Natalia Kuternoga

Model: Natalia Kuternoga

Model: Natalia Kuternoga

The Process

  • At first I shot photos of the model, Natalia Kuternoga in the studio of the Polish photographer Jacek Ura.
  • After the photo shoot I did some basic adjustments to the photo in Adobe Lightroom, exported the result and opened it in Adobe Photoshop.
  • The first thing I did in Photoshop was to make selections to separate the model and background.
  • Then I created a displacement map from a photo I took of a worn down graffiti wall in an old fort near Krakow in Poland.
  • I added the displacement map plus a few details from a color splash photo.
  • Separated two copies of the models left eye. Changed the settings, dodge and burned and finally merged the layers when I had my wanted result.
  • Brushed in a couple of leaves from the standard Photoshop brushes
  • I then changed the overall colors of the photo by adding several layer masks (the following numbered list is reversed, so # would be the bottom, # 5 on top):
  1. a black & white layer
  2. gradient map red/orange set to color and with lowered opacity
  3. copy of gradient map set to soft light and a very low opacity
  4. a gradient fill ranging from dark to light green and set to soft light
  5. a color balance layer with a medium opacity and individual settings for the shadows, mid-tones and highlights
    • The first layer was set to screen mode with a high opacity before I brushed out the unwanted parts leaving the effect basically on the left side of the photo.
    • The flames was added as 3 layers from two different shots I have in my catalog.
    • The second layer is another photo of flames, set to darken and medium opacity. Also on this layer I brushed away the effects using a layer mask.
    • The third flame layer is a copy of the second, but now set to luminosity with a medium strong opacity (and off course with an individual layer mask like all the other layers).

Now the image looks something like what I wanted it to look, so it’s time to go through all the layers and layer masks, change the opacity if needed, brush out masks, and do minor adjustments. I decided to make another copy of the eye, create a selection, border the selection and paint a white circle. I sat the blend mode to lighter color and lowered the opacity and fill drastically,  so that it left a hint of some crazy iris but without becoming too dominant.

Model: Natalia Kuternoga.

Photo, execution, idea, design, layout: Cardinal Guzman

This was my entry for WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge: Hue.

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28 thoughts on “Natalia Kuternoga

  1. Excellent image! Slightly sinister, certainly disturbing! This is Art… I want to start creating composite images, but not a clue at present! Reading through your process, I have no idea what a displacement Map is, for starters

    • No problem. It’s nice to share the knowledge. I went to Krakow on a photo shoot with other photographers, so I wanted to mention the process for them so that we’d might learn something from each other.
      If I had the time I’d make a proper illustrated tutorial (like I’ve done on a few subjects earlier), but unfortunately that’s way too time consuming.

  2. Natalia has a very expressive face 🙂 Your use of displacement map technique has yielded some unexpectedly good result here. Nice to see you combine your favourite subjects in one photo – graffiti and human body 🙂

    • Thanks Paula. As you know I love working in Photoshop with images, especially when I have a good photo to start off with. A good foundation is alpha omega.

  3. Pingback: My Best Photos 2013? | Cardinal Guzman

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