AfterBefore Forum–Week 42

It’s Friday morning on the east coast of the US, so grab a cuppa coffee and check out the latest offerings on Stacy Fischer’s post-processing extravaganza, or as the cognoscenti describe it: AfterBefore Friday Forum.  This weekly event is open to anyone wishing to share their creative techniques whether the image comes from a smartphone or NASA’s Hubble Satellite.   Comments, suggestions, critiques are all welcome and encouraged from anyone who drops by.  You can see the other submissions at Stacy Fischer’s ABFriday Control Center.

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 42 Before

Original Image Before Post-processing

The annual kite festival on the grounds of the Washington Monument will be held tomorrow, March 28 (weather permitting).  To get myself in the mood, I pulled an image from a previous running several years ago.  The original RAW image is shown above. Although there are no actual kites in this picture, I was attracted by the color and motion of these flags flapping in the wind.

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 42 Before 01Partial section of ACR Window

As usual, the first step in the workflow was opening the image in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) and making some basic adjustments (see screenshot image above).   First, the white and black points were set (always my first step), followed by toning down the Highlights a bit and opening up the Shadows.  The Clarity and Vibrance were set at my usual choice of +30.  The result is shown below, obviously not terribly different from the original.

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 42 Before 02

Image after ACR Adjustments

Next was a journey through the wondrous world of Photoshop’s Filter Gallery (see image below).  Given the infinite variety of possible effects, a reasonable strategy is trial and error.  After a few attempts, it seemed like the “Paint Daubs” choice (red arrow) had some possibilities.  I picked a brush type (blue arrow) and made some adjustments in the Brush Size and Sharpness (yellow arrow).

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 42 Before 04

Partial section of Filter Gallery Window

The results looked OK, so I clicked that button to activate the filter.  But I still wasn’t entirely thrilled, maybe one more step for a  little pizazz. Using the sequence: Image>Adjustments>Posterize, the dialog box shown below appeared (superimposed here over the image being adjusted).  This slider is pretty sensitive and a slight move can bring significant changes. It seems to work best with an image that has lots of different colors.  I made only a tiny move, a 4 on a scale of 0-255 (red arrow).

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 42 Before 05

Posterize Dialog Box.

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 42 After

Final Image after Posterize

So that’s it. Let me know what you think.  Meanwhile, if you are in the Washington, DC area and t is before 10:00 EDT on March 28th and the weather is really nice and there is a good breeze, head down to the Washington Monument and check out the kites. Otherwise, check out all the other submissions to the ABFriday Forum by clicking here.  

19 thoughts on “AfterBefore Forum–Week 42

  1. Pingback: After-Before Friday Week 42 | Visual Venturing

  2. Your original image is quite appealing already, but you have introduced great fun and interest with the filters, Robin! Turned those kites into an art piece… I really enjoy reading your step by step process – always very well laid out and easy to follow.

    The event must be a colourful affair – plenty more photo opportunities!


    • Hi, and thanks very much. I’m glad you liked the description of the process. It always is a colorful event, so I went down this morning to check out this year’s running. Sunny skies, perfect winds–very strong, but also very cold so the number of participants was down.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really like the original and when I saw it couldn’t for the life of me figure why you would want to change anything. But following down the post I was very impressed with the final image Robin, a lot of fun and a very different look. Great.


    • Thanks very much. Yes, I have always liked the original, so I appreciate your comment about it. It was more a matter of finding an image taken on (or nearly on) the same day in a previous year. As I mentioned in the post today is the day of this year’s Kite Festival so I wanted to acknowledge that. I went down there this AM and there were similar flags there but not nearly as colorful as these.


  4. Hi Robin, it is always fun to play with with the different filters if for no other reason that to see the possibilities. I think it helps creative thinking! I like your before image, but your process gives the final image additional personality, made it unique! thanks for explaining your process.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks very much, glad you found the process description helpful. I agree that experimentation can be helpful in a variety of ways. Sometimes it leads to an unexpected new perspective on light and color.


  5. Robin, you had a beautifully strong image to begin with, but what fun the filters added! And very appropriate for the event. I’ve never played around with filters in PS, but I definitely want to give them a try 🙂 And, as an aside, I love the humor you’re bringing to the description of ABFriday – thanks for the laughs 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Stacy. I went with the Kite Festival to have a current peg and that seemed to work out well. So I tried another current topic today(Eiffel Tower) and promptly was informed by Loré about that pesky copyright thing. So maybe being current isn’t a great idea. By the way, I still haven’t decided whether to do the quiz on the upcoming OnePhoto Focus post, but if I do, folks who use LR may be at a slight disadvantage;-)


      • Okay, I went back to read Loré’s comment to find out what all the fuss is about. Had NO idea! But I bet my architectural lighting designer son would know this 🙂 I’ll have to ask him. Can’t imagine your Kite Festival image poses any problem though.

        Now, about your quiz? Did I miss something somewhere? I don’t really know what this is all about (either that, or my mind really is turning into a sieve!) 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, on the copyright, you should also check out the link I included in my reply to Loré’ which is an explanation by a photographer/patent attorney. As for the quiz, you will just have to wait until you see the post (which will be tomorrow in your case) but I am authorized to say that there will be a modest prize for the “best in class,” assuming that person scores above a certain, albeit modest, level.


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