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Sick Lizzid

Posted by Tom Benedict on 20/01/2015

There’s some kind of flu going around. I should’ve known when I saw the papers the other day at work. The headline read something like, “There’s Some Kind Of Flu Going Around!”. (Actually I think it said something derogatory about how the flu shot should’ve stopped this and didn’t. Hey, mutation’s the name of the game.) I tried to press on and not catch it until we’d finished all the work on that lens, but it finally caught up with me Saturday evening. I’ve been getting worse ever since.

I spent most of Sunday flopping around the house like a semi-fevered jellyfish. When I didn’t have the energy to flop around I read The Strobist. I know it’s been said a zillion times, but that’s hands-down the best site I’ve found for learning how to light photographs. But there was only so much reading I could take. I finally reached critical idea mass and just had to set up and play. No one was willing to model for me, so I set out to do a self-portrait.

I wanted to do basic corner lighting. It’s a straightforward single-light setup that lets you balance main and fill light on the subject as well as background light just by varying the distance between light and subject, and light and background. All you need is a corner with two light colored walls to work with.

That’s when I figured out I don’t have a corner with two light colored walls to work with. All the corners in my house either have furniture in them or one of the walls is actually a window. In desperation I finally wedged all my gear into the entryway to my house – a tiny 4’x4′ area. The only way it constituted a “corner” was if I called my front door a wall. Good working distance? Nope! Room for lighting? Not really. Desperate? You bet!

I didn’t really have room to do any balancing since I couldn’t move away from my background and I couldn’t get the light any closer to me than the edge of the entryway. I probably should’ve been frustrated, but the bigger problem was that no matter what I did, all the pictures I made looked like a sick guy who’d crammed himself in the entryway to his house and wedged himself in with camera gear. I’d have cried if it wasn’t so funny.

So instead I stuck a 100mm macro lens on my camera and took pictures of my eye. But what with the puffies, the redness, and everything else, it was just as bad as the self portraits. Come to think of it, it was probably worse.

When life hands you lemons, make margaritas.

I decided to do some creative editing instead. I like selective color eye photos, so that’s where I started. I left the iris alone, but desaturated the rest of the frame. It was kinda blah. So on a whim I started going through individual channels instead. The red channel smoothed everything out, but looked even more blah. Green was more interesting. But the blue channel was COOL. I looked like an alien. Or a lycan/vampire hybrid or something. Now we’re cooking!

My iris needed some work. So I bumped the saturation and vibrance, and toyed with the clarity a little. (MAN the new terms Photoshop CS6 has made me learn…) Then I tried rotating hue. A little fine-tuning and…

Lizzid EyeLizzid Eye!

Well… A sick lizzid, anyway. But hey, I’ll take it.

– Tom

One Response to “Sick Lizzid”

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