AB Friday: March 2015

Final Photo
Final Photo
It’s time again for the ABFriday One Photo Focus Challenge, in which a photograph is provided for readers to interpret with post-photo processing.  This month’s photo came from Loré Dombaj at Snow’s Fissures and Fractures.  To see how other photographers interpreted this picture (and they will be wildly different), click here.
The original started out like this:
Original Photo
Original Photo
As is my usual, I spent some time with Loré’s picture to evaluate what I saw and wanted to emphasize in it (thanks to a fellow blogger, Emilio Pasquale, for pointing out that’s how I do my pictures).  The face of the cherub caught my attention and I decided that’s what my focus would be.  I did some adjustments in Lightroom, then used the radial filters to lighten up the plant on top of the cherub’s head and the cherub’s face.  I used another radial filter to darken the left bicep so it wasn’t so washed out.
I then cloned out the sign that was partially hidden behind the tree and cropped the picture to a 1×1 to remove the extraneous tables and chairs on both sides.  By the way – I cloned out the sign the SECOND time I processed the picture, since I didn’t notice it the first time until I was done with all my adjustments, including those in Photoshop.  It was easier to go back and redo it than try to clone it out so late in the game.
Below is how the radial filters, cloning and cropping were done.  #1 lightened up the entire plant, while #2 lightened up just the darkest part of the plant.  #3 lightened up the face, while #4 darkened the shoulder and upper arm.  #5 cloned out the sign, while #6 cropped the picture into a square.
Detail of the radial filters and cloning done in Lightroom.
Here’s how it looked before going into Photoshop.  I’ve also shown the adjustments panel in Lightroom to show what got changed:
In Photoshop, I applied several different filters to it – Topaz Clarity (Low Contrast and Color Pop 1), Topaz Adjust (Low Contrast and Black Rose), and a border from OnOne (Russell).  The Black Rose was an overall tint that adjusted the entire picture.  I normally don’t do that to my pictures, but in this case I liked how the colors popped out on the statue and tables, while de-emphasizing the plants.
I adjusted brightness and exposure to lighten up the picture slightly, then put on a text layer for a watermark acknowledging the original photographer.  I tried a watermark in both the lower left and upper right corners, before settling on the upper right corner.  That’s why there are two text layers, one of which is turned off (the little eyeball is missing).
March 1PF PS Adjustments Blog
After saving this as a *.psd, I went back to Lightroom and exported it for posting on my blog.  This limits the size and resolution so my pictures take up less space and load faster when my blog posts are opened.  Normally I sharpen my pictures when exporting them, but in this case it over-emphasized the detail, which I felt distracted from the picture itself.


I enjoyed trying out different things, experimenting with several different looks, and creating a beautiful picture.  And for your laughter and amusement, here are some bloopers:

Interested in how I post processed other photos?  Click here to see more.


ABFriday Challenges

dogear6 View All →

I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com or write me at dogear6 [at] gmail [dot] com.

24 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Nancy, the combination of all you did gave the photo a beautiful softness while at the same time bringing out gorgeous detail! I had to laugh at you not seeing the sign – reminds me of not seeing the rope in Emilio’s truck picture (or, in the very first group edit in November, a crane in Karen’s picture from Florence) :D Funny what our eyes pick up on (or don’t pick up on). I also enjoyed your “bloopers” – fun idea. And I agree, the Topaz Glow just didn’t cut it ;) Great post with lots of helpful tips and lovely result!

    • Thanks Stacy! I appreciate that you noticed all the little extras. The bloopers have become a pretty fun part of my posts and my readers enjoy them very much. It’s good because it shows how processing a photo is so not a straight line in thinking. I don’t think you saw this post from a Bryan Peterson course that I took (I don’t see your picture in the likes), but I really put the bloopers out there on display. I shot pictures almost all day and it was so frustrating! I got a few good things, but not hardly worth all the effort.


  2. I really like your interpretation of the photo! The face pops up and focuses the eye just right. This might be an interesting challenge to participate in.

    • Thanks Tiny! You should participate – it’s really stretched me as I don’t normally take pictures like what is presented for the challenge. The community has been fun too. As the week goes on, we’ll be blog hopping to leave comments. They’re supportive and respectful, with a lot of helpful tips along the way.

  3. Nice job Nancy, and I enjoyed learning how and where you did all the edits, I should take some time to do something similar on my images. Loved your version, its a really nice job :)

    • Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment! Let me know if you have any problems trying out the techniques and I’ll try to help. It’s mostly a matter of just experimenting (over and over and over).

    • Ben – thanks for the feedback! I appreciate particularly your commented on the muted vs. saturated tones. It’s not a big difference, but I really liked the slightly muted one better, so I’m glad you were able to see it and shared your own thoughts on it.

    • Thanks Mary! I had to laugh at your comment, since your result looked pretty similar to mine. If you try any of this out and have a problem with it, let me know and I’ll try to help.

  4. I love the colors and shading of the stone tables and that cherub. The leaf shapes and colors are a good contrast. Fascinated to read how you did all this. The close cropping makes the photo subject tighter and more interesting. Really appreciate you sharing all the details of the process (so envious of your skill)

    • Phil – you’ve been one of my biggest supporters over the years (thank you!). Thanks for the feedback on my post – I’m glad you enjoyed it and took the time to articulate why.

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