After-Before Friday Week 32

Highlighting the creative magic behind post-processed photos

After the fun of One Photo Focus, we’ve come back down to earth for our regularly scheduled program – ABFriday 🙂 If you would like to participate in February’s One Photo Focus and/or ABFriday in general, you’ll find all the details on the After-Before Friday Forum page. Come along and join us – we’re a pretty fun group!

My submission: I’ve begun to find the time to post-process some of the photos I took while on Christmas holiday. This week, I’ve already posted two from Castillo de San Cristóbal in San Juan for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadowed. I thought I’d stick with the theme and post a third shadowed image here. (Sorry, Emilio, you’ll have to wait until next week for the video on your One Photo Focus “truck” submission!) This is a photo of the troop quarters within this 17th century Spanish fortress overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The light and shadows were a must to shoot; the image, however, suffered from poor composition. While it’s much better to get it right in camera so as not to lose pixels, the short (yay!) video is mostly about the power of a good crop. I’d be interested to know if you would have cropped it differently.

UPDATE: Katie Prior, Drawing with Light, an ABFriday regular, suggested a vertical crop, removing the window and shutter and lining up the archways dead center. I love taking other’s suggestions and playing with them. I’ve updated my gallery with the second version based on Katie’s input. While I love the contrast and added texture the shutter brings to the horizontal crop, I really do like the almost square crop I’ve ended up with. Let me and Katie know what you think in the poll, below.

 Submitted by Katie Prior — Drawing with Light

Katie says: This is one (of many) photos I took of this beautiful orchid plant. The original image was quite dark as I deliberately underexposed it so as to reduce camera movement, so the first thing I had to do was to increase the exposure..

 Submitted by Max — Cardinal Guzman

Submitted by Janice Meyers Foreman — jmeyersforeman photography

Janice says: What started out as an excercise in street photography quick became an excercise in photo editing, and I thought it would be another good post for the after-before forum.  While there were many things about the original image that I like there was much I didn’t like……… 

Submitted by Cee Neuner — Cee’s Photography

Submitted by Loré Dombaj — Snow’s Fissures and Fractures

Loré says: I had so much trouble with this image and I am still on the fence. I like the atmosphere, but I have my doubts about the cropping. I love the red color of the wood, but I lost the details of the handles. I’ll be posting another version on my blog and would appreciate your opinions.

Submitted by Mary Hone — Tales from the Backroad

Submitted by Michelle Lunato — Michelle Lunato Photography

Michelle says: I was going through some deployment photos, this time from Iraq, and decided to go with an aerial shot. I was in a helicopter over Baghdad and was intrigued by the city. I imagine it was once full of life and hope. I was there during the first Iraqi election (2005-2006), so the hope was building again. But, in the original shot, it looked quiet and hazy from the sand storm. I wanted to see what it would look like with a little more color. So, I played a little…

Submitted by Benjamin Rowe — aperture64

Ben says: This week I grabbed an opportune moment to capture this shot and added the wow in Lightroom.

Submitted by Emilio Pasquale — Photos by Emilio

Emilio says:  For this new year I have a resolution that I think will be pretty easy to keep. I plan on taking photos of each and every hotel/casino on the strip. Not just the regular touristy photos but details of architecture that might be easy to miss. One of my first shots is this, a detail of the New York New York Hotel and Casino. So far I have hit Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, and New York New York. I suppose I should post them in order but ….

 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!

37 thoughts on “After-Before Friday Week 32

  1. I like them both, but I think I like the horizontal a bit better… the shutter guides my eye to the top of those arches. I’ve missed submitting to the ABFriday Forum! I’ve been having a rough couple of weeks and 9pm Tuesday passes by before I realize it and so I think, maybe next week. Plus over the holidays I didn’t see the One Photo Focus until the day it was due… so there’s that. I hope to join in next week, but look forward to tomorrow’s submissions!


