The Everyday Genius of Your Artistic Voice: Part 7, Post-Processing

Let’s Talk Post-Processing: If You Dare!

Welcome back to The Everyday Genius of Your Artistic Voice! This is Part 7 of an 8-part series, exploring practical ideas (and the thinking behind those ideas) for anchoring your very own soul’s genius and artistic voice more deeply into your photography and life. Ambitious much? heh. Today we broach the touchy topic of post-processing.
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The Everyday Genius of Your Artistic Voice: Part 5, Art&Business

I decided that this series called for a big fat “Art&Business” section. Why? Because soooo many questions come up around this in general – even so more when folks try to reconcile “artistic voice” and how NOT to sell out when attempting to shift from hobbyist to entrepreneurial business maven.  Continue reading “The Everyday Genius of Your Artistic Voice: Part 5, Art&Business”

Reality, Art & The Slow Moving State of Flux

Slow Moving State of Flux

Haven In the Woods

CAUTION: DEEP THOUGHTS AHEAD!

I tend to think of reality as basically a really slow-moving state of flux. (slow relative to the speed of light, that is.)

You know how people once thought of solid matter as actually… solid? Only now we now that if you zoom in far enough, you can see that matter is made up of particles that are constantly moving. They have space in between them. Which means the whole mosaic of solid matter isn’t solid at all!

What’s more, if you apply say, heat to solid matter, many types of it either melt, cook, or shift into another form of matter altogether.

I tend to see reality the same way. Changeable. Shiftable. “The result of” something, not “what IS.” So if I don’t like my current reality selection – or want to refine it into something more pleasing to me – I apply my own kind of heat. That could be different thoughts, actions, feelings… because those are the ingredients, that when combined, become my current reality selection.

In my photography/art, I love creating different realities. I wish I could draw well enough to do it when it comes to art – but instead I use my camera as a sort of basic paintbrush and go from there. Sometimes the results look like what many refer to as “real”… sometimes they’re completely outside those lines.

I love both. Because I know that each is simply a different arrangement of molecules… with a different amount of “heat” applied… changeable at any moment.

Just like life.
Cue the credits…

The Players:

The “Reality” Selection: “Haven in the Woods”. Viewable here.
The Solid Matter: Really cool house in the woods in Soda Springs, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California.
The Paintbrush: Fujifilm X-T1/16-55mm lens. ISO 200, f/11.
The Easel: Really Right Stuff TVC34 tripod, BH-40 ballhead.
The Heat: Adobe Photoshop, Topaz Impression (a couple of different filters), Macphun Aurora HDR Pro, Alien Skin, NIK’s Viveza, my own textures.
The Result: Joy, happy heart, pleasant surprise, eagerness to do more; scene expressed in my own voice – as it wanted to be heard that day. If I did it again on a different day – it would likely be completely different.

Deep thoughts, over and out!

Doing “TheFIX” with Jan Kabili on TWiP!

I’ve been friends with the indomitable, completely awesome Jan Kabili since the early days of Google+. She’s part of the gifted group of photographers, artists, teachers and inspirers that I was privileged to meet when we all leapt into the great unknown of that fledgling social platform. Jan has the energy of a thousand, a ready, infectious smile and you may know her from Lynda.com where she’s one of the top instructors of Photoshop and Lightroom.

Jan now has a fabulous new podcast called “TheFIX” over at This Week In Photo dot com, where she talks with a variety of wonderful photographers about how they do their magic in-camera and in post-processing.

I was THRILLED when she asked me to join her! She asked me to share a bit about how I think about my photo processing, what tools I use … and as always, we laughed a lot and had a ball in this visit about creating art and inspiration with photography.

Click here to see the page on TWiP’s website… where you can also download the audio.

And for you one-stop-shoppers…  I hope you enjoy the episode on video, right here, right now.

Grin!

Speaking Of New Stuff in 2015…

More New Stuff!

When last we spoke, I sneak peeked VIDA. Still super stoked about that; should have more to report soon! But wait, there’s more…

I’ve got a few more projects brewing in various stages… but one of them IS ready to share with y’all. (I love telling you guys first!)  This one’s just fun. Y’know, surprising. Delightful. It’s something I’ve been developing and using on my own photos. And I’m creating them with the awesome Tanya Wallis.

This “something” is in the textures/hues/overlays arena. Oh I know what you’re saying; jeez, there are TONS of those out there! Believe me, I know. Between Tanya and me, we’ve used quite a few of them. They’ve been cool, but more and more I’ve been craving something “extra” out of them. None were truly delivering the magic sauce just the way I wanted them to. It’s so subjective, I know. The thing was, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, yet I could see what I was after in my mind’s eye; which is like having an itch you can’t quite scratch. Maddening! So I decided to see if I could create my own. Enter Textures, Round One.

