Yesterday, I had to take a day off from my obsession to get some work done for a client. Now it’s Monday and I’m back at home after a successful project meeting, which is very satisfying on many levels, but mostly in the “more food is secured and is on the way, so now it’s safe to relax and make some more pictures” kind of way. I wanted to mention about how much fun the mirror imaging process is and just walk through the process, step-by-step. So, let me introduce you to a fresh root ball, new to the M.I.R.A. movement:
The picture above is the original, unedited photograph. This happens to be an unusually colorful root ball. Most of them are very gray and almost colorless. When I’m taking the picture, I’m trying to find a good center line for mirroring, but it is not necessary to be overly concerned about finding the perfect center. It’s more important to look at the overall setting and the light and make sure those things feel right. Adjustments to the centerline and other decisions can be made later, in Photoshop.
I use a Canon 7D camera and like to shoot in the highest “RAW” image capture mode. Since I want to make large prints of these images, generating the highest resolution is important. But the ability to adjust lighting and color in RAW mode before opening the file for the first time is the more significant reason to use RAW mode. So, after cranking up the color intensity and fooling with the lighting a bit, the image is opened in Photoshop, one half is copied, flipped and moved to the other side to make a book match. Like this:
The other thing that is going on here is that I’ve added several layers in the Photoshop file to create a black border, plus two oval, semi-transparent vignettes (one gray and one black). There is also a rectangular vignette in these as well.
The next picture is the other half of the same root ball, and here, the other thing I did was to warp the whole left side of the picture to create a particular “face” and to make the background look more dynamic:
I mention all this because there may be somebody out there who is new to photography or Photoshop who will see this and want to try it. Maybe they live somewhere I’ll never get to go. Maybe their place has better root balls. Wouldn’t it be great if somebody from far away started making these and sending me links to their photos?