The Pilgrims Thread a photo composite illustration by Michael Maersch

The Pilgrim's Thread

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How could you NOT LIKE the Nik Collection of Photoshop and now Lightroom-enabled plugins?

Ever since I first tried a less expensive, abbreviated version of their über fun, Color Efex Pro plugin back in the late ’90’s whenever I find myself feeling creatively ‘brain dead’ (actually not all that often) or looking for something to do while taking an afternoon coffee break I’ll just send an image through to their brilliantly conceived UI and see what happens...

A number of wonderful things about the magic performed within the Nik Collection fun house is the software’s ability to INSTANTLY RENDER each effect one is dialing-in, each plugin generates on-the-fly “history” of EVERYthing one is trying (so you can go back and compare one tweak-instance to another) and, even more important to me, the Nik Collection plays wonderfully well within Photoshop’s Smart Objects feature so I can come back to an image I spent hours on one day – perhaps weeks or months later – and then have back-at the creative process again if I’d like. No “buyers’ remorse”; you can always make changes.

All this among many other creative features I need not go into here now.

The Pilgrim’s Thread’ is an old, 35mm negative I scanned. It was generated with one click, one creative preset offered inside CEP – and one of the very few times I will ever allow for that oh-so celebrated (and rarely achieved) 'One Touch Solution' software-as-artificial-intelligence provides “artists” these days.

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