Faces ~

More than most anything else in photography, I love faces. Even --no, especially -- this one, a colorful window-washer Whitney and I saw this summer plying his craft in the Village. It was portraiture that attracted me to photography in the first place, and the iPhone is a wonderful tool for getting away from the studio to get images I wouldn't otherwise see.

But I'm not able to leave it alone just there, oh no. There's something about the artistic potential of a portrait that harkens back to my early days, to my dad's art gallery, to the portrait artists past and present whose influence I only began to appreciate as I grew older. So part of my process involves a lot of layering to incorporate some of the painterly qualities I admire in fine art. Most of my iPhone portraits are initially worked right on the phone using Snapseed to crop and make a few other adjustments, and then re-opened in an app call Mextures which gives a fine patina to work upon. They are then brought into Photoshop (I'm using CS6) to add a painting under-layer using a tool called Autopainter; this provides a layer that I can then selectively blend to achieve a look that has a distinct painterly feel, but nonetheless retains an obvious photographic quality. I almost universally use my onOne plug-ins to fine-tune the image so that I can achieve a look that appeals to me.

In art, as in life, there really aren't a whole lot of absolute do's and don'ts to dictate what you see and how you work. If you have a vision, then use the tools and techniques that can help you realize it. Grow, experiment, change, adapt, listen, learn .... and stop worrying about your damn camera.

And if you're really, really, really not careful, you could end up making a selfie like this.