After Before Friday | One Photo Focus : January

Well its that time again, the time when all of us taking part in the One Photo Focus group get to take a nice image and edit the heck out of it! This is also the first anniversary of One Photo Focus, so congratulations Stacy!

This month, our original image comes from the very talented Laura Macky.

KatiePrior-One PhotoFocus-January-before
Image courtesy of Laura Macky
I really wasn’t sure if I have the time to do the OPF this month, but when I saw Stacy’s reminder post and the gorgeous picture we had to work on, I couldn’t resist! Also I’d just read an article on Digital Photo School about creating a vintage look and thought it would work nicely with this image.

Briefly (ahem!) this is what I did, if you want to find more detailed instructions then click on the link and check out the DPS post.

  • In Photoshop I added a very slight Gaussian blur as the image seemed too sharp to be vintage!
  • Then using the gradient map I added an adjustment layer turning the image to black and white and then reduced the opacity to desaturate the colours, then added a further adjustment layer with a brown gradient map, also with the opacity reduced.
  • I added a couple of textures, masking out the areas that I didn’t want covered. then a vignette using the lasso tool and a curves layer (see the tutorial in the link if you want to know how to do this!).
  • Then I brought it back into Lightroom, increased the contrast and added a very slight post crop vignette.
  • Back in Lightroom, I noticed the bit of metal sticking out the side of the boat, so I took it back into Ps and cloned it out.

KatiePrior-One PhotoFocus-January
Image courtesy of Laura Macky, edited by Katie Prior
I’d love to know what you think!

Please don’t forget to check out the other edits of this image at our One Photo Focus group over at Visual Venturing.

After Before Friday | One Photo Focus : November

Well its that time again, the time when all of us taking part in the One Photo Focus group get to take a nice image and edit the heck out of it!

This month, our original image comes from Helen Chen and her HHC blog.

One Photo Focus November
Image courtesy of Helen Chen

Helen submits: The “Treehouse” is a cool fusion of nature and man-made stuctures literally interwined with one another. The Anping Treehouse is a large banyan tree that over the years has literally swallowed an old warehouse that once belonged to Tait & Co Merchant House.
….

After World War II, in the 1940’s, the warehouse was used for a short time by the Taiwan Salt Corporation but was soon abandoned afterwards. Once no longer in use, the banyan tree went to work and spread its branches and roots forming a spectacular scene for the next 70 years.

— from English in Taiwan

This is picture is so cool, I love the way it shows the house being swallowed by the tree as if nature is reclaiming what is rightfully hers. It has an old world, almost creepy feel to it. I wanted to concentrate on the doorway and the mystery of what might lie behind it.

In Lightroom, I cropped the image, altered the contrast and tone to my liking and converted to black and white. Then I added a bit of split toning to get the “old photo” look.

Katie Prior One Photo Focus November
Image courtesy of Helen Chen – first edit

I thought it just needed a bit more “oomph!” so I exported to Photoshop and then added a texture on top, which I then colourised. I liked the effect this gave the picture, especially around the door where it gives it a kind of ghostly, hazy look.

Katie Prior One Photo Focus November-2
Image courtesy of Helen Chen – Final edit

I’d love to know what you think!

Please don’t forget to check out the other edits of this image at our One Photo Focus group over at Visual Venturing.

After Before Friday|One Photo Focus: October

The One Photo Focus Forum is hosted by Stacy from Visual Venturing. Once a month, we all get to edit the same image, its great fun and if you’d like to join in, click on this link.

This month the One Photo Focus image is brought to us courtesy of Michelle Lunato of Michelle Lunato Photography. A scene of blissful idyll with the low sun glinting off the boats in the lake.

Here is Michelle’s Original Image…

KatiePrior-OnePhotoFocus-October-before
Image courtesy of Michelle Lunato

I love the way the light catches the water and wanted to focus in on that part of the image so I cropped it (quite severely!). Then I converted it to black and white in Lightroom and made some general adjustments to create a contrasty image. I then opened it up in Photoshop and created a frame by duplicating the layer, resizing it, adding a fill layer between them and reducing the opacity of this layer. Then to add more interest, I added a Hue/Saturation layer to the top image to create the blueish hue and changed the fill layer to an orangey colour. To make the layers “gel” together better, I added a layer mask to the top layer and painted through some of the orange colour.

Here is my final image…

Original image courtesy of Michelle Lunato, edit by Katie Prior
Original image courtesy of Michelle Lunato, edit by Katie Prior

I’d love to hear what you think and don’t forget to check out the other One Photo Focus edits on Visual Venturing. 

After Before Friday: Week 61 | Tea Towels and Balloons!

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. Now hosted by Benjamin Rowe from Aperture64 except for the first Friday each month when Stacy will host the One Photo Focus. Got it? If you want to join in the fun at AfterBeforeFriday, see this link.

