ABFriday Week 31: One Photo Focus

Prompts and Challenges

AFTER

 

 

Emilio Pasquale Full-size JPEG

BEFORE

 

I’m in a very privileged position this week- or at least I feel like I am. Not because this is one of my own images but because I, alone, know the story behind it. You see, my wife and I had spotted these trucks on the side of the 15 freeway in Northern Utah. We were on our way to visit friends at the time. Two days later, on our way back home, I was almost arrested and sent up the river for innocentlyΒ trespassing. And endangering my own safety. Please let me explain! We had pulled onto the dirt shoulder of the road. I got out and trudged through mud and soggy leaves while alongside me cars whizzed by at 80 to 90 mph, and then some. In the middle of setting up the shot, it seemed as if all traffic noise stopped. The ground, as well as the trucks and all surrounding shrubbery, were being illuminated by first red, then blue, then white light. A police car with flashing lights had coasted to a stop right behind me. The cop called me over and asked if I was in need of assistance. He was probably being sarcastic as he could see the camera in my hands. I told him we were fine. He said he didn’t want to see me the next time he came around and then he drove off. The part about me almost being arrested and sent up the river? OK, that part I made up! Call it poetic license.

When someone gets technical concerning their post processing, I tend to gloss over. Yes, I’m interested. But if I don’t use the same apps as they do, I am totally lost. So I will try to keep everything simple and still give you a sense of how I achieve my finished product- whether you think it good or not.

I first adjusted the black and white balance, shadows and highlights. On this particular image I adjusted the exposure almost a full stop. Though I liked the sky, it did not add anything to the image so I cropped tighter to the trucks, then added clarity, smoothed the luminance (which tends to soften the edges), then used the spot removal brush to remove the blue cord in the lower left, the block in front of the blue truck, and the wire fence in the lower right. I then imported to Perfect Effects 9 to add sharpness, more saturation, and a final vignette to darken the corner and edges and focus the attention. I was not satisfied with my results so imported the processed image into FotoSketcher, which is a free app that replicates several types of painting and sketching textures. Hence, the finished product!

Please thank Stacy of Visual Venturing for hosting this challenge by visiting her site and commenting on as many other contributors’ work as possible.

 

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54 thoughts on “ABFriday Week 31: One Photo Focus

  1. I thought those trucks looked familiar when I got the photo for today. I’m sorry you were in Utah, and it doesn’t surprise me a cop stopped behind you. I have wanted to shoot those trucks many times myself, but never dared stop on the freeway. Great shot though!! And a great story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mary. My wife is the one who suggested I take the shot. Maybe she had something else in mind, having me get out of the car on the side of the freeway! As for being in Utah, I sort of like it. Lots of photo opportunities for someone like me!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. HI Emilio I love what you have done with the image, I am going to have to have a look at Fotosketcher. But photoshop apps are getting a little like camera gear, always a new one coming along to envy!

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  3. Thanks for submitting and sharing such a great image with us. I have had fun manipulating it and I like what you have done with it and the use of the Fotosketcher has made it into a really cool image! Very funny story too, what me officer?

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    1. It’s amazing how intimidating police officers are just in their mere presence. I can’t imagine making any kind of abrupt move around them. Their nerves have to be on high alert lately!

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  4. Great photo for us all to play with! And all it took was some danger and a near arrest, lol. I would say that is a contribution to the group for sure. Glad you didn’t have to go up river!

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  5. Hey Emilio – I joined in for this first One Photo Focus and had a fun time working out how to process your image, not knowing the background… If I had known, I think mine might have had a quirkier touch to it. Fabulous fun read, great background story.. and embellishment πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for the opportunity to process trucks too!! πŸ˜€ I do like the way you processed yours!!

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    1. Thanks, Robyn. It’s exciting to see what everyone has done with the image. And I think the lesson I’m taking away from this experiment is to experiment! Most people- myself included- went with the vintage feel, trying to emphasize that. Maybe next time I will try glamorizing the shot somehow.. Do the opposite of the obvious. Quirky is a good word!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like your thinking here – the opposite of the obvious!
        Experimenting is such fun. You learn so much πŸ˜ƒ
        I would love to know a bit of blurb or background on the image before editing. Knowing it now gives me the quirky feel – of course its in the telling of the story. I would like to have another go at this – would you mind?

