ABFriday Week 39: One Photo Focus

AfterBefore Friday is a weekly forum run by Stacy at Visual Venturing where participants get to show their editing skills with (unsurprisingly) an image after they have processed it and what it looked like before. The forum ranges from experts who know Photoshop like the back of their hand to beginners who are just discovering the delights of Lightroom (other programmes are available!).  After the success of the 6 month anniversary post, we decided that it would be really cool to all edit the same image once a month… enter the “One Photo Focus” If you want to join in the fun visit Stacy’s blog for all the insider info!

This month our original has been provided by Loré Dumbraj of Snow’s Fissures and Fractures. Loré brings us beautiful images, moody, dark and dreamy, so I was looking forward to working on her image. I was not disappointed, look at what she gave us… OnePhotoFocus2-before   Looking at the image, the parts I wanted to highlight were the statues face and the pattern of circles that the tables were making. Here is what I did…

  • cropped to bring the cherub’s face into the bottom right third and to make it look like he is emerging from a sea of circles
  • increased exposure, temperature, reduced vibrance
  • added split toning to warm it up and balance the effect
  • use adjustment brush to reduce the overexposed area on his shoulder
  • decided to see what it would look like in B&W
  • surprised to see that I liked it better in mono
  • used the radial tool to isolate a circular area including the cherub’s face and a bit of the planter, inverted the mask then brought down the sharpness and reduced the exposure and shadows to create a focal area around his face
  • used heal tool on his eye, they were freaking me out!
  • added vignette
  • ta da!

OnePhotoFocus2       As usual, I’d be really interested to hear what you think. And don’t forget to check out the other versions of this image at Visual Venturing’s One Photo Focus, I can’t wait to see what everyone else has come up with!

30 thoughts on “ABFriday Week 39: One Photo Focus

    1. Thanks Cee, I’m glad you like the monotone, there are some nice colours in the image, I had a colour version too and I was in two minds about which to post.

  1. I much prefer your edit. To be honest the original photo isn’t interesting for me but you made it so. Well done! ☺

  2. This version of the crop works really well, Im annoyed with myself that I didnt play with crop options after seeing images like yours. I considered doing a mono but enjoyed the colours of the foliage too much but clearly it was the right choice for your image 🙂

    Nice light touch on that faint blurring around the edges, gotta love the radial tool!

    1. Hi Desley, sorry for the late reply, just found your comment in my spam folder 😦 Thanks you so much for your comment, I’m glad you like the mono version. 🙂

  3. Very nice. I like that you approached with the tighter crop on the right. I tried B&W too but couldn’t make it work for me. Like what you did here.

  4. I do like your b & w version, though when I tried it, I did not. Maybe because I did not crop it and so there was just too much going on in the background. Or maybe because I sharpened the image first and the b & w emphasized the edges. Whatever. Yours works well and I like it focused on the cherub.

  5. So beautiful, it looks so good in b&w. I like what all of you see in this image. I didn’t think much about it, just pointed my camera and took it, almost “of the hip”. The shadows and light are really coming through in your edit.

    1. Thanks Loré, I’m glad you like what we all did with it. It was a good image to work with, there were plenty of ways to go with it, thanks for letting us loose with your image!

  6. Katie, I love that you chose to go the B&W route. Doing so was certainly a challenge and you rose to it beautifully! I love the balance of light on the cherub’s face and shoulder, the softened focus, and belly laughed at the eye thing – I never even saw that, but once you pointed it out, how right you are 🙂 All in all, a great result from Loré’s image!

    1. Thanks Stacy, I think the eye thing looked much worse in my black and white image, it blends in better in colour, but just didn’t look right, in a sort of doll gone wrong horror way in my B&W version. They had to go! 🙂

  7. It never occurred to me to get rid of the eyeballs! That was a brilliant move. I’m not much into black & white, but like the other comments here, it really worked with the way you did it. I think because you brought up the tonal differences so that the foliage did look different from the cherub etc.

    The crop was good too and I liked how you had the cherub slightly off-center. That really worked well.


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