I’ve tried to post this a couple of times now, but something keeps going wrong. I hope it actually works this time. When working on this post Monday afternoon I accidentally hit ‘publish’ instead of ‘save draft’ so it went live for about fifteen seconds, and some of you got an email about it only to find nothing new when you came to the blog. But now when I publish it, it’s not showing up at all. Weird.
Sunday afternoon I wanted to play around in some new wigs I’ve bought recently and haven’t had time to try on, so I decided to set up my camera and combine wig-time with photography (taking photos of yourself in new wigs is also a great way to get perspective on how they really look on you). I took about 150 shots overall, and once again did this quickly to make it work with the time I had available; I didn’t put on any drag makeup or anything, just freshened up my normal day-to-day face, and wore a simple tee-shirt as my costume. I took some straight-up pics to show the wigs for a review I may do later, but then with each wig I also did some arty-farty hair-flinging to try and come up with some interesting shots for my portfolio, such as it is. I just had my Speedlite on top of my camera and opened up the blinds for some natural light (rather than taking the time to set up my umbrellas), but I got a handful of cool shots to play around with for the week, so I am happy.
Here’s the process for the one I made my 365 for the day. Original:
It was a cool shot right out of the camera, but of course I had to mess with it a bit. I used my RadLab editor in Photoshop to brighten things up as well as add color, change the tone a bit, and create more contrast:
Oh and I also changed my shirt color, too
Then I used Snapseed’s sharpening and structure tools for better clarity. This is tricky with all those hairs flying about – over-sharpen the picture and it will look a hot mess, but I think I did OK.
Lastly, I used my desktop Pixlr app to cool down the color a bit more and add some slight texture to the background. Overall, not a bad Day 67:
Here’s one more I managed to edit the next day – this is one of those wigs that looks great in photos, but not so much in real life. I’d never wear this one out of the house because the lace is way too dark (it’s made by an ethnic line, and those lines in general use much darker lace for their customers) and it’s just way too big for me – way too much hair. Exhibit A:
I look like The Lost Judd in this
But the color is fabulous for photos as are the pretty waves, and, at $45, it’s a bargain anyway, so why not:
Side note: As I mentioned in my previous post, I tend to shoot in vertical or portrait mode as opposed to landscape, and another drawback to that aside from the fact that the camera is usually off-kilter is that when posing for self-portraits, I often don’t know exactly where to stand to get my entire body into the middle of the frame. So, I usually end up taking several shots of a pose, each time moving over a millimeter or two in the hopes that in at least one of them I’m fully in the shot. This is actually why so many of my portraits aren’t centered: I often like the facial expression or focus best on a shot that is off-center and use it anyway. In the case of this shot, I did not intend to be cut in half, but with the fall of the waves here I really thought it worked nicely. So yay for happy accidents.
I of course removed some of my facial lines and smoothed my skin slightly in PS, then used what has rapidly become my new favorite tool, my RadLab photo editing plug-in. I love to brighten and add contrast and color using this tool, and on occasion I’ll even go into the color filters to change things up a bit, like I did here:
I was a little nervous about giving my skin such a yellowish-green hue, but I really liked the effect overall and especially how it made the red hair pop, so I went for it. And yes, I did shave a few years off the old mug, so deal with it. After getting to this step, there wasn’t much more to do, but I did use Snapseed to sharpen as well selectively make the red hair a little brighter and more vibrant. Then I used my RadLab Dirty Pictures plug-in to add a slight texture to the background, and voila! The finished product:
Honestly, this is a ‘favorite shot’ for me – I really love how this turned out.
Sometimes my changes are so slight, like adding that background, that I wonder if they really matter. But that was a lot of blank wall just sitting there, and although I tried to add more interesting and noticeable light leaks and bokeh effects, everything else seemed overdone, and I still wanted to add something. So subtle texture it was. I like how it makes the photo feel a little 3-D, like you could almost reach out and touch that red hair. I really can, of course, but that’s because it’s sitting in a bag in my bathroom cabinet.
That’s all for now, but hoping to have time to edit some more from this set later this week as well as review some wigs. We’ll see what all I manage to accomplish.
Yep this disappeared alright so I’m glad it’s back. I think I’ve finally found a way to post comments here 🙂
Yay! Yep, I noticed in my stats that it hadn’t gotten any hits at all so I knew something went wrong. I think when I took it from ‘published’ back to ‘draft’ status it made it drop off everyone’s radar. So I just cut and pasted the whole thing into an entirely new post. I’m glad because I really liked these shots and I wanted them to get some love!
I love how thorough and specific you are in your description of the process. And I also love your photos! As a fan of your former wig reviews, will you be putting them back online somewhere? They were an amazing resource. Also, do you have plans for reselling any of your day to day wigs?
I don’t think so – trolls got on my trail and every time I try to put them up they start in again. Sometimes I write up a review and will continue to do that, though – apparently trolls can’t read and don’t bother me over my written stuff, just my videos. You can find what I’ve posted so far under the ‘wigs’ section. And I sold most of my wigs a long time ago; I actually don’t wear them as much as I used to so I don’t have anywhere near the stash I used to have, LOL.
That’s a shame. Boo to trolls! I’ve had alopecia for 13ish years now and your videos taught me what to look for in a wig. And for that I am eternally grateful! I just wish newbies to alopecia also had access to your videos, they really are terrific. I bought a few from you in the past and love them, so I was hoping for more. Do you check your pdq.net email?
I do yeah, but I get a ton of emails there so a lot of stuff gets lost, especially if I am at work when I check them, LOL. Why did you email me? Who are you, if I may ask? 😉
I’m no one important, just a fan. I just sent you another email, the subject line is “the poster from your blog”.
* a few wigs that is
Very nice, MM!!!! I do like the one of you looking over your shoulder!!!!( the one you like! )
Was in Dr’s office and they called me as I was typing. I meant to say you are a very talented photographer to know just how to shoot and tweak a photograph!!!!
Thanks – the tweaking is my favorite part. Honestly shooting is just so-so. NOt always the fun part.
Hmm wig reviews of course I’m excited for those if you do them. :P. I also like the curly one of your face cut in half its just a neat photo.
Very nice. Pretty colors in both wigs and nice effects.
Thanks Beth 🙂
An exceptional “fav”. Glad you tackled the glitch .
Great work. Of course, I choked on my ice cream when I got to the Lost Judd. Hahaha. Kinda….
Could you make the grey background green like your old logo, I was wondering if I could keep the pink if I update the picture.
It’s possible to do that, yes. Sometimes it’s tricky though. It’s easiest if what’s against the background is in contrast to it.