ABFriday Week 33/February One Photo Focus Reveal


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

Today is ABFriday AND the reveal of February’s ABFriday One Photo Focus photo! What is One Photo Focus? It’s the first ABFriday of each month when all participants edit the same photo. Pretty cool, huh? Check out January’s 1PF (just made up this shorthand); it was a blast!

In a nutshell, here’s how it works:

  1. The photo to be edited is revealed in the ABF post two weeks in advance.
  2. If you’d like to join in, email me at visualventuring@gmail.com. I will send you links to the full-sized RAW and jpeg files. Download the one you wish.
  3. Email me your “after” image no later than midnight EST Wednesday, February 4, two days prior to the post.

A time zone converter and all the important submission details are on the After-Before Friday Forum page, as are the details for participating in “regular” ABFriday posts. Come along and join us in one or the other (or both) – we’re a pretty fun group!

Okay, where is the photo? Well, as with all good things, it comes at the end of this post. I mean, really, there are amazing galleries of after-before photos submitted this week for you to see! But first things first: Welcome to our newest ABF participant: Nancy Merrill (nancy merrill photography), and as always, welcome back to our regulars.

My submission: This week, I decided to post-process outside the box and create 2 stylized photos from one fairly bland photo of a sentry box (“guerite” in Spanish) on San Juan’s fortified wall. One takes a fine art approach; the other, well, think old-time horror movie. To do this, I relied on Nik Color Efex Pro 4. For those unfamiliar with the program, the video will walk you through the steps I took.

Submitted by Robin Kent — PhotographybyKent

Robin says: My submission this week was taken five years ago this week in West Virginia’s Blackwater Falls State Park.  The stream is Shays Run, just below Elakala Falls.  And if you think it looks cold, you are right.

 Submitted by Katie Prior — Drawing with Light

Katie says: For this week’s ABFriday post, I have been playing about with some old prints I took quite a few years back.  I scanned and edited them using Lightroom by cropping and cleaning up the image. This is not one for the purists!

Submitted by Sabina — Victim To Charm

Sabina says: This photo was taken from my car window as I was making a three-point turn–naturally, I wasn’t quite focused on the quality of light. I used Photoshop to transform it from dreadfully backlit to appropriately exposed, so now viewers can actually see one of Portland’s more iconic landmarks.

Submitted by Emilio Pasquale — Photos by Emilio

Emilio says: No, this is not a ride in Disneyland. This is a ride in Las Vegas Nevada. OK, it’s not a ride, it’s the Excalibur Hotel and Casino. But if given half a chance, they’ll take you for a ride!

Submitted by Nancy Merrill – nancy merrill photography

Nancy says: This image was taken in Nikon RAW (NEF) format, so I began by enhancing the image in the RAW converter in PhotoShop. I bumped up the exposure, contrast, whites, clarity, and vibrance and bumped down the shadows and blacks. Once the image was open in PhotoShop, I added additional contrast, created a layer that let me fade the color on the background and erased the foreground image with a soft brush it to let it come through. I then added a layer between the contrast and fade layers to sharpen the foreground image, including some minor adjustments on the shadows and some major ones on the highlights.

Submitted by Janice Meyers Foreman — jmeyersforeman photography

Janice says: I wanted to keep the post this week simple, most images featured on my blog have very little post processing, but the last few images featured on friday’s after-before have been the exception, so this week I am back to simple images!

Submitted by Loré Dombaj — Snow’s Fissures and Fractures

Loré says: I promised myself I’d be good this week, trying to keep my imagination in my little box. I  wanted to show that I can take images that don’t need a heavy hand in post-processing. No cropping, imagine that! I really took my time to take this photo, trying to get the symmetry. But me being me, I forgot to bring down the ISO, so it turned out too bright. I slightly adjusted brightness and contrast, just to make it a little bit sharper. And that was all. You see, miracles do happen. 

P.S. I just couldn’t resist, so I created another after, with a little sparkle of drama. I cropped the original ever so slightly, to make it more tight and then I went wild. Just a little bit. 

Submitted by Mary Hone — Tales from the Backroad

 Submitted by Benjamin Rowe — Aperture64

Ben says: This week one magnificent building now in disrepair. 

Submitted by Amy — The World Is a Book

Amy says: This was captured with SS 1/2000 second. The duck flew up unexpectedly. Luckily, I had my camera set ahead of time. I wasn’t sure that I captured the action. When I open the file, I was okay with the result, considering it was the second time that I tried to capture the flying bird. 

I first went to Perfect Photo to clean up the branch and the corner using the eraser (an effective feature of PP).  I then went to LR to crop and adjust the level a little. Next, I adjusted black, white, highlight, and also decreased the shadows a little on the Basic panel, then increased the clarity and sharpness, also decreased the yellow color in the water, which was the reflections of the bushes. In the tone curve panel, I clicked the mid tone. The last thing I did was reducing the noise level and adding a little vignette. 

Finally, February’s One Photo Focus Photo!

Submitted by Manal Ali — A Single Shutter

One Photo Focus Feb Manal Ali

A foggy BT Tower, London

 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!

