Leigh Righton, Photography

My Process: Demetri Photo Sketch

I had someone message me about the Demetri Martin photo-doodle I posted a little while back.  He wanted to show the image to his students, which I thought was pretty cool.  So I figured, why not put together a post that shows a rough breakdown of my process for them, and post it here in case there were others who were interested as well.  I haven’t done anything like this before, so bare with me.

When I had the opportunity to photograph comedian, Demetri Martin, I had terrible lighting, terrible background, and less then a minute to get a shot.  No pressure at all!  Good light is key in photography, so it was no surprise to me that I walked away less then satisfied considering all these factors working against me.  Woe is me, I wasn’t at all happy with the photograph itself, but I loved his expression and I have a hard time calling an opportunity like that a failure.  So I thought I would try to turn it into an image I liked by getting creative.

1.  Using regular printer paper, I printed out the photograph and taped it to my window with another blank page on top to trace.  Tracing paper would have been much more ideal, but I was inspired to work with what I had.


2. So here you can see my terrible photo and my terrible tracing job.

(You can also see I did a terrible job of removing the background from the photograph, but it didn’t matter)


3. I took a photograph of the drawing with my pencil and eraser on top of the page and brought it into photoshop.


3. Opened the original photograph of Demetri in photoshop and dropped the photo mentioned in step 2 on top.  The images didn’t match exactly because I don’t have mad tracing skillz, but I used the transform tool and dropped the opacity so I could line them up as closely as possible.


4. With the sketch layer on top, I used a mask on this layer and brushed away the white page where it was covering his face.  This allowed the photograph below to show through and I could leave some of the ink in areas where I liked it.


5.  Using an adjustment layer I turned it black and white.


6. I went through and made a lot of minor adjustments (long and boring to explain, just personal stylizing) to bring out the contrast, brighten the eyes etc. Then I ran it thru a filter that gave the image, and particularly the paper, a texture I liked.

Processed with VSCOcam with x1 preset


If you have any questions about anything that I skimmed over, feel free to email me leighrighton@gmail.com



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