This is an amended version of the shot I mentioned yesterday, the one my wife said made our daughter's friend look like a mass murderer. The previous version was quite a bit harsher, black and white, and considerably more sombre. This version, in comparison, is much lighter. I have my own thoughts about the merit of this image but would rather hear what you think before I say much more.
I will say though that the subject said "I like it because it's unusual".
Update: the version that's currently up is slightly different from the original in that I've managed to produce a version that retains more detail in her eyes and also increases the sharpness of her eye-lashes and iris. Like an idiot I shot the original at ISO 800, which was totally unnecessary and meant that a lot of the detail, particularly in the iris, was lost to noise. Anyway, I've spend a bit of time on this today and think I've managed to do a slightly better job with this version. In all other respects the two versions are identical. And for those of you reading this for the first time I put up this version immediately after Saurabh's comment.
another great portrait...Good composition, nice colors and amazing blurred finishing...i would like to see your works in http://i-gizmo.com weekly contests...
Still looks pretty freaky. I will have to disagree with the above comment on the composition.. it feels a bit off.. and the colours have this sort of zombie after life feel to it.. No disrespect intended.. just some criticism.
She does have beautiful eyes though.
I like it very much! It's a very engaging image and it has an intriguing
quality. Even though the girl's eyes are so prominent and attention grabbing her gaze does not lock directly with the viewer's eyes. I feel
like I am looking at an individual with her own distinct personality.
I think many other artists would have made the child look more angelic in this kind of portrait and I appreciate that she hasn't been prettied up too much.
I like the treatment of her hair too and how it frames the faces. This is a photo that I keep looking at and it doesn't loose any interest.
I like it.
I like what you´ve done with the colour, it makes her eyes stand out very well.
Your missus does have a point tho, she does look evil in a way :-)
I like it better than in blank and white although the zombie categorization did pop into my mind as well.
She also has that look of the evil little girl who never gets blamed for all of the horrible thing that seem to happen around her ;-)
Very powerful - and very nice - picture. Great work :)
She definately looks evil!
It would be interesting to see the "harsher" version. Black & white seems very appropriate for this photo.
I think defiant and mischievous are the words that I would use instead of evil; but the longer I look, the more understand why people have said evil. The slight colouring works well and the blue in the eyes suggests a great coldness. This is a good and interesting picture IMHO, however due to it's somewhat 'dark' feel I would not want to see it too often.
Poor girl, I'm sure that she's quite sweet in reality and I hope that she doesn't take any of the comments here personally.
I like the photo, it's a great shot. Yet the coloring of the eyes seems too much, it's getting kitch (dunno if that word exists in English... too artificial, cheesy, maybe that's it).
I wonder how you made her look like this... Did you say "Imagine you have the opportunity to play tricks on your maths teacher" or something like that? No seriously, I'm interested in how you "handle" people while shooting.
I greatly prefer this one to the previous picture of her. The pale bluish skin tones and striking eyes remind me of the visual tone of the elves in the LOTR movies. The expression definitely leaves a lot of room for interpretation, which I believe is one quality of a great portrait. I'm up in the air about whether or not it's too soft. I like the crop and the elevated angle.
A very interesting photo of a friend of mine...she'll laugh her head off that people think she looks evil! In real life she's very sweet natured, though like all kids she has something of a wicked streak (and enjoys exercising it on me!). I'd also like to see the b&w version.
Beautiful eyes, which the picture makes.
Fantastic portrait. Love the contrast of the blue against the rest of the shot. Definitely has a spooky dark feel to it, but I like that.
Very dramatic! Wow. I like the selective colorization too! Your getting better at those portrait shots! ;)
She does look a little evil in this picture ... but it is interesting and good picture because of the color and blurness of it. Just wondering ... what kind of photoshop manipulation did you do on this pic?
As the Mother of this "evil" child (lol!!) I can honestly say that my first impression is....I love it. For me it completely captures the essence of her (I don't mean she has an evil side!, though she does get away with lots..). Smashing photo Dave. xx
maybe it's the feminist portion of me, but i don't see even an ounce of evil in her expression though i've been searching for it based on the comments. i see strength. will. purpose. determination. command. clarity. intelligence.
does our culture translate these characteristics into evil in a feminine portrait? or does it seem supernatural because she appears to posess these traits at an early age? something i personally applaud.
am i the only one who sees it this way, i wonder? maybe i'm being affected by the glass of sake i just had. ;) not that i'm attempting to turn this into a political debate. just more mystified by the recurring impressions that her look represents evil or something spooky.
beautiful, to me, either way. :)
Well now I see what your wife was talking about yesterday. I was wondering.... what did she said about herself after seeing the picture?. Or did she even saw the picture?
This is the first time I leave a comment here, but anyway: I like it alot, although I would've probably placed her a bit lower and more to the left in the frame, because she's looking up and to the right. Also, this would look great in a sepia-ish quadtone I think.
Good stuff though.
I just can't get enough of that type of portrait :-)
Those big blue eyes are really beautiful...
I like it! It seems like it should be a movie poster for one of those "little girl with supernatural powers" movies. The blue eyes and slightly magenta tint keep her from seeming completely evil. In straight B&W, she was probably pretty scary.
beautiful potrait, those eyes, amazing.
Like Kate, I don't see any evil in this portrait. I've looked a few times and I just don't see it. Mischief maybe, but not evil.
I really like this photo, but I'm not sure about the eyes; they might be just a bit much for me. Don't get me wrong: I like the effect, I just might have toned them down a bit. The softness is good, especially because of the clarity of the eyes...and I really like the tones.
I now understand what your wife meant :)). Evil mischief.
Reminds me of the innocence expressed the instance before a smile. Almost as though you can finish the smile in your head. Remarkable! Beautiful eyes as well.
