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Not Taken in Seattle

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The camera in the leftmost picture was in My Bio page, and that is me in the center (so serious), but I wasn't in Seattle at the time. I was in New Jersey, where I live. Two years ago I was by the Space Needle to take the picture on the right.

I wanted to illustrate how digital restoring can combine elements from different photos to create a whole new reality. So why is the picture of me backwards? I took it in a mirror which was propped up on a railing in my backyard. Then, I reversed the image to normal orientation. You'll notice it has a wide-angle "lensey" quality that made me look too "penguinish." My old digital camera was set at a wide view, for more depth of field (greater range of focus). Using Adobe Photoshop, I corrected the perspective to even up the scale of the picture from top to bottom. Of course I needed to color correct the blue cast from the shaded late afternoon light. I made the portrait a lot more cheery, I think, by morphing my mouth, cheeks and the lower part of my eyes to more of a smile.

I silhouetted (created a mask around) the camera and brought it into my portrait. After carefully sizing the camera to scale with my hands, I dropped it into a window created in the file. With some tweaking and fudging, I cleaned up any rough edges around the camera, most notably the palm of my left hand, which had been covered by the camera strap.

I silhouetted myself with camera in hand, and inserted that into, or I should say, on top of the Space Needle picture. Making specific selections (kind of a halfway silhouette), I made the building to the left a slightly out of focus and the Space Needle even more so to give the feeling of distance and depth.

I adjusted a filter setting to direct a soft yellowish light on myself, as well as the camera, to echo the light cascading off of building to the left of the Space needle. Finally, I put a subtle round reflection in the camera lens of the flanking areas in the Seattle shot to add to the illusion that the camera was there. So don't say a picture never lies. At the same time, I believe, restoration is an approach to the truth.

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