Split Face

Philippe Dame

Wow, I can’t believe this is it. 52 weeks later, here I am posting my final photo for this project. It made me sad to create the folder “52 Self Portrait” to store these final images. Thank you to all of you that have contributed photos and all those that have checked in regularly to follow our progress.

This week, I was inspired by this half-face or split-face photo that I came across (to see other creative ideas of this type, checkout this Flickr set):

I took three photos to create the final result. One straight on, one profile and one profile done as a silhouette to get an clean clipping mask in Photoshop. Here are the originals:

This is was shot with a single light, my 580EX II in a softbox. I used a reflector as the fill light. I had white seamless paper in the background. The rest is photoshop compositing.

The key to making this illusion work is to cut off the forward facing lips so they could be lips seen on your profile. You then swap out the nose for the profile nose. The biggest lesson here was that I should have lit my profiled nose the way I planned to use it. Simply turning 90 degrees to the light setup didn’t do that. Adjusting and blending the nose was most of the work in the end.

I look forward to seeing all your final submissions. Thank you for joining me on this learning experience. I learned 1000x more this year than I would have otherwise.


  • Jason

    Man… Every time I stare at this it looks different. Great concept! And what a way to end the project!

  • Adam

    WAAAYYY better than the one that gave you the idea!!  So well done.  I feel like I’m looking at an Escher creation! 

  • VT

    AMAZING!!!  This pic really took through the roof on 500px.  Well deserved recognition, Phil.  Thanks again for putting this project together for all of us.  For me personally, it really challenged me artistically and technically and although I wasn’t able to keep up with regular posts, it was a very worthwhile experience and I learned a great deal because of it.  

    I really admire your continued dedication throughout and your keen passion to share your knowledge with others through your weekly blog posts.  

    Vinh