how to transform a bathroom mirror self-portrait to a studio-like photo (and get a haircut for free) / by Georgios Karamanis

This is not meant to be a tutorial, I just thought it would be cool to show the steps that led to creating my all time favorite self-portrait (as of  yesterday). I use Lightroom for editing, but I won't go into technical details, the process is far more interesting and can be done in most of the photo editing programs.

First, the obligatory before/after image.

before
after

(continued on next page)

1. This is the original photo I took in my bathroom.

tut-1.jpg

2. I started by fixing white balance and brightness/blacks levels.

tut-7.jpg

3. I tried different brightness and contrast settings but wasn't satisfied. The image was lacking something, it was too dull. So I thought I should make it high key instead and I dodged my eye a bit.

tut-11.jpg

4. Next, it was time for some split-toning. I like mixing "cold" and "warm" tones (mostly to the "cooler" side) so I went for some green and red.

tut-15.jpg

5. The right part of the image was a bit too dark compared to the rest, so I added some "light" by using a graduated filter with added brightness.

tut-17.jpg

6. I was quite happy at this point, but there still was something bugging me. The background was distracting. I started dodging the lines and it was then that it struck me. Why not completely white out the background to make it look like a big light source? I also changed the color to give an overall greenish tint.

tut-18.jpg

7. Finally, some fine brush work and the haircut!

tut-19.jpg