bucket tool to flood fill in some of the shapes created by the spokes of the wheels.  I limited my self to a limited colour pallet  (red, yellow, green, blue).  The colours add an abstract stained glass effect to make the picture more interesting.

Does this fit in with your theme?

This picture fits in with the theme of the self and destroy.  I have managed to make the picture look as if it has been smashed and broken like a broken stained glass window.   The photograph also fits in with the theme of the self and destroy because I have used bright eye-catching colours in applied randomly, these are not the colours of flesh or bicycles. tones not normally see on black and white photos as this destroys what would have been just a B&W composition, it is neither a completely coloured photograph.

How does this represent me?

It represents me because I can easily get tangled up in confusing and tricky situations that I don’t always fully understand. It also represents me because it shows that I can get lost I my own ideas and thoughts and emotions, also feelings of being just a small cog on a wheel. Sometimes I get caught up in other people’s web of lies.

What does the picture make you think of?

The picture makes me think of spiders webs, this is because of the bike spoked wheels over lap each other creating a web that keeps overlapping with no end. I am the spider sitting, waiting in the middle.

The composition also makes me feel like I am trapped with a little window covered in bars, I am trying to of escape, but the bars keep closing in.

Finally the picture makes me think of camouflage trying not to be noticed I am hiding and the bicycle wheels hide me and change the outline of the face similar to wearing army camouflage hiding from the enemy.

Does this remind you of anyone elses work?

The photograph reminds me of some of the work by artist Piet Mondrian. Mondrian used lines and created spaces that he filled with a limited pallet of bright colours creating an abstract picture.  I have used the lines of the spokes of the wheel to create spaces and filled some of the spaces with bright colours. This also reminds me of some work done by Rankin in his destroy project

Composition Oval with colour panes 1. (1914) Piet Mondrian

Hoe does this fit in with Rankin’s destroy project 

My photograph fits in with Rankin’s destroy project because I have managed to divide the picture similar to lines below of Joe Strummer. Strummer destroyed his photography by painting over his portrait with oils, then scribed through the painting, the lines are similar to my destroy image.

061-20231454RGBFINAL1.jpg (1245×800)
Rankin Destroy – Joe Strummer

Creating My Avatar

Lucy created avatar


Photograph of Me
Photograph of Me

How did I create this picture?

I created this picture in Photoshop. I used a picture of me as a template in Photoshop and set it as a background layer, this gave me guidelines as to where to draw the main features of the face.

I used the open tool to cut out my mouth, eyes, hair, neck and my top. Creating a new layer for each of the features. Once I had cut out the features using the pen tool I then clicked on layer mask creating ‘running ants’ around the selected cut-out. I sampled the colour from the original picture and filled the shape in with the colour from the sample to give a flat cartoon coloured fill.  I then repeated this process through the picture creating an avatar cartoon person.

I created the background with a new blank layer and added different coloured spots using the paint brush tool changing the colour of the spots every so often to give an impression of a oversized comic book print dots.

Alternative method

Avatar created using filters

I have since found another Photoshop method that could be used
to create a stylised avatar.  This uses  smart filters to build up layers of effects that flattens the details, introduces filters such as paint daubs or poster edges, change the sliders for edge thicknes, intensity, brush size, sharpness, also blur and soften effects.

Merging layers together


How did I create these pictures?

I created these pictures in Adobe Photoshop, this is so I could layer four photographs and change picture opacity for different layers.

I used the same 4 individual photographs. layerd on top of each other.  I set all the opacity to around 50% (Layers > Opacity 50%).  I varied the opacity so that no one image over powered the others.

I selected a layer and increased the opacity so that the image layer becomes more dominent and visible above the other images.  I saved the merged layered composition.

I reset the dominent image opacity back to the previous level, selected the next image and increased the opacity so that it became more dominent and showed more, saved the modified layered composition as a new image.

I then repeated the process so that I had in total 4 compositions that looked different although they were made up of the same images.

What do these pictures make you think of?

3 of the 4 pictures remind me of fear and punishment.  The person standing in the middle wearing a blind fold looks like they are about to be punished .  This is reinforced by the faint images of someone about to have their hair chopped.

What worked well?

I believe this worked well because I have managed to show and display destruction through the series of pictures.  Different elements are more visible by the change in opacity of the mergerd images.

What didn’t work so well?

The 4th image bottom right image, there is not a large spalsh of red that can been seen in the other 3 images.  The last image all there is also a lot of elements are showing making it difficult to focus on any one thing.

Do these pictures fit in with your theme?

These pictures fit in with my theme of the self and destroy, this is because I have slowly made the pictures harder to see through the photos