One Photo Focus – September 2016

After-Before Friday is an event which allows photographers to share their processed images, and, if they choose, their post-processing steps. On the first Friday of the month, all participants have the opportunity to edit the same photo in the “One Photo Focus” challenge.

As soon as I opened up the image I knew that I wanted to create a warm sunset scene (this proved easier said than done, but I was happy with the result in the end).  These were my main steps, excluding a few basic tonal adjustments in Camera Raw and Lightroom:

1/ First off, I opened the image in Photoshop, duplicated the background layer, and converted it to a Smart Object.  I then applied a Camera Raw Filter to bring out some texture in the sky. Using highlight luminosity masks (Jimmy McIntyre has a great set of Photoshop actions which can be downloaded for free) I created a layer mask to ensure that only the sky was visible.

1.jpg

2/ Next I created a new blank layer, filled it with black, and applied a lens flare filter (Filter > Render > Lens Flare > Movie Prime) – this would become my sun.

2.jpg

3/ I applied a Camera Raw filter on top of that, to increase the warmth and brightness of the layer.  I changed the blend mode of the layer to screen, added a layer mask, and voilá; I had my sun. 3.jpg

4/ I used a duplicate layer with a different layer mask and a lower opacity to add the sunlight on the water.

4

 

5/ The scene was still missing some of the warmth that one would associate with a real sunset – so I added an orange Gradient adjustment layer, which I set to 17% opacity and colour blend mode.  Then I added a new layer, filled it with orange, and set to it soft light blend mode.  I added layer masks to both layers to concentrate the effect on the sky.

5.jpg

6/ I then added a curves adjustment layer to darken the image.

6.jpg

7/ I merged all the layers and applied a final Camera Raw Filter, where I used a Radial Filter to lighten the shadows around the boat.

7.jpg

8/ A couple touch ups using the Clone Stamp Tool, and I had my final image.

September 2016 One Photo Focus copy

After

I had fun editing this image – it really pushed the boundaries of my Photoshop skills!

I hope you enjoyed my edit, and gained some tips along the way. I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on the final image.

 

One Photo Focus – April 2016

After-Before Friday is an event which allows photographers to share their processed images, and, if they choose, their post-processing steps. On the first Friday of the month, all participants have the opportunity to edit the same photo in the “One Photo Focus” challenge.

My computer had a bit of a moment while processing this image – as hard as it tried, my multi-tasking eventually got the better of it. As I was about to save my edit in Photoshop, it froze.  I lost hours of careful editing, but managed to take a screenshot before everything closed down; so, in the end, disaster averted!  The screenshot managed to retain enough information for me to complete my edit.

Immediately when I saw the image I knew I wanted to create a wintry scene; snow, fog, the works.  I found this tutorial on YouTube which basically dictated my Photoshop workflow.

April 2016 One Photo Focus-1-2.jpg

Close, but not quite yet what I was aiming for.  So, I opened it up in Analog Efex Pro 2 (did you know that Google’s entire Nik collection can now be downloaded for free?!).  I’ve never used any of the Nik software before, so a fair amount of experimentation ensued.  In the end, I added light leaks, a scratched texture, a bit of bokeh and a white vignette which amplified the overall aged effect.

Once again, the before vs the after:

I hope you enjoyed my edit!  I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on the end result. Images from other contributors can be seen here.

 

 

One Photo Focus – February 2016

After-Before Friday is an event which allows photographers to share their processed images, and, if they choose, their post-processing steps. On the first Friday of the month, all participants have the opportunity to edit the same photo in the “One Photo Focus” challenge.

It’s been a while since I’ve taken part, but I hope to be more consistent this year.

1/ First off, I cropped the image and filled in extra sky with Edit > Fill > Content Aware.  Then I added a Camera Raw Filter to darken the exposure and remove the highlight spot in the sky, which was produced by the sun.Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 1.45.56 PM-2

2/ Something was still missing, so I added a moon.Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 1.46.36 PM-3

3/ To create the illusion that the moon was behind the sails, I duplicated the lower layer, changed the blend mode of the duplicate to Darken, and added a layer mask.

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 1.47.11 PM-44/ I merged all of my layers and applied a Camera Raw Filter to increase contrast and clarity, convert to black and white, and add a blue tint.

5/ Finally I tweaked a couple of things in Lightroom and added a vignette.

