@Jacal Thanks for the raw portrait and everybody showing their interesting versions, like @james rawness =)
Gonna try an limit the BS leaving my mouth, not so much 'cause I think you (anybody reading) are unworthy but 'cause the bread is almost leavened and ready to the oven, which is cho kute that when turned on, makes the fuses jump… so yes fiber optic net speed and an electric oven who thinks it’s a fusion reactor. steer not shake, please, GODZILLAAA!!!
When I saw the image inmediately came to my mind ummmhh… not a nice portrait, meaning neither good nor bad, personally I like extremes makes decisions easier, I’m lazy. Then I though people (we) should enter nicer images to the playraws… there’s going to be a dude that’s not me looking at this for some time… also need alligators and naked people. Then I went on in a absolutely ignominious free fall of concatenated shitty thoughts about totally random stuff, almost forgot to breath. Time passed and despite I surely have better (in the sense of “urgent”) things to do, or maybe exactly 'cause of that, I completely changed my mind and decided this was a challenge… not one that so much needed reaching somewhere, but of relating to the image.
I must say, it is easier to change our minds… not easier but a lot more fun, 'cause the moment I started looking with new eyes to the image was just lean learning to jump potatoes (!!!).
The first thing I noticed was the “triangle”; his head dead center, the blood coming from the bottom, light on the right and darker on the left. – I wish I had the time to go on about how many films and characters, even stories, books and philosophical theories; associations, thoughts, etc. went on through my head, a storm a true brainstorm =)
In PhF I made those areas’ qualities more pronounced - two worlds collide - darkening the left side and brightening (also a bit of contrast) on the right, with heavy use of different (types of) luma masks and patching the holes with path masks. Some more masking to preserve light on him and to help in parts where areas mix. Red and green should never be seen without another colour in between. I knew I would tame the red, but what could I use to balance those two very strong hues? As a first step I make the smoke more present by increasing luminosity and contrast, as smoke is whitish and also connects center with right side and to me kind of represented his spirit (do you have any tobacco?), then thought of overlaying a layer with a purplish blue, a between green’s and red’s triad mixed tone… left that for the second part (never happened as such), before leaving PhF I still applied a sort of tonemapping with split details. So got here, not too bad
dcc_0013_PhF_split.tif.zip (3.5 KB)
Went through some LUTs to see if I could find something soothing my in between red and green idea… Looking at them I had very clear I didn’t want to bring back light to the dark BG, that green needed to remain green and not blue, that hot t-shirt would benefit lower saturation (or maybe just less light) and shifting to a warmer (blood) tone. It was here when I abandoned the triad-mix idea and decided to give BACK POWER TO THE MAN, that if done well enough, the already nice palette would stand by itself… this is not a great portrait, how long are people going to look at it? and that sort of dough clogging the only eye of the soul So, off I went to mix the homemade LUT in the center (SELEN for personal ref), and the one in the left, from a very well establish grading house.
Finally in gimp and gmic to apply the LUTs, just normal blend 50%, simple. Then the usual routines dynamic range popcorn… or was it before (?) which had to turn down quite a bit especially the lighter layer and on top of the mess grain offff course =)
That was a good & fun ride, off to bake the bread, cheers