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365 Creative: January 1, Photo textures

January 2, 2012

What creative thing can you do while spending several hours in a car?

Fortunately, I wasn’t driving. That task always falls to my husband, when he’s around, because he hates being a passenger and I hate being the driver. It works out great–there’s never a question about our roles.

So yesterday, when we left my dad’s house in Dragoon, AZ, to drive back home to Santa Fe, I knew I could settle in and think about the first of my promised 365 days of creativity. And because I was relegated to the car, I had to get even more creative about things than I typically do. I couldn’t work on my jewelry. Couldn’t write (I need absolute solitude for that, which is something I plan to work on this year because it’s really hard to find absolute solitude in my life).

I had my camera, however, and I could shoot. Given the circumstances (and the fact that one of the kids was using my laptop to watch a movie) I decided to shoot Photo Textures.

I was first introduced to textures through this lovely little site. I purchased a set of her Photoshop actions along with some textures and started playing. In moments, a whole new world of digital creativity opened up! I was hooked. I ran the actions and textures over some of my shots, and loved the results. For example:

And:

The magpie still sells pretty well in my Etsy shop!

Eventually, I decided to start making my own textures. Here’s one of my cloud shots, with a texture from my Bisti Badlands collection:

I also shot a collection of textures at the Old NM State Penitentiary and The Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch.

By the end of this week, I’ll compile my texture collections and offer them for sale. In the meantime, I’m getting the textures I shot on our drive yesterday–called my Arizona Highways collection–processed and prepped. I did a little experimenting with them last night after we got home, and came up with some interesting and fun imagery.

Hope you enjoy!

CHLOE BEFORE:

CHLOE AFTER:

GABE BEFORE:

GABE AFTER:

GRAYSEN BEFORE:

GRAYSEN AFTER:

I’m tempted here to add a caveat that goes something like this: I’m usually happy with my photos straight out of the camera–rarely do I even tweak them anymore, since I upgraded to a good camera. There is something incredible about an unadulterated image that is well shot to begin with.

But being a designer as well, I also like to mess with my photos now and then. Sometimes, creativity is about tweaking and experimenting. Trying new things and accepting or rejecting a variety of processes. I look at the photos above and I like how the textured ones turned out, which doesn’t negate or diminish in any way the love I have for the originals. 🙂

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