Fancified Portraits

One question you might ask is, what have I been up to lately besides getting frustrated with Corel Painter v12? The answer is working with my wife, Virginia, on portrait photography. That’s one reason why I haven’t been updating my site here with much in the way of new landscape images. The other reason is that I’ve been very busy with building or rebuilding web sites for people; but that’s a different story.

Virginia’s style is, I think, fairly unique. She started out by doing scrap-booking, and then digital scrap-booking. I’m not saying that we haven’t seen similar work in the world; for example, there’s Judy Host. Ms Host uses the products of Graphic Authority in much of her work; and that’s cool, because Graphic Authority is cool. Here is my homage to Ms Host’s style:

Young boy

Young boy

There was a lot of work to get to this image. It was shot in ambient light with a Nikon D700 at ISO 4000, mainly because we were also shooting some action martial arts images with breaking for which the use of flash is, IMHO, just about useless. That meant a fair amount of retouching to sharpen the image, eliminate the noise that that brings up, remove a scratch on the boy’s face, extract him from the original background, and so on. It also amazes me how young children often have dark circles under their eyes, just like old fogies such as me. In addition to a bunch of Photoshop retouching, I also threw Portrait Professional at this image. At some point, I should do a review of Portrait Professional, which is way cool software; but that’s for later.

Here’s an example of one of those breaking shots, just for grins:

Breaking boy

Breaking boy

Now that’s a cute image of a great little guy who’s enthusiastic about his Taekwondo. I like it a lot and it also shows some of Virginia’s style.

In contrast, here’s something more like what I like to do for martial arts like this:

Flying Master

Flying Master

Although this one was “just” Photoshop work, I’d also go ahead and use this as the base for a Painter approach, probably in an oil and/or acrylic style; but that’s just me. It’s certainly not Virginia.

Here’s something more her style:

This is all, of course, just a shameless and self-serving plug for our work. But if you like this style, and you’re in the Greater Denver area; give us a shout. Also, check out Virginia’s portrait work at http://raffiaroses.com and her family trees at http://creativefamilytree.com (both of which sites I did myself as another shameless plug).

Leave a Reply