Highlighting the creative magic behind post-processed photos
This week, I’m taking a bit of a break and simply posting a before and after photo. I’m hoping this will encourage others who might otherwise be reluctant to participate to do the same!
Many thanks to this week’s participants, as without you, this Forum wouldn’t be … well, fun! If you wish to join the fun too, guidelines are on the After-Before Friday Forum page.
This photo was an experiment, both in “panning” and in using my new 35mm F1.8 lens. Not working with my 18-200 mm lens was a huge difference, and having to shoot this from across a traffic-heavy street took a bit of doing. But I was delighted with the clarity of the image due both to the lens and from (I think) doing a pretty good job with the technique. I did convert the photo to black and white to see what it looked like, but in the end, I like the color version better. Why? The red. The red of the cyclist’s backpack is echoed in the red of the woman’s purse, and of course, the red of the bike carries that theme through as well. The combination was, of course, pure luck! If you have any questions about the panning technique or what I did in post-processing, please feel free to ask in the comment section.
Submitted by Robin Kent — PhotographybyKent
Robin says: My submission to Stacy Fischer’s After-Before Friday Forum is a photograph I made last year along the Oregon coast. Thor’s Well is not in most guidebooks, and so the chances for being there all alone are pretty good. The shot was taken a few minutes before sunset, and an overcast sky above made the lighting flat as the “Before” image shows. But there was a little color from the west where the sun was setting and I was hoping to pull that out in post-processing. The “After” image was produced almost entirely with settings in Adobe Camera RAW. One additional tweak, a little hue/saturation, was added in Photoshop. The full details of the processing procedures are detailed in my post located here. Thanks again to Stacy for keeping this Forum on track and many thanks to all the other contributors.
Submitted by Loré Dombaj — Snow’s Fissures and Fractures
Loré says: Another gentle touch…The most important part in this week’s entry was cropping. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to make drastic changes to an image to get good results. I wanted to achieve an intimate, soft composition and I managed to do that by making a slight adjustment, bringing that first flower closer to the viewer and reducing all that visual noise in the background. By increasing shadows and contrast I got that soft, warm atmosphere. Post-processing was done in PicMonkey.
Submitted by Manal Ali — A Single Shutter
Manal says: This was taken at the top of Uhuru Park, which is located adjacent to the center of Nairobi. A short climb to the top and you are rewarded with a great city line view. There were a lot of birds flying around so I wanted to include them in the shot. It was a rather overcast day, so I decided to focus on this in the post processing, making the sky look moody.
Submitted by Katie Prior — Drawing with Light
Katie says: For this, my first foray into ABFriday, I have chosen an image I had taken of the evening sun captured in the smoke rays from a neighbour’s garden fire. As I felt my original image was too drab and didn’t really represent the scene, I used Lightroom 5 to increase contrast and boost definition, the overall aim was to create a more dramatic image.
Submitted by Benjamin Rowe — aperture64
Ben says: This week I wanted to create a special image for a couple whose wedding I photographed a few years ago. I decided to re-edit one of their wedding pictures to create a nice piece of wall art for them.
Submitted by Emilio Pasquale — Photos by Emilio
Emilio says: The weather service called for a 30% chance of rain. Coming in from the South west were individual puffy white clouds that had changed to a dark gray blanket of foreboding cloud cover by the time we were ready. We drove North, trying to get ahead of the storm, looking for patches of sun breaking through. The best we could do was about an hour north called Cold Creek, a few miles passed the Paiute Indian Reservation. My wife took the camera- set on automatic- and stepped out of the car to take this shot. The after photo is what she saw. The before image is what the camera saw!
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!
25 thoughts on “After-Before Friday Week 17”
Thank you – so glad you enjoyed it! You might be interested in revisiting this Friday for the ABFriday Anniversary post – 11 different photographers are post-processing one image that was chosen in a poll by our readers 🙂
Super image Stacy. Amazing how you have got such sharpness from a panned shot that has been cropped right in, you must have a very steady hand! The crop is perfect, especially with the repeated reds, it really enhances the image.