Earlier this week I watched a video on “Creative Live”, one of their Photo Week series, about Monochrome Conversion. Hosted by Vincent Versace, he was talking about better ways to create a monochrome image. His point seemed to be that many methods of B&W conversion in Photoshop just get rid of the colour data, leaving you with much less information to make a decent monochrome image from. He showed us how to convert using hue/saturation adjustments. Although I understood exactly where he was coming from, I didn’t quite get how he was doing it, so today I found a step by step guide on MacLife (it refers to Photoshop, so could be used on Windows also) that showed me more simply.  Basically, you create a hue/saturation layer, taking the saturation down to -100 and underneath that create another H/S layer that enables you to adjust colours before they are desaturated.

Anyway, enough waffling on, here is my start image…

tea towels and balloons-before

Don’t get me wrong, I like this image in colour, but I thought it had a reasonable amount of contrast in it and also plenty of different colours to experiment with.

After basic Lightroom adjustments, I opened in Photoshop and created two hue/saturation layers, the first to adjust colours and the second to desaturate.

Screenshot 2015-09-23 13.26.22

The desaturated image seemed a little bland, so I brought the lightness in the blues down to the left to darken the sky and did some gentler alteration to the other colours to try to get the best tonal separation in the image.

Then I added a further H/S layer and changed the blending mode to soft light to increase the contrast.

Screenshot 2015-09-23 13.32.03

Then I added two further layers, one to give it some warm tones by colourising a H/S layer and finally a curves layer to bring out the white of the balloons and cloths.

Bringing me to my final image…

tea towels and balloons-3

I’d love to know your thoughts on this edit and also your views on this process.

For more After Before Friday images and edits, visit Ben at Aperture64.

After Before Friday|One Photo Focus: September

The After Before Friday Forum is hosted by Stacy from Visual Venturing, it features a twice monthly behind the scenes look at various editing processes. Featuring a gathering of photographers all keen to learn from each other, 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 month the One Photo Focus image is brought to us courtesy of Ben Rowe at Aperture64. Pendennis Castle, near Falmouth in Cornwall, was built by Henry VIII in the 1500s to defend the river Fal from the French and Spanish naval threat. This castle brings back happy, carefree memories of travelling round Cornwall in my late teens with my friend in her old banger!

Ben very kindly provided us with several images, so I used these to create a HDR image in Lightroom and gave it a crop and some basic adjustments. I wanted to export it to Photoshop and then try something new (for me!) with it.

Here is the image with the basic Lightroom adjustments.

OPF - Sept before

I have really wanted to have a go at replacing the sky in an image and this seemed a great opportunity. I had a “sky image” that I had taken late in the evening on a cloudy day that was a bit more “dramatic” so I opted for this. My stages were as follows…

  • Opened both images from Lightroom as layers in Photoshop.
  • Duplicated the original “castle” layer.
  • Selected the castle and foreground and clicked the add new layer mask button which created a new layer with the sky chopped out.
  • Made sure that the masked castle layer was above the sky layer and used the brush tool to clean up the edges.
  • With the sky layer selected, moved it to where I thought was best using the move/transform tool.
  • Created a curves layer and a brightness/contrast layer for each of the images and clipped these to the layers so that they only affected those layers.
  • Attempted to clone out the benches and castle sign.
  • Saved and went back to Lightroom to add some final touches using the adjustment brush to sort out the shadows on the castle.

After I had done this I saw a post Laura Macky (click link to go to her excellent tutorial) had done about this very thing, I wished I’d seen it before, the selection process looked at lot less complicated. I tried again using her method too and used the magic wand tool (doesn’t that sound amazing!) to select the areas and saved them so I didn’t have to keep re-doing them. It was a bit more straightforward, although it still created quite hard edges which I softened with the brush. So, thanks Laura, I’ll try it this way again!

Anyway, here is my final image.

OPF - Sept

I would love to know what you think. I know that I need more practise with that clone tool, so any suggestions would be welcome!

Click on any of the images to see a bigger version.

Please go and check out the other versions at Stacy’s One Photo Focus

After Before Friday: August One Photo Focus

The After Before Friday Forum is hosted by Stacy from Visual Venturing, it features a twice monthly behind the scenes look at various editing processes. Featuring a gathering of photographers all keen to learn from each other, 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 month the One Photo Focus is from little old me!

It was taken earlier this year in the beautiful seaside town of Lyme Regis on the Dorset/Devon border.

The picture is of the Cobb, a breakwater built to protect the town from storms and to provide an artificial harbour for boats. The Cobb is mentioned in Jane Austen’s Persuasion as the place where Louisa Musgrove fell and also in John Fowles’ novel The French Lieutentant’s Woman. It was used in the film of the same name, can you just see Meryl Streep on the edge of the jetty, standing against the storm, black cape billowing around her?

Anyway, here is my before image…

OPF August (The Cobb) - before

At the moment, I am on holiday, I did the image before I went and somehow thought that I would remember what I did to it. Well, now I realise that I can’t even remember which programme I used, I’m almost certain it was Lightroom, but I did try Photoshop at some point too. All I remember is that I cropped it, altered highlights/shadows and contrast, possibly even added a graduated filter and I think that I tried to increase the whiteness of the water. I would have liked to have added some bigger breaking waves, but thats a Photoshop thing that I will have to come back to when I’ve more time and energy to work out what I’m doing.

