After Before Friday Forum Week 28

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 29 Before DualBREAKING NEWS:  In addition to this post today, I also have been given an opportunity to do a “guest post” on Leanne Cole’s blog entitled “Up for Discussion-Travel Photography.  Leanne is a fabulous photographer in Australia and if you haven’t checked her site before, please take a look.  The link is placed–for your convenience–at the end of this post.  And now back to our regularly scheduled Friday morning program.

By popular request, my submission to this week’s ABFriday Forum reveals the identity of one of the losing “Before”  images in the Reader’s Poll for the ABFriday Anniversary Challenge for Week 26.    The request came about when a colleague attempted to guess which one of the 8 submissions was actually mine.  She finally guessed correctly after choosing all of the others, leaving only this one.  She then wanted to know what in the world I was going to do with this image if it turned out the unimaginable happened and it was chosen. Several other friends wanted to know the story of what the object was and where it had been photographed.  So I promised I would post the whole story (a sad one, unfortunately) in a future Forum and so here we are today. Be sure to visit the other submissions to this week’s Forum at Stacy Fischer’s ABFriday Forum Week 28.

The best way to start this off is to give some background on the object.  It all started in 2009, when an eager young entrepreneur opened a small independent coffee store in Great Falls, Virginia.  The owner contacted a local arts group, Great Falls Studios (full disclosure: I am a member of this group),and asked for assistance in arranging art exhibits in the space by local artists.  After several exhibits, the idea of doing a themed exhibit on “Coffee” was raised and scheduled.  I had no qualifying images so dropped by and made a few images of coffee paraphernalia in the store.  One of the subjects was the coffee roaster itself as shown in the image below.Robin Kent ABFriday Week 29 Before 03

 Deidrich Coffee Roaster, the Only Roaster Manufactured in the U.S.

But this image was too cluttered, and I moved in closer for a detail shot which became the “Before” image shown at the beginning of today’s post.  (Technical Data: Nikon D200 with 18-200mm lens, extended to 75mm, on tripod; exposure 3 secs. @ f/16, ISO 320, available light)

The result was opened in Adobe Camera Raw and I followed my usual procedure in making corrections.  The adjustments are shown in the Screen Capture below.

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 29 Before 02

Screen Capture of Adjustments in Adobe Camera RAW

At this point, I had a technically decent image, but it wasn’t particularly interesting and if it had to be hung in an exhibit, something more was need.  Fortunately, Photoshop has about two zillion ways to go wild with an image .  Not that I knew what one to use, but what better way to learn than by experimenting?

After some trial and error, I opened up the Filter Gallery and found something called “Glowing Edges.”  Now that sounded cool, so I played around with that for a bit and ended up with the image below.  As you can see, I cropped out the red band at the bottom of the

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 29 After

image.  The procedure used to make this transformation is as follows:  In Photoshop, click on Filter->Filter Gallery; this opens up a large display window with a list of various options in the upper right section (Artistic, Brush Strokes, etc.).  Look for the “Stylize” option and click on the down arrow.  There should be just one choice, “Glowing Edges.”  Select that and then take a look at the sliders immediately to the right (See Image below).  In this

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 27 Before Screenshot. 02jpg

case, I set the edge width to the minimum value of 1, the Edge Brightness to 8 and the Smoothness to 2.  The display window includes a preview of the image as you make changes, so it is easy to see the effects of each slider.

Further experimentation resulted in a few more images and the final image was what would probably be called a tetraptych (group of 4 images) as shown in the image below.

Robin Kent ABFriday Week27 Before 05

The print was a modest 12″ X 16″  but I have no idea what I did in Photoshop to make those borders look like they were ripped.

At any rate, the exhibit was a success, but sadly, the coffee store was not.  Serving great coffee and providing great customer service do not always result in sufficient  profits  and the business was closed within a year after these pictures were taken.

Once again, many thanks to Stacy Fischer for managing the After Before Friday Forum. Take a look at the other submissions at her blog, Visual Venturing.

And for those wishing to check out Leanne Cole’s blog and our Travel Photography discussion, please go to her site at this location.

28 thoughts on “After Before Friday Forum Week 28

  1. Robin, I’m so delighted you did this post, as I too wondered what “Diedrich” was. To be honest, I had absolutely no idea, so it was fun to find out. As you talked about a coffee shop displaying art in GF, I immediately thought of Katie’s. Obviously, wrong supposition since that’s alive, well, and thriving! What and where was this one?

