ABFriday Week 35: February One Photo Focus

Highlighting the creative magic behind post-processed photos

Welcome to ABFriday’s monthly One Photo Focus! This month, 25 photographers are sharing their post-processing interpretations of one “before” image submitted by Manal Ali of A Single Shutter. I am so excited to share these wonderful images with all of you!

We begin with Manal’s “before” image, followed by the “afters,” and at the end, a gallery of all so you can watch the changes as you scroll through. Be sure to click the links to each participant’s blog as many have written posts “uncovering the magic” behind their “after” images. And if you would like to participate in the March 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 this zany bunch – we’d love to have you!

One Photo Focus Feb Manal Ali

Submitted by Manal Ali — A Single Shutter

Manal Ali, A Single Shutter

Submitted by Stacy Fischer — Visual Venturing

Stacy Fischer, Visual Venturing, One Photo Focus Feb

Stacy Fischer, Visual Venturing, One Photo Focus February B&W

I have had so much fun working with Manal’s image. I reached into Lightroom’s magic bag, and coupled with Nik Color Efex and Silver Efex, I aimed for directing focus on the BT Tower.  Presets, lens correction tools, gradient filters, radial filters, and post-crop vignetting all contributed to the final products. In the color image, I wanted to keep the overall feeling of the cloudy, rainy day. And because I love black and white, I had to then give that a whirl and loved the line drawing effect that resulted. Thanks, Manal, for submitting a fantastic image to work on!

Submitted by Laura Macky — Laura Macky Photography

Image courtesy of Manal Ali

Submitted by desleyjane — Musings of a Frequent Flying Scientist

 Submitted by Robyn — Captivate Me

Robyn, Captivate Me

Submitted by Nancy Merrill – nancy merrill photography

Nancy Merrill, Nancy Merrill Photography

Nancy says: Before changing the image to black and white, I lightened it and heightened the contrast and saturation. After changing the image to black and white, I sharpened the image and then increased the fog haze with a gradient layer. Very fun!

 Submitted by Nic Anderson — Photography by Nic

Nic Anderson, Photography by Nic

Nic says: I tried to make the image feel blue and gloomy but also wanted to get a hyper HDR look too.  I added a blue wash to the image, then I played around with several sharpening techniques and then played with the saturation.  I did my initial raw edits in Camera Raw, then I did the major edits in GIMP.  I think it looks pretty cool.  I didn’t even notice the red double-decker buses in the background until I made these edits!

UPDATE:  I received an email from Nic asking if I could please update her picture as she had learned how to adjust the vertical perspective. (Good for you, Nic!) Between our time difference, we had a number of crossed emails prior to publication of this post. As a result,  Nic, I am posting both versions, until I hear from you that I can go ahead and post just the updated version 🙂

Nic Anderson,

 Submitted by Stacey/Lensaddiction — Learning to See Light

Stacey/LensAddiction, Learning to See LightStacey says: Thanks to Manali Ali for a very challenging image this month, I embraced the After Before concept and imagined a city street as it had been and as it was now. My PS skills are very much beginner stage so I had to work hard at this one.

Details on how I did it on my blog post

Submitted by West — west517, the world we know

West says: This is my first submission to Stacy’s “After Before” post.  I enjoy them every week and decided to take the challenge and step into the ring.  Inspired by winter whites and downtown blues, I wanted to process Manal’s  image using several vintage filters and layer overlays that I created using Adobe’s Photoshop.  Mixing a vintage vibe with a city-chic watermark (I hope you don’t mind Manal), I wanted to highlight the old/new atmosphere that defines most cities today.

 Submitted by Janice Meyers Foreman — jmeyersforeman photography

Janice Meyers Foreman, jmeyersforeman photography

 Submitted by Loré Dombaj — Snow’s Fissures and Fractures

Loré Dombaj, Snow's Fissures and Fractures

Loré says: I played and I played and this is what I came up with. 

Submitted by Amy — The World Is a Book

Amy, The World Is a Book
Amy says: I used Lightroom but don’t really remember the process. I have been working on it back and forth several times. 🙂

 Submitted by Marsha — Coolquilting

Marsha says: Intention: to straighten the photo and remove the very bright white sky but not to destroy the rainy look. I don’t know how to adjust just the sky so I settled for some subtle changes via textures and filters to the whole photo.

Processes used were both desktop and iPad applications: LR preset for increased clarity, straightening in PS and SKRWT, TouchRetouch to remove plastic bag in the tree, assorted textures and filters in PSE, Pixlr and Snapseed.

