May 2, 2012

Fun with Photoshop

This morning I decided to try to learn how to manually create Instagram effects in Photoshop—or at least something similar. Google informed me that people have already done this and I could just download the actions the created. My only work with actions up to this point is batching raw files into jpegs when I am feeling especially lazy. So, I downloaded a bunch of artsy actions from a bunch of random sites. (I would credit them here, but apparently I've already closed all the pages.) They were an awesome starting point. I then continued to play with color balance, contrast, and saturation on top of the pre-set effects. 

Let's take a step back for a moment. I used to be a photographer. The amount of years that now comprise "used to" is a bit sad and somewhat unfathomable to me, but time is a bitch, what can you do? The goal was to work for Rolling Stone, travel the country, and be the next great rock photographer. My cousin, James Minchin III, managed to do this. I, on the other hand, doomed to care for my brain tumor forever, had to find a job that offered health insurance. Back in the day of young Jen the photographer, pre-existing conditions precluded a person from being able to get health insurance without having some sort of corporate-sponsored plan. So off I went into the land of 9-5, traffic, business casual, and cubicles—pretty much the land where dreams die. (Oh, Jen, you're so dramatic! But it's true. Life should be more than this.) Half of the time, or slightly less, or maybe more than slightly less, I can convince myself that Marketing was a good field to fall into since I get to write, work with art and advertising, and have been given the opportunity to learn a lot about design. The rest of the time, I am screaming in my car, wasting my life away in rush hour shit shows, wondering how long I could survive in the jungles of Costa Rica. 

My point? It's this—every now and then, I have a moment of inspiration. Something to write about, a photo project idea, a view in a place like Iceland that is so beautiful it takes my breath away and brings tears to my eyes, and life is good—it's right. This morning, it wasn't a sunset in Costa Rica or the Great Wall of China, but it was the fact that with Photoshop and a little bit of free time, I can transform an image I've taken and make it something different than it was in the beginning. It's nothing life altering, but it made me excited about photography all over again. And it's those little passions, the little moments of excitement that make me smile. 

Original Image - Old Harbor, Reykjavik, Iceland
Edited Image

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