This is the first Friday of the month and that means it’s time for Stacy Fischer’s OnePhoto Focus, (1PF) where photographers from all over take their turn on the same image. The range of interpretations is always impressive, and you can find the links to the other submissions at Visual Venturing. For those who wish to get into the game, the guidelines can be found here.
This month, our image has been provided by Ben Rowe of Aperture64 and, as anyone who has visited his site already knows, Ben is a highly skilled user of post-processing software. Consequently, it was with some trepidation that I undertook the challenge this month.
But, as they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained. When I saw that Ben had provided 3 versions of the image, taken at different exposures, I figured at the very least I could try out the new HDR feature in the most recent release of Adode Camera RAW. The default choices produced the image above, an evenly balanced exposure that has no areas of under or overexpsure.
The next step was to take the result through the standard Camera Raw workflow to set the white and black points, open some of the shadows, add a little contrast with the Clarity slider, and a little saturation with the Vibrance slider. Nothing special was needed here because the image really had no exposure problems.
It was also clear that Ben had made an excellent choice for the group because the image provides a wide variety of creative possibilities. I can’t wait to see what the other participants have done.
But before I started the intrusive surgery, a couple of standard Photoshop tools were used. The sky was darkened with a Curves Adjustment Layer, the grass was fertilzed with a Color Balance Adjustment Layer, and the Castle was also warmed up with a Color Balance Adjustment Layer. The results are shown below.
After Photoshop Adjustments
It seemed that one approach was to take advantage of the open spaces that could be filled with interesting objects so I decided to go in that direction. But I didn’t take notes because I knew some ideas would not work, directions were likely to be reversed, and restarts might be frequent.
For those who like puzzles, I ended up adding 12 changes to the image, some of them quite obvious (e.g., the 4 planes count as 4). Others, such as color changes may be a little harder to find.
At any rate, I invite you to zip over to Stacy’s site and take a few minutes to enjoy the other ideas for post-processing this image. You can find them here.