AfterBefore Friday – week 19

Stacy from Visual Venturing runs a weekly forum called AfterBefore Friday, showing images before and after processing. You don’t need to be an expert to join, or even explain what you have done, just submit a before and after image. I have found that trying to break down the process and explain why I have followed certain steps has made me think a lot about what I am doing and why I am doing it. Stacy and her other regular contributors have some really good advice and demonstrations of what they can achieve. It’s worth looking at, I’ve learned loads!

This photo was taken on a warm afternoon strolling around the Liverpool waterfront. The bright light reflected off the River Mersey and the strong afternoon sunlight created very difficult lighting conditions. Very contrasty light seemed to provide the ideal conditions for silhouettes.

Click on the images to view as a slideshow.

I used Lightroom 5 to bring out some detail in the lock itself and to increase the impact of the highlights in the picture.

  • Firstly I increased the exposure very slightly to see how much detail could be drawn out of the lock in the foreground.
  • Then I used the radial filter tool to increase the exposure around the lock to bring out the red colour and the reflections on the metal.
  • I then increased the contrast and the clarity to create more defined highlights and bokeh and increased the saturation to bring out the blue in the sky and the red of the lock.
  • Finally I added a very slight vignette to draw the viewers eye to the centre.

I liked the original totally silhouetted image, but found the composition too clumsy for a totally dark foreground, there were too many elements all in one place. I needed to separate one element out and the lock was the ideal subject.  I wanted to boost the highlights from the water and also the shadows from the railings.

I’d love to know what you think!

Visit Stacy’s ABFriday forum to see some more After and Before images.




13 thoughts on “AfterBefore Friday – week 19

    1. Thanks for your comments Ben, I’m glad you like it. I found the radial tool in Lightroom very useful to isolate particular areas and keep the silhouetted feel of the rest of the image.

  1. Love the radial tool, Katie, and how you used it. That hint of color in the lock was an inspired choice, and you chose just the right amount of highlights and clarity to show off the lovely bokeh and the shadows from the railings. Well done, and thanks for all the lovely words about ABFriday 🙂

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