AB Friday Week 11- Trust Your Car

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges
After

After

I bought my Canon T2i in July of 2010. I knew nothing about shooting in RAW or how to really use my new camera. So this was shot jpg with the Canon EF-S18-55mm kit lens, probably on full automatic mode. Amazing that Lightroom could still pull so much out of it. Some might say I went a bit overboard with the post processing but I just couldn’t stop myself. There were 94 adjustments done to this image but really most of them were tried, then deleted before I got to my finished image. So let’s just say there were only half that. Approximately 47 Lightroom adjustments. I think I was in the ballpark after only 6 adjustments and it will be nice to hear what others think!
Before

Before

 As I do with all my post processing, I first brought down the highlights and opened up the shadows, adjusted the black and white clipping, added clarity (this time 100%) and  contrast (this time 50%). I then added a radial filter on the face of the sign, which makes it darker. Then I inverted it which made the sky darker, the face of the sign lighter.

1

I added a radial filter on the inside of the light hood and colored it yellow, then I added a yellow brush stroke on the sign.

2

I adjusted the luminance and color noise reduction, lowered the blue saturation, and added a post crop vignette.

3

Finally, I adjusted the exposure, the highlights, added a spot of bright yellow on the light bulb itself, and adjusted the saturation.

After

After

I hope I haven’t bored you. If you’re still reading, please let me know your true feelings on the exposure and color. Sometimes I like it, othertimes I think it’s still too blue and maybe a touch too dark.

Now, For more After and Before transformations, please visit Stacy Fischer at Visual Venturing.

For those of you who desire a black and white fix, please visit Monochromia!

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74 thoughts on “AB Friday Week 11- Trust Your Car

  1. I think you did an excellent job Emilio! Without the photos and explanation I would have thought this photo was taken later in the afternoon with the light actually on. You make me envy you with your post processing skills. I wouldn’t have even thought about doing that to the light let alone know how to do it.

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    1. J.T. , we’re even, since I envy you your knowledge and ability to take some beautiful images. This was a lot of playing around. I knew what I wanted and just kept playing with every tool I could find in lightroom until I got what I “saw”!

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  2. You’ve made it very dramatic, no doubt about it !
    Seems to me that post-production is now your thing, Emilio. You are certainly able to utilise that software very effectively.

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  3. I don’t think the image is overdone Emilio. I think it looks great and has come a long way from that blah Jpeg file. The last step would be to convert it to black and white and post it on Monochromia 🙂 And remember “you could trust your car to the man who wears the star”

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    1. Yeah, that’s where I got the title from. Though it was a little before MY time! 😉 OK, if you think so, I’ll give it a try for this Tuesday’s Monochromia! I hadn’t thought of it! Thanks, Joe!

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    1. Thanks, Nelson. When I first saw HDR that’s all I wanted to be able to do. But as I start experimenting with post processing I’m not so sure. There’s just so much to do and play with!

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  4. I like how the finished photo came out – especially the richness of the sky as compared to the original. I have to admit that as I read through what you did, I found myself as confused as I was in my high school physics class 🙂

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  5. Hey Emilio, sorry I didn’t reply to your comment….Don’t know why but the wordpress pixies won’t let me…(I think it’s because you kindly commented on a photo not the post itself)…So please forgive me 🙂
    I LOVE your final image….I’ve never used Lightroom and had no idea just how versatile it is…I feel a shopping trip coming on.
    🙂

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    1. Don’t worry about not replying to a comment of mine. You wouldn”t be the first! 🙂 Yeah, I pretty much love Lightroom. After the first week or two of being clueless, I found some amazing tutorials on youtube that have really helped. If you do buy it, let me know.

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      1. Hey there
        I’m definitely going to get a copy (I had a good look at some tutorials last night), but not until I’m back in the UK…I’ve got Photoshop on my laptop here in Spain so I’m covered in the meantime…
        My impression is with Lightroom the workflow seems much more intuitive…Photoshop is great, BUT I always seem to be tying myself in knots.
        I’ll keep you posted.
        🙂

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          1. With the effects you’re achieving in LRoom I’m pretty sure that there isn’t a great deal more that PShop could bring to the table….PShop IS amazing, but, from my (still limited) research into LRoom, Pshop is always going to be TOO dense a tool to be AS intuitive for pure photography….It’s always a shame if a tool gets in the way of where your brain/eye is taking you….Not because it won’t do what you want, but because it does so much else besides….
            Keep up the good work, (whatever you use) 🙂
            Stuart

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  6. Wow – they aren’t even remotely close to the same picture. I love the end result. It is very dramatic.

