Update (April 10, 2015): The winner of the quiz is Janice Foreman and here are the details of all the steps shown below:
- Starting from the original in Photoshop, the first step used the “Replace Color” tool. This is found by Image–>Adjustments–>Replace Color. The settings in the dialog box were not recorded.
- Next, a sort of spotlight was added in the upper left corner, using the “Lighting Effects” tool. This is found by Filter–>Render—>Lighting Effects. The type of effect was “Spot.” There are 7 or 8 controls in this dialog box plus a capability to rotate the overall effect. A fun but dangerous tool in the hands of the inexperienced as you saw from the results of Step 2.
- The scene was reversed using the “Flip Canvas” tool. This is found by Image–>Rotate Canvas–>Flip Canvas Horizontal.
- To brighten the very dark results of Step 2, the standard technique of Layer–>New Adjustment Layer–>Curves was applied.
- To add a psychedelic touch along the roof’s rain gutter and the steps, I went for Filter–>Liquify. Another dangerous tool that can easily run amuck.
- Still unhappy with the overall darkness, I threw a Hail Mary pass and employed Filter–>Stylize–>Trace Contour.
- Now I had the opposite problem, it was too light. So I relied on the familiar “Curves” tool, this time to darken the image: Layer–>New Adjustment Layers–>Curves..
This is the first Friday of the month and now that we are safely past April Fool’s Day, it is time for Stacy’s gang of post-production protagonists to focus their talents on the same image. First, it would be appropriate to thank Cee for providing one of her images for whatever purpose the participants may choose. It may also be necessary for me to apologize for what happened to that image inside my computer. I hope she will forgive me, because my intentions were honorable.
My enthusiasm was so great this week that I neglected to take precise notes on what happened. However, I did manage to remember what tools were used, if not precisely how. Those with a competitive spirit are welcome to take the “Pop Quiz” at the end. The top score wins a prize (some conditions apply).
The first hint for the Photoshop Quiz is that I did not use the Adobe Camera Raw window, the image was opened directly in Photoshop and looked like this.
My first thought was this could use a little more color, and so I tried a technique I have never used before. It worked pretty well. So well, in fact, that I used it three more times. The result after the 4th application is shown below.
After Step 1
Some might say that I had already gone too far, but when you are in unexplored territory, why go back? So I took a new direction and tried a totally different tool. The result is shown below. Those who are studying for the quiz deserve to know that while the tool was applied to the entire image, the key effect can be seen (major hint) in the upper left corner.
After Step 2
The next step was something I had intended to do all along so I executed that maneuver so I could then proceed to deal with the damage I had done in Step 2. The result is shown below.
After Step 3
I think everyone will agree that Step 2 made things too dark, so I fell back on a tool I use in almost every image (hint) and the result is shown below.
After Step 4
Now that the colors were a little better, it seemed like a little instability would be consistent with the radical color scheme. Another tool I have used on only one occasion (a fashion shot) was pulled out and deployed in a relatively conservative manner. Check the steps, the rain gutter, and a few other spots to see what happened.
After Step 5
Should I stop here? Of course not. It’s still too dark. Plus, there are so many tools I’ve never used in Photoshop, we should go for at least one more. However, as you will see from the image below, you will usually be surprised when you have no idea of what you are doing.
Yikes! Stacy, we have a problem!
In a desperate attempt to salvage something without the humiliation of retreating, I used a familiar technique that resulted in the image below.
Step 7 (Final Image)
OK, for those few who might still be here, you have the option of going directly to Comments and expressing your outrage, or you can take a stab at the quiz.
Quiz Rules: A total of five major tools were used to arrive at this final image. One tool was used twice (Steps 4 and 7). The challenge is to:
- Identify the tool sequence (e.g., “Image–>Auto Contrast”) as best you can for any given step. Had this example been a correct one, the two correct steps would count as two points. Something like “Image–>Mode–>Grayscale” would be awarded one point, because the first part was correct.
Clear as mud? It gets worse. Anyone scoring a minimum of 3 points will be in the “Zone of Consideration” for the prize. The top score among those in the Zone will be awarded a copy of my self-published photography book (softcover edition) “Washington, D.C.” Answers are due by 0800 EST on April 7 and can be placed in the Comments section or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.