After-Before Friday Week 16

After-and-Before Friday Post HeaderHighlighting the creative magic behind post-processed photos

1 video and 7 galleries from 7 photographers this week. Many thanks to all! Want to join us? We’d love to have you! No need to write a post if you don’t want to – you can simply submit a before and after photo. It would be fun just to see the transformation! Guidelines are on the After-Before Friday Forum page.

My submission: This week, I am once again trying something new – I’m combining a slideshow of my Lightroom 5 edits with a video of my post-processing steps for a black and white conversion. As in last week’s post,  I’ve captioned the slideshow images with a description of my adjustments made in Lightroom.

The photo I’m showcasing this week is one I shot this summer in Jackson Hole, Wyoming while attending my first-ever rodeo! Low light (it was evening) coupled with a slow lens and no tripod made shooting at the event a challenge. I used whatever surface I could to stabilize the camera and increased my ISO (though I don’t like the results of that with my D90). In the end, it was exactly these photographic shortcomings (and the fact that the image had great light and shadows) that made it a good candidate for black and white conversion. So, first, the gallery, showing images from before to final, followed by the video showing my post-processing using Color Efex Pro.

Submitted by Robin Kent — PhotographybyKent

My submission to Stacy Fischer’s After-Before Friday Forum is in response to some viewers’ questions about the techniques of producing a Star Trails image. To do this, I won’t be showing the true “before” image because, in reality, about 20-25 separate images were used to produce the final result. So, the “Before” shown here is just a single example. And, had I shown all 20, it would be nearly impossible to tell one from another (with two exceptions). The full details of the processing procedures, along with two examples of what can go wrong with a star trails capture are detailed in my post located here. Thanks again to Stacy for keeping this Forum on track and to all the other contributors.

Submitted by Jaime Perez — My Photolanguage

Jaime says: For this week edition, I kept practicing with layer mask (in Photoshop, this time, combining two photos to obtain another one with the best elements of each one). I’m not a fan to this kind of tricks (as you must know); in fact, I never do that to my photos, but it is always gratifying knowing you can do it.

Submitted by Loré Dombaj — Snow’s Fissures and Fractures

Loré says: Short on time, I started to panic. What to do! What to do! When facing the problem, enlist the help of minions!!! It’s a bit of a cheat this week, because the original image was shot by my best friend, but I liked it so much and asked her if I could use it. Very simple post-processing, usual stuff I do in PicMonkey – cropping, tinkering with brightness, shadows, saturation, and temperature. In the end I just added a little bit of dark edges and that was it.

Submitted by Karen Chengelis — KCinAZ

Karen says: The post processing done in Lightroom was exposure decreased 1.55 to compensate for the over-exposed lattice fence, clarity was increased by 21, black clipping increased by 36, yellow luminance was plus 20, saturation was decreased 2, and then the image was cropped on the right side to remove the shoulder. Lastly a preset Vignette 2 was applied. Next, in Photoshop an oval elliptical marquee tool was used to create a further vignette with an inverted oval and a lens blur with a 5px feather. Then to bring the focus to the center of the image, the edges of the image were burned with a large burn brush sized at 298px and 36% opacity on the midtones.

Submitted by Benjamin Rowe — aperture64

Ben says: Last week I posted a tilt shift image created with Topaz that Stacy was intrigued by. This week I am creating the same effect without expensive plugins trying to turn a simple image into a miniature scene.

Submitted by Emilio Pasquale — Photos by Emilio

Emilio says: I had taken shots of this place before and posted my favorite b & w on Monochromia. The mock-up of a Signal gas station happens to be within 5 miles of my own backyard! I did not want to duplicate an earlier shot but couldn’t help myself when I realized they have changed the layout of the cars and added to them. And also, the place is now illuminated at night. So, for those of you tired of reading – after all, this is a photo post – I will explain my Lightroom process as quickly as possible. You can stop reading here if you like. But please take a look at the photo progression!

