The Making of a Self Portrait

Last Sunday I posted a self portrait on my g+ account and I just wanted to share the making here.


The Taking

I used a Elinchrome Quadra Ranger RX with two head. One head with the main power output (2/3) with an 8degree grid was positioned on my left with the narrow spot on the half without make-up. The other head with less power (1/3) was basically in front of my in a softbox. My Nikon D3 was on a gorilla pod on the table (my arca-swiss ball head is in service) right next to the softbox. A macro lens was on the cam to create a real lens blur and I tried to get my left eye in focus which turned out not to be totally easy. I tried different poses and angles until I finally got the image I liked. I was leaning forward looking in a thirty degree angle left of the camera, rotating my shoulder back and releasing the camera with a cable release. The make-up side had decent fill light to work with and the spot created highlights on the other half of the face.

The Editing

When I loaded the image into Lightroom 4, I really didn’t know what to do with the image and how my vision realizes. I started with some basic adjustments in Lightroom. I increased exposure slightly, got clarity down to almost -100% but painted the clarity back into my right eye. Now I brought the image into Photoshop and started removing blemishes in the white make up. I started NIK’s Viveza and got the structure down even more but placed again a local adjustment on my right eye to keep structure and sharpness in there. I opened OnOne’s Pefect Effects next and applied the Movie Look “Velvetees” but blended it down to about 30% opacity. In the last step I went to NIK’s Color Efex Pro and applied a bit of tonal contrast, Darken/Lighten Center and last but not least the midnight filter which I reduced to about 30% on the right eye only.

I gave it a final touch up with the healing brush and changed the opacity of the filter layer to about 80-85% to get a bit of detail back on the left half of my face.

What do you think?


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10 thoughts on “The Making of a Self Portrait”

  1. thanks for the explanation. you did a great job on this. i’d like to know more about which camera setting you used. would you share the exif date? 🙂

  2. This is compelling … brilliant interpretation of duality!
    Great processing and thanks for all the technical details 🙂

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