Monday, January 9, 2012

Contest by Rick Sammon for a copy of his book

    Rick Sammon is one of my favorite and prolific photographers / teachers.  If you have not had a chance to see him teach you should.  I caught him on Creative Live, and he was awesome.  Some of the best energy from someone who you can tell cares about the art of photography.  His blog / site is here:

Anyway, I usually check his blog and watch his doings on facebook.  I noticed this morning that he had put out a contest using NIK Software's Color Efex Pro (  If you are into making photographs of anything, I can say to go get this software.  IT IS AMAZING, and I love it.  Some of the things you can change your photo into astound me.  I also love the way it is used as a plug-in for Lightroom, or you can use it as a stand alone composing tool.

Back to Mr. Sammon and his challenge.  He listed two images on his site and here they are:

© Rick Sammon

© Rick Sammon

His request was that you take the two photographs and make something new using Nik Software's Color Efex on the edit.  He posted an edit of his:
© Rick Sammon

I dig this edit.  The drop shadow added in post gives the three (balanced) birds movement from right to left - toward the moon.  I wanted to use the moon as more of a backdrop.  Using it as a common image that we all see all the time, and using it to set the birds further apart from the sky.

Now realize that these are low resolution photographs published for the web.  The only software I used was Photoshop Elements for the layers, and the Nik Color Efex Pro 4.  In Nik, a little fog filter was used to soften the backdrop of the blue sky and moon.  I also used this to allow for some false bokah in the image to separate the birds from the moon.  I also adjusted the levels of the birds to provide light movement from right to left.  A small, fine border was added to give it a set away from the web backdrop.  I also added a bi-color filter to give the image some color depth.

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