Like many of my subjects, our niece does not like to have her picture taken. She’s been around me and my cameras her whole life, but now as a teenager she’s developed stealth techniques like the hoodie coming over her face whenever she sees me approaching with a camera.
I was only able to sneak a quick shot before she covered her whole face. While trying to work with what I got instead of what I wish I had, I liked the image’s intriguing gesture, but the mood was all wrong. Taking a clue from the movie posters I have seen for the book and movie series “Twilight” (which is one of her favorites), I decided to rework the image into a more mysterious and sinister quality. This was not going to be a pretty picture.
The transformation involved darkening the image, while holding and enhancing detail and attention to the eye by extensive vignetting of the whole image, and a few layers of color shifting to cool down the tone. The eyes were still not “alive”, so I also added a “full moon” reflection to the pupils. For comparison, here is the original image.
I wasn’t sure if she was going to be too happy with it because the image reminded me of a vampire hiding her fangs. To my surprise, she liked it and even called it “awesome”, a rare compliment. Go figure.