I spent two and a half decades working in the Film Industry as a Location Scout. The last decade of that work I transitioned into digital and embraced Adobe’s new (at the time, 2007) “Swiss Army knife” application, Lightroom (a “raw processor” – read: “image editor”/“the digital darkroom”, Digital Asset Management tool and more). Adobe’s Lightroom application is – to this day – one of the best engineered and truly The Most INTUITIVE piece of software I have ever set my hands on. (Perhaps this is, in part, because Adobe had actively solicited the input of Photographers as it worked on a ‘skunkworks’ team’s original ideas and design.

When I decided to move on from the hustle and deadline insanity of Film Production it was natural for me to create the Phoenix Lightroom Enterprise out of my experience with Lightroom. My intention was/is to help others better understand all that there is to work with (as we all know most folks hate reading 'Users Guide’s or comprehensive books as instruction on How To work with… pretty much ANYTHING – “I’m too busy”, “It’s too boring”, “I DON’T like to read”).

Over time, watching the slow evolution of “conceptual” composite photo-illustration in Advertising and Assignment Photography, I began to experiment with a variety of tools and processes myself, an addition to and progression from doing a bit of Photo Retouching.

After catching a recent post by John Nack, former Product Manager for Photoshop at Adobe who posts the occasional “Once Daily Digest Email” newsletter, RAVING ABOUT BorisFX’s “new” stand-alone/plugin application ‘Optics’ and having watched Ben Brownlee’s screencasts previewing what can be done with the many feature film effects that have been adapted for work with still images we make as digital “photographs” I was excited to give Optics a go.

By way of my early experimentation, Optics appears to be a worthy addition to one’s creative workflow – yet, at the time of my posting here (13 August), a real work in progress. I believe Optics may well become a true “productivity tool” for adding the subtle ‘special effects’ I prefer as enhancements in my work and A Killer, Go-To production asset for the “Photoshop World”/Über Effects Enhancing crowd as well.

What I really DO LIKE about Optics is that it allows, even now (its initial release), for EASILY dialing-back effects that can also be a bit ‘Over The Top’ at first blush. The trick, I believe, is to…
A) Set the effect,
B) Allow oneself to be dazzled by what has been wrought “so easily”, then…
C) DIAL BACK 'till the effect becomes almost imperceptible to the ‘casual viewer’, become instead a visual treat for those with a more sophisticated mind’s eye. Cool stuff here.