Prized Portraits

Portraits are a major subject for me. I’m asked frequently to give people mementos to frame and keep. Subject matters vary enormously and you’d be surprised at the number of different things people have asked me to work with (I am sometimes).
One thing that is very common is being supplied an image from a mobile/cell phone. Modern phones are getting better with slightly larger photo capabilities. But it is not just the mega-pixel count that is important. Image quality relies on a number of different criteria and one of the major failings of phone cameras, quite obviously really, is the lens. It is always very small and will be a long time before it matches anything near even a hand-held, point and click digital camera. Never-the-less it IS possible to take great shots on a phone and most of the time (not always) it is possible to do something.

Here’s an example of one I did recently for a much loved Rottweiler called Molly. This first picture is the original small image supplied from a phone…
Original Molly image
The fur is quite matted because she had just been bathed, the eyes are rather dull and her left eye has actually faded into obscurity. The shadow area of the photo is in fact quite well exposed but this means the highlights are way over exposed. The original was just 440 x 327 pixels @ 72ppi and was of course in JPG format. So in order to make something worth keeping I had to perform some magic…
Molly's final portrait
The end result is 3800 x 2200 pixels @ 300ppi capable of printing with confidence up to about 20-24 inches wide (on a good quality stock of course). It is a little soft at that size but that’s mainly because I softened the fur to help it look a bit dryer. I didn’t worry too much about the exposure and sort of ‘cheated’ a bit by covering up much of the over-exposed areas. The end result though was well received and made me feel good that the owner went away with a worthy memory to be framed and displayed with pride.

I hope you like it even half as much as the owner. Come on over to the site and take a look. Drop me a line via the contact and I’ll see what I can do for you too. I look forward to hearing from you all.


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