Thursday, March 31, 2016

Inspiration Thursday

Tomorrow marks the third anniversary of my retirement. Having worked in a creative profession and a volatile industry (Architecture & Construction) my challenge was to find something interesting and inspiring to do to fill my time. I knew that I was going to miss the creative people and process of design as well as the daily challenges of adjusting the design to real world conditions. I found my inspiration in photography. I have always been interested in the pursuit of this art form but never really devoted any serious time to the effort. I bought my first really good 35mm camera when I was in the military, serving in Vietnam. Since then, I have always owned a good camera and the camera was always capable of doing more than I could push it.
The real inspiration breakthrough came with the digital age and PhotoShop Elements. Not only could I capture the image, but now I had control over the final outcome that the world would see. Over the past decade the program has gotten more sophisticated and now Google has made their NIK filters available free of charge. More inspiration. One thing that hasn't changed is that my camera and now my editing program are still much more capable than myself. That's okay. I'm enjoying this learning curve.
Here is an image that I captured a few weeks ago at a local railroad track.

After cropping the image a little and adding a couple of NIK filters to give some age and texture, a whole new mood is created.
 Here I went back to the original image and added the Tonal Contrast filter.
Taking the previous image, I converted it to "vintage", added a little copper and some grain for a truer vintage look.

Finally I took the original image, added the Tonal Contrast filter and a slight Vignette Filter. It's pretty easy to overdo the vignette so I kept it very subtle here. Then...
I converted it to black & white and added a Tonal Enhancer filter. I think this gives the image a gritty look like no other. Thank you Google for providing us "Picture Takers" with so many inspiring options. The Nik filter collection is an add-on program that runs inside of PhotoShop, PhotoShop elements and possibly other editing software. Check out Google and see if the Nik collection is compatible with your editing software. Be inspired.
And now, our inspirational song of the week. Have a blessed day.


  1. You've been retired 3 years? Wow, that went by fast.

    I've always enjoyed your photography. Love the black and white one the very best.

    Loved the video as always.

    Have a fabulous day my friend. ☺

  2. Has it been three years??? I guess so.

    I love your monkeying around with the image. I am paying the monthly fee for PS but not using it much. The Topaz software I have works inside both Corel Draw and PS so I am going to have to switch over and try the new Google filters. From what I read it was the same company that developed snap seed so I am thinking he filters must be good. Your results speak for itself (and the creativity of the photographer)

  3. We're still a little way from retirement, but it's getting closer!