Submitted by Cee Neuner — Cee’s Photography

 Cee says: I wanted to warm it up a bit, since it looked so very cold, weather wise.

 Submitted by Emilio Pasquale — Photos by Emilio

Submitted by Kaz G. — daysandmonths

Kaz G., daysandmonths

Kaz says: Well, it’s been an exercise. I tried to change the photo in different ways (cropping, etc.) but wasn’t happy. I even thought, “Hmmm, too hard this month and simply should give up…”

Then I had a thought and fiddled around some more and here it is.  My take on this month’s shot.  I wasn’t sure what to focus on and had trouble with what I wanted to “say” in the photo.  I should have gone with my instincts at the start when I saw the sale sign, so that’s what I’ve done. 

 Submitted by Michelle Lunato — Michelle Lunato Photography

Michelle Lunato, Michelle Lunato Photography

 Submitted by Benjamin Rowe — Aperture64

Benjamin Rowe, Aperture64

 Submitted by Katie Prior — Drawing with Light

Katie Prior, Drawing with Light

 Submitted by Lynne Ayers — Beyond the Brush Photography

Lynne Ayers, Beyond the Brush Photography

Lynne says: I liked the wet reflections on the sidewalk and wanted to keep and enhance that if I could.  I didn’t like the semi-visible light standard to the right of centre and wanted to either get rid of it or enhance it. What I did is available here.

 Submitted by Sara Poyfair— sarapoyfairphotography.com

Sara Poyfair, sarapoyfairphotography.com

 Submitted by Karen Chengelis — KCinAZ

Karen Chengelis, KCinAZ
Karen says: Thanks Manal Ali for providing such a wonderful challenge.  I’m not sure about the rest but this one was another big learning experience and made me put my mind to work. Read what I did on my blog post.

 Submitted by Jaime Perez — My Photolanguage

Jaime Perez, My Photolanguage
Jaime says: This time, we have a simple, vertical-and-horizontal-lines-based composition, but complicated image to work with in edition due to the so many elements present in it. So, having neither much to do with the rest of the image nor any other creative inspiration, I tried the hardest way. Long time in Ps CS3, little by little (just what I really hate!), trying to get what I suppose it was the first thought of many of us who participate this week. 

Hoping you all like the result and looking forward to see the rest of audience versions, I want to say that I’m very happy participating in this new version of Stacy’s wonderful forum.

I’ll see you next time!

Submitted Max — Max 510.com

Max, Max510.com

Submitted by Nancy / dogear6 — Living the Seasons

Nancy / dogear6, Living the Seasons
Nancy says: Manal shared such an interesting photo for this week!  Although the sky was a challenge, I wanted to preserve and highlight the bright colors in both the foreground and background of the photo.  I made adjustments in Lightroom to the usual highlights, shadows, contrast, etc..  Once I brought up the colors and detail, I took it into Photoshop.  I began by correcting the keystoning on the sides, making the building straight to the right edge and the lamp  post on the left.  I experimented with cropping to bring out the buildings in the back, deciding that the sky and left side of the picture needed to go, including the lamp post.  This really focused the photo to the jumble of details and colors that I wanted highlighted.  I used Topaz Restyle to bring out the grays, blacks, and greens, then applied Topaz Adjust to accentuate the details and put a simple border around the photo.  More detail on how I did this is on my blog here.

 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!

62 thoughts on “ABFriday Week 35: February One Photo Focus

  1. Really love the work by everyone here – quite amazing what can be done with a single photograph and the creative influences by everyone that produces such a vast array of images.


  2. Now that I’ve had time to go through all the images I must say that there were some real creative juices in the works this week. I loved going through them and seeing the different ideas. Thanks to Manal for giving us such a great image to work with.


  3. I just love your color photo, in fact, that is what I was kind of going for… now I like yours more.

    So I was trying to figure out if the BP Tower was some kind of landmark… so I went to Manal’s page to see if she talked about it more. It turns out that it is actually the BT Tower (wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BT_Tower), it’s a telecommunications tower and it is a huge landmark in London. It is a really impressive tower. 😀

    Thanks so much for accepting my late second attempt! And I loved your solution, since we kept playing email tag. 😀


    • I think we’re pretty much on the same track with this one, Nic. It’s just the cropping that changed the dynamic, and now I’m rethinking my crop 😉 Isn’t that what makes this fun? And thanks for catching my spelling error with the name of the Tower – I’ve corrected it 🙂

      You’re so welcome about the second photo. Glad you liked the solution!

      Liked by 1 person

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