This week we tracked down Kristina Reese (@shadow.boxer) in an effort to learn all of her editing secrets and skincare tips.  At this time we have failed to locate the final Horcrux necessary to unlock the secrets of her skin regimen, but we were able to obtain three fantastically helpful Mextures how-to's.  We think that reading about Kristina's process and seeing the transformations that takes place with her already beautiful images will both encourage and excite you.  Read along, import her formulas, and then go dig in to her outstanding and immaculate work on Instagram!

Formula Code: QPTYPJC

This shot here is why I love Mextures most! A beautiful landscape shot can give off the idea that it was taken during a different time and place. A shot that gives off a timeless vibe.

That being said, when editing a landscape shot like this, I try to make it worn or old...but still being crisp with the clarity and focus.

For my editing process on images such as these, I almost always start with the Grit & Grain pack. I, then, chose one of my favorites which would be “1970” or “Yololomo” and adjust it to color dodge.

For the longest time I forgot about the filtered slider adjustments...and when I discovered them for the first time, it opened up sooo much more possibilities for me!

For this shot I used the F-Fortia adjustment filter, which gives the image a darker contrasty look, that I love on my final edits. I almost always increase contrast, fade & sharpness to some degree in the adjustments section.

And finally, I add an X-Film filter. Since I’m a huge blue/orange color wheel fan, I almost always add Azure, Crisp, Indigo or Navy filter on “Lighten” and adjust the opacity to 30% or below.

So you can see by the before & after, this Mextures Formula which I named “Untitled Finale”, definitely increased the oranges & gave off the appearance of an older film shot with the grain and contrast.

Formula Code: SKWSCTW

With this shot, I knew that I wanted to keep it as close to the original without any textures, but most importantly boost the color and contrast, like in most of my images.

I wanted to bring out the blues and teal tones, so started by adding the F-Astia filtered adjustment layer, which brightened up the original image. While still in that section, I increased the contrast, tint, fade & sharpness, but coincidentally decreased the saturation, because I knew I was going to be adding a few  blue-ish filters.

I then added 5 layers to this shot. “Insidious” & “Somber” which are both in the Atmospheric filters. “Autumn Skies” & “Winter Skies” to bring out the blue and golden tones in the eye and skin tone.

Then finally my favorite X-Film filter in Navy. And voilà, a blue toned, high contrast, color boosted shot!

Formula Code: TQRHXKC

For this image, I knew I wanted to give it a certain mood because of the subject matter. Since this shot is of an old television found in an old abandoned house from the 1950’s, I knew I wanted to give it an ominous feel, but still keeping the color, since the walls are in an uncommon dark green color rarely seen these days.

I started by adding the “Punch” filter adjustment which lives up to its name. It gives an all-over boost of color and contrast.

I then increased (my usual) contrast, fade & sharpness.

Since I shot this in a dark house, I used an in camera flash, so to reduce the brightness of the shot, I added the “Neutral Density” overlay which is found in the Landscape Enhance pack. I, then, added “Depths” which is another favorite of mine, since it brings out the natural teal colors in an image. That overlay is found in the Atmospheric pack.

So ultimately this shot can be given some textures to give the appearance of a film image, but I left it off because of all the textures found in the original shot with all of the broken glass.

Hopefully these three editorial how-to’s help you dive into my though process of why and how I chose Mextures for all the different types of shots that I use this app for. It is a versatile app that can be used in so many different ways! Just take the time to play around and explore all the different options! That’s part of the fun!

Check out more of Kristina's work here!