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Artist Profile

Why I 🖤 Optics: Jesse Feyereisen, Photographer

5 minute read

Find out how a passion for movies and action figures combines with lighting effects to create blockbuster images inside Photoshop.

Jesse Feyereisen is a graphic designer/creative from Wisconsin who went to school for both visual communications and TV production. The recent winner of a KelbyOne Photoshop World Guru Award for Best in Show fell in love with the world of photography as he’s gotten older. The result? His passion for photography and movies shines bright on his Instagram @jessefeyereisen.

Discover why he can’t live without Boris FX Optics plugins inside Adobe Photoshop.

Jesse Feyereisen portrait

Why did you get into photography?

There’s something almost therapeutic about the process for me. Whether it’s landscape, toys, macro, or whatever, I just love the creativity of it all. On top of all that, in a day and age where so much of our entertainment is on screens, I found there’s just something so cool about seeing your own work as a print, in your hands or up on a wall. It’s a very satisfying hobby for me.

We love your Instagram photos! How did you get into taking photos of action figures and adding visual effects to them?

I think it was a few years ago when I was learning and experimenting at home with product photography, when I grabbed a 12” Darth Vader figure that my wife got me as a gift. I placed it in front of the camera for a “product”, but quickly realized it sort of looked like a portrait. It looked pretty cool…and convincing. I started to think what a fun exercise it would be to try to see what I could pull off with my love of photography, and blend that with my Photoshop experience.

Darth Vader toy“You Don’t Know The Power Of The Dark Side!” — Optics filters used: S_LensFlare, S_TVDamage

When did you first discover Optics and how long have you been using it? 

I’m pretty new to Optics actually having only purchased it in January of this year (2021). I believe the first time I had heard of Optics was on an episode of “The Grid”, a weekly webcast by KelbyOne. I’ve been a huge fan of the KelbyOne community for many years now, and when I saw them (Scott Kelby & Eric Kuna) get excited about it, I knew I had to give it a try.

I typically only use Optics within Photoshop on my projects. Having used Photoshop for so many years, it’s great that Optics can fit so easily into my usual workflow.

What type of photo editing/photo manipulation tasks do you look to a plugin like Optics to help with on a daily basis?

With my latest hobby of toy photography, I love how quickly I can create visual effects like electricity, weapon muzzle flashes, particle effects, and more. Things that used to take me, say an hour to do in Photoshop, I can now do in a matter of minutes with Optics, and then I can make edits to those effects just as fast!

The Mandalorian with Optics lighting effects“I’m gonna get you outta here kid!” — Optics filters used: S_MuzzleFlash, S_LensFlare

Which Optics effects do you use most — and why?

As cliché as they may be, I’m a big fan of the lens flare effects. I like to keep mine fairly subtle however. The amount of flare customization in Optics is unbelievable. I’ve only scratched the surface. I also use Muzzle Flash quite often. Not only can you customize them, but you can also rotate them in 3D to match the subject of your photo which is just amazing.

Before Optics was available, how did you create effects like glows and lens flares? Have you used other photo plugins?

Many of my glows I could create in Photoshop, but it could take a bit of time to get them just right. Lens flares were much more difficult.

For a time I actually used an app I purchased on my phone to design flares for my images. The big problem was I couldn’t natively place my Photoshop file in the app, so I was sort of on my phone creating the flare blind, on a black background, trying to get the look and placement correct, then export as a .png, and transfer back to my laptop hoping I got it right. If not, back to the phone app to try again. It just wasn’t a good workflow.

If you could have only one Optics effect, which would it be?

I think the effect that actually sold me on Optics was the Muzzle Flash. It’s just perfect for the action shots I enjoy doing. A close second…while it’s not an “effect” per se, Optics quick masking tools are really good too!

Ghostbusters with Optics lighting effects“Aim for the flattop!” — Optics filters used: S_Zap, S_LensFlare

What are your top 3 reasons why photographers like yourself should use Optics?

Quick effects creation, endless creative options, and honestly…it’s just fun. I really mean that. I’ve tried various Photoshop plugins over the years. Some were good, some a bit gimmicky, but Optics is like a whole new tool set that inspires me to come up with new ideas for images that I maybe haven’t tried before.

What’s your best pro tip to artists new to Optics?

Save your favorite effects and edit them to create new ones! There are so many creative effects and options in Optics it can almost be overwhelming at first. The great thing is that not only can you “favorite” the effects you like, but as you modify those effects to suit your needs, you can then save that custom modified effect to use again later, or tweak it even more for additional effects and looks. The possibilities are endless in Optics!

What feature requests do you have for the Boris FX product designers?

This is a bit of a tricky one since I’m still new to Optics. I may just not know how to do certain things yet, but I’d love the ability to be able to create/save my Optics effects with an alpha channel on a separate Photoshop layer. That would allow me to more easily add some additional Photoshop filters such as a motion or field blur to my Optics effects layers.

What’s your favorite project or image that you’ve ever worked on — and why?

Ooh ~ that’s a tricky one. I honestly don’t think I can even answer that!

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