split personalities

The Five Tims


Ever feel like there is more thatn one person bottled up inside of you? Yestrerday, I was having some of those feelings. This extreme heat is driving me crazy. Part of me wanted to go outside and brave the heat just to take some pictures. But, every time I would go outside, the heat would drive me back into the air conditioning. A heat index of 110F will drive you nuts. Another part of me just wanted to take a nap. Still another part of me was bored and wanted to get up and do something, anything!

That is when I decided to make this image. From beginning to end, an hour and a half for photography and photoshop. Not bad at all. Now that I've finished it, I want to shoot more shots & modify the image. I also have new ideas for other multiple self portrait images. I love it when a little bit of creativity gets the blood going and leads to new ideas.

In the end, going a bit stir crazy led to some great results. The key was acting on that "getting up and doing something, anything" feeling. I am glad that I went with the active personality and not the nap personailty. Though, I have to tell you, I am the king of naps!

Want to make a similar image of your own? Their are probably plenty of methods to choose from but, here is how I did it:


1. Set up your studio. For me this meant moving some furniture around and selecting a big blank wall.

2. Get your outfits ready for your "costume" changes.

3. Set up your camera on a tripod and test out your lighting. The more you perfect your lighting at tis stage, the less work you will have to do in your photo editor.

4. I selected an aperture of f8 to ensure that I had a fairly wide DOF. I wanted all of the "Tims" to be in focus.

5. I shot an image of the chair in AF mode. With the image in focus, I switched to MF mode to lock in the focus.

6. I had decided to shoot five "positions" of myself & placed a pencil on the floor to mark where each position would be centered.

7. I then shot several poses for each position, using the camera's timer. I tried using the remote but, every test image showed the remote in my hand & that is not what I wanted.

8. I then downloaded the images and brought my favorite image for each position into Photoshop by placing each of them on a seperate layer. I stacked the layers so that the over laping positions were on top of the underlying positions.

9. I added a layer mask to each layer and used a black brush to remove the portions of the layer that I did not want to show. This allowed the underlying layers to show through.

10. When I was satified that I had all of the layers the way that I wanted them, I copied and merged the copied layers into a single layer. This allowed me to retain the original layers just in cae I needed them again.

11. Finaly, I made all of my normal curves adjustments for color, tone, contrast, etc. on the new merged layer. I also used the healing brush and clone stamp tool to remove or blend any inconsistencies. 

Of all the raw images, this one was my favorite. Why? Because I look skinny. Plus, how cool is that pose?



That folks, was all. Not a whole lot of work for such a fun image. If you give it a try, post your results in the comments. I would love to see your split personalities as well.


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