52 Week Photo Challenge: Week 3/4 Reflection of a self portrait

self-portrait

I’m way too late for this, but being determined to try to keep up with some challenges, at least for a few weeks, here is my week 3 and 4 combined. Taking a few moments in the evening sat outside, I looked up and the sun was shining on me and reflecting in my kitchen window. After recovering from the inital alarm at seeing myself, I thought, that it would make a good “selfie” for this challenge. I’m not keen on having my photo taken, but when I look over the holiday pics and realise that it looks like I stayed at home, maybe I just need to “get over it”. I’m the sort that would rather be hiding at the back, fading into the shadows, staying under the radar. Maybe I just don’t want to give anything away, be judged by other people, I keep myself to myself. I think many photographers are the same, we like to hide behind our cameras!

A Self Portrait and A Reflection for the 52 week challenge at The Girl that Dreams Awake.

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 

One Four Challenge: March Week 4 and poll

Robyn G from Captivate Me hosts a monthly feature called One Four Challenge, one image processed four different ways. Each week of the month the participants post a different version of their image. 

For this week’s image I have tried to experiment with filters and textures using LR plug-ins. I wanted to try to create a different effect than I could get in Lightroom and there was a free version of Perfect Effects 9 to try, so I thought I’d give it a go and see how I got on with it.

From the original image with the Lightroom adjustments, I chose edit in Perfect Effects 9 as a plug-in and…

  • Added a HDR glow layer and used the adjustment brush to remove the filter from an area on the swans neck the glow effect had made it too blurry.
  • Using the textures, added a warm concrete subtle filter to the image.
  • When I saved it I had a trouble finding the image again, I must be doing something wrong here as I had thought it would take me back to LR and my new image.
  • Back in LR when I had found the image and imported it back, I reduced the saturation of the yellow and orange and increased the clarity.

cygnet week 4

A gallery of all the edits and the original.

Comments and feedback welcome. Please vote in the poll to let me know which is your favourite.

Why not hop over to see the other posts on the One Four Challenge, click on the link or use the tag “One Four Challenge” in the Reader.

One Four Challenge: March Week 3

Robyn G from Captivate Me hosts a monthly feature called One Four Challenge, one image processed four different ways. Each week of the month the participants post a different version of their image. 

For this week’s image I have tried to create a softer look.

From the week one image, I…

  • Increased the overall exposure by a couple of stops which achieved the lightness I wanted, it did however leave the water a fairly yellowy green colour.
  • To deal with this, I used the split toning function, I chose a blue colour for the shadows, which created a better colour for the water and to counterbalance the resulting coldness, I used a beige yellow colour for the highlights, then adjusted the split toning balance to the warmer side.
  • It was still a little bit too yellow so in the HSL panel, I adjusted the yellow hue to a more orangy tone which created a more pleasing overall colour.
  • Then using the radial tool, I created a vignette to darken and unsharpen the edges a little.

Cygnet week 3

Comments and feedback welcome.

Click this link for the Week One version.

Click this link for the Week Two version.

Why not hop over to see the other posts on the One Four Challenge, click on the link or use the tag “One Four Challenge” in the Reader.

Cees Black and White Challenge: Photographers

 

Thank you very much to Amy at “The World is a Book” for inviting me to join in the 5 day black and white challenge. Amy’s site has a great selection of beautiful photos taken from her travels around the world. She shares a great quote from Saint Augustine “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”

There are two rules for this challenge. The first is to post a black and white image daily for 5 days and then to invite someone different to join each day. The first I can just about manage, but I’m going to do my own version of the second bit. Rather than invite someone to participate in the challenge, I will use each post to introduce a site, forum or challenge where I think that you will find some amazing black and white photos and photographers. Many will need no introduction and may be familiar to you already, but if you’re new to them and love monochrome, please follow the links and visit their sites.

Each week, Cee Neuner from Cee’s Photography, sets us a black and white challenge. I don’t know how she manages to think of so many different themes, but it is great that she does. Each week she features a selection of posts from the previous theme and gives us a list of upcoming themes, which is great as you can plan ahead. 🙂

This week’s theme is photographers and cameras. Sometimes I find that photographing people taking photos of an event is just as interesting as the event itself.

 

photographers-0522

 

 

One Four Challenge: March Week 2

Thank you very much to Amy at “The World is a Book” for inviting me to join in the 5 day black and white challenge. Amy’s site has a great selection of  beautiful photos taken from her travels around the world. She shares a great quote from Saint Augustine  “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”

There are two rules for this challenge. The first is to post a black and white image daily for 5 days and then to invite someone different to join each day. The first I can just about manage, but I’m going to do my own version of the second bit. Rather than invite someone to participate in the challenge, I will use each post to introduce a site, forum or challenge where I think that you will find some amazing black and white photos and photographers. Many will need no introduction and may be familiar to you already, but if you’re new to them and love monochrome, please follow the links and visit their sites.

Firstly, Robyn G from Captivate Me hosts a monthly feature called One Four Challenge, one image processed four different ways. Each week of the month the participants post a different version of their image. You will find some stunning monochrome versions amongst other colour images, but all have taken a lot of time and thought and are worth a look!

For this week, I have chosen a black and white edit of my cygnet. Apart from the convert to black and white, I made very little other adjustments, it was already quite high contrast, but I altered the tone curve to “strong contrast” and increased the sharpening and masking to try and make the feathers look more like they were brush strokes.

 

Week Two
Week Two

 

Comments and feedback welcome.

Click this link for the Week One version.

Why not hop over to see the other posts on the One Four Challenge, click on the link or use the tag “One Four Challenge” in the Reader.

One Four Challenge: March Week 1

Robyn G from Captivate Me hosts a monthly feature called One Four Challenge, one image processed four different ways. Each week of the month the participants post a different version of their image and at the end create a poll to see which image was the most popular.

I had a hard time choosing an image for this month, and nearly didn’t manage it, but I couldn’t give up after just two months! Its fun doing these One Four challenges anyway! Eventually I settled on this image I had of a cygnet, gliding gracefully across the river. I did take quite a few, so was bound to get one composition I liked, and I really liked the reflection on this one. The image was, however, not very sharp and a bit dull, it was taken in low light, so there’s quite a lot of “noise”.

For this weeks edit, I used a suggestion from Stacy at Visual Venturing, she mentioned that one possible LR workflow is to reduce the highlights to -100, increase the shadows to +100 and move the white and black sliders (with the alt key held down) until the white/black points just appear (watch her video for a proper explanation!). It produces a very contrasty and clear image, I’m not sure that I would use it all the time, but it seemed to bring out the image nicely in this case. I also used a graduated filter to increase the exposure on the swan’s body without overexposing the reflection and used the adjustment brush to lighten some of the details. I then sharpened the image with the masking at +83 to try and accentuate the texture on the wings and cropped to get to my final image.

WEEK ONE
WEEK ONE

Comments and feedback welcome.

Thanks if you voted on last weeks post for a February image, the black and white image came out on top.

Why not hop over to see the other posts on the One Four Challenge, click on the link or use the tag “One Four Challenge” in the Reader.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rule of Thirds

third-2

This week Jen from the Daily Post has challenged us to create an image using the “Rule of Thirds”

…”The Rule of Thirds is a photography concept that puts the subject of the photograph off-center, which usually results in blank space in the rest of the image.”…

For more images using the “rule of thirds” visit the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge