“Surreal Selfies,” so to speak. These self-portraits combine two separate photographs into a single image, each with a unique blend between the images.


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The premise behind the first “split portrait,” as I dubbed them, was to create an image that showed both the before and after stages of my annual haircut. The end result was a unique image that revealed more than just a newly shaved head, but a personal aesthetic of self perception. That first image spawned the short series seen here.

The workflow for each image consisted of working on an image for a few hours at a time. I started by testing out different photos and blend modes to see what might create the most interesting image, and then I gradually refined the image over the course of a week. I prefer working for two to three hours at a time before taking a break, since that gives me the opportunity to come back to the project with fresh eyes.

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Nathan Ikon Crumpton Split Portrait 1

The first image, created before & after my annual haircut.

Nathan Ikon Crumpton Split Portrait 2

The following year I made a similar photo, but I reversed the color arrangement: this time the black and white photo is the one taken post-hair cut.

Nathan Ikon Crumpton Split Portrait 5

This year I chose to do something a bit different: I combined a headshot taken after my summer haircut with a headshot in my snow goggles, helmet, and facemask after a big powder day. The time difference between the photos was over 3 years, as the snow shot was taken in the spring of 2011, and the headshot behind it was taken in the summer of 2014. I also used a softer blend for this photo since the two photos are so starkly different.

Nathan Ikon Crumpton Split Portrait 4

I liked the “Winter/Summer” theme that the 3rd portrait created, so I decided to make a full-body one. This soft-blend image combines a shot from my snowboard on the left, taken in Colorado at over 12,000 ft during the spring of 2014, and a skateboarding shot at sea-level in Hawaii during the summer of 2014.

Nathan Ikon Crumpton Split Portrait 5

And here’s my latest piece, with the two images separated by 3 years and over 3,300 miles. The black and white photo was taken in Hawaii during the summer of 2014, while the longer haired version (processed using a color fade technique based on old film development) was taken in the summer of 2011 in Colorado. Although it looks like a simple blend, the final image had 12 layers with 8 masks.