After-Before Friday Week 38

First of all, some news to share:  two of my images were accepted as finalists in the 2015 Fine Art Photography Competition at the Herndon ArtSpace Gallery in Herndon, Virginia.  I’m told over 100 photographers submitted entries and 37 images were selected.  The awards will be announced tomorrow night at the Opening Reception, but I am just pleased to have made the cut. The two that were selected are shown below.  Details on the exhibit can be found at

Kent Cannon Beach 2

Haystack Rock at Sunset


 Clearing Storm, Yosemite Valley

Now, back to the regular weekly Friday feature sponsored by Stacy Fischer of Visual Venturing, a forum open to anyone with an interest in exchanging ideas and experiences about post-processing, sometimes called the “digital darkroom.” The submissions are often surprising, and always interesting.  For those who would like to participate, check Stacy’s site for the guidelines here.

As most people living in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United States already know, the past several weeks have brought us more than our fair share of winter weather.  A week ago, the Washington, DC area set a new record low temperature, so what better time to see if  Great Falls of the Potomac might be frozen solid.   Short answer: No, not really close.  But I took a few shots anyway.

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 38 Before After Dual“After” Image                                           “Before” Image

The “Before” image above is the unprocessed RAW image from the camera.  I made a few corrections in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) as follows:  Whites increased to +44, Blacks decreased to -3 (to set the white and black points), Clarity increased to +28 and Vibrance increased to +25.  The changes were quite minor and hard to detect in the small sizes shown here (image below):

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 38 Before 02

Image with ACR Corrections

The image was then opened in Photoshop CC and it seemed that a Black and White version might be the best way to go. I used a Black and White Adjustment Layer (Blend mode=Normal) and selected the High Contrast Red Filter preset (which imitates the effect of shooting B&W with a red filter).  This was followed with a Curves Adjustment layer (Blend Mode=luminosity) and using the Linear Contrast preset (which adds just a slight increase in contrast).  As a final step, I made a fairly substantial crop to highlight a specific section of the falls.  The final result is shown below.

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 38 After

Final Cropped Image

Please check out the other submissions to this week’s ABFriday Forum here.  And don’t forget the OnePhoto Focus next week in its usual schedule on the first Friday of each month.  Everyone gets to try their hand on an image submitted by one photographer.

Next Post–Back to Antarctica

P.S.  In response to LensAdiction’s suggestion, the image below with a different crop is submitted for discussion.


Robin Kent ABFriday Week 38 After Feedback 02


40 thoughts on “After-Before Friday Week 38

  1. Congrats on your images they are both stunning, best of luck!

    I like what you did here but I personally prefer your original crop to the one here, I think mostly cos of the angle, its clear in the crop there is more to the image and its quite truncated on the top. And the original shot is perfectly lovely 🙂


    • Thanks for the feedback. Interesting you would make that point. I was wondering about that a little bit myself. In looking at it a second time, I thought Robert Capa’s advice (If your image isn’t good enough, you aren’t close enough) might apply. But a tighter crop did not seem to work. But pulling back about half way seemed a reasonable alternative. I have updated the post, so if you like, refresh the page and scroll down to the bottom and see what you think.


      • It’s better, less abstract and more obvious and therefore approachable 😉 I think my other issue is the extreme contrast between the black and white tones, it’s a little stark but it probably looks better at a much bigger size screen too


      • My, you’re hard to please! But your point is well taken. This is a grand scene in real life and squeezing that into a 4-inch wide image on a monitor (even assuming one is viewing it on a computer and not a cell phone) is a tough proposition. Printed at 24″ x 30″ makes it a totally different viewing experience.


  2. Congratulations Robin on your finalist photos, they are both amazing, I can see why they were selected.
    Wow, you go from one very cold place to another, hopefully spring will appear soon for you all over there! As for the ABF image, I love the black and white, it makes it look very dramatic and I really like the tight crop, it seems to enhance the feel of the movement in the water.


  3. congratulations Robin on being a finalist, these are great images. I love your after-before – the after image is so different with the tight crop and black and white – very nice. Welcom back I can’t wait to see more images from your trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks very much, I appreciate your feedback. I should have the next installment out soon, so it won’t be a long wait. I’m glad you are interested in the reports on the journey. It surely was a great trip.


  4. Okay, well, sometimes it pays to visit everyone’s sites a bit late, as I was able to click on the link to the Exhibit to learn that your second image won third place!!! That’s just awesome. Congratulations, Robin. It’s a gorgeous photo on my small screen; I can only imagine how breathtaking it is in person!

    As for your photo of the falls, I’m really glad you chose to put in the second crop as a point of comparison. I, too, wondered if I might like it better. While it certainly brings the added element of size, I ended up liking your original crop better. It highlights the details and, therefore, the power of the cascading water, which for me is the better dimension. And I really like that you chose to process it as a black and white, as it emphasizes the power even more. Love these falls!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Stacy. Yes, the award was pretty cool and the check will enable me to take Laurie out to a local pub. As for the follow-up second crop, I was really pleased about the constructive feedback from Lensaddiction which is one of the purposes of ABFriday–to engage in discussion. So I thought it made sense to continue the dialog. I should have my version of 1PhotoFocus to you sometime tomorrow. I was really concerned when I saw the image the first time–nothing wrong with it, I just didn’t have any idea coming to me for about a week. I feel a little better now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I didnt get sent your second reply so cant reply to it directly so doing it here – yes I am hard to please 🙂 Oddly I am actually normally a fan of a good tight crop but it just didnt do it justice here, too much going on in the image that I wanted to see more of or maybe a lack of a really strong focal point to hang it all off?

        I see you got awarded with one of your images so well done!


      • Thanks for the follow-up. I think it’s healthy to have an open discussion on images, especially in the ABFriday Forum. So it was good to see some constructive push-back. All the best, Robin


  5. Pingback: Journey to Antarctica – Part 4 | photographybykent

      • Thanks for the question, it’s a good one. The wait was a little over an hour, but the last 30 minutes were pretty special. It had been very cloudy all day, but late in the afternoon I saw a narrow gap low along the horizon that–if all went well–could produce an opening for the sun as it was about to set. So I headed straight for Haystack Rock,picked a location, and started practicing my timing with the water to maximize the reflections in the foreground. I shot every few minutes, not knowing whether it would get any better. About 30 minutes before this image the colors started to appear and gradually intensify. For the next 30 minutes, it slowly became more intense until the moment captured in this image. And then, suddenly, the colors began to fade and it was all over five minutes later.


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