Me and My Machete

When I was a kid I build a lightsaber out of metal and wood and sprinted around our farm, pretending I was Luke Skywalker (still do, minus lightsaber and farm). I must admit that having your own machete is also quite cool. This boy in Papua New Guinea caught my eye with an intense look:


This image has been quite heavily processed as I felt it was a strong image that I wanted to make even stronger buy adding and subtracting a bit of light and drama. I used several curves layers masked in and a few Jedi tricks and after many different takes, I found the dark desaturated look I was after. What is your opinion of Me and My Machete?

11 Comments on “Me and My Machete”

  1. Hope he don't cut his fingers! The image is amazing. Almost duotone, but then again strong, dark colors. Reminds me of the colors they use in holocaust movies, to clarify the horror. Maybe it's also because he looks a bit sad? There is a thousand stories in this image. Well done! /Gert

    1. Thanks Gert, much appreciatedt! There is a few photoshop tricks to this desaturated yet saturated look. Almost the entire image is quite de-saturated except for red tones and then the skin de-saturated only very little.

  2. Brilliant, intense portrait. I'd rate this one as a favourite to date. Even that slice of sunlight adds to the feel of it, and for me, the story behind the eyes.

    1. Thanks fellow Jedi. I am really, really happy about this one too. Been in my Photoshop queue for a long time as I loved his eyes but kept doing different versions until I nailed. Would be an excellent image for a tutorial if I ever had the time to type it!

  3. hey Flembot,

    Your work in this genre is really improving mate – top stuff !

    So there is a new masking technique as well… the list of tutorials for here sounds like it is growing 😉


    T 🙂

    1. Thank you Tony, I really appreciate that. I am really practicing and sharpening Photoshop skills to bring out the best of these portraits. This one has about 10 layers at least and would make an extra tutorial. If I dictate it, someone want to type it for me???? 🙂 Not so much new masking technique btw as it is the fact that I only just now discovered the Mask panel in Photoshop and how amazingly helpful that is in fine tuning a mask without having to draw it over and over again.

  4. Great portrait, I am really liking the desaturated look.

    As for the tutorials just grab a copy of Camtasia and record your screen as you do it. A way lot easier than typing the thing up 🙂

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