Jonny’s is someone who you will never forget once you know about him. Not only is his work awesome, but you can tell his passion from seeing his work! He always showcases some of our actions in a great way and we wanted to see what color means to him by asking him about it and how he uses some of our actions in his work.
What type of work do you primarily shoot, why do you think color toning is important in your work, and what does it help convey?
Though I dabble in fashion, lifestyle, and fine art, I predominantly shoot portraiture. In my humble opinion, other than cultivating a genuine rapport with the individual in front of my lens, color [toning] is the single-most powerful way to transform a photo from a mere snapshot into a bonafide work of art. To me, that means an image layered with depth, complexity and emotion; visual poetry.
In my work, I strive to connect not only with whomever I collaborate with, but, ultimately, the viewer or consumer of the image itself. My aspiration is to craft visual narratives that are engaging and evocative. Obviously, a lot goes into the creation of such an image, long before I sit down at my workstation for post-processing. However, generally speaking, I view all of the prior steps as foundational to the act of editing and color toning.
Through the creative use of color, I can convey sadness, connection, nostalgia, despair, whimsy, love, and so much more across the gamut of feeling and spectrum of emotion. At times, my approach is subtle while other times it is overt. Regardless, the end-result is almost always intentional. Color has a profound impact not only on the conscious but subconscious mind. To me, oftentimes, it is the intangible aspect of an image that draws someone in without them knowing the precise reason(s) why.
In short, color toning is vital to my work and pivotal in my workflow. It empowers me to impart imagery with an element of storytelling. It is also a powerful means for me, as a photographer, to define, refine, and evolve my unique, personal, artistic aesthetic.
What inspired you to begin using our actions?
I’ve been an ardent admirer of Bella Kotak and Pratik Naik, both individually and collectively, for quite some time. If I recall correctly, I first stumbled across Bella’s sublime art through a random search on Pinterest. From there, I was introduced to Pratik and his refined approach to retouching, editing, and color. Before I discovered the Color Lab Actions, I found myself drawn to and inspired by the collaborative creations of Bella and Pratik. There is an intangible spark of magic in their work that is familiar yet singularly unique.
As I sought to learn more about their approach and aesthetic, I came across the Color Lab Actions and was immediately intrigued. It was around that time when I started getting serious about the color, tones, and mood in my work. Synchronicity, seemingly. I downloaded a complimentary action, Blue Gold, and the rest is history!
The driving force, or inspiration if you will, to experiment with the actions was both to expand my color palette and learn more about how I could integrate and manipulate adjustment layers to better realize my own creative vision.
What is your favorite part about using the actions in your workflow?
Generally speaking, I tend to use the actions at the end of my editing workflow. Usually at a moderate opacity, masked and modified appropriately to the image at hand. Though, sometimes, I will use the actions before anything else, to explore possible directions and end-products. In doing so, I try to create cohesion throughout the entire editing process. Regardless, I really enjoy combining and stacking various actions together.
More often than not, one of my my favorite aspects of using the actions has to do with something I refer to as creative closure. They act as the final-touch to a lot of my imagery; subtly refining, through nuance and tone. As my fellow obsessive artists probably know all too well, it can be challenging, and, at times, frustrating, to reach a point where something feels definitively finished. The actions function as a sort of finalization, allowing me to let go and move on.
At the end of the day, for me, it’s always exciting to play around with the various collections and colors. Solely for creative enjoyment, rather than any type of end-goal. Rich tones and sublime palettes lend themselves quite well to feeling impassioned and inspired.
Action used: Paranormal (free action)
How have they helped the images that they’ve used them on?
In all honesty, in many ways, the actions have helped to bring my images to life; imbuing them with moods, tones, and emotions that harmoniously align to my concepts. Obviously, there are certain images that, for various reasons, I opt to not use the actions. Even in those instances, what I’ve learned through the application and modification of the collections plays a major role in how I approach defining and crafting color.
Furthermore, the actions have allowed me to, in a very simple and straightforward manner, experiment with different aesthetics. Sometimes, experimenting is necessary when I don’t have a definitive direction. Other times, it’s helpful to step outside of my own construct to gain perspective and cultivate insight.
So, for me, the actions have helped an immense amount both directly, with the art that I create, and indirectly by evolving how I think about and integrate color toning in my work.
Action Used: Regal from The Royal Collection
What will others find when they give the actions a try?
Honestly, this question is challenging to answer! Obviously, it really depends on where someone is at in their individual creative journey, respectively speaking. For those who are relatively new to photoshop, adjustment layers, or the process of color toning in general, I think the collections will essentially open a trove of artistic possibilities. There is definitely a sense of awe and wonder, when photos are transformed toward the dreamy, surreal, and magical, by the actions.
The curious will be able to inspect, experiment, and deconstruct each layer, and, in doing so, start to understand the potential of each type of adjustment. From there, the sky is the limit in terms of creative potential. It’s a beautiful experience, to see potential in an image that you may not have otherwise envisioned or imagined.
I believe the more experienced artist will greatly benefit from being able to see how the pieces of the color toning puzzle can fit together. How layers can interact, stack, and align to create cohesive end products.
All in all, I strongly feel that, ultimately, creatives will find joy, excitement, passion, and expansive potentiality when using the actions. If they opt to check out the group on FB, they’ll also find a community of brilliant artists all striving to create beauty in-line with their own singularly unique ideals and vision.