Monday, September 14, 2009

Variations on a theme.


I shot this photo (a Kodachrome slide) many years ago when I worked at a local newspaper. It was a photo-illustration for a story on women and handguns.

Back then (late 1980s) once it came out of the developer, there wasn't much one could do to manipulate the image, but now, with Photoshop & NIK filters it is possible to take an old image and drop it into the computer machine and change it to one's heart's content.

Sure, that is hardly news, that photos can be manipulated in Photoshop, but most amateur photographers either don't know how or are reluctant to take an image they like and experiment with it to the extreme.

With that in mind, I scanned in the slide (via a Canon "Canoscan 8400F scanner) and began to work on it tosee what I could do - in just a few minutes.

The first thing I did was to use the cloning tool to clean up a few blemishes, then I applied a NIK Coloe Effex Pr0 3.0 "glamour glow" and "blur vignette" filters.

I liked the result - giving it a kind of mysterious film noir quality, but I didn't like the way it blurred the gun, so I carefully erased parts of the top layer to show the sharper bottom layer below it. This put the emphasis on the gun and also toned down her hand which (in my opinion) looked to big and almost man-ish.

Better - but I wanted to take the image further. I decided I wanted it to have a more illustrated look so I used the posterization filter built-in to any version of Photoshop.

Here it is colorized with the NIK "Bleach By-Pass" plus the addition of a orange graduated filter.

I also cropped it a bit.

Last but not least, I took it to the extreme - wanting it to not have any photographic look at all and applied the NIK filter "Old Paper."

This gave it the look I was looking for, like a pulp fiction cover.

So as you can see, there's a lot of experimenting you can do using Photoshop filters that can literally transform any photo from blah to ha!

Just make sure you save a copy of your original images and only work on a copy!

As always your comments are welcome.

-Steve Douglass