49 thoughts on “ABFriday Week 33/February One Photo Focus Reveal

    • Hi, Amy! Did you get the email I sent you yesterday with the image files and all the details? Perhaps in your spam folder? If not, let me know and I’ll resend it :). That’s the long answer. The short answer is submissions are due to me by Feb 4 midnight EST (Washington DC). 🙂


  1. I do like Colour efex and I find myself going there when I am lost and not sure what to do with an image. I sometimes find it has the power to do great things and can make an image but a small step too far and the image can be ruined.
    Very nice video and I love the black and white image.
    Also thanks for hosting the forum Stacy Friday wouldn’t be the same without it.


    • Ben, what a nice thought at your comment’s end. I appreciate it more than you can know. And I appreciate you being here, week in and week out. ABFriday wouldn’t be the same without you. As for the Nik suite, Color Efex and Silver Efex are quickly becoming a partner to Lightroom in my post-processing flow, though I tend to only have a handful of filters that are my go-to’s. I would like, someday, to figure out how to achieve the effects on my own, but until I have the time to do that, they’re a great help.


  2. Very dramatic afters Stacy! I think I prefer the black and white version, although the contrasting colours are great on the colour after. Thanks for showing the Nik Efex plug in, I don’t think I’ve seen how they work before, very illuminating. Manal’s image for the next OPF looks very interesting, I’m sure we’ll get some great images from it. 🙂


    • Thanks, Katie. I prefer the black and white version too (partially because it seems more “realistic” than the color, though that’s a relative comparison 😉). I really enjoy Nik Efex. In fact, I use it a great deal for my black and white work in conjunction with Lightroom. You’ll be seeing more of that in the upcoming weeks. I loved working on Manal’s image. Some definite challenges, but that was fun!


  3. Hi Stacy, it is always great to watch your video’s, I use Nik Software, in stages, it seems! There is so much we can do to our photos with it. Another good week of submission, that will probably take all week to get through. take care I hope you have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. wow some of those are amazing. I love the black and white version you did it is really dramatic. I have been wondering about photo editing and trialled lightroom, i didn’t get time to use it enough, I loved the editing side but hated the filing side, found it really complicated. Am now trialling Corel, it’s fun and good but really struggling on which one I should evetually go for. YOu seem to know loads about Lightroom, could you suggest a good tutorial place on you tube so i can make a better decision possibly? x


    • Hi, Justine. I have been to so many different “Lightroom” sites over the year, clicking on links here and there, buying books, and ultimately taking a few weekend courses. Julianne Kost is a Lightroom and Photoshop guru for Adobe and I really enjoy her style and her videos are free (http://blogs.adobe.com/jkost/lightroom-training-videos). Scott Kelby has a whole posse of people who make videos on different aspects of photography. I’ve watched videos by Matt Kozlowski. Note, however, that these require either a one-year membership to Kelby One ($99 – which gives you access to everything on his site) or your can purchase just a specific course. I see that Matt’s LR course is $49.95 (http://kelbyone.com/course/napp_mattk_lrbasics/). Serge Ramelli (http://www.photoserge.com/) is someone I was introduced to by a fellow blogger; he, too, charges for his videos, but he covers an amazing number of topics (he has a French accent that may take some getting used to). The other place to go is the Adobe Lightroom channel on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/AdobeLightroom).

      As for the library and cataloguing function of Lightroom, that is what makes it such a powerhouse. Being able to pull all your photos into one application, edit them, export them to other apps to work on them (including Photoshop), is a seamless workflow. I’m still trying to figure out the best system for me to organize within Lightroom, but the beauty of the application is it’s flexibility. I highly suggest looking into it. Hope all this helps! And thanks for commenting 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Very interesting tour of Color Efex Pro, Stacy. The video was a great way to do it. And the results reminded me of a Steve Martin phrase: “Two Wild and Crazy Guys!” But in a good way, of course. Unfortunately, I’ll miss participating in the next 1PF installment because my cord to the Internet will be severed for the next three weeks. But I’ll be checking back to see what everyone did.


  6. There seems to be quite a few similarities between NIK and Perfect Effects 9. Interesting. I much preferred the black and white this week as it added so much more drama.


  7. Lots of great AB editing ideas this week! Thank you for sharing Nik Color Efex Pro 4, Stacy. Btw, would you make a correction for my part, it should be Perfect Photo instead of Photo Perfect. Thanks! 🙂


  8. I must say your Before image is far from bland, I quite like it. The After images are quirky and funny, it is nice to see you playing outside the box. I prefer b&w because…I always prefer b&w. But seriously, you have an amazing Before image, I don’t think I would change anything.
    Oh, our next OPF image is here. I already know people will do amazing things with it and I don’t think I can improve it using only PicMonkey. This one will push my limits for sure.


    • I love quirky and funny, Loré! Seems I’m taking a page from your wonderful playbook 😉 As for the image, it just didn’t “do” anything for me – no shadows, very few clouds in the sky. At golden hour, this could have been wonderful. So instead I opted to make lemonade, so to speak 🙂

      It will be fun to see what you’ll be able to achieve with PicMonkey. I’m looking forward to working on it!!


    • Oh, you’ll have fun with the Nik collection, Mary. I still have a bunch to learn about control points and how to use them effectively. Hmmm, perhaps an idea for a future video 😉 Thanks about the photos – glad you liked them 🙂


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