Steam Engine Dynamo, Western Museum of Mining & Industry, Colorado Springs, CO
The original shot was actually exposed at -2EV as part of an HDR bracket. I wasn’t happy with the results, so I took this one (the sharpest of the bunch) and corrected it in Nikon’s Capture NX2. I brought the exposure back to normal and applied a mild global sharpening (USM) step.
Next, I sent the image to Photoshop, where I worked on it some more. I used Photoshop for two reasons: First, I converted the background layer into a Smart Object, enabling the non-destructive application of filters and plug-ins. Second, in Photoshop I’m able to work with layers and blending modes to achieve creative results not possible in standard RAW editors.
I used Color Efex Pro 4 from Nik Software to apply Tonal Contrast and Dark Contrasts filters. Then, I added a Flypaper Texture in a top layer and set the blending mode to “Difference” to get the wild effect.