I asked Tanya her opinion on my first pass. She basically suggested (so kindly, yet in her typical pull-no-punches Aussie sort of way) that I take them further. Y’know, go more KHutt-style with ’em. Long story short, it was like being given the keys to the candy store!  I went to town and painted it…well, a lot more colors than red! And y’know what? They started turning out some unexpected and pretty cool results. 

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The Arcanum: Bob Young

Being a Master in The Arcanum 

First, those of you who follow this blog know that I’m one of the 6 original Inception Masters in the Arcanum.
Back when it all first started, I wrote a two-part blog post about what it all meant to me: The Arcanum, Magical Academy of Artistic Mastery.

I’m including these links on each of these highlight posts, since new folks are coming on board every week. Wouldn’t want to leave you guys out!
Click here for Part One
Click here for Part Two.

Now, 9 months later, I’m highlighting my Level 20 grads on my blog. I’m doing it because each of them has been on an incredible journey of spirit, soul and creativity. Their stories need to be shared. I’m doing it because they were the first bunch to take the leap when the Arcanum was still a baby in beta. I think each one’s story is incredibly inspiring, each in their own unique way.

So far, I’ve shared the journeys of  Sandra Carlock and Dave Garber.

Meet Bob Young

So today, I’d like to introduce you to Bob Young.

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Study of a Girl… and the Muse

Blinders On, Blinders Off

The blinders came off.. finally!!

I’ve had this feeling over the past months. Something inside wanted to be outside. (it was a good thing, this isn’t a weird sic-fi psycho drama unfolding here or anything!)

I thought it was my inner muse… but even she seemed curious too. We both waited. And waited.
This “feeling” wanted to create images that were different from what I’ve been doing. Not instead of… but in addition to.

“Oh goody!” I was excited. Eagerly awaited these new ideas and vision. Then… nuttin’, honey.
I’m not the most patient sort by nature. But I decided that I would be this time. So I waited. Asked around. Here’s what I heard from:

The Muse: “Hey, I can’t wait to see what it is, either!”
My Intuition: “Oh yeaaahhhh… this is gonna be GOOD!”
God: [smiled]

So I waited. Kept the wheels in motion, making photos, making plans, learning, growing. You know, the usual.

StudyOfAGirl-sq
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Using a Gradient Fill Layer To Alter Color, Tone or Mood

The Courtyard at Castello di Amorosa

You can use them boldly or subtly, but the using a Gradient Fill Layer in Photoshop (I use CC) is a great tool for finishing touches on a photo. I’ll give you an example of subtle use from a photo I processed recently.

We visited Castello di Amorosa last fall for a photo shoot. A bunch of great images and 3 episodes of The Chat (owner Dario Sattui, photographer Annette Biggers, model Jennifer Freeman) came from that fabulous 2 day visit. I’m still smiling!

As our final evening was winding down, after a lovely glass of wine and noshes (The Castle is a fabulous winery), we wandering back toward our cars. The evening light was gorgeous… and the lights of the castle were on. Of COURSE, we had to shoot just a little bit more! This was a fun one of the courtyard… which I took with everyone tapping their toes, eager to drive down the valley for dinner. I could’ve stayed all night!


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Stop and Smell (also Texturize) the Flowers!


It’s end of summer and also the end of my unplanned bloggity-blog hiatus. You may not have even noticed; I know how busy you are. 😉 But I’m back now, with much I’m about to announce! Stay tuned for that.  But first: I thought I’d ease back into the swing by sharing one of my recent artsichord (like that word? I made it up. heh.) experiments. A triplet of roses, plus a neighbor; with one showing everybody else how it’s done.

My about-to-be-announced project started like they all do: me thinking “Oh, that’ll be a piece of cake!”… and ending up on a steeper learning curve, with more delays and challenges than I ever dreamed possible! But there’s universal intelligence at work for ya. If you knew how hard something was going to be going in, you’d probably not even start! Along the way, I had less time to process photos, less time for everything except total immersion.

Somewhere along the way though, I finally had to just stop, smell the roses and process some photos! Not surprisingly, my creative desires are emerging from my “voyage d’immersion” with cravings for some different flavors. Here, I ended up playing with textures, light and contrasts in an entertainingly (to me, anyway) new way. Figured I’d share the steps. This is ONE of the finished pieces, followed by each step along the way. There are about 10 of them. You might want to get a little coffee, glass of wine, a nosh. Here goes:

1-NIKReflectorGold
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Photo Processing Doldrums: Breakthrough!

The Inner Game of Photo Processing

I showed you a photo that happened kind of by accident – but was definitely an “inner game of processing” breakthrough for me here. When I came out of “the zone” and looked at my Photoshop layers, thinking about what prompted each one, it wasn’t a process I found easy to describe. Which is why I wanted to try! I have no idea if this is useful to y’alls, but this is basically how it went.

Here’s my original, which taunted me for months:

Ice-OriginalRaw Continue reading “Photo Processing Doldrums: Breakthrough!”