After-Before Friday

After & Before Post Header

Wisconsin Avenue
Georgetown, Washington, DC

It was one of the first beautiful weekends in DC following our long, drawn-out winter. I was determined to get in some practice with my camera. I was not disappointed, as Georgetown was hosting a street festival. This was one of my favorite photos from that day. In the original, I had captured a few people entering and leaving this restaurant, which really added to the image. But since they didn’t know I had photographed them, I didn’t feel comfortable posting the photo with them in it. The beauty of the “crop” tool…


Orange brick, bright blue shutters, red and orange woodworking of Los Cuates Mexican Restaurant.

Colorful facade of a Mexican restaurant in Georgetown, Washington, DC

For post-processing, I used a combination of Lightroom (this is where I do the bulk of my editing), Photoshop (mostly for spot removal and cloning), and two new programs for me, Color Efex Pro (I was able to neutralize the white of the marquee while keeping the warm tones in the rest of the photo and also bring in a higher level of contrast without losing detail) and Dfine (to separately adjust contrast and reduce color noise). These two programs are part of Google’s Nik Collection, a suite of external editing plug-ins for Lightroom. If you’re interested in checking them out for yourself,  you can sign up for a two-week free trial.

Click on either of the images to see larger views and to more easily go back-and-forth between them.


Orange brick, bright blue shutters, red and orange woodworking of Los Cuates Mexican Restaurant.

A Few Words About After-Before Friday. Yup, I know the title is reversed, but I figured I would post my better photo first, followed by the original.  And, yup, I know there’s no catchy alliteration as with Wordless Wednesday or Silent Sunday, though there are “f’s” in after, before, and Friday!

I always enjoy before-and-after photos. It’s interesting to see the creative post-processing choices of others and it’s a wonderful way to learn what can make photos better. Currently, I post-process to correct my exposure mistakes (and there are many). But as my skills with my camera improve (fingers crossed), I envision using post-processing to apply different creative choices to my photos. So I guess these posts will be a gauge of my progress.

I’ve been thinking about turning this into a weekly challenge at some point. Until then, if you want to “unofficially” participate, feel free to create your own after/before post and leave your link in a comment here.

10 thoughts on “After-Before Friday

  1. Excellent view of before and after.. I’ve used GIMP for a few years for most of my PP I’ve also found that the software that came with my camera is an excellent piece of kit. I do have photoshop but just never seem to find the time to get my head round it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mitch! I’m not familiar with GIMP, but I know what you mean about Photoshop – it’s a behemoth, with a fairly large learning curve. I find Lightroom 5 to be more intuitive and its toolset extremely versatile and powerful (and it’s also much less expensive – I just happened to buy Photoshop first). I’m still on my trial period of the Nik software. I don’t know if I’ll end up purchasing it; I was counseled today that I can accomplish everything in Lightroom that Nik offers. I suppose that’s true and that it would be better to learn how to achieve those effects “manually”; but until I do, it’s nice to have those presets available.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The “after” is definitely better and it is instructive to see the difference compared to the” before.” I think the sequence you chose (after/before) is a good way to grab the reader’s interest right away. You may have started something here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The light is always a bit difficult in a street festival if you’re forced to shoot in the middle of the day and there’s lots of too-bright light and blowouts. You’ve done a good job on the After picture, bringing the vibrant colours back. I want to go eat there ! I agree – the better photo first.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Throw in dodging cars and buses and cyclists, and I’m surprised I even managed to get this 😉 Thanks so much for the comment. I haven’t eaten here myself, but like you, I want to!


  4. Stacy, great post processing and thanks for the tips, too. It just amazes me how we can bring a picture more to life with knowledge and practiced skills. You’re a few steps ahead of me. I like the idea of after/before posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Karen. I got the tip about the Nik software from a few fellow participants in a monochrome madness challenge. It was suggested as great software to use for B&W conversion. I didn’t realize there were so many other interfaces as part of the bundle. I have only scratched the surface, but I like what I’ve tried so far.


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