Monday, December 20, 2010

Still Looking

Does anyone know this guy and his son.  I asked that question in about the forth post ever to be put up on the blog.  I’m still looking.  I found this fellow sitting just inside the performance tent at the Festival of Green Corn held at Foxwoods casino a few years ago.  After creating today’s image the intent was to give him a copy.  We couldn’t get to the pow-wow the following year and by the time the third year came along the festival was put on what has become a permanent hold.  The boy has to be in school now and I’d still enjoy giving the family a print of the image.  The day the image was taken was miserably hot.  How his makeup stayed as fresh looking as it is I have no idea.  I asked for permission to take a single shot as he sat in the entryway of the tent trying to catch a little breeze in the only shade to be had.  I’m guessing that, as he grabbed his son over and then okayed the shot that he thought having the boy included would ruin the imagery.  I’m guessing it was what made the shot for me.  They were sitting with the side of the tent as a backdrop.  Just the plain canvas as the tent, with the sun lighting it very evenly.  Later in the day, just about the time the heat had gotten to us and we were  heading for the exit we passed a vendor selling clothing and jewelry.  The buffalo skull was on display, laid out on a skin draped over a frame.  I almost past right by.  I saw the skull, didn’t even bother squatting to get a more direct angle on it and hit the shutter.  Just a record shot.  To get an idea of the “happy accident” that made today’s image possible, hit the “read more”.
Okay, so we have a shot that the subject thought he was messing up by pulling in the child and one that was a record shot, taken in passing. I started playing with the portrait and it was coming up short due to the flat background. The skull was straight on with the axis of the head straight up and down. Boring! I hadn’t done anything with Blend Modes at that time, but had just read an article about this “wonder tool in Photoshop (probably CS or CS2). Blend Mode weren’t new to PS, but they were to me. I flipped through and snapped my head back is shock as 90% of the image came into view. I had hit on the Lighter Color and Darker Color Bland Modes. This image goes so far back that I was still using the Eraser Tool (E, but don’t bother) rather than Layer Masks. The only two places that really needed to be addressed were the white of the feather and the white makeup on his face. Taking care of those two pieces finished the image.

There’s no High Pass Sharpening (Filter/Other/High Pass) applied and no vignette. If you’re a regular reader you know that means the shot is years old. Let me know what you think. Thanks