Thursday, July 17, 2008

Portrait of a Diver...or How to Express Joy Without Even Trying...(but with a Lot of Photoshop!)

The original...10 layers in photoshop

...and two views of different little tweaks of the layers...bringing some layers forward and changing opacity on others...I'm not sure which one I like best...what do you think?

I was feeling pretty low today after I heard that the man I photographed had passed away, and I wasn't able to sleep at all, so I wanted to make something really alive of someone filled with joy. My daughter's diving teacher, Jeff Kunselman, has so much joy when he dives that for the past couple of summers I have been photographing him and making him a gift as a thank you for passing that kind of joy to Zoe, and this is what I came up with tonight. A couple of weeks ago, I shot him diving off the high dive, which he does all the time during class, just for the fun of it, (remember, when you shoot action, make sure to put your shutter speed at above 250 or else your picture will be mush) and then tonight I put down layers, ten of them, of him in his various stages of dive. I removed all of the opacity of nine of the layers, then worked on removing the environment around him with the eraser tool and the magnetic lasso tool, which I absolutely makes everything so much easier all the way around...and played with the hue and saturation of each layer. Then I duplicated the shot and made each different shot a different color and duplicated and flattened the whole thing and put those layers on top of the whole thing, and I started playing with moving the layers slightly up , down and to the side, and working with different opacities and moving layers around to see which layers should go closer to the top. I made an additional layer of just him standing on the board and enlarged it with the transform tool, then adjusted hue and saturation of him so that it looked right. You can tell that he just loves to dive, and it made me feel a lot better just working on it. I am really going to work on feeling the joy every day from now on.