One Photo Focus: June

As you may or may not know, Stacy Fischer from Visual Venturing hosts a monthly challenge, One Photo Focus. One person submits a photo and then everyone else gets to play around with it, the result being several very different versions of the same image.

This month we have this lovely picture of some boats on a river by David Croker of CADE Photographic

katieprior-onephotofocus-june-2
Image courtesy of CADE Photographic

This looks a great place to be, I can just imagine sitting in a pub garden overlooking this river on a warm summer evening with nice cold beer and some good company…watching the boats go past.

The reflections are gorgeous, especially the cloud top right. OPF is all about image manipulation, so I probably would’t normally do this but hmmm, I wonder what would it look like if I mirrored the image?

Image courtesy of CADE Photographic, editing by Katie Prior
Image courtesy of CADE Photographic, editing by Katie Prior

Now go and see what everyone else has done with this picture at Stacy’s One Photo Focus, it’ll be interesting!

One Photo Focus: May

As you may or may not know, Stacy Fischer from Visual Venturing hosts a monthly challenge, One Photo Focus. One person submits a photo and then everyone else gets to play around with it, the result being (hopefully) several very different versions of the same image.

This month we have a rather nice picture of what looks like an old colonial building from Australian photographer Julie Powell.

Image courtesy of Julie Powell
Image courtesy of Julie Powell
Earlier this year Google made the move to make the Nik Collection available for free, an interesting move. I downloaded it but have not had chance to really get into it, so I thought I’d experiment with it on the OPF!

I made some basic adjustments with the image in Lightroom and removed the odd sensor spot (the price of such beautiful blue skies!). Then I exported it to Nik Color Efex and came up with this…

OPF-May2016-katieprior-2
Image courtesy of Julie Powell
Nice colours and contrast and increased detail, but I wanted something more for the OPF!

So, I exported it again into Analog Efex and added some effects to make it look like a classic camera. Added some dust and scratches, a little fading and a vignette. Here is my finished image…

OPF-May2016-katieprior
Image courtesy of Julie Powell – edited by Katie Prior
You must go and see what everyone else has done with this picture at Stacy’s One Photo Focus, it’ll be interesting!

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 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|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: Week 51

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.

Last weekend there was an arts festival running at our local village and I took a rare opportunity to visit the roof space of the old textile mill there. When we stepped into the room I was totally amazed, it is such a beautiful space. The Leeds Photographic Society were having a members exhibition there and whilst browsing the wonderful selection of members images, I took the chance to photograph the empty area at the end of the room.

Roofspace-before

As the room was bathed in bright sunlight, but had lots of dark shadows, I thought I would try out the new HDR feature in LR6 and took three bracketed exposures (at metered exposure, one stop under and one stop overexposed).

Screenshot 2015-05-27 12.39.11

I imported the images into Lightroom and highlighted the chosen images and selecting the HDR function, I merged the three images together. This gave me an image that was very bright, I had assumed that it would choose an exposure somewhere between the highest and lowest, but it has moved the whole histogram to the left creating an overly bright image.

Screenshot 2015-05-27 12.39.52

It was the darkness of the interior and the contrast with the sunlight on the floor and in the roof lights that had drawn me to the scene in the first place, so this effect was not what I had wanted. Fortunately when you use HDR in Lightroom, it is saved as a DNG file so you can enhance it like you would a RAW file. I reduced the overall exposure, increased the contrast and clarity to get more of the tone that I had wanted. At this stage I straightened it too, with so many converging lines, it had to be level!

Screenshot 2015-05-27 12.40.53

I was still not sure about the image, not dark and moody enough, so I darkened it again and after looking it at closer up, removed the horrendous chromatic aberration (is that a special feature of the HDR?) and here it is after all my adjustments…

roofspace-after-3

And just for fun (and added contrast), I converted it to black and white.

roofspace

I do like the HDR feature in Lightroom, it is easy to use, gives good results, there is no doubt that it is has a greater range of tones, even when the original (before HDR) is lightened.

Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Don’t forget to visit the other After Before Friday images at Stacy’s Visual Venturing. Next week is the One Photo Focus where we all edit the same image, contact Stacy via her blog if you’d like to join in too!