I've been attending to my blog for a long time now, and people who follow it tend to ask me the same questions fairly often; 1 -- how (and why) go you go for a particular "look" in the photos you post, and 2 -- what's wrong with you, anyway? The answer to that first question will be the subject of today's post. As to the second, well, who has that kind of time.
When I shoot with my Canon or mirrorless Fuji, I tend usually to shoot in RAW, and will open that file in Adobe Capture Raw (I'm still using CS6) to resize and maybe tweak with an adjustment or two. My CS6 has the onOne Perfect Suite plug-ins, and that's where I'll go to town and really work that poor bastard. I like being surprised, and there is abundant serendipity in every photo you take. I will, more often than not, drag that file down into a painting program call Arista Impresso Pro, which would actually be a good name for a coffee shop, if you ask me. I use it to create a completely new "painterly" image and then open both it and the original photo as layers in Photoshop, with the painting layer on top, and proceed to erase almost all of it away. I want to be left with just the impression of the painting (as with the photo up above) and maybe some interestingly altered tones and highlights. Depends on my mood, I guess.
If it's a photo made on my iPhone, I'll almost always work it in Snapseed before I import it into Photoshop and proceed onward. The image immediately above is one such example. A different look, a different feeling. I don't think this is anything new with digital photography, either. It may have been chemistry instead of computers, but when I worked with black & white film I spend just as much time and effort in the darkroom making that image come alive for me. And speaking of black & white:
I mean, who said there was anything "realistic" about a black & white photograph, anyway?
There's a ton of b&w controls in onOne, too; the above image was worked with a filter designed to look much the way old Kodak Panatomic-X looked and felt. Heck, it's been so long I'll have to take their word for it, but it brought back all kinds of warm and fuzzy feels, minus the stained fingers. And that's the point. No one ever took a photograph that showed, without pity and without passion, cold reality, because frankly no one knows just what the hell that is. The process that began when the shutter was tripped ends many, many miles away. There is absolutely nothing in the world that fascinates me more than that journey.
Hey, maybe that's what wrong with me.