Monday, July 11, 2011

My Most Viewed Flickr Image

I guess it should come as no surprise that the image with the most views on my Flickr Photostream is one of a cat. Cat lovers apparently love not only their own cats but other people's cats, too.

(click on any image to see a larger version)
Canon 5D with EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens
ISO 200     f/1.8     1/160
Spot metered on her furry face right between the eyes because this is definitely a situation where your camera's light meter can be fooled.  I wanted to make sure the cat was properly exposed.

Here's the resulting shot SOOC:
Definitely not the world's greatest shot but oh, those eyes... there was just something about those beautiful golden eyes that appealed to me.  So, I spiffed it up a bit and here's how:

First, I did my normal adjustments in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) - a little bit of exposure adjusting, added some contrast - you know, the usual stuff. I also used the Adjustment Brush in ACR to lighten up her eyes just a little bit. Then, I opened up the image in Photoshop CS5 and cropped it.

Nicky is an outside cat and her fur is a little rough so to soften it up a bit I ran a free Photoshop action called Soft Summer (in the Summer Days set) that I got from Pure Photoshop Actions.  (I masked off the effects of the action on her eyes, nose, mouth, and whiskers with a Layer Mask so they remained sharp.)

Next, I added two textures from Shadowhouse Creations:
     Pollution (from this set) - Blend Mode on Multiply at 15% opacity
     Canvas 1 (from this set) - Blend Mode on Multiply at 100% opacity

Finally, I added a grungy border.  That's all there was to it!

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