    I am just getting comfortable with some basic photo editting, so your description of your adjustments were WAY over my head. I haven’t graduated to that level of sophistication yet 🙂

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  7. Emilio, you know how I like to use radial filters in LR – well, thank you for teaching me that I can also change the color of it!! And the adjustment brush!! How I never discovered that is beyond me, but what a brilliant (no pun intended) use of it for the light and the bulb, and for casting that wonderful stroke of glowing amber on the sign. I’m excited to have this tool in my repertoire now (though if I go overboard in using it at any point, I’m counting on you to bring me back to earth!).

    As for your photo, two thoughts immediately came to mind – I was wondering how different or how much easier your edits would have been if the original image had been shot in RAW (I still haven’t switched over to RAW – been thinking seriously about RAW+JPEG). I keep hearing that given the vast amounts of information contained in a RAW file, editing is so much more flexible. That being said, I love what you’ve accomplished with the JPEG – great contrast, love the saturation, and great story behind the image. Thanks so much for sharing this on ABFriday!

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    1. Wow, thanks, Stacy. But just because I told you how to add color to the radial filter doesn’t mean you can use it gratis. You must pay a slight licensing fee- the amount of which I have not yet come up with. But don’t worry, it will be nominal. I’m wondering if I should charge a monthly fee or per usage. Any thoughts? 😉

      Since switching over to RAW I will never go back to shooting JPEG. As an analogy, JPEG would be like making a blow up and color changes from a print to a print, while RAW is like doing the same thing from a negative to a print. You have so much more latitude with RAW. I don’t think its a question of edits being easier or different. There would just be a lot more choices! (Which, I suppose is not so good sometimes!) Shooting RAW+JPEG gives you nothing extra but uses up your memory card a lot quicker. If you shoot RAW, you can still see your image on your camera. When you download your photos to your computer, you used to have to download a program (supplied on a disc that came with your camera) that would convert to a JPEG so you could see your photo. But if you have windows 8- which I hate- you can see the RAW file without the conversion. Am I confusing you?

      Just go RAW!

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  8. Well, you’ve certainly turned a very ordinary shot into something a bit more special. Job done! 🙂
    For me the best bit is the lighting. Very clever! Do what you enjoy, Emilio. In this context, that’s all that matters.

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    1. You tell me to do what I enjoy, but then you ruin it by saying, “In this context….” Wow, just like my wife. You women stick together, don’t you? (And thank you, really, for the compliment!) 🙂

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  9. They’re all interesting adjustments really. I like the fourth image the most for the electric blue sky and the night light illuminated. I like how the letter T is lit in that one. There seems to be more significant shadows at play. Love them old signs 😀

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  10. Awesome work on this photo Emilio, you are a real Lightroom guru! And so creative, I especially admire your work with the light hood and adding a bit of yellow on the sign, so creative! 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Elina! I am enjoying Lightroom and I can see where it has upped the quality of my images. But I am hardly a Guru. I just play around with every button and brush that moves until I come up with something I like!

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  11. Hello Emilio 🙂 I came back yesterday and am eager to see what I have missed here. I am impressed with all the modifications you have applied here – if someone is bored (which I very much doubt – it is their problem :D). I like best your before last editing…. P.S. You have learned a lot since you started shooting raw. I think it is generous of you to share your knowledge.

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  12. I think if you’re not using Lightroom, then the synopsis I gave might be boring! I went from shooting RAW to now trying to shoot manual. But I keep forgetting to focus each time. When you start out shooting automatic, your mind gets lazy. At least mine does. I can’t tell you how many shots are now ruined because they’re out of focus. Maybe I could start a new technique!

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"I take anything other than 'you big pig!' as a compliment." ~ Albert Brooks

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