    Thanks for spelling out how to get to the PS filter. I’ll definitely make it a point to play around with it. Your idea to turn the photo into a tetraptych was inspired! I’m hoping you got it back before the place went belly up! You never know – Katie’s may come calling for it some day 🙂

    Now, off to look at your guest post on Leanne’s blog!

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    • Thanks, Stacy. Glad you liked it. No, this was not Katie’s which is going strong. In fact, a group from my arts organization (Great Falls Studios) meets there every Thursday morning for coffee and conversation. Katie’s is actually within the lager and much longer-lived restaurant called the Old Brogue which has been around forever, The owner decided to open up the coffee enterprise during the morning and early afternoon when that section of the restaurant was not being used. The art of the walls is changed monthly under a program managed by Great Falls Studios and if you go over to the Starbucks a block or so away, you’ll see a children’s art exhibit there, from the three area elementary schools, also managed by the Great Falls Studios. The coffee shop that went under was in another smaller commercial section of Great Falls near Colvin Run Mill.

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    • Thanks very much. I liked the neon look the best as well. I know you are familiar with the demographics of Great Falls and the difficulties of keeping a business dependent on walk-in traffic. The owner was really nice and tried hard, but as mentioned above, she had the disadvantage of locating in a small commercial area where there was little foot traffic. Other ventures have had similar troubles in the Colvin Run area

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  2. Great post and ‘glowing edges’ really makes the machinery bits stand out very differently. Like all 3 of your play arounds but I was going to ask how you did the edging border as it’s fantastic. Sorry you can’t remember how you did it Robin, and pity that a good coffee shop didn’t last. Enjoyed your post on Leannes blog, you got a really good discussion going there on travel and what to take but more importantly how to approach thinking about travel with camera gear.

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    • Thanks very much and thanks for coming over here from Leanne’s site. I thought all the comments there were really great, but no surprise since those discussion topics always bring out a great response. And I am sorry I couldn’t remember how I did those ripped edges. I do recall it was a fairly lengthy process that was completely non-intuitive, at least for me. But having resurrected that effort, I should make an attempt to see if I can reconstruct it. If so, it might be an interesting post for this After-Before series.

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      • I for one will be waiting 🙂 I love finding different ways to frame images in Photoshop I’m just not very competent at it.

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    • It’s been a couple weeks, but I did find something that will produce an effect quite similar to this, thanks to a tip from Janice Foreman who also participates in this Forum. It will appear in the Week 30 edition of the Forum, on December 19th. Thanks again for your interest.

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  3. Sounds like I have to get over to Leanne’s to read your post. But I wanted to comment here first. I love the tetraptych. I’ve had that idea to do it with one of my images but this works so well. I think I’ll leave the idea alone for now.

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    • Thanks, Emilio. I am a little late in responding on this post because I have been tied up all day in meetings (plus the dog ate my homework). Tomorrow I take the train back to DC, hopefully the wi-fi will work on the Acela.

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  4. Ah Robin, I had wondered what this was, I had taken it for a bit from an old train! Obviously totally wrong! The tetraptych (thats not easy to say!) works really well, they are much stronger as a group of four than single images (I don’t mean separately they aren’t any good – they are all good in their own right) the group shot pulls out the contrasts and similarities in the images and makes you look at it more intensely than if it were just one. I’m waffling now, so I’ll shut up! Its a great image Robin, well done!!

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    • Thanks so much. It’s fun sometimes just to randomly experiment. There were many iterations that didn’t work out at all, but I learned a lot about that part of Photoshop. It’s great to hear your comments.

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  5. Nice one, Robin. I particularly like the part when you said you had no idea what you did to get the ripped borders, because that happens to me too often. 😀 The final image has a nice SF feel to it, I would dare to say it would make an interesting cover for a SF novel.
    I read your post on Leanne’s blog, so many helpful, but simple tips. And I can’t believe you are going to Antarctica! I am soooo jealous. There will be some spectacular images, I just know it.

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    • Thanks so much for the comments. The feedback is always helpful and much appreciated. Yes, one of the commenters asked about the borders and I have been looking for the technique but so far no luck. I surely hope you are right about Antarctica, I know it will be a great experience but I always get nervous when I know there will be no second chance.

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  6. Pingback: After Before Friday Forum Week 30 | photographybykent

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