Amanda Lakey of Unique So Chic has asked me to be part of the Virtual Blog Tour. Next Monday, June 23rd, my other photoblog, Hummingbird Dreams Photography will be featured. I have four questions to answer with the final question being “How does your creating process work?” I thought I’d use this post as a peek into my process.
To start, I have a very active imagination. Secondly, when I’m out with my camera I’m on the lookout for interesting features and/or textures. For today’s image I happened to see this interesting tree off the trail and down in a gully. As I had my camera on the tripod and was setting up the shot, an older woman was about to walk past when she asked what I was taking a picture of. I pointed out the tree and she just said, “Oh.” Granted it looked kind of plain, but what I saw in my head and more importantly, what I felt, was this area was very special.
Granted the three images have been sitting on my hard drive until recently when I used the 15-day trial of Google Nik Collection (HDR Effex Pro 2) to create the HDR from the bracketed images. Its almost time for the fun part…while on the hike I had taken some abstract images, one of red and green poison oak leaves while others were of the trail that had lots of shadow and light. A while back I had found a square piece of pinkish-greenish plastic wrap/wrapping paper/tissue paper used for gift giving; I finally got around to photographing it the other day trying all kinds of different settings and movements.
Here are the images described above and used on different layers with different blending modes:
The next step in my creative process takes place on the computer with my favorite software, also known as my digital playground. To get rid of the distracting elements in the main image I opened it up in Perfect Photo Suite 8.5 and used the photo retouching tools found in Perfect Layers. Once it was cleaned up I took it into Perfect Effects and added the following effects on different layers – HDR look, Sunshine (Radiance), Glow, Adjustment Brush, Photo Filter, Blur (motion bottom). Now it was time to get creative with the four images on different layers with different blending modes.
Once it started looking closer to what I had envisioned I opened up the file in PaintShop Pro X6 Ultimate. I then went through all of the presets in Topaz Labs’ Star Effects until I finally settled on one that I liked. After looking at the image with the lights across the upper limb I felt I wanted some smaller lights; so back into Star Effects I went. The smaller lights are a little more subtle. After PaintShop Pro I ended up back in Perfect Photo Suite 8.5 and added a few more changes in Perfect Effects, unfortunately I didn’t write down what I used, nor did I save it as a preset…doh!!! My final step was to bring it back into Lightroom and make some minor adjustments to the shadows and highlights.
It’s still not 100% to my liking, but since I have so many hours into it and needed a post for today, I thought I would share what I’ve been working on.