Thanks, Katie! Sharpness was in large measure due to the wonderful lens 🙂
Very glad you kept this in color, I noticed the red in the bike right off! Nice job 🙂
Thanks for confirming my color choice, Laurie 🙂
I must admit I feel a little bit discouraged when I look at all the work you and other participants submit week after week. Feels like I am intruding with my simple post-processing and all the mumbo-jumbo I write trying to explain what I did. Now, I am not saying this so I could receive some nice words in return. If anything is true in my life, it’s the fact that I am a realist. I guess I just need to work harder.
Now, let’s talk about your image. I like it so much. Panning? Had to look it up, so that’s the clear sign of my amateurism. Cropping worked magic here, it shows how high the quality of the image is. You were taking it across the street and cropped so much, and it still has an amazing clarity. Is that the same street from few weeks back? I would love to have coffie there! Anyway, great job, I enjoyed your explanation and learned a lot.
Ahh, Loré, I’m saddened that you feel the way you do. Each of us has his or her own modes of post-processing, and I hope the beauty of this forum is that it highlights the many different ways post-processing can be accomplished, from simple to complex. I love the programs you have introduced us to, as Lightroom and Photoshop can be intimidating and not everyone can afford (or want) to purchase them. You show us how to use simple programs that are easily available — and that is wonderful, as is sharing the post-processing choices you make. You help us all to learn.
All that being said, thank you for honesty. I think it will help me going forward with what photos I choose to present on the forum. Sometimes I find myself trying too hard to find the “perfect” image that will showcase a tool I haven’t shown before or that I think will be “worth” sharing my process. Your comment has helped me realize that it’s okay to pick an image where my post-processing is simple. It’s better to have a balance of simple and the not-so-simple so that the Forum appeals to all levels.
Now, about having to look up panning – I recently found out about it as well, just from following links in the things I read about photography. So I’m glad I was the one to introduce you to the principle 🙂 The clarity turned out well because of the new lens I was using (I couldn’t have cropped like this with my zoom!). And, yes, it’s the same street in Georgetown – good eye 🙂 I will actually be back there again this week; I might have to walk down a few blocks and get a different perspective 😉
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Don’t change the way you do things around here. You have me for “simple” choices to entertain all levels. 😀 I like learning new things and you do hope I’ll get my hands on Lightroom/Photoshop soon, so I am taking notes. 😉
I hope, not that you hope…why there is no :rollingeyes: smiley around here? 😀
Good question 😀
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Wow, Stacy; Great job. You really nailed that cyclist. Tack sharp even with the major cropping. And the composition is perfect.
Thanks, Robin. I went back and forth with how best to compose the final version, so I really appreciate your comment!
Congrats on panning with f/1.8 that is a challenge in itself. Personally don’t like to crop too much but here it works.
Thanks, Ben! I shot this at f/11 with an f/1.8 lens, and I’m wondering from your comment whether it’s more difficult to pan with a “faster” lens or did you think I was shooting at f/1.8? As for the cropping, I went back and forth on how much to crop, but I found that the quality of this lens allowed me to crop much more than I ever could with my zoom (whether extended or not). It was a true education in what makes primes so great!
My mistake. I though you shot at f1.8, but f11 makes a lot more sense. Good glass gives you so much of a leeway as well as sharpness and colour clarity.
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Great concentration on your part. I’ve tried this before but can’t get the right panning speed whenever I try. The cyclist seems tack sharp. And the cropping is excellent, spotlighting the two figures and getting rid of all extraneous elements.
Thanks, Emilio! Of course what you don’t get to see is my many “failed” attempts 🙂 It is a fun technique, though, and I want to keep practicing it. I’m not certain, but I’m thinking the fact that I had a prime and could not zoom in on the cyclist (and that I was a bit of a distance away from the action) made the panning easier —
the “relative” speed was slower and easier to keep up with.