One of the benefits (can you call it that?) of the old, relatively un-insulated windows in our house is that when it gets really cold outside, in the morning, we get this really cool window ice frost.  The crystals form fascinating intricate fractals patterns all over the glass.  This is image started as a simple macro photograph of a small section of frost.   I loved the cross or star pattern it created.

Since I had to crop the image quite a bit to get this framing, I first ran the image through On1 Perfect Resize in Photoshop to enlarge the image to a workable (and printable!) size.  Now this doubled the size, so I lost a bunch of detail and sharpness – something you need to be aware of when upsizing any photo.  I knew when I started processing I was going to go with an impressionistic look so the lack of sharpness was not really going to be a problem.

The removing of unwanted/unnecessary elements and spots/sensor dust came next.  I call this border patrol and it’s a good idea to do this a couple of times, especially at the end of processing.  After exposure, levels, curves, and color-correction, I then added some texture (I think it was 3 or 4 textures) using a Photoshop CC extension called Adobe Paper Texture Pro.  Awesome, awesome tool!  You need to get it – and it’s free.

Finally, I combined three different iterations of Topaz Impression to create the look I wanted.   Combining different factory and my own presets, blending with layer masks and blending modes is great way to get a unique look that doesn’t look “out-of-the-box”.  Of course, I did one more border patrol pass and then saved the final “Ice Crossing” image.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments!

Day 102 of 365

Ice Crossing frost frozen crystals photograph

Ice Crossing

 

And here is the RAW file I started with.

Ice Crossing RAW

Ice Crossing RAW