You know that feeling when you begin reading a book and the characters and settings are still so new that your mind’s eye is in the formation/creation process and everything is still hazy? And then you have to abruptly close the book, and those half-formed images linger just beyond the reaches of your vision… that’s a visual motif that I was seeking; only I didn’t know how to actualize it.

So I was looking for a nighttime cityscape photo, and came across a candid photo the other day, and for the life of me I couldn’t remember where the photo was taken.

Me and Kara, an old flameI knew the people in the photo (me and Kara, an old flame), but where was the setting, when did this take place (we saw each other off and on for like two years, so it could have been any time)? What time of year was it? Ironically, the photo to the left happens to be the only surviving photo of Kara and I that I have, but I don’t really like it. And I want to remember the emotional memories of our brief time together. I can see the dreaded on-camera flash was used (when it should have been bounced or diffused… and wasn’t).
So this has been sitting in my “misc. photo” folder for some time now, and I wanted to see how I can make it more je ne sais quois.

So I dipped this photo into the Inkify Effects Filter (3), and came up with something that is more pleasing (to me at least).

Kara & Chris - Inkify

The non-descript and therefore distracting background (i.e. the couch and those lights) disappears and while the flesh tone color rendition dramatically shifts, the portrait now appears more striking, more ethereal, more like we were discovered in the still forming recesses of my mind, like in a new book. I particularly like what Inkify does to Kara’s hair – the dark patches and the brighter highlights give it (and her) more definition, more uniqueness.

So now that I liked what the final results were with Inkify, I wanted to see what it would do to another party-style “candid portrait”. My friend Michael was getting married, and we decided to take one of those “We’re hard-core dudes!” photos reminiscent of the original NWA album cover, “Straight Outta Compton“. So we all leaned over the camera in a huddle and took a few photos.

Dudes
So, yeah, as you can see we were acting like some complete idiots; but hey, why not? A new chapter was being turned in my friend’s life – if you can’t act like a fool now, then when?

The original image is just a decent B&W image, not too much contrast or hot spots or deep shadows. However, after dipping this photo in Inkify Effect (3), the new image is more haunting and foreboding – which is exactly what we wanted in the original and failed to achieve.

Dudes - Inkify

The contrast is starker, which also depresses the midtones and enhances the highlights. The menacing fear that we wanted with this photo is clearly achieved after exposing the photo to the Inkify Effect. Now I can put this photo in a frame and send it off to my friends… they’ll get a kick out of it.

So Inkify does a lot of work that a Brightness/Contrast Adjustment layer in Photoshop, but it does more… it seems to influence the Levels as well. At least that’s the result when working with a B&W image. The effects are different for a color photo, as you can see in the first set of images. Sometimes you want to a devious feeling to your photo. Usually an idea that comes to mind after the fact; well, here was a chance to obtain that feeling without having to go back and reshoot or do too much trial-n-error in Photoshop.

I started this post talking about how your mind’s eye works when reading a book to paint a picture of the character, settings and times. Both these photos had specific drives in their original creation that weren’t achieved with standard photography, and the more abstract nature of the final results do circle back around to the literary influence that I was talking about and striving for. Pretty neat, huh?

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