I like the intensity of this shot - those eyes are spectacular. Compositionally though - with the eyes looking slightly upwards - it does feel a little top heavy. I don't think the impression here is mass murderer, but - thanks to the tone which I'm not keen on - more 'return from the dead'.
First, there have been a couple of questions regarding the post-processing of this shot, so ...
The original was run through Noise Ninja (as it was shot at ISO 800), then this layer was duplicated, Gaussian blurred by 15px and set to overlay blend mode. This ups the contrast and saturation and also adds a diffuse glow to the shot. The only editing done to this layer was to erase the eyes; i.e. the eyes in the final shot are 'original' whereas the rest of her face is enhanced.
The next adjustment layer is a channel mixer to extract the red channel. This layer is set to 79% opacity.
And finally there are two Curves adjustments, one for the overall image and a secondary one just for her eyes.
Second: I do think it's interesting that so many people came up with the idea of 'evil' or 'supernatural' and do wonder, along with kate, whether this is something to do with either our preconceptions about children or females more generally. Don't get me wrong, I can see why people would see the shot that way, but perhaps such an interpretation says as much about our preconceptions and the culturally available stereotypes we draw upon as it does about the shot itself.
Third: I did mention a black and white version, but I didn't keep it so can't put it up.
Louise: I'm glad you like it and I agree, it does capture something important about her :-)
it's still a little spooky. little bit scary, but a whole lot beautiful.
~creative and well edited...a stunner of a shot~
I think it looks too superficial without ANY sort of markings in the eyes, particularly in the thumbnail version. It makes it look like you painted them on, rather than the layer work you did. I like the photo except for the eyes. :/
i like this, dave. but her eyes are too soft for me to love it. it could be the lightening of the whites doing it to me, but i feel like i need glasses when i look at this too long.
Another very arresting image. I can sympathise with the comments that see an 'evil' or perhaps more appropriately a mischievous look here. Tilting the head down and looking up under the eyebrows with what appears to be a penetrating gaze is a classic way of conveying that feeling which works for either sex (think Damian in The Omen!).
I think the desaturated look may be contributing to this as I have a feeling it has been used recently in connection with a zombie film! That said I think there is much to like here, not all child portraits need to show a cliched picture of innocence. Having said that Dave, with a little much appreciated encouragement from you I had another crack at coming up with a decent portait of one of my own neices over Xmas here http://mattgcp.smugmug.com/photos/13298018-M.jpg I think this one probably ismore of a cliche though, I hope you don't mind me putting the link.
I am personally a strong beleiver of natural images and of images displayed as they were clicked. I do know you can do a whole lot with post processing and I just think that somehow the natural charm is somehow overshadowed sometimes.
Having said that, this is definately NOT one of those pictures. The shot is really really good (couldnt use 'beautiful' as its been repeated many times.) I love people shots for its so difficult to actually capture those candid expressions. I really am a learner but hope to get to your level soon. I want to get those eyes.... the ones that see the way you do. I strongly beleive thats a gift.
All the best and keep up the good work.
Knives locked in drawers and stop playing with her favourite doll.
It must be an "Omen", I hate to think what the "harsher" image would have looked like.
Great shot. Though, still rather intimidating.
Adorable portrait of a very beautiful young lady!
Thanks everyone, I was pleased with this one :-)
Here's an added data-point on the preconceptions thing:
My 6-year-old son saw the picture, and without being asked, commented that "That girl looks fierce and scary, but I don't think she'd hurt anyone". He then added that he thought she looked pretty.
I then showed him the earlier "pretty" shot, and asked him which one he preferred -- his answer was the "evil" one.
Ah this picture tells me what I already know, a child who gives you those cuddles without asking for them, a child who is bright, intelligent and the beauty that is within the child seems to shine through those adorable eyes whilst at the same time saying "Nana I know what you are thinking". Great picture.
I think the reaction this image gets as "evil" has everything to do with exposure to horror movies and the archetypes in them, and very little, if anything, to do with her gender. It reminded me also of Damien. I think the two things that for me create that impression is the tilt of the head a bit too much down resulting in seeing too much of the whites of her eyes as she looks up (which the processing further emphasizes), and the cool, desaturated tone. If her skin was warmed up a little she might not seem so much like the walking dead ;-)
Yet, sometimes I think she just looks coy. It's a very interesting photo, and I agree it's great to try to capture kids without the usual cliques.
great picture ....
I see no evil just an imp!
I have to disagree with others who see evil. I don't see that at all.
Could it be the pale, purple skin tones that resemble what Hollywood depicts as the walking dead? I have no idea.
I can only speak for myself in saying that she has more of a knowing or challenging look, than evil.
My comment after a bunch of other. Nothing really smart to say, just the fact that I adore this shot. It's just the kind of photo that seems almost perfect, no need to say much.
I don't see evil. I see a very intense amount of clarity and intelligence.
Beautifully done. The coloring in the eyes blends nicely, and it isn't overpowering, which is like a breath of fresh air because it's usually so overdone.
Know what I mean?
I love your work! :)
Ah, this is beautiful. (I don't think she looks evil, either.)
I saw this shortly after Jan. 29's "In Front of Our Eyes." Both of these are like seeing eyelashes for the very first time.
The subject hardly looks "evil," as stated by past comments. I have to agree with "barb": you can keep looking at this photo without losing interest!
You know, I don't think she looksl ike a mass murderer. I think she looks like she knows something you don't know, and she's teasing you. I like that picture, I like how a lot of people are getting different things from it. I think your really good.
I really love this one! I love the softness of her face, and the sharpness of her eyes. I also like that u can see the tiny veins in her eyes. Her little smerk is charming too.
they eyes are the key of this photo blended with the blur of her mouth...
Really amazing!Very good proportions between soft/glow and sharp/hursh
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