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        1. Not at all. I might, also. I never really liked the image but now, avoiding the obvious might be fun. Let me know when you finish and if you will post the results. I will on the same day. Or, if not, send me your finished product and I’ll post it with mine. πŸ™‚

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          1. I am finished πŸ™‚ Wonder what you will think?? Couldn’t get quirky – the trucks are very much their era no matter how I tried.
            I’m happy to post and link up with you. Did you have another go?
            Let me know when you’d like to post. Will wait for your reply – when you are ready πŸ˜€

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  6. I always find your before and after discussions really interesting. I’m still trying to figure out the spot remover … after watching 2 videos, I still don’t get it. Sigh.

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      1. Yes I have. I think I figured out the problem but I haven’t tested it yet.
        I read that the spot removal doesn’t work on adjustment layers. That implies that all the healing and cloning needs to happen first before any adjustments are made.
        Does that make sense to you?

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  7. Hey Emilio great photo with a great story to go with it. I must check out this Fotosketcher app as I really like that almost cartoon like texture it gave your image, great job πŸ™‚

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  8. Foto Sketcher has added an extra dimension to the image, bringing out detail similar to HDR but in a softer more natural way. Crop works well and empathizes the line of trucks making it feel longer than in the original.
    Thanks for letting us editing this image this week.

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    1. I haven’t seen what everyone has done yet because I’m trying to respond to all the comments I received. This is the most I ever got and I’m enjoying it! Thanks for your comment, Ben. I always look forward to what you have to say!

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  9. I’m such a novice in terms of the post processing but I want you to know that my eyes glazed over when I read yours πŸ™‚ but I DID read it πŸ™‚
    Love the story and the image!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi, Emilio: Thanks for providing this great picture for the group exercise. I had a good time with it. The story was great, but if it only takes a single cop to intimidate, you better not visit Washington, DC with a tripod. And if you do, by all means don’t go up on a roof near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue;-)

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  11. Funny you should mention cops and tripods. I was down on the strip this morning shooting some architectural exteriors when a security guy on a bike stopped me from taking photos with a tripod. He said you are not allowed to use a tripod on any of the MGM owned properties. I know you are not allowed to take photos on the casino floor. But this was outside, around 8 am on a Saturday morning with no foot traffic around. Would I be in someone’s way?

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  12. Thanks for providing the photo to try out this week. I had a good time post processing it and loved having such an interesting subject to work with!

    I also enjoyed your story about the cop. I had that the VERY FIRST time I stopped along the highway to take a picture. Same thing with traffic whizzing by. I never did it again as I didn’t really want to risk a ticket. The guy was nice about it, but firm.

    Nancy

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      1. Thanks, Nancy. I doubt I will stop on the side of the freeway ever again. As for the challenge, I found it loads of fun and enjoyed seeing what everyone did with it. I realize I have not visited all the submissions- yours included- and hope to see and comment on them tonight and tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet they would! Thanks, Jana, for thinking I would actually tell them the truth. No, I’d come up with something to keep them at their distance, like how I killed a man with just a can of whipped cream and a carrot!

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  13. Emilio, what a great first photo for us all to work on. I’m sure you must be pleased as punch with all the well-deserved feedback you’ve gotten! I really like the Fotosketcher effect you chose. I’m not too familiar with the program, but the filter looks somewhat similar to the detail extractor (a favorite of mine) in Nik Color Efex. The edge clarity coupled with the less saturated colors really works well. So, do you like your photo any better after seeing all the different results? If you ever run into that cop again, you can show him the fabulous results of your trespassing. Oh, what we do for our art …

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I am! Pleased as punch. One or two of the submissions made me appreciate the photo more than I initially did. But I still am not crazy about the image itself. Can I have another go at it? Maybe in 2016?

    Like

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

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