After Before Friday – Week 17

Prompts and Challenges




Please click on image to see a high res version

The weather service called for a 30% chance of rain.  Coming in from the South west were individual puffy white clouds that had changed to a dark gray blanket by the time we were ready. We drove North, trying to get ahead of the storm, looking for patches of sun breaking through. The best we could do was about an hour north called Cold Creek, a few miles passed the Paiute Indian Reservation. My wife took the camera- set on automatic- and stepped out of the car to take this shot. The above photo is what she saw.

This image below is what the camera saw!

Cold Creek 1

 From the camera, I downloaded the before image into Lightroom and performed my usual work flow- adjusting the highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks. This time there was no cropping to the image. I brought it into Perfect Effects 8 (free software that I recently discovered and will discuss within the next two weeks) to add overall color enhancements and sharpening. Then back to Lightroom to add highlight effects upon the rocks and fence and mountains in the background. Then a post  vignette effect.

I have also converted the After image to black and white as an after After extra.

Cold Creek 2ASo, as always, please stop by Stacy’s Visual Venturing for more post processing hints.

And please visit Monochromia for some exciting black and white!


42 thoughts on “After Before Friday – Week 17

      1. It’s a little more complicated but it is worth learning. I use it on the majority of my images and I also use it to put all the black frames on my photos (under borders). Have fun with it because once you learn it you will always use it.


    1. As I mentioned, my wife took the shot. She saw something that I didn’t so I begrudgingly handed over the camera. To please her (gotta keep her happy!) I played around in Lightroom with it. She is very happy with what we created. We are quite a team. Think I’ll keep her!


  1. The enlarge version looks awesome! I really like the angle and the perspective of this photo. Thank you, Emilio, for sharing your knowledge with us. I love the gravatars you have been using 🙂


      1. Lightroom. I am REALLY being pulled to get it. Yep, sure am! I’ve seen that “word” all over the place lately. Hmmm….that to me is a “sign”. Yep. Lightroom. Here I come! Love, Amy


        1. If you get it and have any questions, I’ll try to help. But really the tutorials by Serge on you tube have taught me everything so far. There are also some that Lightroom has that are also helpful. If you buy the download it’s about $150 I think. But you can pay monthly and get photoshop at the same time for $9.99 a month!


          1. I have PS, Emilio. I would just be interested in Lightroom. That will have to wait until I am finished with the closing of my gardens to keep “temptation” out of the way. I would much rather play around with Lightroom then close up gardens, which is a lot of hard work. That is coming soon, as well as my trip to Niagara Falls. It would be great if I could learn how to use Lightroom on the photos I get from Niagara Falls. Oh yeah!!! Love, Amy


    1. I don’t know what form that will be in. I’m thinking one photo adjusted several different ways. And don’t think I’ve forgotten what we talked about doing! When I finally get it together I’ll let you know. If you’re still interested, great.


    1. My magic trick is Lightroom. I learned from Serge Ramelli youtube tutorials. His website is I like him because he obviously enjoys what he’s doing and his excitement and interest show through! As for my wife, I taught her everything she knows. 🙂

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      1. Thanks, Emilio. I appreciate the info, and I will watch the video tonight. (I’ve downloaded the Perfect Effect 8!!!) I am sure you taught your wife everything she knows. 😉 But she was the one who takes the photo!!! Ha ha. THANKS! Helen


  2. With all the different plugins perfect effects came to me too late and wasn’t as intuitive as others that I use. The result of the editing has produced a good picture and the black and white treatment works well.


    1. Thanks, Ben. What you say about Perfect Effects 8 is true. Not as intuitive. But what it does for photos shot with a kit lens is amazing in my view. So until I can afford that new lens I am stuck with the software! 🙂


  3. Fantastic team effort, Emilio! I have to admit that I’m drawn more to the B&W “throwaway” version – must be my Monochromia mindset 😉 When, by the way, did you set up your other website? I really enjoyed browsing through your galleries and seeing all the wonderful Emilio Pasqualeness displayed in slideshow grandeur 🙂 And thanks for the info on the LR tutorials – I will definitely check them out as I’m running out of ideas on what to show in my very basic videos!


  4. Well it seems your wife is better with the camera than my husband is – it’s in focus 🙂 (Yes, the camera is set to automatic, but the poor guy still captures blurry landscapes and headless people!) I like the boulders and the fence. The fence looks almost like an elk fence, with the wood leaning in different directions- visually interesting.


  5. Great processing Emilio, and great shot Mrs Emilio, super teamwork! I love how you have brought out the shadows and created such lovely contrasts and colours, the boulders and the clouds really jump out at you. I’m really interested in hearing about Perfect Effect and how you integrate in with Lightroom, I look forward to your post about it.


  6. I also like the B&W one more. The reason is because to me, I’m drawn to the clouds, or they are a bit of a distraction, in the color version. I do like the rocks and fence in the foreground and they do not seem dominant to me in the color version, but in the B&W version, they are the first thing I notice and my eye does not get distracted by the clouds anymore.

    One thing I’ve been working very hard on when shooting now is finding a subject that I want to stand out and figuring out how to make that subject look its best with it’s surroundings. Things to think about and consider are shallow or greater DoF, lighting, and composition. The next part is when you process the photo. I really work on isolating that subject to give the viewer only one thing to focus on in the shot and let everything else be an afterthought. It’s a bit hard at first to try and start thinking like that if there are many interesting subjects around, but I have found that more often than not, a photo with fewer interesting subjects tend to be more powerful than the ones with multiple interesting subject.

    I also took a look at the Perfect Effects 8 software and can’t help but laugh at their marketing ploy, which is the same as many other software companies. I like how they always take great shots and make them look more appealing which gives a false sense that if anyone uses this software that they can make their snapshots look like professional shots with just the click of the mouse. It would be nice if they showed some decently composed shots before processing that look kind of so-so and then apply some settings from the software that make it pop.


    1. Thanks, Justin, for a very thoughtful comment. Everytime you comment I realize how much I have to learn! 🙂 I just downloaded the free Perfect Effects 8 to another pc and was surprised to see that they have removed more than half of the effects on this newer free version from what I first downloaded and want to address that in whatever I end up writing. I wanted to ask if I could quote from your comment.


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

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