In Granger, TX there's an old building that once was the Alamo Hotel. Next to it sat this old gas pump as well as an old tractor and other things. The hotel is abandoned now from what I can tell, but I thought this would be a cool picture, especially since it seemed kind of out of place. I tried to give it that gritty sort of look.
One thing that helped me get that gritty look is thru a Photoshop plugin called Nik Color Efex 3.0
. You can get some really cool effects from it. You can add graduated filters to your shots, change colors of foliage, add fog, vignettes and all sorts of other things. One of my favorite settings in it is called "Bleach Bypass". It kind of washes out the shot, in effect "bleaching" it. It kind of fades the lighter colors but leaves the darker colors alone a little bit. I like to use this setting on old grungy things, especially if there's rust anywhere in the shot. It seems to really bring it out. I used it in this shot and it really accentuated the rust in the gas pump. It brings out that texture and makes it look maybe even rustier than it really was. Just click on the Bleach Bypass setting and it will create another layer in Photoshop and then I'll just adjust the opacity until I get the look I want. Pretty easy. I'm all about easy.
I use Nik Color Efex 3.0
on almost all of my shots in one capacity or another. It's getting to be almost a necessity. There are a few different versions of this plugin, but of course all of the best settings are in the most expensive version which is Pro. Anyway, I have a couple other favorite settings in Nik and I'll publish some examples of those in a subsequent post.