One of the fun things about blogging is making new friends and trying new things. Stacy Fischer, over at Visual Venturing, presents a picture each month for post-processing interpretations for whoever would like to participate. I did it last month (in this post here) and really enjoyed it.
Manal Ali shared such an interesting photo for this week! Although the sky was a challenge, I wanted to preserve and highlight the bright colors in both the foreground and background of the photo. This is the original:
Isn’t this picture just full of potential? I can’t wait to see what appealed to the other photographers who are participating.
For me, I did the following:
- Made my usual Lightroom changes to the highlights, shadows, contrast, etc.. This brought out the colors and details.
- Using Photoshop, I corrected the keystoning so that the building on the right was straight up and down, as well as the post on the left side.
- I experimented with several different crops before deciding to eliminate most of the sky and part of the left side as well, including the lamp post. I thought this really focused the photo to the jumble of details and colors that I wanted highlighted.
- I would have liked to clone out that branch hanging in front of the back building, but my cloning skills were not up to removing that without it being obvious. It’s something to practice on more but I decided to leave it in than have it look messed up.
- To further help the picture, I used Topaz Restyle to accentuate the grays, blacks, and greens. Topaz Adjust was applied to bring up more detail and put a simple border around the picture.
- I saved the picture as a *.psd and went back to Lightroom.
- After looking at the picture, I decided it was a bit too dark. I lightened it up and increased the contrast slightly.
- My last step – as always – was to export the picture so that it loads as a smaller file and doesn’t slow down my post when it opens up.
Here are the two pictures, side by side for comparison:
It was fun playing with this. There was so much in here; my pictures are not usually this busy and I enjoyed working with something so different. The quote below was something I’d found a while back and I thought it perfectly expressed the ABFriday (After and Before):
Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember whatJean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.- Jim Jarmusch