After Before Photo June 2015: House


It’s once again the first Friday of the month, which means another round of One Photo Focus on After-Before Friday, sponsored by Stacy Fischer at Visual Venturing.

In honor of the one-year anniversary of ABFriday and the six-month anniversary of One Photo Focus, Stacy used one of her own photos to see how imaginative we could be. Below is the original photograph:

Original Photo
Original Photo

It’s not a bad photo, but there are some definite challenges between the sidewalk, fence post, other house, and the angle this was taken at. I tried to transform it so it didn’t angle quite so badly, but too much of the top got cut off. It was also hard getting that fence post out of there and leaving it look normal. So in the end, I cropped it down to show just the porch. I did some minor straightening so that the front post in the center was a true perpendicular when viewed.

Cropped But Not Adjusted Yet
Cropped But Not Adjusted Yet

There’s still a lot of clutter in the picture, which I found distracting. Topaz Simplify was my way around that, after I corrected for colors and exposure. I did a first round of corrections in Lightroom, but then used other Topaz filters to further improve the picture before using Topaz Simplify.

This was my final choice, mostly because I liked the deep rich colors that came out in it. I used Topaz Effects “Grunge Me” to get the richness of colors, especially the gray and white. I then used Topaz Simplify “Painting” to remove more of the details and give it an artsy look. The windows on the left and the top right came out really dark in this version, so I lightened them up slightly.

Final Choice, Using Topaz Effects
Final Choice, Using Topaz Effects “Grunge Me” and Topaz Simplify “Painting”

This one used no filters to adjust colors. I went straight to Topaz Simplify “Line and Ink 1”. I did this one first and could have stopped here. It turned out good also, but as usual I kept experimenting, which was how I ended up with the one above. I did have one add thing though with the picture below. There were two small spots of a really bright lime green that were rather jarring. I ended up using the paint bucket in Photoshop to blend them in with the colors around them. This was my second pick and it’s very acceptable.

Topaz Simplify Line and Ink 1 with Minor Color Adjustments
Topaz Simplify “Line and Ink 1” with Minor Color Adjustments

I then went to Topaz Restyle to enhance colors. This one below used “Smoky Train Stop”, followed by Topaz Simplify “Line and Ink 1”. As you can see, Restyle caused this to highlight the blue cast in the gray paint color, which was emphasized further with Topaz Simplify. The colors are good and acceptable, I just don’t like them quite as well.

Topaz Restyle Smoky Train Stop with Topaz Simplify Line and Ink 1
Topaz Restyle “Smoky Train Stop” with Topaz Simplify “Line and Ink 1”

I liked this one the least. I used Topaz Restyle “Somber Ecru” which kept the gray color, but rendered the white a little less bright. I then used Topaz Simplify “Pastel” and the end result is just okay.

Topaz Restyle
Topaz Restyle “Somber Ecru” with Topaz Simplify “Pastel”

Was it fun? Yep! I enjoyed trying out my Topaz filters, seeing what the results were, and tweaking up small differences. To see how other photographers did, click here. It’s worth the effort to see how different we all are with the same photo.

To see other post processing techniques that I’ve done, click here.