Why I Love Optics: Glenn Mathisen, Visual Artist

January 12, 2022

Glenn Mathisen is a self-taught photographer/visual artist. He’s been drawing and painting since he was a kid and bought his first DSLR in 2007. He learned how to edit in Photoshop CS5 and has continued experimenting with all kinds of photography and tools. His main camera is a Nikon D800. Follow him on Instagram.

Find out why he relies on Boris FX Optics plugins inside Adobe Photoshop towards the end of his editing process to add cool effects and make his images stand out more.

Glenn Mathisen portrait

How did you get into photography?

I bought a few of Scott Kelby’s books, think it was “Digital photography” a series of 4 books.

I did more traditional photography in the beginning until I discovered artists like Corey Barker and Aaron Nace, their work was just mind-blowing to me.

We love your Instagram @gim_visual! Where do you draw creative inspiration from?

My inspiration can come from anywhere — an image, a movie, a poster, or just a song. When something sparks an idea, I take a photo or a note on my phone, so I don’t forget.

How did you first discover Optics and how long have you been using it? Do you use it in Photoshop only? Lightroom? Standalone?

I first saw someone using and promoting Optics on YouTube, so I picked it up a little over a year ago. I usually use it in Photoshop. 

Wrecked plane apocalypse using Boris FX Optics plugins in Photoshop

(Wrecked plane apocalypse with Optics S_DigitalDamage effect)

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

I use Optics when I want some cool effects or add some finishing touches to my images.

Which Optics effects do you use most — and why?

Color grades, film stocks, lens flares, light rays, and glows are probably the ones I use most. I really like to experiment with my images and try out different effects and see what results I get. 

How did you create effects like glows and lens flares before Optics was available? Have you used other photo plugins? 

Photoshop is my go-to, but the process for creating effects like glows and lens flares was really tedious. I had to use layer on layer and would end up with huge files that slow downed my PC.

Zombie girl

(Zombie Girl with Optics Day for Night effect)

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

Only one?! I think that would be lens flares.

What are the top 3 reasons why a photographer like yourself should use Optics?

First, it speeds up your workflow. Second, there are so many things you can use it for. If you are looking for software to enhance your images, I believe Optics is one of the best on the market right now. Third…well it’s awesome :)

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

Play with it, try out everything, and see what happens. You can get some really cool effects by experimenting.   

Steampunk image of woman

(Steampunk with Optics S_Rays effect)

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

Oh…That’s a tough one, but I would say one of my favourites was a photoshoot I did a few years ago with a student from Germany who studying in Trondheim, Norway at the time.

She was very much into cosplay and had brought a few costumes with her, so we did a steampunk theme. This was in the middle of January and there was so much snow outside that we had to rearrange my whole living room and make it into a studio for the day, but it was great fun, and we got some pretty cool images from it.

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