ABFriday Anniversary post

Firstly congratulations to Stacy at Visual Venturing for reaching 6 months of the ABFriday forum, great work Stacy, the posts have been very enjoyable to read and even more fun to participate in.

As some of you will be aware, we have had a poll of images to determine which we should edit for this anniversary post and Karen’s from KCinAZ image was voted “the one”.  So here goes… Eleven of us,from the hardened editing professionals, to the have a go heroes, have taken on the challenge and hopefully we will produce eleven different images (it would be very sad, or incredibly funny, to see eleven identical images!)

It is quite a daunting task to edit someone else’s work and then even more so when you are pitched against other photographers to do so. It is a lovely image from Karen with many great features that could be brought out. The original colours are lovely and warm, the composition is great, the light coming from the clouds, etc, etc. In the end, I wanted to make something different and having tried lots of ways of editing it, I landed on one I liked. Here are the steps (in Lightroom) I took to get to my “after”.

  •  I straightened the image to make the buildings on a true vertical and cropped to bring the bridge into the lower left third and remove a few of the blown highlights in the sky.
  • The exposure was reduced and I applied a graduated filter to further darken the sky.
  • Then I started playing around with the Lightroom presets and decided that I really liked the “cold tone”, I was drawn to the bleached tones of the buildings and the greyish turquoise of the water and sky. I’m not sure if using the presets is cheating or not, it seems to be achieved by reducing the temperature and saturation and boosting the vibrance, so if you think its cheating, pretend I said that I did that!
  • I then reduced the exposure again and finally added a highlight vignette to draw the eye to the dark tones in the centre of the picture.

I hope you like my version of the image and I look forward to seeing what everyone else has done. See for yourself in this weeks ABFriday anniversary post.

Thanks for reading!


22 thoughts on “ABFriday Anniversary post

  1. I don’t think using presets is cheating at all. I often use them and have found a few that I use over and over again. But, what I really like about presets is that you can use them as a starting point, you don’t have to use them as an end result. I think what you did works well and I was tempted to go black and white but I like the variety of color in the buildings. I think it works very well, where you ended up with the color!

    1. Thanks Emilio, I have to say that I quite enjoyed flicking through the presets and you’re quite right, they still need a little bit of tweaking after applying. Maybe I’ll create some of my own, now that definitely won’t be cheating!

  2. Katie.. you took a creative twist on the image that was very different from others and I like where you took it. It’s thinking outside the box and doing something very original. I like the cool blue tones and crispness that they achieved. NICE! I also had to chuckle a bit that you had to straighten out the image. I must has taken the shot after a wine or two??

    1. Thanks Karen for your lovely comment. I almost always have to straighten my photos, now what does that suggest? Thanks for supplying the original, it was an interesting image with lots of great elements to work with. 🙂

  3. Very nice work, Katie. It is fascinating to me to see all of the different approaches. Like Ben, it never occurred to me to go for a cool tone, but the way you did it really works. And the highlight vignette, albeit counter intuitive, is particularly effective. Nicely done.

  4. Hi, Katie. I absolutely LOVE that you chose this approach. It’s such a beautifully soothing after image, and as Robin says, though the highlight vignette seems counter-intuitive, the fact that it lightens the edges plays really well with the highlights in the sky. Who woulda thunk it? And it was fun to hear the challenge prompted you to play around with the LR presets! All in all, a lovely image 🙂

    1. Thank you Stacy, it was fun to play around with the presets. I was trying to look for something a bit different and I’m glad you like the highlight vignette, it really didn’t work with the dark vignette, it just looked wrong! Heres to another 6 months of your After Before Fridays 🙂

  5. I love what you did – I also like how the highlight vignette adds to the sky – and overall feel of your calm and cool version – I love the straightening too – and my favorite 2parts – the azul water and how the beams from the clouds are more pronounced – gives it that enchanting feel – 🙂 looking forward to seeing the others…

    1. Thanks for your lovely comments, I felt a little unsure of bringing the temperature of the image down, but I’m really glad I did. Thanks for noticing the light beams, I tried hard to make more of these, they were beautifully captured by Karen.:-)

      1. 🙂 – and you know – I also like how you kept some color int he buildings and then straightened it.. cool in temp but also quite warm still (to me at leafs) – and I have only seen couple more – I hope I have time to go and see all of the edits – hm

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