ABFriday Week 45/May One Photo Focus Reveal

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

Before we get to the after-before galleries, just a reminder that today’s post reveals the May 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. Fun? You betcha! Check out April’s 1PF!

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, April 1, 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 fun-loving group!

May’s One Photo Focus Photo!
Submitted by Shane Francescut — The Weekly Minute

Shane Francecut One Photo Focus May

 Now back to our regularly scheduled ABFriday post with all the creative after-before photos submitted this week!

My submission: This week, I’ve used a combination of LR5, Photoshop CC, and Google Nik Dfine2 and Color Efex Pro 4 to bring life to this golden hour shot of the Jefferson Memorial taken during the recent “peak” cherry blossom weekend. While I use a number of programs, the steps in each one are few. After taking a look at the finished photo with fresh eyes (and after I finished the video), I decided to add a graduated filter loaded with decreased exposure (-24) from the top left corner to about the middle of the memorial to provide a bit more of a vignette. The crop on the photo in the video is also a bit different from the one I initially used – the photos show the “correct” crop.  

Submitted by Robin Kent — PhotographybyKent

Robin says: Here in Virginia, Mother Nature is orchestrating her renewal of life cycle (AKA Spring) at breakneck speed.  In about two weeks, we are likely to see the English bluebells, at least where they were planted. Last year, stealthy maneuvers were required to sneak into the backyard of a nearby house where a passel of these little beauties were showing off and there was time for only a few exposures. Details about what happened when I returned to the safety of my digital darkroom can be found here.

Submitted by Klara — Sliku svoju ljubim II

Klara says: This was edited in Silver Efex Pro 2 with Full Dynamic (harsh) filter.

Submitted by Michelle Lunato — Michelle Lunato Photography

Michelle says: I have been so off with my planned schedule and my moods have been all over the place. So, I figured, lets go with another abstract. This one started off with a less-than-successful iPhone photo. I was playing around with my macro app and the the focus was just not there. Instead of throwing out the photo, I decided to tweak it and distort it until the blah photo was something that caught my eye. Here is how I took this sad photo to what I thought was a lot more interesting…

Submitted by Katie Prior — Drawing with Light

Katie says: Here are my before and afters for this week, sorry I missed last week’s, but it was nice just looking at the posts. We had a great (but cold!) holiday, anyway and now are getting back into the swing of normal life again. I got a chance to get quite a few photos, although many of them are the same or similar! I will be working my way through them too.

Submitted by Nic Anderson — Photography by Nic

Nic says: I have several images from a beach outing one early cloudy morning back in 2013.  I wanted to try out some of what I did last week on those images to see if I could bring up the colors and contrast.  Of course, it just wasn’t that easy, and I don’t even know if I can write up a tutorial for all the steps I had to take.  But in the end, I like the image and thought you all would get a good laugh at my subject just as I do.  

Submitted by Lynne Ayers — Beyond the Brush Photography

Lynne says: My objective was to highlight the door and downplay the unavoidable tourists.

Submitted by Loré Dombaj — Snow’s Fissures and Fractures

Loré says: This week it was all about transforming a bland image into possibly not so bland image. 😀

Submitted by Benjamin Rowe — Aperture64

Ben says: This week spring really is getting into full spring with blossom on the trees opening and the days getting a bit warmer. This weeks submission is from enjoying a nice afternoon photographing fresh blossom. My post will be live here.

Submitted by Nancy Merrill – nancy merrill photography

Nancy says: I wanted to try some of the Envision presets I recently bought from Little Lusker. For this image, I made most of the adjustments using PhotoShop’s RAW converter, and then used the following presets:

Eye Enhance
Peppy Backlight
For between shots, visit my post.

 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 45/May One Photo Focus Reveal

  1. Oh my, what a beautiful image. You captured it perfectly and the framing is superb. I can imagine you defending your position against other intruders. 😀 The changes you made are so subtle, it is really about tweaking to the minimum. But the crop is what does it for me, it just draws me into the image. Superb!


    • Alys, when I first started posting photos to my blog, I had no idea either. This past year has been a wonderful education on the digital darkroom. It’s a necessary step for photographers who shoot RAW files, as opposed to jpeg (where the camera actually post-processes the photos in camera), and it is as much a part of photography as pressing the shutter. It’s also a wonderfully creative process – no two photographers will post-process the same photo in exactly the same way, clearly bringing their individual creative talents and visions to bear. If you have a chance, to see what I mean, check out one of the One Photo Focus posts, the first Friday of each month, where all the participants post-process the same photo. It’s unbelievably eye-opening 🙂


  2. A really interesting set of post-processing examples this week. I enjoyed looking at them all. Very nice positioning on the Jefferson Memorial, Stacy. I’m surprised you didn’t have to use sharp elbows to wedge into that spot where Jefferson is completely visible. It can be a dogfight at sunrise, but I like the sunset timing more. Also liked the video explanation. Your point on the “Shake Reduction” (kudos to Ben) reminded me of a couple of older images that could might benefit from its application. I’ll have to give it a try.


    • I was so excited to see the opening, Robin, as I approached the spot. I was there last year, but during mid-day. This was like striking gold. I couldn’t believe no one was standing there. But within minutes of setting up, two others photographers came and set up shop next to me, clearly disappointed they weren’t where I was. I stepped aside so they could get their shots, but once blue hour hit, all bets were off 😉

      Yes, Ben’s pointer on the “shake reduction” has helped me a few times, rescuing a few hand-held, low-light photos that would not have been as strong without it. Have fun with it!


  3. Hi Stacy. Now you’re confusing me, I saw the cherry blossoms and Robin’s name and thought it was his, but then saw the video link… anyway, now I realise that its your image, doh! Its a really great image to start with, but I love how you have subtly enhanced it by pulling out the blossoms framing the memorial, very nice. I look forward to finding a quiet moment to watch the video. Have a good weekend! 🙂


    • Thanks, Katie. Hmm, maybe I should put the video after my images to prevent confusing anyone? I was delighted I scored that spot on the walkway – for once, I arrived at the right moment! Hope you find something useful in the video 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great edits, Stacy. I really like how you made the light hit the Jefferson Memorial more (which I think is the Darken/Lighten Center from the video that didn’t seem like it was working), it really makes you focus on the background. I also like the added detail to the dome, and the panoramic crop. 😀

    Lots of great images from everyone this week, I’ll have to go visit all their blogs. 🙂


    • Thanks, Nic. Glad you liked what you saw 🙂 Yes, I really love the darken/lighten center filter in Color Efex. It is rare that I don’t use some type of vignette in post-processing and the Color Efex one really is so much more flexible than the post-crop vignetting tool in LR. And you’re right – lots of great images from all!


  5. I have to agree with Ben. Very subtle work but, as a whole, the details now shine. I like that crop and have to use it more often, especially with my landscapes. (I wanted to join in this week but just couldn’t get it together.)


    • Thanks, Emilio. I seem to be using the “pano”-type crop more often and am really liking it. The square one has been fun to use lately too. Don’t beat yourself up over when you’re able to return here. Aim for the fun of Shane’s photo for One Photo Focus 🙂


    • Thanks so much, Mary. It’s also a wonderful way to learn (or at least be exposed to) new techniques 😀 I really enjoy when we all edit the same image as part of One Photo Focus. That REALLY highlights everyone’s different creative visions and proves that there’s no one “right” way to post-process a photo!


    • Thanks, Robyn. You should check out the first Friday of each month – called One Photo Focus – where all participants edit the same photo. We normally have about two dozen different iterations and all are fascinating to see.


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