I woke up a couple of weeks ago and began my usual routine. Contacts in, bushed my teeth and went out to feed the goats. Once that was done, I came back inside and jumped in the shower. While I was showering, my right eye began to feel irritated. When I got out of the shower, I looked in the mirror and saw some redness, but as I leaned in towards the mirror I saw a lot more redness. I had somehow burst a blood vessel.
I went to work and had some people throughout the day comment about the eye, but didn’t think much of it. The following day, the eye looked worse, and as I looked at myself in the mirror, I decided that I should probably take advantage of the situation and make a self-portrait. Here’s what it looked like straight out of camera.
I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with the image, but I knew that Halloween was coming up, and it might make for an interesting image.
As I looked at the image and started editing it, I was reminded of the movie Fight Club. I remembered the style and look of the movie and decided to edit the image to look like that movie. To get that look, I adjusted the shadows and highlights while editing the overall tone of the image to give it a cyan cast. I added some grain to give the overall image some edginess. Finally, I cropped it to put the face right in the middle of the frame and added a vignette to quickly move the viewer’s eye to the center of the image at the eyes staring back.
It was a good edit, but I still had the idea of a Halloween image on my mind. I thought I could push the image even further and give it a bit of a zombie look. From where the image was, I desaturated the overall image to give it a colder feeling. I added some texture to the background, but also to the face to give the skin a weathered look. I added some darkness below the eye and to the cheeks to further emphasize the hollowness. I copied the blood in the original injured eye into the second eye but left a bit of redness in it rather than take away all of the color.
This isn’t the type of editing that we normally do when retouching portraits (we usually aim to freshen up a face, not deteriorate it); but it does fit the season. The overall look is zombie-like with that added creepy factor.
So if you go out trick-or-treating, look out for the creepy looking character that looks like this. He’ll be after your candy. Happy Halloween!