48/365: Squash Portrait48/365: Squash Portrait.

As I'm growing tired of the HDR process, I'm starting to cheat on the 365 blog theme of HDR... Tonight I used the bastardized Pseudo-HDR process from one RAW file, combined with some strobes, to generate a weird tonemapped picture, which I then combined with the original exposure using masks and blending modes, to create this stylized self-portrait.

Here's what the original and the subsequent HDR looked like before combining them. Noticed that I made the psuedo-HDR a black and white; this helped keep the color more natural in the blending process and the overall noise down as well.

As on some of my other posts, I was not trying to get a single treatment that looked good in all areas. I was going for the texture effect in the areas that mattered, my face and beard, and the shirt and squash to some degree.

As you can see, the process generated some ugly halos around the contrast edges in the photo, and the imperfections in the wall have been accentuated. So in Photoshop, I just masked out those areas, concentrating on the face. I also cropped out most of the light switch and then clone stamped the rest of it out, along with the ugly spots on the wall.

Oh, and the acorn squash? I hate taking my self-portrait without something to make it more interesting. So I take a cue from Dali sometimes: when in doubt, throw things in the air.

What, you wanna see another picture of me? Well, I'm blushing. Okay, here, just for you. Oh stop it, I could never have modeled. Oh, for 'Terrorist Monthly.' Ah, yes. They have called a few times.