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.

ABFriday Photography Photoshop & Lightroom Topaz Labs

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.

34 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I really liked the red markings to show what’s happening. The background bricks were too big and did make the castle look like a miniature. And the dirty border is a perfect frame.
    That would be a wonderful street art mural! we have a few high quality street art scenes downtown that would welcome this for company.
    Enjoyed the process. Fun!

  2. Hey, Nancy, I really love how you saw this image as street art. Very imaginative! As for your various results (and I always enjoy seeing your different versions), I was actually drawn to the image with the dirty borders. I like the grungier feel of the brick as it seems more “street-artist” (though I’d love to see it without the borders). Fun post!

    • Thanks Stacy! I liked the grungier feel of the brick also, but when I checked the street art pictures I’ve taken around Richmond, they’re not dirty or sooty. So I was hesitant to go with that since it’s apparently not a realistic look.

      I did get your other e-mail announcement and have yet to respond to it. I support your decision and fully understand why you did it.

  3. I love the street art one. It’s what drew me into reading the post. I wondered if it was a photo of a mural, or if you had managed to make it look that way. I’ve really got to get Topaz. I enjoy reading about your process and seeing the results. Thanks for taking the time, (and I know it takes a lot of time) to do and share all that.

    • Thanks Christine, especially for the encouragement. Yes, it does take time but everyone seems to enjoy seeing what I did and what worked / didn’t work. Lately, that’s about all I’m getting done but I’m glad to at least be posting those!

  4. I love what you have done with this picture! Did I miss the post mentioning your new job? All the best with it. They are lucky to have you on board. <3

    • Thanks Darlene! No, you didn’t miss anything. I’ve been working as a contractor since July and with tax season, it’s been a lot of hours. I’m liking the work and the people and they have made me an offer to work a permanent part-time job, which would nicely meet my needs at this time in my life.

  5. I love your final choice! Many of the others were interesting too, but the details show best in your finalist. Always interesting read when you do these challenges!

    • Doesn’t it though? I was surprised at how much I was able to make it look like street art. It wasn’t quite the effect I went for at the start, but it sure did work.

  6. I always enjoy looking at your photos. I really like the black & white w/ brick texture. Glad work is going well for you. Hope you can relax and enjoy the 3-day weekend! See ya on Facebook :)

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