IMPROVE YOUR OLD PHOTOGRAPHS
Combining computer technology and principles
I quickly separated the major elements of the picture
knowing I could always use the smudge tool to put them back together.
Using some color controls (in a graphics programe), I removed color
from the grey. This has the effect of giving the picture tints of the opposite (complimentary)
hues without affecting the contrasts (values). In this operation I applied color theory regarding
complements - while keeping the values bright. The reason for this is important.
In previous lessons I have talked about the theory of 'subtractive' color and how we use it
in painting. The theory I use here is called 'addative color theory' and
is commonly used in photography, film and computer imaging. Simply put
the spectrum hues combine to produce white light, and the removal of one
leaves a predominance of the rest. In other words if we had a red, blue and yellow spotlights and shone them all on a blank screen they would produce white. White then is the sum (addative) of all the colors. If we subtract red then the white spot will turn green, subtract blue and orange will appear etc.
To produce the hues above I started with ovals
of white. In the first I subtracted red, the second green and the third
blue. This is how what they call 'additive' color, works!
In this manner I applied hue (color) to the hat and
uniform, the face and the shirt.
Next I put them roughly back together.
I gave the cheeks and the bottom lip a little
extra blush with a computer paintbrush.
This meant I still had a raw
figure with no background ...
So I searched for a background that might
describe the nature of the war the man fought. I wanted a stark, riveting
but an atmospheric scene. I found what I wanted but it was tiny. This was
not necessarily a disadvantage as I could repeat some facial and clothing
hues in the top half of the background.
I created the background then smudged again
with my smudge brush.
||So we went from this
... to ... wait!
Two final toutches before cropping
1. Make the eyes come alive with a tiny reflection
- my hand slipped a little with the second ...
2. A little highlight as well on the bottom
Somehow I hope the man has briefly come alive but
as all life surely passes as fast as a summer cloud shades a distant hillside ... anyway sometimes a mundane task can lead to distant thoughts and maybe
a little unexpected humanity.
STUDENT ACTIVITY:Paint a color diagram that explains the theory of addative color. Hint ... look in the photography or printing sections of the library. Allow 40min.
This reconstruction was a result of using a very simple computer 'paint' program. To see another reconstruction using the more complicated 'photoshop' program go to the next page.
TO ... another photograph