A Kind Word

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges


“You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.” ~ ~ Al Capone

This image was just screaming Bonnie and Clyde to me but I couldn’t find any good quotes.  I’m sure there were any number of criminals who rode in a car such as this- Alvin Karpis, Pretty Boy Floyd, Machine Gun Kelly. I’m just as sure there were any number of upstanding citizens who owned one, too. I just don’t seem to have their names. Maybe Jimmy Durante, Charles Lindbergh, Fiorello LaGuardia? I think even my grandfather had a car like this.

So, if you get a chance, jump in the car and take a drive over to Monochromia. Laurie, you can take your bike!


One Four Challenge Week 4

Prompts and Challenges


One Four Week 4In Robyn’s own words:

This challenge is about processing 1 image in 4 different ways over 4 weeks.

We will all process / post edit our own chosen image and share a different version each week.

Process it however you like… and tell us a bit about it. You don’t have to show the original image unless you’d like to.

Try new things, experiment. Be as creative or subtle as you wish to be.

And in my own words, the image above was my favorite of all versions until I started reading the comments and played around with a black and white version. Now, well, I don’t think I’ll tell you which is my favorite unless you ask nicely. OK, nicely is not really a prerequisite. If you have enough interest to ask nicely or otherwise, I will tell you! That’s the kind of guy I am.

On this, the final version, I went back to the original SOOC and played with the blacks, whites, highlights, and shadows. I adjusted the contrast and clarity. I also added highlights with the radial filter to the sides and roof of the building. I then cropped the image, exported out of lightroom, and into Perfect Effects 8. I sharpened and brightened the image, then added the clouds. Back in lightroom, I added a vignette and there you have it!

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After Before Friday – Week 27

Prompts and Challenges
Truck Int-2


Please click on the image to see a high res version

Before we get started, I would like to comment on the news I received just the other day that Chris Hemsworth has been selected as People’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2014. I understand that the voting went back and forth between the two of us but he finally won out.

I came in second.

Truck Int Before


OK, So I will endeavor to make this as pain free as possible. If at any time you begin to have a sense of vertigo or mind numbing boredom, read no further. Those of the feminine persuasion should browse the internet for photos of Chris Hemsworth. Those of the male persuasion, well, I’m sure you have your favorite sites already!

So, first in Lightroom I adjusted the blacks and whites and shadow and brightness. That opened up all the darker recesses of the truck interior. But I wanted to be able to see the exterior through the glass, too. So I used a brush to adjust the saturation, contrast, and clarity in the windshield and the two other side windows. I then added a gradient filter from the bottom of the image up halfway to lighten the interior some more. Then I used a radial filter on the windows to further saturate and add contrast and clarity to the exterior. Please enjoy the slide show of my changes below!

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As always, please visit our hostess with the mostest, Stacy Fischer, at Visual Venturing for more After and Before photo processing.

And visit Monochromia for some black and white photo processing!

One Four Challenge Week 3

Prompts and Challenges

Week 5In Robyn’s own words:

This challenge is about processing 1 image in 4 different ways over 4 weeks.

We will all process / post edit our own chosen image and share a different version each week.

Process it however you like… and tell us a bit about it. You don’t have to show the original image unless you’d like to.

Try new things, experiment. Be as creative or subtle as you wish to be.

And in my own words, the image above was going to be the final week’s version but it is my least favorite and I decided I didn’t want to end on it. I can’t really tell you what I did, short of exporting the image into Perfects Effects 8 and using a preset. I have to tell you that this is the first time I’ve tried this preset and I love it. Just not on this image. Maybe on a South Florida beach scene, I don’t know. I feel that  this version is all about the effect, not the image and there is no feeling of desolation, abandonment, decay that the other versions have in varying degrees. It is certainly an eye catcher- but for all the wrong reasons.

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To view the other participants in this challenge, please visit Robyn G’s Captivate Me.

And for a black and white version of this image- to which I am growing increasingly fond of- please check out Monochromia!

After-Before Friday Week 26

Prompts and Challenges
Riverfront orig

 Well, I’ve been having a lot of fun with being the runner-up to Karen’s winning submission! I wanted to wax philosophical about my loss and looked up a few quotes. They are, in no particular order;

“The biggest thing I learned from losing? Winning’s better.” Ted Turner

“Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.” Vince Lombardi

“Second place is just the first place loser.” Dale Earnhardt

 Since everyone was processing the same photo this week, my first inclination was to go way over the top so that, I admit it, my version would stand out from the crowd. But this is not really about me, is it? It’s about Karen’s winning image and Stacy’s winning blog. So I held back. Really.

 I began with my normal work flow in Lightroom of working with the highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks. Then I added contrast and clarity. I added a slight blue tint to the water. Then I used the radial filter to throw a few highlights on the buildings and make the lighting a bit more dramatic. I inserted more clouds into the sky in Perfect Effects 8 because there were areas that were totally blown out . I might have gone a bit overboard here. Back in Lightroom I tilted the buildings slightly and then cropped. Last was a slight vignette.

Hope you enjoy.


“Just because I lost doesn’t make me a loser.” Emilio Pasquale

We have Stacy Fischer of Visual Venturing to thank for 6 months of fun, though I’ve only been contributing for maybe two months. But I’m sure everybody who joined in had fun!

For black and white aficionados, please visit Monochromia, to which I contribute every Tuesday!

One Four Challenge – Nov Week 2

Prompts and Challenges

Week 2 110914-2

 On this, the second week of Robyn’s One Four Challenge, I took last week’s corrections and removed the split tones of yellow and purple. I then desaturated the rest of the colors for this version. I added a bit of clarity and contrast and a few highlights on the building with a radial filter. Nothing to exciting but it is closer to the true colors of the original.

