Tony Sweet wrote this terrific tutorial about his workflow. He integrates a series of texturing steps to change the mood of the image before applying effects with Exposure. Brilliant! Tony, you have the floor. We’re all ears.

Finishing touches can change everything!

Like many of us, I mostly use plug-ins when optimizing an image, and 99% of the time, I use more than one plug-in, texture, or effect. Alien Skin’s plug-ins are unique. I usually use something from Alien Skin during my processing routine. It’s seldom that I use any effect at full opacity. I choose to blend several effects for a different, more painterly look.

In this particular image of the Botzum barn in Cuyahoga National Park, OH, the image before me was not quite what I had in my head.

Apply a texture or two to images with a lot of negative space like this one’s clear blue sky. This starts to alter the feel of the image. For this shot I used a Flypaper texture called chlorophyll as a first step. It’s a very fine-lined texture for the foundation. It was applied with Uwe Steinmuller’s texture blending script.

Click for a larger view

Click for a larger view

Next, I applied another Flypaper texture called cirrus skies. This will show up mostly in the sky suggesting clouds. The texture was treated as a regular file (which it is) and curve adjustment layer was added to increase contrast. Then, blended again using Steinmuller’s texture blending script.

Click for a larger view

Click for a larger view

Now the image is ready for Exposure 4 for those critical final touches. You can see the color image in the preview panel–it’s in the upper left corner.

I chose the preset Border – Grungy (Fuji Neopan 1600). This rendered the right tonality and has a moderate grunge border. On the Age tab I added the Wet Plate (damaged
surface) texture.

Click for a larger view

I consider image captures as raw material, the first step in the image making process.
In this case, I wanted an image that had the feel of a very old photo like it was discovered in an old chest. But, it needed a bit more contrast to finish it up. This is a well known final “pop” move created by digital photography pioneer, Jeff Schwee.

Click for a larger view

And here’s the final image, quite a bit different from the initial capture. This was what I had in my imagination at the beginning. I have Exposure 4 to thank.

 Check out more of Tony’s work on his website, blog, and on Facebook.