There are times as a photographer and artist work flows fast and furiously and other times painfully slow...peaks and valleys, I guess. It's inevitable. I have definitely been inspired recently and most of that is because of a couple of big influences: 1) the recent upgrade to Nik Color Efex Pro 4, which is truly one of the most amazing photo processing plug-ins out there. There are times when you wonder if an upgrade is really worth it. But hands down, version 4 is revolutionary. It puts so much power in one package, it's really amazing; 2) I've also been watching a lot of tutorials on retouching by the German photographer and artist, Calvin Hollywood. If you can make it past the German accent, he's doing some of the most innovative photo retouching out there. Sometimes you just have to sit and watch a video a few times and let it sink in ... like inverting a layer, converting it to a smart object, putting it in vivid light blend mode, then running a high pass filter on it to soften skin .... WHAT? ... but it works. Truly ground-breaking; 3) I've also been following the work of Boulder, Colorado photogapher Charles Hildreth lately. Not sure where I saw his stuff first, but I like his style a lot -- alt process, color shifted, backlit, shallow depth of field ... all things I've been tinkering with lately mainly because I've seen how it can be done well by Hildreth.
The image above was taken 10 months ago. It was basically an out-take from a photo shoot with Sarah in January. She picked up Larry Patrick's camera and I took a few photos. Now, 10 months later, I start playing -- color shifting and adding an illustrative look with Color Efex, skin smoothing and adding definition ala Calvin Hollywood, and desaturating like Hildreth. Influences.