BREAKING 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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.