In September I took this photograph shown here with no edits -straight out of camera:
It was definitely not perfect. It was one of the first days that I was experimenting with my new speedlight/softbox set up and I had kept going after all the natural light had faded so the right side of the face was totally dark and there wasn't much that could be recovered by editing in Lightroom. The thing is that I still loved the expression, they eyes, the braid, and the tilt of the head so I still tried to add some luminance to get rid of the graininess in the dark areas as well as adjust the crop. This is what I ended up with:
This was better, but now it seemed too fake, so maybe black and white:
Hmm, maybe a little too forlorn, maybe another Lightroom edit:
This was ok, so I let it go for a few months after all it was just an experiment. Then I discovered Snap Art. software that allows you to transform photographs to works of art and it came to mind again.
I tried a few edits that I just discarded, then I started playing with overlays in Photoshop and remembered that my original concept with this series of photos was to include some Russian sage in the image, as seen here in another unsuccessful attempt:
I took a section of the flowers and adjusted the color and blur to come up with this:
Which I put on top of the last edit of the picture in the black area:
After that I put it back into Snap Art and the addition of the flower overlay gave it more texture and interest. I also intentionally left one half of the face smooth and porcelain like while using larger brush strokes to blend the dark side into the background and added some warm tones back into the picture.
I shared the picture in the Aliens Skin Snap Art group on Facebook and they featured it on their blog.