After Before Friday: Week 59 | At the end of the pier

AfterBefore Friday Forum is a weekly get together for a bunch of photographers of all skills and abilities to share their processed images and the “magic” behind them. It was the brain child of Stacy Fischer from Visual Venturing and she has been hosting these forums for over a year now.  Unfortunately Stacy has has to step down from the ABF due to other commitments (she is still hosting the One Photo Focus though) and just as we thought it was going to disappear, Ben from Aperture64 donned his armour and did his white knight act, rushing in to save it! So from now on Ben will host the ABF weekly posts, except for the first Friday each month, when Stacy will host the One Photo Focus. Got it?

Anyway, onto this weeks image…

I had this image that I took in a small Dorset seaside town at the crack of dawn. I liked the detail in the sky and the soft light, but as it was still quite dark (and cold!) the foreground was very underexposed, way too dark! If I had thought about it at the time, I could have bracketed the shots or made an HDR image, but I didn’t, so to avoid having to throw away this photo, I thought I’d try brighten it up in Lightroom. I have often found the mouse hard to use when doing small, delicate adjustments so I was extremely happy when, for my birthday, I was given a Wacom Intuos pen and touch tablet. Once you get used to using it (it is way different to using a mouse!) it is fairly simple and intuitive and makes using tools such as the adjustment brush in LR and the selection tools and brush in PS much easier. Although it is suggested that you abandon the mouse altogether, I just can’t quite do this, some things are still easier with a mouse! This image gave me the perfect opportunity to set about testing out the adjustment brush with the pen and tablet.

Here is my image before…

at the end of the pier - before


Firstly, I created a graduated filter to start to lighten up the foreground, then set to work dodging and burning  with the adjustment brush and my pen. I found it so much easier to select the areas that I wanted lightening and to work on them, it almost felt like painting on canvas.

After lots of “painting” and playing and a slight temperature increase, I added a post crop vignette. Here is the image after playing processing. I’d love to know what you think.

at the end of the pier - after

And please go and visit the other AfterBeforeFriday images over at Aperture64.

If you want to join in the fun at AfterBeforeFriday, see this link.


After Before Friday: Week 37

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!). If you want to join in the fun visit Stacy’s blog for all the insider info!

This week’s image is one I took a few weeks back when it was very cold and frosty, but beautifully sunny day. Warm in the sun, but freezing in the shade!

The sunlight through the trees onto the river was an amazing reddish brown colour, it was quite hard to expose for, I deliberately underexposed it anyway, but still it was hard to capture the blue sky and the orange sunlight. Time to see if Lightroom could help me!

Winter sun on the Aire-0288-5

I applied a graduated filter to bring some colour back into the sky, then applied some basic adjustments to increase the overall exposure, clarity and colour temperature.

Screenshot 2015-02-15 15.41.40

The area of the water and trees on the left was rather dark and lacked detail, so I used the adjustment brush to bring up the exposure in this area, I used the “O” key whilst applying the mask to highlight it red so that I could see the area I was painting. I got this handy tip from Stacy on one of her ABFriday videos a while back and I found it easier than using the check box. (Obviously you need to press O again so you can see any adjustments!)

Screenshot 2015-02-15 15.42.46

The area of grass didn’t seem to match with the rest of the picture, it was very cold so I repeated this here and warmed the area up.

Screenshot 2015-02-15 20.32.37

Finally I cropped it a little to remove a bit of the foreground grassy area and shift the vanishing point away from the centre and added a slight vignette to darken the edges.

Here is the final version, it is more like how I remember the scene.

Winter sun on the Aire - After

This week is the reveal of the One Photo Focus image, supplied this month by Loré at Snow’s Fissures and Fractures, check out her OPF image and the other AB Friday posts at Stacy’s Visual Venturing.