I swear I didn’t intend to edit this photo. I swear! But then, you know, more as an act of procrastination, I started anyway… one click led to the next… Just one more step… one more click… and what if I try this? Or that?
It all started with this image:
So I opened this image in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 and applied the Ilford Delta 100 Pro film emulation. Then I applied the High Key 1 preset (might as well be High Key 2, don’t remember), and used control points to selectively increase contrast and structure in the fur and to remove some darker areas in the bg.
These steps changed the original drastically. But the image just didn’t feel right. I felt it just looked to ordinary and, well, too cold. So I then opened the resulting image in Analog Efex Pro 2 to apply some of its magic to create this aged look. To be more precise, I was looking for a certain texture and a certain toning I had done there once.
I think I started out with the Black & White 5 preset and tweaked the texture using control points… some of the dust and scratches were just too much. That’s about it. The final image is the one you can see at the top of this page.
I don’t know what drove me. I had no idea what I was doing, I followed some kind of spontaneous idea with each step. The result is full of imperfections. And yet this is one of my favorite animal portraits in the last six months.
Lesson learned: Creativity strikes whenever you let go. It’s as simple as that.