After-Before Challenge: Week 33

I found a new challenge this week. Stacy at Visual Venturing hosts the weekly After-Before Challenge. Some weeks, there is a photo submitted by someone else that everyone takes and processes. Most weeks, you pick from your library and do some processing. This week’s challenge is to select an image from your library to edit.

Here is my final photo:

AB Week 33 After

Here is my original photo:

AB Week 33 Before

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 created a layer to add additional contrast. Next, I created another layer to fade the saturation.  On the fade layer, I erase the foreground image with a soft brush it to let the vibrant colors on the lower layer come through. I then added one more 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.

To see more After-Before entries, visit After-Before Week 33.

After-Before logo

Click the image above for rules on joining the fun!

Advertisement

Sunday Stills: Shallow Depth of Field

I love using lenses with long focal lengths (50 mm+) for portrait work. The higher (longer) the number, the more shallow your dept of field (DOF), which I know seems counter-intutive, but that’s the way the light refracts.  For these shots, I used my 105 mm.  Shallow DOF lets you draw attention to the part of the image you really want to emphasize.

dof4_wp dof2_wp dof3_wp

Family Home Evenings are fun

For more from this challenge, visit Sunday Stills: Shallow Depth of Field.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Minimalist

Renée's eye

A good friend lent me her very nice lighting setup for a wedding shoot. She brought it over a couple of days before the wedding so she could teach me how to set it up and I could play around with it a bit. This is a small part of a quick photo I took of her, and I love how the lights reflected in her glasses. Thanks, Renée! The lights worked great!

For more from this challenge, visit Weekly Photo Challenge: Minimalist.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Splash of Color

Homegrown peppers

T&J newlywed bubble

Images are all about color, or the absence of color. A photo can be more stunning and dramatic in black and white than in color, and vis versa. The presence of a color in a mostly monochrome image will draw the eye to the color. Sometimes the effect is created, like the image of the peppers, in a color image, sometime (with the help of photo editing software) the effect of keeping only part of the image in color, like the wedding picture. With the second one from T&J’s wedding photos, I also blurred the outer portion of the image to draw the eye even more to the center.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO THAT INCLUDES A FOCUS COLOR.

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.

A Word a Week Challenge: Technology

technology_wpNot a super high-level technology, but one that sure comes in handy during a photo shoot. I love that my husband is willing to do crazy things (like lie on the ground and position a reflector just perfectly) so that I can get the shot I want. Just in case you’re wondering how it worked, here’s the result.

technology2_wpFor more from this challenge, visit A Word a Week Challenge: Technology.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure

b&w_weekend_1a_wpWild Russell Nick and the soccer ball portrait_wp C in the rye

Ben 1

tj_09_wp

Baby R

Abby

I love you, Aunt Kristen

ks_05

Elisabeth

Just try to make me smile

Russell

I’ve just begun my adventure as a portrait photographer, and I’m having a great time. Here are some of my favorites (most I’ve posted before).

For more, visit Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure

A Photo a Week Challenge: Off-Centered

Red rose bud

One of the first things you learn in most photography classes is that you shouldn’t put your main subject in the center of your photograph. Our eyes love things that are not even. We also enjoy looking at things that aren’t symmetrical, aligned perfectly, or come in even groups (3s and 5s are preferred). A general rule of thumb for framing your image is the law of threes: divide your viewing area into a grid with three rows and three columns. Place your main subject anywhere in the grid except dead center. One thing that’s really nice with digital photography is that you can experiment with the placement of your subject without having to go through the expense of processing the film to see if you guessed correctly.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO WITH THE MAIN SUBJECT OF YOUR IMAGE NOT IN THE CENTER.

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. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Sharpness

It seems that the new “thing” in stylish photography these days is a washed-out, über-sharp image. Gritty reality–sort of. It’s still very processed using a photo editing program. It helps overcome some flaws in an image, like some slight blurriness. Here is one image with two different sharp treatments. Let me know which is your favorite.

Original

Ben

First treatment

Ben 1

Second treatment

Sharp Ben two

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO THAT YOU’VE SHARPENED.

Treat some of your favorite photos to a sharper image.  Then blog your experiments and post a link to your masterpieces here. Please include your original image as well as your final project.

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. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

Sunday Stills: Modify my pic

Ed at Sunday Stills has given us a really fun challenge: take his original photo and modify it however we want. So, first, here’s his original picture:

084_orig

I went pretty simple, giving the photo to a black-and-white sepia treatment.

084_1

Thanks, Ed! What a fun experiment.

Before and after: Abbie

The picture of Abbie was a fun experiment with PhotoShop. It didn’t need much tweaking. She’s such a cute girl and has naturally beautiful skin. So I thought I’d give you a before and after.

Before:Abbie before PhotoShop editing

After:AbbyI’m really loving the ability to fix bad lighting and other quirks of photography. In traditional film processing, you might have to spend hours in the darkroom testing exposures and chemical batch time to get the same thing you can do with a mouse click.