As a result of the RAW Challenge Poll done in June, I have refined the guidelines for this challenge.
Members submitting an image for this challenge are asked to offer a brief statement as to why they chose their image. Participants in the challenge have the option of presenting an edit with the photographer’s reasons in mind or instead presenting an image that reflects their own creative vision.
1. Participants in the challenge are asked to provide a screenshot of their edits within the RAW converter of their choice along with the reasons for their edits.
2. Following their initial edits members may use whatever “tools" they wish to create an image that portrays their artistic vision for the image as long as the character of the original image is not lost.
3. Including information on plug-ins, actions, external editors, textures, sky replacements etc that were used will only help to inform members of some of the creative options that are available to today’s photographer.
4. Including layer stacks may be something to consider when presenting a final edit.
You have two weeks to participate in this challenge. It ends on September 7th. At the end of the challenge the image creator will select their three favorite edits.
Comments are restricted to complimenting another member's edit.
So let's get started!
The photographer had this to say about the image:
“This old house photo has a few weak areas, including one "secret" blemish. See how you can make this photo pop.”
A really fun image to work with - thanks to Helen and whoever submitted it. My edits were all done in Lightroom. My first thought was cropping to focus on the old house as that was the main subject. I also wanted to straighten it up a bit - my sense was that it was a bit too crooked and so I guessed where the horizon was and straightened it.
I then tweaked all the settings in the Basic panel to add contrast by pulling back the highlights and pushing up the shadows. I also added little more contrast with the tone curve and added a slight vignette. Lastly I have a bunch of profiles that I tried applying and finished up with one from Matt Kloskowski Called Fall(Gold) that I applied at 61% (see the top of the Basic Panel shot below)
So here are the Basic Settings I used:
And here's the image I finished up with.
Thanks again - I'm going to have to play with it some more.
Fujifilm XT-3 mirrorless Nikon D7000 Photoshop Elements many versions Photoshop CC, Lightroom Classic, ON1 Raw
Thanks, Lillias and Tony. Two very different edits. That's what I love about this challenge....seeing all the directions people go with the same RAW file. I already have a couple of ideas that I'd like to try....may be time to play.
Sony a6000 Lenses...10-18, 18-55, 55-210, 35, 85 LR, PSCC NIK Suite OnOne Photo RAW 2020 Topaz: Adjust, Clarity, Simplify, Clean, Lens Effects, Remask, Impression, Star Effect, Restyle and DeNoise A.I. Gigapixel
I knew when I first saw this image that I wanted to try a textured look. I did minimum adjustments in Camera Raw in PS. I also used the Hue/Saturation sliders to decrease the green to a -29, increase the yellow saturation to + 6 and Luminosity to + 23.
In photoshop, I used the healing brush tool to get rid of the posts, flipped horizontally and used a 17x6 pano crop.
After this I went into On1. I can usually find a preset there that I like for a base for a textured image. I chose Photomorphosis Secret Sauce 8 and adjusted the layers and substituted one of my own textures for the last one that he had used. Back in PS, I added a sandstone texture from the texturizer in the Filter Gallery.
I used a watercolor effect to the first layer, two different bird brushes, two texture layers and there you have it! Lots of possibilities with this - thank you to Helen and the mysterious donor! i.ibb.co/MhDmtHJ/652OtfWE.jpg
There are a few general techniques to do that. Personally, I am not a fan of over saturated images which used to be popular a few years ago.
For me, for an image to pop properly it needs a well defined subject. I see the nearly collapsed house as the main subject with the clouds in the top right as a secondary subject to highlight. I cropped out the barn/whatever to the left and the clouds near the top left as I found them distracting and they don't add anything to the scene/image. The tree/bush to the right of the house provides a nice composition balance to the scene for the house. The clouds in the top right create a feeling of over powering or watching over, guarding of the house.
Here, I tried to make the image pop by accentuating the colours in the house and the details in the clouds while still trying to maintain a realistic look to what I think the scene would have looked like when you took the shot. I am not going for any art effect here.
1. Opened the image in ACR and corrected the white balance which was out a bit.
2. Reduced the highlights to recove some detail in the clouds and house roof.
3. Lightened shadows a bit to recover some of the details in them.
4. Turned off all sharpening in ACR. I prefer to do the sharpening as the last step in the PSE editing.
5. Tweaked the Vibrance and Saturation sliders a bit to accentuate colours without over doing it through over saturating.
6. Opened the image in the PSE editor (v14) and straightened the image. The horizon in the background is not horizontal in the original.
7. Used a Dodge and Burn layer to bring back some more details in the shadows through the doors and windows and surrounding external areas, roof and fence posts. The recovered detail is clearer in the enlargement.
8. Used the D&B layer to also fine tune the details in the clouds.
9. The grass in the foreground looks dull, flat and uninteresting to me. So I used D&B there as well to create light and dark areas to help create depth and hopefully give some "life" to that part of the image.
10. Used a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer to fine tune the accentuation of colours hopefully without over doing it and maintaining a realistic look to the scene.
You can see all the edits I applied in the screenshots below.
I could tinker more with localised editing using a Levels Adjustment Layer to help make various image elements "pop" more, but hopefully you get the gist of what I am doing here.
I really like tonyw's crop to make the house the sole subject.
In this attempt I also tried a tight crop to single out the house as the sole subject with a panoramic feel to it. I also wanted to have a fence post on the right vertical edge for composition balance seeing there was one on the left vertical edge.
The thinking behind this edit is pretty much the same as my previous post.
The main differences are a slight re-tweaking of the ACR adjustments and some additional adjustment layers to provide a little more contrast between the top of the roof and the clouds above it and to enhance the colours a bit differently to suit the tight crop. The thinking behind the Dodging and Burning is the same. In this edit I used High Pass Filter Sharpening which gave me more control and a better result than my normal "go to" sharpening method - Unsharp Mask.
The clipping of the blacks in the histograms is due to the blacks in the shadows of the doors and windows.
I hope the layers palette screenshot is self explanatory.
I wanted to try a black and white version so back to the one I did before but, having seen Bailey's crop, I did like his idea of including another fence post for balance so I did just that. Thanks Bailey. I did the B&W (more coffee and white) in ON1 - nothing special about the conversion in ON1 but as I'd recently updated I was checking that it was still working as a LR plug-in. I did think the coffee and white version did lack a bit of colour so the last version was done by layering the colour and coffee versions and adjusting the layer opacity. Fun image to work with - I did make a slight change to the sky by taking out a couple of wisps of cloud which were likely contrail remnants - not sure if this was the secret blemish
Sony A7III FF mirrorless, Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lens, FE 24mm F1.4 GM lens, Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS, 70-400G, 70-300G, Sony A77 APS-C, Sony 16-80 CZ, Minolta 100 macro. Currently using PSE 2018, but had PSE 11, 10, 8, 6 and 3; PS LE and full PS.