Welcome to the May Edition of After-Before Friday, hosted as usual by Stacy Fisher at Visual Venturing. It was again fun trying new things with my photo skills! Each month brings a new challenge and it’s great to see what others do with it for their interpretation.
This month’s photo was provided by Shane Francescut and looked like this:
Isn’t that a stinker? Yes, it’s a technical term. Highly, highly technical.
I wanted so badly to highlight that red teeter-totter. I positively fixated on it. It’s so red! It’s so there! Blah, blah – the point is that’s what I wanted. And I couldn’t get it to work. The red was just too jarring against the rest of the photo. At the same time, I didn’t want to crop it out.
In the end, I adjusted the photo in Lightroom, including some straightening, then took it into Photoshop. I used a Topaz Labs Black and White Filter called Cool II. Cool II gave it a steely gray appearance which really appealed to me, especially for the greenhouse and its glass.
The picture below was what I wanted. It works, but only sort of. I did a composite, with the teeter-totter on top of the buildings. I was trying to convey the contradiction of the playground to the high-rise buildings behind it. It seems so strange to have both in the same picture. I normally would not envision them together, although I know in many cities they are close together.
To do this, I created two virtual copies in Lightroom, cropped one for just the playground and one for the buildings. I brought them into Photoshop, then combined the layers together. I put the playground equipment on top of the buildings, set the opacity to 70% so you could see what was under it, and used a mode called “darken”. I simply played with the modes until I found one I liked best.
worked played with this, the buildings were a bit too garish. So I duplicated that layer to convert it to black and white. I felt that worked much better. I did have to move the layers around (using transform – scale) to get the equipment positioned the way I wanted it over the buildings.
So what else failed? Trying it in black and white but coloring in the playground equipment.
I also didn’t like this one. It’s a preset in Topaz Labs Black and White, called Milk Memories. I don’t like how the left side of the teeter-totter gets lost in the white vignette.
Lastly, here’s the original photo (left) and after I did some basic corrections in Lightroom (right):
So what do you think? Which one was your favorite?
Have a good weekend!
ABFriday Photography Photoshop & Lightroom Topaz Labs ABFriday One Photo Focus photo compositing playground equipment red teeter-totter Shane Francescut Stacy Fischer Topaz Labs Black and White Filters
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.