ABFriday: Street Art


Welcome to another month of After-Before Friday, where participants take a photo and each renders their own interpretation of it. The other photos are hosted at Visual Venturing by Stacy Fischer. This month, Ben Rowe, of Aperture64, volunteered a photo of the Pendennis Castle in Cornwall, England. I encourage you to visit both blogs – Stacy’s to see what other people did (and it’s always a wide variety) and Ben, because he does such a superb job of explaining how he edited his version.

So here’s the original photo. The red marks are some things I cloned out to slightly declutter the picture. This included two benches, a sign, a small amount of roof, and a blip in the sky. I also did some pipes up the side of the building (just to the left of the center), but missed one in the middle of the tower, where the arrow is.

Original Photo Before Lightroom Adjustments; Red Shows What I Cloned Out

Original Photo Before Lightroom Adjustments; Red Shows What I Cloned Out

I lightly edited the photo in Lightroom and cropped it down to reduce the sky and grass. I felt the castle was better seen when it filled the frame and the Lightroom adjustments brought out the colors and perked up the picture.

Original Photo After Cropping and Lightroom Adjustments

Original Photo After Cropping and Lightroom Adjustments

I then opened up Photoshop and started experimenting! Using Topaz Impression, I found this Urban Art filter. I liked the bricks and the texture and thought this photo would look really good as street art, similar to what I see around town (click here to see some). I did not like this particular rendition though. The other two choices were all red or all green, which was not an improvement. What I particularly didn’t like was that the photo looked miniaturized, mostly due to the bricks being so large. I wanted the photo to dominate the wall. I also wanted some color!

Topaz Impressions

Topaz Impressions “Urban Art 1”

So instead, I found a different effect in Topaz Impressions that I liked (“Painterly 1”) and I changed the background to bricks. It took some experimentation to get the bricks as large and textured as I liked, but it worked! I opened the photo in onOne to find a border for it. That I didn’t find, but I found a filter called “Dynamic Contrast” that improved the colors and textures of the photo significantly, so after using it, that became my final version for this month.

The lovely texture of the castle went away, but I thought this made a great street art scene that would rise high onto a brick wall somewhere.

Final Version - Topaz Impressions

Final Version – Topaz Impressions “Painterly 1” on Brick, With onOne Dynamic Contrast

This one ran a close second. Had I note been so enamored with the street art idea, I’d have gone with this. It also used Topaz Impression, but this is “Van Gogh”. I also used the “Dynamic Contrast” filter in onOne. In fact, I’d done this one before the street art version which was how I found that filter in onOne.

Topaz Impressions

Topaz Impressions “Van Gogh”; onOne Dynamic contrast w/ Ansel border

Here are others that didn’t make the cut. The left one is the final version with a dirty border, which aged and stressed the bricks. Interesting, but too dark for my taste. The black and white, “Somber Ecru” is not bad, but not special enough for me to use. The bottom right photo used Topaz Glow, “Mysterious”, coming out way too dark and weird for my taste.

As always, give me your votes! What do you think worked? Do you like the same final version that I did or do you like something else better?

Enjoy your weekend and what’s left of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. I’m in the throes of tax season, which is always a lot of fun. It’s going well though and my new co-workers are doing a great job of pulling together to get this done.