Anatomy of a Mood

Sometimes the light permits us to create a moody image as we capture it. Others, however, we can use effects to create the mood ourselves, as I did with this one here.
This is one exposure processed in Photomatix as a pseudo HDR, not too much grunge, because I was going for a soft look, but the HDR would bring out more detail than the conventional processing.
Once my images was properly saved as an HDR, I tool it into CS4 to be able to use the Nik Color Efex filters, that don’t run in the 64 bit version of CS5.
First I used Glamour Glow (similar to the Orton effect) twice, adjusting the sliders to taste. Then a round of Classical soft focus. At this point, I duplicated the layer and went to Filters>Stylize>Find Edges. It is imperative to do this in a layer, because we are going to reduce the opacity down to 8% Almost forgot, I used Multiply as a blending mode.This filter is a drawing like effect and it will make your image very light. That’s the reason for using the darkening blending mode..

The sky is totally white, so to reduce the impact of the contrast, I added Graduated Fog, rotating it to the top of the image.
Once we have that little bit of edge added, minimal, I applied a hint of the Low Key filter followed by the Darken/Lighten center, to [B]seal[/B] the edges of the picture and keep the viewers eyes inside the image.
Obviously, every image needs a little bit different treatment. Keep all the layers (Nik names them) and play with the sliders and opacity. I even try filters that I don’t like, just too see what it looks like.
This workflow is good for old stuff, interiors and even some landscapes.

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