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 45

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.

My photo this week is from a recent trip to the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England. It is an amazing place, with rugged cliffs holding a treasure trove of fossils from millions of years ago. We were so close to the sea that in the evening, just as the sun was going down, I was able to steal out for half an hour and wander along the seafront with my camera.

Sea puddles at sunset-before

I was drawn to the lines and the light on the water in this image, but it felt a bit flat, the foreground was underexposed and the blue from the sky reflecting in the puddle made it too cold.

I used Lightroom’s graduated filter to increase the exposure in the foreground and bring out more detail of the ripples in the water. Setting the centre point of the filter about one third up the frame, I increased the exposure by about 2 stops until there was a more even tone. Then by playing with the white balance, I increased the temperature to about 5.7k to warm up the image and give it more of an evening sunshine look. Then a little cropping, a quick spot removal of a distracting reflection on the water and applying a slight post crop vignette brought me to my final image.

Sea puddles at sunset-after

Comments and feedback are welcome.

Please have a look at the other AfterBefore images on Visual Venturing