After-Before Friday Week 20

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges
Emilio Pasquale Before Week 20


What better day than a Sunday to trespass on DOT property? That is Department of Transportation property if you don’t have that particular acronym where you live. It was a graveyard of trains. There were piles of creosote treated ties along with the spikes to secure them to each other, and acres of trains in stages of distress. My wife stayed in the car with the mighty Beach (the chihuahua we are dog sitting for which, to me, seems like an inordinate amount of time already). The photo above, which I am sharing with you today, came straight out of the camera ready to post in all its technicolor (or is it Kodachrome) glory! But you know me. I couldn’t leave well enough alone. So today I have 3 Afters for you to enjoy. Or not! My intent is to demonstrate to any non-believers, that their is no sin in post processing. Nor is there but one true image. A photographer makes decisions all along the way and to insist that one should not post process an image is absurd! We process in camera all the time by choosing the camera lens, the filter, the white balance, the f stop, the shutter speed, and the shot setting (daylight, shade, cloudy, etc.).

So, in no particular order (except that I like the first one the best and the last one the least) they are below- each with post processing notes of their own.

After #1

After #1

For all versions I brought down the highlights and opened up the shadows to make sure there was still information in both. I then adjusted the whites and blacks to avoid clipping. On this version I boosted the exposure and clarity then added a split tone of blue and yellow, then desaturated all colors. The last detail, kept very subtle, was to use the circular brush for highlights on the front of the train and to darken the side of the train a bit due to glare. The final touch was a dark vignette around the edges.

After #2

After #2

On this version I converted to black and white from the After photo above, then adjusted the yellow slider so that the front and sides of the train were a bit brighter. Then I played with the radial filter and highlighted wherever I could think of, the train, the ground, the sky. Dozens of highlights just to make the lighting a bit more dramatic. I tried to keep it subtle enough to notice but not too heavy handed for the viewer to say what the…?

After #3

After #3

This was actually the least processed version and probably why it is my least favorite. After my basic adjustments on the original camera image, I boosted the vibrance to 100 and decreased the saturation to minus 90. Again I highlighted the front of the train in spots. And that’s about it!

So, thanks again to Stacy of Visual Venturing for allowing me to- as she said- step outside the box and present 3 versions of the same image. Please visit her sight for other examples of post processing by some very talented individuals.

And if you are not sick of me yet, please visit Monochromia, the place for black and white images where I share the week with others and post  every Tuesday night. There are new posts every 12 hours of every day.


25 thoughts on “After-Before Friday Week 20

    1. Yeah, sort of a grunge look. For some reason I don’t like the camera setting I chose and always feel like I have to play with color. I shoot with a Canon T2i and it is set on landscape. I might have to change that soon!


    1. Nothing at all is wrong with the original. But I am an artiste and, as such, wanted to dazzle the common folk with my technical proficiency. I was going to place both headlights on the same side of the nose of the train but that particular fait was accompli’d by Pablo Casals some time ago and I am loathe to merely imitate a lesser mortal!

      Liked by 1 person

          1. There are those who advocate straight out of camera pics but I feel that all inages need some tweaking. In the darkroom you wouldn’t just print the enlargers exposure from the contact print. You would add contrast dodge and burn as basic steps the same as in adobe camera raw or lightroom. Although you do need a good pic out of camera to make a good image, as you cant polish a turd. What I am trying to day Emilio is enjoy playing with your images.


  1. I like all of these, but I actually like the bright yellow in the ‘before’ one the best. I think it’s just because I like bright colors (and I know from reading comments above that I’m probably the only one that thinks this!) My next favorite is the monochrome, which makes no sense at all because I just got through telling you that I like bright colors 🙂


  2. Great job playing around with the photo Emilio. Though, I join Jannatwrites; I’d have liked to see the original version colors just with the basic levels and contrast adjustments. For the rest options, I also like the B&W one over the others.


  3. Hey, Emilio! I have to admit, I’ve gone back and forth among the photos and have had a hard time deciding which one I like the best. But I think I’ve finally arrived at a decision, and it seems the one I favor is the one you like the least. I think it’s because I tend to desaturate my photos, so the look resonates with me, but I also like how the more muted colors work with the surroundings. All in all, a fun post!


  4. As my wise old grandmother told me back in 1966: “What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.”

    Now starting with that very first picture, I would have photoshopped the wires and utility pole out of that picture, leaving just the magnificence of the engines with no interference.


    1. Well, I admit I tried. But I guess Lightroom does have its limitations. Or I do! Either way, it could not fully mask the wires. You could see the difference in blue tones. Sounds like I would have like your grandmother.


      1. I discovered that about Lightroom, which I was using ca. 2010-2012. I switched to Photoshop in January 2012, endeavoring to do everything in Photoshop that I knew how to do in Lightroom, Photo-Paint, PaintShop Pro, and Corel Draw.


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

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s