Once again, the before vs the after:

I hope you enjoyed my edit!  I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on the end result. Images from other contributors can be seen here.

Chobe – Mini-Planets

My family and I recently went to the Ichingo Chobe River Lodge for a week; we stayed on the Namibian border and went on a cruise up the river every morning and evening.

I have so many decent photos from the trip that I decided to split the posts into categories (in conjunction with my blogging revolution to write shorter posts).  Before we left I read an article on 500px ISO about How To Turn Your Panorama Photos Into 360-Degree Little Planet Images; these images are the before and afters of two of my panoramas which successfully underwent the process. Out of the four or five panoramas which I tried, these were the only two which were able to blend seamlessly.

 

One Photo Focus – November 2015

After-Before Friday is an event which allows photographers to share their processed images, and, if they choose, their post-processing steps. On the first Friday of the month, all participants have the opportunity to edit the same photo in the “One Photo Focus” challenge.  I skipped October’s image (while I was busy studying for my exams) but this month I decided to give it another go.

This month the photo was submitted by Helen Chen of HHC Blog:

I decided to create a halloween-themed image, with skulls, fog and spider webs.

  1. I opened the image up in Photoshop and reduced contrast in Camera Raw, specifically trying to remove the dappled highlights in an attempt to give the illusion that the photo was taken at night.

2. I added several skulls – which I had downloaded off the internet – using the Lighten blend mode. This means that only their lightest areas were shown (I found that this made the skulls look more authentic).

3. I added some ‘creeping mist’ by adding a new layer, clicking on Filter>Render>Clouds and hiding most of the layer behind a layer mask. For this layer I used the Screen blend mode.

4. I felt the inside of the doorway and the mist were in need of some texture, so I downloaded a cobwebs texture off the internet.

Cmd+t was used to fit it to inside the doorway and along the mist. The layer was blended using Lighten.

5. Inside CameraRaw, I converted the image to monochrome and increased the contrast and clarity.

1PF-4

6. I duplicated this layer, selected the corners (using the Elliptical Marquee Tool and then inverting the selection) and applied a layer mask to ensure that only the outer edge was visible.  Then I applied a Gaussian blur filter and a CameraRaw adjustment which darkened the visible areas; this resulted in a heavy, blurred vignette.

7. I added some final Lightroom adjustments.

Once again, the before vs the after:

I hope you enjoyed my edit!  I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on the end result.

One Photo Focus – September 2015

After-Before Friday is an event which allows photographers to share their processed images, and, if they choose, their post-processing steps. On the first Friday of the month, all participants have the opportunity to edit the same photo in the “One Photo Focus” challenge.  This is my second time participating.

This week the photo was submitted by Ben Rowe, from Aperture64.

I can’t remember my exact editing process, but this is the gist of it.

  1. I opened the image in Photoshop and duplicated the background image.  Then I applied a Gaussian blur filter to the copy.
  2. I selected the sky (Select > Colour range > Highlights), copied the selection into a new layer, converted it to a Smart Object, and added a Camera Raw filter to darken the sky.
  3. To create the water droplets, I opened a rainy texture, which I downloaded off the internet, into the Photoshop document. I changed the blend mode of the rain to Lighten, and decreased the opacity.

4. I created a new layer, and added a cloudy filter (Filter > Render > Clouds).

5. In order to create the streaks, I downloaded a streaky texture off the internet:

With the blacks selected, I created a layer mask on the layer with the cloud filter.  (Therefore rendering only the cloud in the selection visible.)

6. Then, I added a layer mask to the water droplets and painted black over the position of the castle.  I selected the black in the layer mask, and added a layer mask to the background copy layer.  I painted over a part of the cloud’s layer mask, removing some of the streaks in front of the castle.

7. Finally I opened the image in Lightroom, and performed basic adjustments on it, including reducing the saturation.

Once again, the before vs the after:

I hope you enjoyed my edit!  I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on the end result.

One Photo Focus – August

After weeks (months?) of admiring the images at Stacy Fischer’s After-Before Friday, I finally persuaded myself that I should join in.  For those of you who don’t know, After-Before Friday is an event which allows photographers to share their processed images, and, if they choose, their post-processing steps. On the first Friday of the month, all participants have the opportunity to edit the same photo in the “One Photo Focus” challenge.

This week the photo was submitted by Katie Prior, from Drawing with Light.