If you had a go at editing my picture, I hope that you had fun with it and I look forward to seeing the results on Stacy’s post on Friday.

Here is my final image…

OPF August (The Cobb) -after

Click on any of the images to see a bigger version.

Please go and check out the other versions at Stacy’s One Photo Focus

After Before Friday: Geranium blur

The After Before Friday Forum is hosted by Stacy from Visual Venturing, it features a monthly 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.

The geraniums in our garden are looking very nice, but it always seems that whenever I want to photograph them the wind picks up and they won’t stay still. Rather than getting cross about it, I thought I would use it to my advantage. With the idea of using Photoshop to merge two images, I took one  to capture the detail in the centre of the petals and one at a longer shutter speed to capture the motion blur.

Here are my befores

Screenshot 2015-07-01 12.45.37

I opened the images in Lightroom and removed a couple of sensor spots with the spot heal tool on the blurry picture before selecting both photos and opening as layers in Photoshop.

In Ps, I used the move tool to align the pictures, and then cropped.

I needed the top layer to be the blurred one, so I had to swap the layers over, then I added a white layer mask to the second layer.

Screenshot 2015-07-01 12.44.58

Using the brush tool I painted black onto the centre of the flower to bring through the sharp areas, then I switched to an airbrush and painted in some of the coloured veins radiating from the centre.

I decreased the opacity of the layer to reduce the blur, then I duplicated this layer and feathered out more of the background to create different levels of blur and reduced opacity to 50% also.

Then I added a curves layer to bring out the contrast and give it a little more “punch”

Finally I brought the image back into Lightroom.

Geranium

I’d love to hear what you think.

There will be lots of other interesting After Before Friday images on Stacy’s post, including the reveal of the One Photo Focus, so go on, pay her a visit.

In fact, this month’s One Photo Focus is one of mine, so go take a look.

Anyone is welcome to join in the One Photo Focus, it happens once a month and we all edit one image however we like, often with some very interesting results!

 

After Before Friday: July One Photo Focus

The After Before Friday Forum is hosted by Stacy from Visual Venturing, it features a twice monthly behind the scenes look at various editing processes. Featuring a gathering of photographers all keen to learn from each other, 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 month, Robin Kent from photographybykent has let us all “have a go” at his image of the Capitol building in Washington DC.

One Photo Focus July - Robin before
Image courtesy of Robin Kent

Its a lovely picture of a beautiful building, I love the symmetry in this image and the contrast of the lines on the buildings compared with the textures of the grass and the sky is just amazing! I think from the minute I saw this image, I wanted to make it monochrome, I had hoped it would bring out those lovely contrasts and textures. I have done all the black and white conversion in Lightroom and used the new graduated filter brush tool, before sending it to Photoshop to add a little effect at the end. If you’re interested in my processing steps, I will list them briefly, if not, then just skip to the after image.

  • Using lens correction, I made slight adjustments to the horizontal/vertical perspective to get the image more straight and each side the same size.
  • Then I cropped the picture to a more panoramic format to draw emphasis to the shape of the building and to the sky.
  • I reduced the highlight, increased the shadows, set the white and black points and increased contrast and clarity before I converted to black and white.
  • The grass came out very dark and the sky very light, so I adjusted the blues and greens in the HSL panel.
  • Then I added a graduated filter to darken the sky further and used the new tool with LR6, the brush tool in grad filter. This enabled me to darken the sky, but omit the building from the selection, very cool!
  • Then I used a series of dodging and burning selections using the adjustment brush to brighten and add highlights to parts of the clouds, to darken the trees and then selected the building and reduced exposure, increased whites, contrast and clarity.
  • Nearly finished, so I added a post crop vignette.
  • Looking at the image, it had a slight yellowy brown cast, so I went to the split toning panel to try to correct this with a very slight blue/yellow split weighted towards the blue shadows.
  • I added some grain to give more texture to the sky and used the tone curve to pull down some of the shadows and mid tones.

Robin July final-2

  • The (almost) final image was very sharp and contrasty, it was OK, but strained your eyes if you looked at it too much, I wanted to soften it slightly. For this I went along to Photoshop.
  • I wanted to create a sort of “glow” so I duplicated the background, and added a Gaussian blur to the duplicated layer and increased the contrast just in that layer using a clipping mask. Then I reduced the opacity of the blur layer to 12% to get the effect I wanted (I think this is called an Orton effect).

Robin July final

Click on any of the images to see a bigger version.

I hope you like my interpretation of Robin’s image, please go and check out the other versions at Stacy’s One Photo Focus.

After Before Friday: Harbour at Dawn

The After Before Friday Forum is hosted by Stacy from Visual Venturing, it features a monthly 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.

Keen to expand my Photoshop skills, I thought it would be a good idea to pick a particular element and try to understand it as much as I could and then use it in my After Before Friday post.  Although this sounds a lot like self enforced homework, I’m hoping it will encourage me to expand my Ps skills and give my ABF post some focus (pun totally intended!). Continue reading