Dancing with Poppies

Poppy - Bi-color Filter

Poppy - Bi-color Filter © 2011 Bo Mackison

As promised in my last post, here is another version of my abstract photograph of a poppy using Nik Color Efex Pro™ 3.0 software. In this photograph I used the Bi-color Filter which gives the photograph a combination of pink and purple highlights. After I added the filter, I worked with the many adjustments until it was to my liking.

I learned from my Nik experience that one should “never say never.” For the last few years, I chose not to do much post processing to my photographs. I  think it was a good decision as I needed to learn the basics first, and using post processing software takes control out of a novice’s hands and gives it to the computer and the software. Before I was comfortable using software such as Photoshop or Nik, I needed to know what I could do without using photo recipes and quick pre-sets.

I now have a better understanding of what I can do with a photograph using a program like Adobe Lightroom which is more of an organizational and basic processing program. I also have an understanding of what I want a photograph to convey to my audience. My intention has always been to not over-process a photo so it had that over-saturated Photoshop look. (Though occasionally in my experimenting I have a photo that is heavily processed that I do like – never say never!) But now I am in a better place to add software processing to my repertoire.

Waiting had some decided advantages. Not only did I learn how to do many things step by step instead of in a pre-set. I also gave myself enough time to get comfortable with the camera, the computer, and Lightroom without adding more pressure to learn another complicated program. I’m happy I waited. And I am happy with my new results.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is experimenting with Nik software this month — exploring and testing and comparing, and having great fun with her photos.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Interesting comparison. I hope you are enjoying the process and that your vision continues to evolve.

  2. Beautiful and magically soft. I love using Nik and I’m still learning my way around… with my camera, 5D Mark II, and programs such as Lightroom and Nik. I think, even as I get more experience with the camera and programs, I’ll always be learning and playing/creating with images. A wonderful process evolution, I say. 🙂

  3. Just lovely!!

  4. Exquisitely beautiful!! I used the colorefex program – on occasion – that Nik has to offer. Always fun…always an adventure!

  5. Monica Tervoort says:

    absolutely beautiful !!

  6. Not sure which I prefer, today’s or yesterdays. Like you, I’ve been slow to buy and use new software, and am glad for the same reasons you are glad you waited.

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