A Photo a Week Challenge: It All Depends on What You Want

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Treatment #1

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Treatment #2

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Post-processing can be so much fun. You can do so many different things with a single image. I was recently playing around with some HDR actions in Photoshop on an image of the Payson Utah LDS Temple. The differences between the the photos was stunning and amazing. The first image is the original with only basic RAW conversion tweaks. The second and third are using some actions I found on InkyDeals. They are fun and very dramatic. Let me know which you like the best out of the three.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A SERIES OF A SINGLE PHOTO WITH DIFFERENT TREATMENTS.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.
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One Photo Focus: March 2016

I was asked by Stacy Fischer at Visual Venturing to provide an image for the March 2016 One Photo Focus challenge. The image I picked is this one of the north stairs of the Adams Memorial Theatre at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

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The theatre sits on the Southern Utah University campus in Cedar City, Utah, and opened in 1977. It is one of the most accurate replicas of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in the world (at least the back and main stage areas). This last summer (2015) was the last year that plays will be staged at this theatre. The festival is building a new theater to replace this one, so this last summer was a bit nostalgic for festival goers.

For my edit, I first opened the RAW image in Photoshop’s RAW converter and used the following settings:

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With these settings, I got this image:

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Next, I added the following two duplicate background layers, each with a layer mask:

  • Soft Light blending mode
  • Multiply blending mode

On the Multiply layer, I added a Gaussian Blur at 15.0%. All of this created this image:

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Next, I used a soft brush set at 100% opacity and in the layer mask of the Multiply layer mask, erased the theatre sign. I then set the Opacity of the SoftLight layer to 55%.

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Here is what I had so far:

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A quick crop to tighten up the image gave me my final image:

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For more from this challenge, visit One Photo Focus: March.

After-Before logo

Click the image above for rules on joining the fun!

One Photo Focus October

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve had the chance to participate in one of Stacy Fischer’s One Photo Focus challenges. It feels good to be back.

This month, we received a photo from Michelle Lunato, a wonderful photographer, who provided this beautiful image for us to play with.

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When I opened the RAW image, I made these adjustments first:

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These settings gave me this image:

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I loved the sun flare, but wanted to add a little lens flare to compliment it. I used these settings in the lens flare filter:

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For instructions on using the lens flare filter on an “empty” layer, see this YouTube video.

So adding the flare created a nice, light effect:

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I’ve been playing around with posterizing images lately, and thought this image lent itself nicely to some posterizing. I used these settings in the Photoshop Fine Art Gallery filter:

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I really like how the filter gives the image a more defined look:

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Finally, I wanted to give it more of a painting feeling, so I added a blank layer filled with white and then used a fun eraser brush to “reveal” the image under the white layer:

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I hope you enjoy my experiments. I sure did.

Stacy, thanks, as always, for a fun challenge. For more from this challenge, visit One Photo Focus: October.

After-Before logo

Click the image above for rules on joining the fun!

A Photo a Week Challenge: One Photo, Two Treatments

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I’ve been shooting a fair amount of weddings lately (tis the season, after all). It’s always a tricky thing knowing what processing style the bride and groom might want on their pictures. Personally, I like my photos to have rich colors and a bright (but not washed-out) exposure. Every now and then, though, it’s really fun to experiment with different photo processing software actions and settings to see what you can come up with. For this week, take a single photo and do two different types of post-processing on it.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE ONE PHOTO WITH TWO DIFFERENT POST-PROCESSING TREATMENTS.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography. Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ and “Photo a Week” tags.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet

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These aren’t my feet, but I love this shot. For more from this challenge, visit Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet.

Turns out, this one can act as double-duty. It also fits Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Hands, Feet, or Paws.

After Before Friday July One Photo Focus

For this month’s One Photo Focus, Robin Kent supplied us with this beautiful shot.

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I didn’t have a whole lot of time to work on this, but I thought it would be fun to try out some of the tools that come packaged with Photoshop.

First, I tweaked some of the color levels, contrast, and saturation to intensify the image. Next, from Filter > Filter Gallery, I selected Poster Edges from the Artistic collection. Then I used The Hue/Saturation sepia setting and toned down the saturation.

Next, I created a solid color (white) layer and set it’s opacity to 35%. For the next step, it took me about twenty minutes to find an eraser brush tip I liked to “erase” parts of the solid layer to reveal more of the image below. I finally settled on the Round Fan Stiff Thin Bristles brush tip and played around until I liked the effect.

Hope you like the final product!

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Stacy, thanks, as always, for a fun challenge. For more from this challenge, visit One Photo Focus: July.

After-Before logo

Click the image above for rules on joining the fun!