Happy New Year! And what better way to start the year off than with After Before Friday, sponsored by Stacy Fischer at Visual Venturing. To see how other photographers interpreted this month’s photograph, click here.
This month’s selection came from Laura Macky, whose past participation encouraged many of us to up our game after seeing her imagination let loose. Laura is a fantastic photographer; I follow her on Facebook and also on her blog, Laura Macky Photography.
Laura’s picture looked pretty good to me without any adjustments:
I did a minor correction to the horizon, using the far shore as my leveling point. I enhanced the colors, contrast, saturation, etc. in Lightroom. I also applied a preset by Matt Kloskowski called “Game Day”. I don’t usually use presets in Lightroom, but I liked how this brought out the colors and textures in Laura’s photograph. I also did a hard crop, to bring better focus on the bow of the boat. That was strictly a judgment call; the picture could easily have done without a crop. I didn’t do any cloning, although in hindsight, I wish I’d gotten rid of that piece of metal sticking out of the front of the boat.
I tried one other crop – a square. It was only okay.
Topaz Labs came out with a new package that uses textures. I wanted to try it out! I liked the outcome, but I need to play more with these presets before being satisfied with how my work looks.
The preset, “Bold”, in Topaz Adjust gave everything a gritty look. This picture held up well with that and I considered just stopping here. I was surprised to see the light arc in the sky. It’s there in all the pictures, but not noticeable unless you look for it.
I also tried Topaz Simplify. It didn’t turn out badly – I liked all the textures better – but this worked better than I expected. It gives it more of a graphic look.
And lastly, I decided to play around in Topaz Black and White. I did it just to experiment a bit more. The colors were so rich and vivid, I couldn’t imagine not playing them up. Well, it shows how wrong that thinking was. This desaturated look from “Milk Memories” turned out to be my favorite. The hazy, gauzy look really played up the abandoned feeling of this boat.
Now that I look at them all again, I’m thinking maybe I do like the colors in the Topaz Simplify better. Maybe. Maybe not.
Still, it was fun to try things out and see what worked and what didn’t.
As always, let me know what you think! Did I pick it right or would you have picked something else? Don’t be shy – let me know!
If you want to see what I did in other challenges, click here.
I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com.