After-Before Friday: Week 24

AfterBefore Friday is a weekly forum hosted by Stacy from Visual Venturing for photographers to show you their images before and after processing.

This week, I have chosen an image that I took in Leeds city centre earlier in the year. In Leeds there are many beautiful, old buildings, this is the top of one of the department stores. However, unless you climb to the top of the opposite building and hang out the window (I’m pretty sure you’re not allowed!) the photo has to be taken from the ground and unless you have a tilt-shift lens, the image you get will have converging verticals and seem compressed and totally out of proportion. This is often used to great effect, but with this old clocktower, it just didn’t seem right. Before totally dismissing the shot as trash, I thought I’d experiment with the lens adjustments in Lightroom.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 09.09.04 In the  Lens correction panel, I clicked the full in the upright corrections which stretches the top to create a more “front on” view. Then I had to  crop the image to eliminate the white areas on the sides.

The shot was taken at a time of day when there was a lot of contrast created by the harsh sun, so I wanted to convert this to black and white to accentuate this. I adjusted the contrasts, clarity and B&W colour sliders as well as increasing sharpness and luminance to achieve the effect I wanted and then added a post crop vignette to get my final image.

One thing that I have learnt whilst writing this post is to always make snapshots of your final images in Lightroom, as I was looking through my steps, I must have clicked on one step and then adjusted it, all of the resulting steps had then disappeared – arrgh!!  This did, however, force me to do it all again and after I had tried to replicate it all, I wondered if it would have looked better in colour after all, so I clicked the colour button and hey presto, a heavily saturated colour image appeared. I don’t know which I like best, neither are true to the original colours, one over and one under saturated, but I like them both in different ways. So this week, you get two Afters! Like two desserts, you can’t decide, so have both. Very unhealthy in the long term, so I will try to restrain from doing it again!

Don’t forget to vote in the poll on Stacy’s blog for our special week 26 post.

18 thoughts on “After-Before Friday: Week 24

  1. So, Katie, I left this very nice, long comment using my mobile reader, and right near the tail end, the app crashed (it keeps happening to me and is very frustrating). I’m now back home on my “real” computer, so I’ll try again 🙂

    First of all, snapshots in Lightroom. I’ve never used them, as I don’t really understand how to. I know that if I go back in my history and change something, the newer history will be wiped out (though you can always undo to the point where you want to get back to in history – helpful hint). Usually, though, I just add the chance to the end of the long list of edits. Now the bad thing about that is, when I do a lot of back-and-forth, a very long-winded history is created, which increases the size of the LR catalogue drastically. So I’ve been slowly going back to old edits, writing down the final values of what I’ve done, and re editing them by simply entering those values. Much cleaner and I’m hoping to reduce that huge size of my catalogue. Anyway, I digress.

    Like you, I’m having a hard time deciding whether I like the B&W or color image more 🙂 The saturated tones of the color image are just gorgeous and add a bit more depth to the image. But I love the midtones of the B&W image. In either case, great use of the lens correction tool, and love the shadow of the clock hand! Nicely done.

    Thanks for your shout out for Week #23. Keeping fingers crossed we’ll continue to get voters!

    1. Hi Katie and stacy,when writing my posts and lightroom is the topic I will edit and then create a virtual copy. I will flip back to the original and go back in the history remembering not to change any values, because as stacy has said it overwrites what you did.

      1. Thanks, Ben. When doing ABFriday, I do the same thing you do. On my edited before image, I will go back to the import step and make a virtual copy so that I have a virtual copy of the original image, and then I use the virtual copy to make my video, plugging in in an orderly fashion the final values of each adjustment. I’ve been deleting the virtual copy after I make my video, but I’m thinking about starting to delete the original edited file with its convoluted editing history and keep instead the virtual copy with its cleaned up history (as a means to decrease the size of my LR catalogue). Do you know of any reason why I shouldn’t do this?

      2. I am a stickler for never deleting raw files, but it is the smaller history cache that you want and I need to think about that. Maybe just going to the beginning of the history slate and then punching the settings in again and the syncing the local adjustments.

    2. Thanks for your comments Stacy. I think a snapshot would do the same thing as writing all the settings down, it seems to store a list of the history to get to the point you’re at. Although Ben has mentioned virtual copies so I’m going to investigate the use of both these things. I have found a few tutorials and FAQs about them and will try to look at them in my spare time (ha!) thanks for the tip about undoing the history to get back to where it got lost, I might just need to use this sometime. Hope voting progressing nicely.

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