The first photo is what I ended up with and I am very proud of. So if you don’t have anything nice to say, please refrain!  The second is where I started!

 Please click on the links of those who contributed this week, to read about their post-processing steps and/or to see what other treasures they have on their blogs. They’d love to have you visit!

So what do you think of the ABFriday forum?

Feel free to leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section. And don’t forget to view the guidelines if you want to participate. I’d love to have you onboard!

24 thoughts on “After-Before Friday Week 16

  1. Thank you so much for having my posts under your recent like! I have had the impress LR can do so much, I just wonder what is the difference between Color Efex pro and LR?


  2. Great submissions by everyone. Thanks Stacy for hosting the forum. Silver Efex is my go to for black and white conversions as there is so much control there in manipulating the image, with a plethora of outcomes.


  3. I sound like I’m looking for a fight. But I was just trying to have some fun. I see you couldn’t bring yourself to leave the Domino’s box in your shot! I love what you did with the shot! I’ve always liked Nik Efex Pro but isn’t it expensive?


    • Ha! Those of us who know you, Emilio, understand your sense of humor; those who don’t, well, they’ll learn 🙂 As for the Domino’s box – just didn’t say “rodeo” to me. Now, if it had been BBQ from someplace, the result might have been different! Yup, NEP is a couple of hundred dollars – that’s why I’m using a trial version. But, shhhh, for some reason, the trial has renewed a few times (though now that I’ve said it, I’m sure it will come to a screeching halt). I’m really liking some of the effects it provides, though at this point, I seem to be using just a handful of favorites (though I really do love the Noise Reduction program – Dfine. It comes in handy with my D90!) so I haven’t decided what to do once it really does run out!


  4. I’m glad you got rid of the Domino Pizza box in the rodeo hat shot ! BTW, I’m still thinking of what useful before-after shot I can use to contribute to your post sometime soon. It shouldn’t be so hard … but somehow I’m making it more challenging than it should be.


    • Just couldn’t bring myself to leave it in 😉 And I know what you mean about making it more challenging that it should be – to be honest, it oftentimes takes me a bit of time to figure out which image to use – too simple, and I’m afraid it won’t be helpful; too involved, and the video would be waaaay too long; no new tool involved, and I think, well, everyone’s seen me use this tool or that tool before. So I guess we both need to simplify 🙂


      • Can I jump in here? I didn’t mean to eavesdrop but I overheard Mrs. Cows (Mr. Cows?) mention something about making ABFriday more challenging than it should be. Well, it is challenging. That is why I was doing it every other week. But I think most people want to just see the difference between the before and after. They get bogged down by what someone called Photospeak. I do not use Photoshop but was reading someone’s explanation last week and even I got lost. I think we have to simplify how we describe things. No one wants to know (well, no one except geeks like us) how many degrees of clarity you added. I could be totally off on this. I know there are people out there who do want to learn all the particulars. But that’s the part that bogs you down and is not as much fun. Show them. Mrs. (Mr.) Cows, take your gravatar cow. Turn it into black and white. Or yellow and blue. I’m sure someone would love to see that! I’m not kidding!


        • Thanks, Emilio, for chiming in on this. I think the Forum may have more participants if bloggers felt they could simply contribute their photos, without any explanations. Two weeks ago, I put that “call” out there – suggesting it’s simply fun to see the before and afters, no need for any explanations. Admittedly, come Thursday, I begin to “worry” about my post. So maybe I’ll take the first plunge this week and simply accept my own invitation! If it’s not fun, then why do it?


  5. For some reason Stacy, I am no longer able to like posts when I click on them on your page! 😦 I think this is my favourite week yet, great set of quality photographs and editing here. Your photograph definitely pops in B&W!


    • Thanks, Manal! It always feels like Christmas when I get to open everyone’s emails each week with the goodies they have chosen to submit 🙂 As for my photo – the colors weren’t working at all well as it was taken in very low light with a slow lens and in jpeg. Converting it to black and white was a last ditch effort to save it, and I, too, was really pleased with how well it worked!


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