This is photo that I took for a competition with the theme "close-up". I didn't have a digital camera of my own at the time (to speak of), so I took the photo with an Olympus digital camera that I borrowed from a brother-in-law. I converted the photo to black & white by playing around with various channels - mostly it came from the K channel in CMYK mode with a bit of the other channels mixed in to avoid the completely blank areas that you get with the K channel by itself. The detail in the photo was a little soft for my liking, so used the pen tool in two ways to help to improve it a little:
- I used the pen to create masks along some of the lines that needed to be sharpened up a little (for example along the eyelids, nostrils, etc.). Ironically the masks needed to be blurred a little (with the blur brush) because the lines directly from the pen tools were a bit too sharp on their own. I used the resulting masks to sharpen things up a little by lightening / darkening along the edge of the mask as appropriate.
- I draw paths along each of the eye-lashes (ok, so I had too much time on our hands!) and stroked the paths with a black brush using simulated pressure. This resulted in reasonably realistic, sharp lashes which were a significant improvement on the originals which were a bit too blurred and grainy for my liking (although, again, I had to reintroduce some blurring in places to soften them back down a little).