I used Photoshop to Manipulate These Self Portraits
Photo Retouching, Post Production, Image Manipulation.
All these areas have captivated me since I was about 16. I remember researching and practicing on photoshop during my art classes in high school. When I went to university I was even more excited to be learning Digital Imaging from an Adobe Ambassador. It was here I really pushed myself into achieving more, and better results.
This area requires discipline. It requires dedication and practice. I was retouching and restoring old photos for a company, and I had a lot of customers ask me: “how do you do it”. I could only answer: “A lot of practice”. A lot of older customer assumed it was just because I was from a younger generation. I suppose so, yes, I have grown up around computers and this helps. But skills in retouching and photoshop don’t just come to those born from the 90s onwards.
A project, an Idea:
I had an idea for a conceptual photographic series. It was an idea that relied heavily on post production, and it was something I had never explored before. This was half the fun for me. I wanted to see if I could actually do it, and I spent hours and hours on the series of images. Not just editing, but there was a bit involved in the shooting process too. I will add, that these are all self portraits, and without the aid of an assistant. The many ‘before’ shots were relatively amusing.
The idea is censorship, and the various ways we censor ourselves, or others censor us. I particularly address body image here, with the ‘free the nipple’ campaign being a social influence of the time when I shot these images (2015 – it seemed a bigger movement back then). Why is one part of the female body more offensive than another, and why so it it offensive on a female and not a male?
I explore in my images the idea of natural vs fake. The images are overly retouched and perfected – looking at the smoothness of the tones in the skin, the smoothness of the hair. I placed the subject on top of a natural environment to juxtapose these ideas. The result leaves the studio-lit, perfected subject on top of a natural beauty. How is our natural beauty censored so much? After all, we come from nature too.