Looking for some opinions (Michael Snell)

By thephotodudes

January 9, 2007

Category: Uncategorized


Okay, fellow ‘dudes. I’m working on a new style in terms of a Photoshop processing technique and would be interested in some opinions. This may become a new “line” of stock images that I’ll offer. I’m shooting for an aged, kind of grungy look. See what you think. (you might need to click on the photos for larger versions to get the full effect)

This first one has some selective focus added for a bit of a LensBaby look…

The second is more straightforward and would be easier to implement in a semi-automated way…

The borders would go if I offer these as stock images. I’m interested in all opinions but especially whether you think the effect is over-done or not going far enough. Thanks!



7 Responses to “Looking for some opinions (Michael Snell)”

  1. I really dig it, Mike. The selective focus shot really looks like a model in a diorama. I’ve seen some photos like that, and they always intrigue.

  2. That’s pretty funny, because I thought the first photo looked like a model as well.

    I like the technique and could even take a bit more. Crank it up!


  3. Ditto on the cool effect. I’m with Bruce, I think you could crank it up some more, and maybe have even less color saturation.

    so, how’d you do it?


  4. Thanks for the input, guys. I agree, I think I can push this further.

    How’d I do it? Mostly by ignoring all of the other work I should have been doing for a couple of days! There are two main things going on here. One is that I’m experimenting with overlaying scans that I make from the backs of really old photos, book jackets, etc. I’m just getting texture — scratches, cracks, water stains, etc. That and the muting of the color is giving the antique effect. I haven’t found one single blending mode that always works but usually it’s Color Dodge or Soft Light.

    The other thing is the selective focus. I’m making duplicate layers of the image and applying varying degrees of lens blur to them. Then, by painting on a layer mask, I reveal parts of the sharp layer underneath. My Wacom tablet really helps with this.

    I’m looking for more distressed textures right now. When I have another attempt, I’ll post it. In the meantime if anyone else has any thoughts, let me know. Thanks!

    Oh, I posted a few photos to my NAPP gallery last night and the blurry one shown here was selected for the Editor’s Choice page today.

  5. Congrats on the Editor’s Choice.

    Thanks for the “how to” explanation. I haven’t attempted very many texturing photos – but hope to try more soon. The whole “blending mode” thing is photoshop is still a mystery to me. I just keep moving down the menu until it looks something like I want. I really have no idea why each choice reacts the way it does.

    You said: “Mostly by ignoring all of the other work I should have been doing for a couple of days!” Wow, that’s a deja vu all over again. Good thing I don’t have a boss – I would have been fired a long time ago.


  6. I’m enjoying this discussion. Like Bruce’s post of the bride, I think the ideal texture would be one that is contextural. Meaning finding a texture shot from the scene or the area and applying that as a treatment.

    “Dirty brushes” are another option, used carefully. You can make a brush in Photoshop from a scan or download some here and experiment. (I found this kid three or four years ago, now his work is everywhere.)

  7. Chris: You’re right about the dirty brushes. I’ve been experimenting with some of them, too — but I think I’ll try making some of my own. If I end up using these images as stock, I’d rather not incorporate elements that aren’t mine (even though many of the guys providing these brushes seem to allow commercial use). Right now I’m pouring through the attic trying to find source materials to scan in; scuffed things, dirty things, etc. Luckily I don’t throw anything away (I knew that would be a good thing someday).

    Using a texture that has context is a great way to go. I’ve always shot textures here and there but I think it will be more of a priority from here on.

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