ABFriday: Stone, Water and Sky

It’s once again time for After-Before Friday, hosted as always by Stacy Fisher over at Visual Venturing. To see other pictures from ABFriday, click here.  It’s always fun to check and see the many variations that happen each month!

On the left is the original photo; on the right is how the photo looked after I enhanced it in Lightroom. The colors and textures have improved and there is more variation between the sky and water.

This was the finalist, using Topaz Glow “Whiskers and Fur 1”. Topaz Glow uses “energetic sparks of neon lights” (per their advertising) “to create beautiful and vibrant images”.

I’ve found it difficult to find anything I like when using it, so my challenge this month was to see if I couldn’t figure it out. It took some experimenting, but I finally found a look that after some adjustment, I thought showed off the textures and colors in a way that was pleasing. To finish it, I used a border called “antique” from onOne Software to give it a vintage look.

The finalist! This used Topaz Glow,

The finalist! This used Topaz Glow, “Whiskers and Fur 1”, with an antique border from onOne.

I didn’t clone out the people. On the other experiments, I thought it helped give perspective to the photo and they were clearly recognized as people. For the Topaz Glow, it’s harder to tell what they are and if I were to redo the picture, I’d try it with and without the people to see how it looked.

Here are some of the others that turned out surprisingly well, even though I didn’t use them as the finalist. The left one has a softer effect from using Topaz Adjust “Simplify” to remove details. The right one used a Topaz Adjust effect called “Bleached Bypass Cool” to give it a desolate and wintery look. Yes, I’m from the Midwest so the thought of winter doesn’t bother me.

On the next set of photos, the left one used Topaz Lens Effects to create a fog on the right; the right photo used a cracked paper texture from onOne. I liked how they both turned out, but I’m not sure if I’d be in a hurry to repeat either one in another photo.

I always love to hear which ones you like, so please – vote below and let me know what you think! Besides of course, the laughter that comes from seeing all the experiments.

To see other months of different effects, click here.

38 thoughts on “ABFriday: Stone, Water and Sky

    • Well, Ben – you get the prize! I thought the same thing. I was really intent on using Topaz Glow, but I thought just doing it in Lightroom looked pretty darn good. I was pretty surprised at the data in the pixels and that the colors and textures came up so nicely.

  1. Once again, the variations and process are fascinating. The antique border and the wrinkled paper offer some real possibilities..and who couldn’t like the fog.
    I like the people in (adds depth and movement) and actually the top right one

  2. This one gave me pause – a very interesting painterly effect. You’re right, perhaps, in that it might benefit from removal of … I’d say the couple of the left … maybe. Your editing seems to make that couple stand out more than in other versions and tends to hold my eye longer than perhaps it should. But I really like what you’ve created here. Love it.

    • Thanks Lynne! I appreciate the feedback. It really was a tough call whether to leave the people in or not. I’d taken them out of the U.S. Capital one last month and wasn’t sure I liked it. I’m glad you enjoyed the different variations.

  3. hello dogear6 its dennis the vizsla dog hay that luks like a spot dada wood like!!! i am a littel afrayd of all that water tho!!! i wil set saya and trixie eksplore it on wun of their imadjinary owtings withowt me wot they dont reely hav!!! ok bye

    • Ah Dennis, really? Afraid of water? But you’re supposed to a hunting dog. Of course, your cousin here in Richmond does a great job of hunting meat when I’m fixing supper. He’s a great hunter for that!

  4. Nancy, I quite like your Topaz Glow application, but I really was taken with the bleach bypass version. It really did give Katie’s wonderful image that icy, winter feeling that matched beautifully with the feel of the original photo! I loved seeing all your edits, though – it’s like your own mini-1PF :D

    • Thanks Stacy! I liked the bleach bypass one also and it was tough choosing which one was better. I was glad to get something to look good with Topaz Glow, but I don’t think it will ever be my go-to. And yes, my posts do turn into a mini-1PF! My blog friends seem to like it too.

    • Thanks Christine (note to self: get your new blog on my feed)! Katie Prior took this picture – the challenge is for all of us to work on the same picture and see how it turns out. She took it at Lyme Regis, Dorset, UK, of The Cobb. I have no idea where that is :)

  5. They are all very interesting, but I think I agree with Whiskers and Fur 1 as winner as you can see all the details, but it also has an artistic quality to it. Well done and I hope you’ll keep on having fun experimenting with all the various effects :-)

  6. I like your finalist, Nancy! It’s beautiful. Of the other contenders, I really like the bleach bypass one. Somehow it gives a bit of a wintry feel which fits so well with the scenery.

    • Thanks Tiny! That bleached bypass was a close second and I kind of waffled between them. But I really wanted to try out Topaz Glow this month and it wasn’t bad.

  7. lensaddiction

    Nancy you sure had fun with this one, your LR edit was excellent, I wish mine had come out quite that well. I trialed Glow and found it really fun to use but yes you have to work at it cos there are SO MANY sliders and various combinations will do difffernt things. I liked your end result too.

    • Thanks for the comment! I really thought about returning Glow, but I’d gotten it on sale and figured I’d play with it from time to time. I was pleased with the end result too – first time I’ve really liked what I did in Glow. The LR edit turned out superb, although it was great that Katie had a raw file to work with.

    • You do such gorgeous work already, Mary! It would give you more tools, but it doesn’t fix if you can’t take a good picture to start with. I bet you could really snazz up a few of those beautiful landscapes of yours.

  8. Hi Nancy,
    I am fascinated by the special effects that you can use to make a photograph look just like a painting. My brother uses something called “Brushstrokes” to do the same. I love all the possibilities, and am very happy with your final choice! Thanks for walking us through the process.

    • Thanks Laura! I thought you used it the other day on the tree photo that you posted, but was doing it on my phone (which I find incredibly hard to peck out a comment with).

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