    • Thanks for weighing in, Nic! I like the idea of the shutter being a guide. And, so, I’ve flip-flopped once again on which I like better 🙂

      No worries about ABFriday. I read today about your Adobe problems (got interrupted in leaving a comment and hadn’t yet gotten back to it). Yikes! We’ve missed you here, so look forward to your return. If it helps, there’s a more complete post schedule on the ABF Forum page, specifically because of One Photo Focus. It was a lot of fun. Tomorrow is the reveal for the February 6 “event.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hi Stacey, I like the horizontal format it shows the source of light, although not always necessary, I think it adds to the composition. Another great week of images and lessons. I am a little behind on my week, still hoping to get one done and ready for next week post…..


  3. Beautiful work everyone – looking forward to hopping round the blogs.
    Stacy i love the vertical crop – the warmth of the window draws my eye away from the arches at first. Love what youve done.
    I’ll be back for One Photo Focus, if thats ok and in between will be watching with great interest 😃


    • Thanks for the feedback, Robyn. Your comment that the window draws your eye away is a good point. So glad Katie felt comfortable enough to voice her thoughts – that’s what I love about this! And, most definitely yes about One Photo Focus! Wouldn’t be the same without you 😀


  4. Stacy, I wouldn’t worry about a video explanation of your work on January’s One Photo Focus. I think that ship has sailed by now. No one would really be interested! I’ll just lick my wounds here in the corner. Alone. Unappreciated.OK, I’m better now. But I have to admit I haven’t watched this week’s video yet because I’m at work. It has nothing to do with my hurt feelings. Really. I do like Katie’s cropping suggestion, though. The window is extraneous! We have the strong light hitting the floor to know it’s there. And the view through the arch is what we’re interested in. I think!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, thanks for that reprieve, Emilio 😉 Truth be told, there would have been nothing technical in the video – just me showing how I played around with a lot of sliders in Color Efex. Great playing around, I might add, but nothing more than thinking outside the box and having F.U.N. (sounding familiar??). So you don’t like my window, huh. Okay, I’ll go lick my wounds. I’m still torn, but it’s always great to have a fresh perspective.

      As for this week’s video, not a lot there. Just simple cropping, and you know how that turned out!


      • Sorry I didn’t mean to wound you. I’m sure your window is perfectly adequate. I can see it let’s in a lot of light and only hope it keeps out the cold!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Stacy: A great example of how some very basic steps can make a huge difference. And the video was a great way to show this. Nicely done, and I hope to be back with the group again next week,


    • Thanks, Robin. We can do all the fancy things we can in post-processing, but without good composition, what’s the point. We missed you this week, but your images of the cathedral are stunning. Perhaps we’ll see something from that shoot? 😉


  6. I enjoyed learning the process via your video. The cropping and clarity made a great photo. I should be able to come up with one for AB next week. Thank you, Stacy!


  7. Beautiful use of light and shade in your image Stacy. You really get a sense of the strong, clear light and the shadows on the white plaster are just gorgeous! You’ve only really cropped this a little, so I can’t imagine you’ve lost a huge amount of pixels and the crop, whilst very subtle has made the image deeper, you really do feel like you’re looking right into it! If I had to have done it differently, I might have tried a vertical crop to remove the window and shutter and lined up the doorways dead centre to make it more of an abstract composition, but I really love your version. 🙂


    • Okay, Katie, I loved your suggestion, so much so that I went back, recropped, and added it to my gallery. (I gave you full credit for the idea. 😊) I actually do love both approaches and have included a poll for feedback. Thanks so much. This was fun!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m flattered Stacy and thank you for taking the suggestion so well. I like the square crop you did, it really accentuates the shapes. It’s a great base image, well seen! 🙂


        • My please, Katie. It’s what the ABF forum is all about – feedback, experimenting, and above all, learning 🙂 I like what you said about the square crop accentuating the shapes. I fear the addition and the poll came too late to capture our regulars, but I’m hoping others may respond. It’s always fun to hear differing opinions!

          Liked by 1 person

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