For another blog version of this challenge, please visit Stacy Fischer’s After Before Friday coming up on its anniversary special this Friday.

Week 1-2Week 2 110914-2

We Have A Loser!

Prompts and Challenges

GGB- OriginalThis image is my losing submission to Stacy’s After-Before Friday Anniversary Challenge for next week! I chose it because it was exposed for the sunlight highlights and looked as if it would be quite the test of our processing skills to pull something out of it. Last night, after a late dinner, abundant overeating on my part, and unable to go directly to bed, I opened up Lightroom. And, of course, there was this image! Haunting me, as it were. Two hours and 16 minutes later I came up with:

GGBBecause it had been so poorly exposed, my usual work flow (adjusting shadows, highlights, whites and blacks) brought in a lot of noise. I straightened the photo, deleted the bird and paraglider, the building, and light poles across the bottom of the photo. I then brought it into Perfect Effects 8 for Dynamic Contrast to cut through the fog. I believe I also used an HDR preset (P. E. 8 does not save any corrections), and a sunlight preset. Back in Lightroom I added a vignette and a split tone of yellow and blue to bring out some color in the image. I’m not 100% pleased with the finished product but I think it’s due to the noise- which prevents me from getting a really sharp image. I am happy with Lightroom and Perfect Effects 8, though. Almost ecstatic!

GGB- OriginalGGB







I want to thank Stacy Fischer for hosting Visual Venturing. Be sure to visit her site next Friday, November 14 for 11 versions of the same photo processed by 11 different contributors! And thanks to Karen Chengelis for appreciating my sense of humor (at least I think she appreciates it). Also, congratulations to her for submitting the winning image! (Beaten out by a mere woman. I’ll never live this down!)

And if you enjoy black and white photography, please visit Monochromia.

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November 7 ABFriday Week #25: The Reveal

Prompts and Challenges

We have a winner!

OK, I’m not really as excited as the banner above would suggest. But I felt I had to do something to get your attention. If you remember, Stacy at Visual Venturing was running a contest to determine the one photo everyone will be processing for next week’s anniversary post. Suffice it to say, my image did not win. That is not to say I am a loser- or that any of the other 9 photographers who did not win are losers. We are all winners in the sense that we lost! OK, yes, you can call us losers. Go ahead! But Karen Chengelis came up with a pretty good image. I congratulated her and told her I liked it. Well, what was I to do? I don’t want to appear to be a sore loser so please, this is just between you and me. Don’t tell Karen or Stacy what I’ve just told you. If you do, and they say anything to me, I will know who opened their mouth because I haven’t told anyone else!

So visit Visual Venturing next week to see how 11 different photographers screw up this perfectly fine image in eleven different ways!

Oh, yeah! The image:Riverfront

One Four Challenge – Nov Week 1

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges

Week 1-2Robyn G of Captivate Me has initiate a new challenge starting this week. Her introduction is as follows: This new challenge is about processing 1 image in 4 different ways over 4 weeks.  We will all  process / post edit (our own chosen image) and share a different version each week.

Process it however you like…and tell us a bit about it. You don’t even have to show the original image unless you’d like to.  Try new things, experiment.  Be as creative or subtle as you wish to be.

My original image was shot on the way back from a weekend holiday at Big Bear Lake in California. I think I will join Robyn in revealing the unprocessed version on week 4. The version above has very minimal corrections as befits the first submission of this new challenge.  I have color corrected, cropped, and added a split tone of gold to the highlights and a light purple to the shadows. I hope you enjoy!

If you like black and white, please visit Monchromia. I’m sure a version of this image will one day show up there, too!

Still Life With Motor Scooter

Prompts and Challenges
Still Life With Moped

Please click anywhere on the image to see a high res version. It will blow your socks off! (Ok, maybe not your socks. Excuse me for the bit of hyperbole! I doubt anything can truly blow your socks off! Mine have a tendency to slip down my ankles but that’s about it!)

So we’re back at Lake Las Vegas. If you saw my post last week on Monochromia, titled Haunts of the Rich and Famous, you will understand the depths to which greed, avarice, and poor management have relegated this once proud bastion of, well, greed and avarice to, um, unbelievable depths! There is one small restaurant that seems to continue doing bang-up business and that is Sunset and Vines, a wine boutique bar and restaurant that serves fresh oysters in the desert! Allow me to elucidate from their menu (I know I’m getting off the track but I’m having so much fun. And you will, too!) Under appetizers, we have: FRESH OYSTERS- freshly shucked oysters served with 3 vinegar-shallot mignonette & Cajun remoulade dipping sauces, and SCOTTISH SALMON SASHIMI – thin sliced raw All Natural, Safe Harbor Certified Scottish salmon with guacamole droplets, shaved shallots & ponzu sauce, finished with a dusting of spicy Japanese togarashi peppers.

OK, I’ll admit their prices don’t seem as outlandish as their descriptions, but it makes me very suspicious when they state they have over 500 wines on the premises but refuse to list any other information, like I-don’t- know-maybe prices! I have included a link to their menu in case you so desire.

(Click her to see their menu)

So, about the image. I was looking for the best angle to photograph this restaurant when I came upon this vignette around the back of the building, close to the kitchen. I could not resist, it was so perfectly staged and lit from a street light filtering through the leaves of a tree. But, as I took my bracketed shots, a young lady came out and pulled the trash dumpster between the scene and the camera, effectively prohibiting me taking any further shots.

OK, I’m done! Go visit someone else’s site. I’ve taken up too much of your time. For more reading pleasure (assuming you got any pleasure from reading my ramblings) visit JannaTWrites for a nice twist on expectations of a scary Halloween tale.