From Clicking to Creating – Week 4 of 2018
This week is all about getting creative. The photo prompt for the Dogwood 52 is Quite Moment, in the creative category. The description for the creative category is, Creative: When this category comes up, you really have room to express yourself. You can interpret the assignment literally or figuratively. Unlike the other categories, the idea of this category is to let your artistic impression shine.
Where we are in the desert is pretty quite, but at sunset, even more so. The sound of the sun setting is generally all we hear. The other night the clouds were amazingly creative, and the depth in the mountains to the west only added to the whole scene.
Nobody can compete with nature when it comes to creativity. This image needed very little editing. I brightened the shadows to enhance the mountains, but that was about it.
The 2 Lil Owls prompt this week is Windows and Doors.
We are 15 miles from Quartzsite, Arizona which is a pretty small town. There isn’t an abundance of cool buildings to shoot here, except maybe this old gas station. We have driven past this hundreds of times, and I have never stopped. When I saw what the prompt was for this week, I made a point of taking my camera and stopping here.
Below is the original image, and I’m going to share with you how I made the final image.
I knew I wanted to give it an old look, and that I wanted to add a texture to the photo. While still in lightroom I straightened the photo, and did minor adjustments with the exposure. It’s always best to do these adjustments in lightroom before moving the photo to another program. Since lightroom is a non destructive editing program, every time you send the photo to another program, it will make a copy of the original, and the copy will be a TIFF file, and not RAW anymore. Meaning, that back in lightroom you lose some editing ability.
This shows the original, and the copy in lightroom.
This is the photo in photoshop with all the layers on the right hand side. First I wanted to give it a cool effect so I used Google Nik Efex, that’s the little white box in the bottom right. When you download the free Nik collection you get the box in Photoshop, and you can also access Nik with lightroom. I love the Nik collection because there are so many useful tools. There is Dfine, which reduces noise, Silver Efex is my favorite for black and white, Analog Efex has cool filters, and this filter is in Color Efex. When using Nik in photoshop it simply adds the layer.
(click images to enlarge)
This is what Nik looks like opened. It’s the same in either photoshop, or lightroom, this is lightroom. You can see all the filter options on the left hand side. And this is just the Color Efex.
It’s easy to use Nik Efex in lightroom. Simply right click the image in lightroom and a dialog box opens. Hover over “Edit in” and the other editing programs will appear in a fly out menu, photoshop included if you have it. Click which program you want, and it will open like it is in the image above. Do your adjustments, click save, and it will be saved as a copy in lightroom.
I took the photo to photoshop, which you can see below, because I knew ahead of time I wanted to add a texture layer, and moving it once is the best option.
In this image you can see the texture layer on the photo. I have the texture layer opacity set to Soft light, and if you click on this drop down menu you can see all the other options for that particular layer.
I know this sounds like a lot, but once you learn it’s really not that hard. If you have lightroom, I recommend downloading Google Nif Efex. This started out as a $300 dollar program. Then Google bought it, and 2 years ago decided to offer it for free. They stopped supporting the program, but it has been bought by another company. You can get the download here.
And if you’re paying the monthly fee to Adobe to have lightroom, you might as well have photoshop too. There is so much that you can do in photoshop, that isn’t possible in lightroom alone. And it’s the same monthly fee, either way.
I learned about working with texture layers from Denise at 2 Lil Owls. I googled texture layers a couple years ago, and her sight came up. When you go to her website a box will pop up offering a free texture workshop if you enter your email. This was great information, and she explains everything so well. I also like being on her email list, because she sends out newsletters with good information. Denise makes beautiful texture layers, and sells them on her site. There are many places to get textures, and of course you can take a picture of something textured and make your own. The link for her website is here.
What have you guys created this week? Some great stuff I’m sure.