Age Progression and Fugitive Identification Portraits by D'Lynn Waldron, PhD ©99
How I Work
Sat 1 also wanted to do a feature story on me doing the work, with their cameras
in my studio, but I told them photographing portrait painting is like watching a
glacier melt, and besides I don't want any personal publicity. So instead I gave
them a set of images showing the work at different stages.
__ Because this whole set of portraits was done in just
three days, they are not the quality work I normally do, however I do like the picture
of the toddler, which has been widely featured in Germany. (See Illustration.)
To do my digital paintingsI use a fast Mac with a lot of RAM and hard drive space,
Photoshop 5.5, a Wacom tablet .
__ Normally it takes me about 25 hours to do a good
quality photo-realistic portrait, and the work is spread over a week to let me look
at it with fresh eyes and for it to go back and forth to the client.
__ I always work in close consultation with the client
to get the features as they image they would be, and to get the right eye color and
hair color, which are rarely accurate in a snapshot.
__ I e-mail the work in progress to the client as screen-size
jpegs, for corrections and suggestions. The actual file is huge; often 72 megabytes.
__ The client gets a wide choice of hairstyles, which
I take as screen capture thumbnails from Cosmopolitan Virtual Makeover and composite
with a thumbnail of the face. After the client chooses the hair style and color,
I paint the hair from scratch as digital art. The client also gets to choose the
background and clothing.
__ I do the output on my Epson Stylus Photo inkjet on
glossy paper, usually 8 x 10, but sometimes in 11 x 17 size. For larger size prints
I use my Epson 1520, though I do not like the skin tones as well. I also give the
client, at no charge, a CD with all my files, plus the scans I have made of their
__ I always scan the photographs and return the originals
the same day I get them- (hey, this is earthquake country, not to mention tidal waves,
as I live right over the ocean, and I don't want the responsibility.) With one of
a kind photographs, I request that the client take them to a Kodak photographic copier
and send me that print (Color Xerox copies are useless!). Four to six snapshots can
be grouped on one 8 x 10 sheet.
My photo restoration work involving painting in faces is also very much in demand.
Jerry Bruckheimer (producer of "The Rock", etc.,) came to me to make a
22 by 28 inch portrait to fit an antique oval frame, based on an old family snapshot
that had barely more than shadows to show the structure of the face and placement
of the features. This portrait was an exercise in forensic reconstruction. Mr. Bruckheimer
was very pleased with the results, which now hang in his living room.
__ I usually do my portraits from scratch as digital
art. As source material, I use pictures of the subject and of the subject's relatives
at the same age, and at the target age. (See
more detail in this pop-up window.) The work combines portrait painting with
Next, Other software for
Aging Photographs. . .
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