Perfect Inspiration: The "Signature" Episode

I was honored and thrilled when Brian Matiash as me to do an episode for his Perfect Inspiration series at OnOne Software. I’ve posted the video tutorial portion below… and of course, you can find the whole thing at the link I just gave. There were a  handful of us he that asked to create episodes. The rest of were weekly episodes he created himself. This year-long series has been positively inspired. Better said, Brian Matiash is positively inspiring! In everything he does, he gives back. He gleefully brings people along for the most wondrous ride of learning all things photography. It’s his deepest passion, the thing he could do 24/7 and never call it work. Brian’s such a great friend and I was just so pleased to contribute to his utterly fantastic project. There is a wealth of inspired information over at Perfect Inspiration… all for free! So go on, what are you waiting for? Get over there and start soaking it all in. 😀 Through the magic of the internet, the video portion also appears here: (backstory below)

Here’s some of the back story about this episode.
I’ve taught everything I’ve ever done. That includes (at different points in my life) equestrian sports, figure skating, dance, aerobics, acting, voice. So it was only a matter of WHEN I’d be adding photography to the list. It’s gradually been happening, through informal hangouts on Google+ about photo processing, Trey Ratcliff’s New Zealand Photo Adventure – and now with this Perfect Inspiration piece. I’ve been somewhat reluctant in the past, since photography is my art, my happy place, what I do for my heart and soul. But as my dad taught us; there is no point in hoarding knowledge. It’s meant to be shared. And since I’ve been increasingly asked  to do just that – I guess it’s time. And I’ve become excited about it!

So I learned Screenflow Pro. This is an awesome program for creating tutorials. As a piece of software, it’s not hard to learn. As a work/thought flow – it’s quite challenging! There is a whole strategy to putting one of these together that you can’t quite appreciate until you go to do one. It took me several hours over two days to get it right… but I’m happy, because now I’ve got it and can create more! Which I plan to do. I love creating stuff.

The “Signature” thing is something I’m passionate about. My whole background is in performance and the arts. Success there is all about what YOU can bring that’s unique, different and “Wow”. In one way, this is simple. If you understand that anytime you fully, authentically and freely show up as YOU… that in and of itself IS unique, different and “Wow”. Like anything though, doing that isn’t always so easy.

In voiceover, my best mentor and coach is Marice Tobias. She has a fantastic way of describing and teaching “signature”. Yes, she teaches this concept to voice professionals… but it applies across the board to just about anything you do that is better done with your own personal stamp imprinted upon it. Like photography.

Talking about it is one thing, but how DO you bring this signature stamp of yourself to your work, really? How, specifically, can that guide you to which tools to use – and to what purpose? That’s a good – and loaded – question. So for this Perfect Inspiration episode, I decided to use an image that lent itself to a rather literal translation from my own life. Also one that I could process exclusively using OnOne Software’s processing tools. Mind you, I don’t approach every image in just this way… each one is different, including the tools, techniques and plugins I use. Some are more impressionistic, some are simpler, others are deeper/more global… even about someone or something else entirely. It varies tremendously. But it always helps to have a really simple, clear model to establish a base camp. Because your world view of life really does shade and color everything you think, say and do. Showing how that can apply to processing was what I was going for in Episode 51 of Perfect Inspiration.

Click on the photo to see it high res:

TheBridgeToSomewhere

3 thoughts on “Perfect Inspiration: The "Signature" Episode

  1. Karen, it’s always helpful for us budding enthusiasts to get an up close and personal glimpse of the thought process behind editing a photo. I for one would really appreciate more of these glimpses, especially for landscapes. Your process also gave me an excellent hands-on feel for Perfect Effects.

    I live in Benicia and would love to join you on a photowalk or meetup sometime.

    Thanks, Dan

  2. I enjoyed your post very much. Especially how you wove your personal process into your choices in painting your image. So often in photography the image stands alone and the photographer, witness is never mentioned. It is so refreshing to hear your complete personal process in developing your image. I also learned to paint more. Thanks so much and Aloha from Molokai… Rikki

    1. Hey thanks Dan! Yes, it’s my plan to do more of these sorts of things. They’re pretty time consuming to make, so I’ll be spreading them out some. I’m really glad you got some ideas out of it!
      As for photowalks, are you on Google+? There are a couple of groups in SF and Santa Cruz whom I join up with from time to time… they post events on G+. They’re fun!

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