The After Before Friday Forum is hosted by Stacy from Visual Venturing, it features a weekly behind the scenes look at various editing processes. Featuring a gathering of photographers all keen to learn from each other, each week we post an image before and after editing. If you want to find out more, or just visit and look at the images, click on this link.
This week, I have a photo taken a couple of years back when we had a family trip down to London. My other half knows London way better than I do and so he made sure that we got off the tube at Westminster station, this is the view that you get when you walk up the steps from the station. Wow! we weren’t disappointed. Of course it looks much better in “real life”, it’s hard to show the scale and grandeur in a photo, but hey, thats going to be my mission in this post! Since 2012 (the Diamond Jubilee year) it is officially known as Elizabeth Tower, but it is more popularly known as Big Ben (the nickname for the great bell of the clock inside the tower).
My processing steps are as follows..
- Firstly, I altered the highlights to -100 and the shadows to +100, then adjusted the clipping to bring in the black and white points, this creates a sort of pseudo HDR look, then increased the clarity and contrast.
- To get a dark look, I decreased the vibrance and increased the saturation and reduced the exposure.
- Then to accentuate the sort of twilight feel I was getting (the time of day not the film!) using split toning, I toned the shadows a yellow/orange and the highlight a blue/purple.
- Then I cropped the image very slightly to neaten the outer frame and used the perspective rotate to change the angle to one I preferred.
- I added a graduates filter to the top left corner and decreased the shadows to darken the top of the shelter over the pavement.
- I was unhappy with the top of the tower touching the shelter so I used the spot removal tool to create some space between the two.
- Lastly I added a post crop vignette with reduced roundness to frame the photo and draw attention to the tower.
I was not really aiming for a realistic looking effect, although I suppose it could look like this in stormlight. I was hoping to capture the essence of this dramatic, incredible building.
I have also used this week to experiment with making my own Lightroom preset. It is one of those things that you see all the photography professionals use and they are everywhere on the web, but they are still incredibly easy to use. I clicked on the preset + and just made sure that all the values I wanted to copy were ticked. Then I used it to experiment on other images.
I had fun, so I’ll be making some more of these!
Comments and feedback are welcome.
Please have a look at the other AfterBefore images on Visual Venturing where Stacy will also be revealing the next image for the One Photo Focus post.