1. I opened up the image in Photoshop, and removed the people using the spot-heal tool.

Step 1

2. I replaced the sky using one of my own images which I took on a stormy day.

Step 2

3. In order to blend the rest of the image with the sky, I opened it up in Camera Raw, darkened the image, and increased clarity and contrast.  I also added a gradient, to selectively darken the mountains.

4. I then added a rainbow.  To do this, I created a new layer, and added a gradient (“Russell’s rainbow”, found under Presets > special effects). I used free transform (Ctrl+t) to move the gradient until I was happy with its position.

Screenshot (1588)

5. As I didn’t want the rainbow to cover the entire length of the image, I added a layer mask, and, with the Foreground Colour set to black, I painted out the unwanted areas.  To reduce the strength of the effect, I changed the layer’s blend mode to ‘screen’ and reduced the opacity of the layer.

6. Finally, I made some basic adjustments in Lightroom; decreasing the highlights and blacks, and increasing clarity and the whites.  I also added a selective adjustment to parts of the pier, and added a vignette to the edges.

Once again, the before vs the after:

I hope you enjoyed my edit!  I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on the end result.

Dullstroom: Haunted Moon tutorial

As I promised ages ago, here is a tutorial on how I created this photo:

image

For the photo of the moon, I used: a Canon EOS 1100D, a manual 170-500mm lens, Manual, partial metering, ISO 800, 1/40th/sec, and f5.

IMG_9743-16

For the photo of the tree, I used: a Canon EOS 1100D, an 18-55mm lens, Manual, partial metering, ISO 400, 1/640th/sec, and f5.6.

IMG_9558-1

  1. Post-processing began with opening both photos as layers in Photoshop.
  2. To prepare it for the final image, I turned the moon into black and white, and used a filter to reduce noise.
  3. I then selected the moon, made a new layer out of the selection, and deleted the old layer.
  4. By clicking “Select – colour range” I selected the blues in the sky. I inverted the selection in order to select the tree and its branches, and made a new layer containing a copy of the tree.
  5.  I reordered the layers so that the tree-with-the-sky was at the bottom, the moon was in the middle, and the tree at the top (this means that the moon was between the sky and the tree).
  6. I used free transform (Ctrl/t) to change the size and position of the moon, until I was satisfied.
  7. Finally, I used adjustment layers to convert to black and white, create an infrared effect (by pushing the reds) and increase contrast using curves.

Old Joe’s Kaia: Food and Styling Workshop Part 3

I recently went on a food photography course – this is my third and last post about that weekend.

Sunday morning’s breakfast consisted of fruit, muesli, and yoghurt. We took vertical photos of it in order to emphasise height. The photo was back-lit with natural light, and front-lit with a reflector. Note the orange in the place-mat, the fruit, and the background, which leads one’s eye through the image.

image

This is a chocolate-chilli cake, taken with the same set-up as the breakfast.

image

Our next plate was of a stereotypical breakfast, also back-lit naturally and front-lit with reflectors. Observe how the maroon patterns on the tablecloth draw your eye through the photo.

image

Next we photographed some gorgeous cottage pies using a studio light from the back and a fill-light from the front.

image

My last photo before we left was of a naturally side-lit piece of fish. The background was an old stove-top.

image

I hope you’ve enjoyed the last few posts. Check out part 1 and part 2 if you missed them!

Old Joe’s Kaia: Food and Styling Workshop Part 2

As I mentioned in a recent post, I went on a food photography workshop a few weeks ago.  This is a continuation of that post.

After a delicious lunch on Saturday afternoon (the food was amazing, so from now on you can assume that any meal I mention has the word ‘delicious’ as a prefix) we had a photography session in the kitchen.  A number of different scenes were set up, with a simple lighting set-up – they were side-lit with a speed-light behind an umbrella.  This sort of food photography is known as “dark food” – it is moody, low-key, and minimalist.

We then went on to do more, similar photography, but this time showcasing the plates that the ingredients were on.  The scenes were side-lit with a single medium-sized softbox.

Using the same lighting, we tried a fun, still-but-moving picture (which is my way of saying a still picture with the illusion of motion).

image

I later entertained myself with some fairy lights hanging over the windows (while using f1.8).

image

I’ll post Sunday’s pictures soon (you can look forward to chocolate cake!).