ABFriday – Week 46

Prompts and Challenges
AFTER

AFTER

The Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort was the first structure built by people of European blood fifty years before Las Vegas became what Las Vegas is today. Interesting that the Old Mormons pitched their tents or parked their buggies just down the block from what is now known as The Strip, a mecca that provides fun and variety to all you sinners!
BEFORE

BEFORE

So listen close. I’m only going to say this once. Maybe my wife was right. Yes, I know. I use that qualifier “maybe” because then again maybe she wasn’t. All I know is that she’ll never hear me say it.
I had been working on this Before image in Lightroom; adjusting the lens profile and upright perspective, removing chromatic aberration, cropping, and removing the hose that whips around the bottom of the tree. Then I adjusted the highlights, shadows, white and black clipping. This is what I got:
Wagon-0627-2
OK, so not so bad. But what I wanted was to show the effect of the desert heat on anything left out in the sun year after year! After year! So I exported the image into Perfect Effects 9 and added 8 separate filters- among them, Dynamic Contrast, HDR, and Sharpening, all at 50%. Then I imported back to Lightroom, reducing and adjusting the color. This took me a good hour but I was pleased as punch at the outcome:

AFTER

So I asked my wife to take a look, expecting her to stroke my ego and tell me how perfectly I had captured the feeling I was after. You fool! Her only explanation was, “you lost the golden hour color”! I tried to explain my intent but to no avail. So, in order to please her, I went back into PE 9 and, after only adding 6 filters this time- among them color and tone enhancers- I came out with:Wagon-2
Now, the tree was too dark for her. I tried explaining that the tree was not the focus of the picture (you don’t get away with calling it an image with her. It’s a picture. Maybe a photo. But never an image!). She was having none of it. So back in I go. My final attempt to please her was:
Wagon-3And then I went to bed!
They say two heads are better than one. I’m not quite sure under what circumstance that would be. Certainly not when trying to create Art (notice the capital ‘A’). But at least I did not have to sleep alone!
Please visit Stacy’s Visual Venturing for more post processing fun! This is a weekly photo challenge that anyone is invited to attempt no matter your skill or level of competence (or ego)! And it’s fun. Most times. Next week, the first Friday of each month, we all get to play with the same photo submitted by one of us. No holds barred!
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41 thoughts on “ABFriday – Week 46

  1. I actually like all of them, they all have a vintage feel about them. Your wife certainly has high expectations. Personally I like the one where you worked on PE 9 with 8 filters and then put it into Lightroom and did a bit more work on it. Felt that you brought out the roughness and dryness of the land through the sharp edges in the image, and the lightness heat. The last two images are certainly more deep in colour, and I got the impression a summer storm was brewing not far off.

    Well done for working so hard, Emilio. Playing with images is always fun 🙂

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  2. I also like to take an image and think of it as Art – note the capital “A” 😉 and that definitely affects my editing choices and transforms the photo from a reality check to my interpretation. I really like what you chose as your after image – it has the greatest artistic interpretation, IMHO. 😉

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    1. Well, Lynn, even though the other versions do have merit, I have to agree with you in that the first one is still closest to what I wanted to achieve. I was not humoring my wife by going back in and playing with the image more. She has an uncanny eye at times and I had to see if she was right. She has been, several times. And I do tell her when I think she is. And tell her when I think she is not! She does the same to me! Thanks for your comment. and if IMHO means “In My Humble Opinion” then there is no need to be humble around me! 😉

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  3. Wow, what a long process for this one! I like all of them, but adding the golden hour color was a good call. Glad you listened to your wife, Emilio. 🙂

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  4. I have to say your wife was right. I love the final image the best. It is a more balance image lighting wise and still conveys the abandoned feeling. No wonder the Mormons moved on – but they do have churches in Las Vegas. Just away from the Strip

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    1. Well this goes to show how subjective Art can be! They are all really good versions of the same image and really I think that as it is your image and your vision you should choose which you like, but realise that not everyone will see what you see. 😉

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  5. All of your iterations are interesting and each has a story of its own. But I like your original image and if you were to merely lighten up the wagon in the background, I’d probably like it best. I’m not as enthusiastic about processing as you are. I guess that makes me boring, but I want thing — usually — to look like they might look on earth. I do use special effects, but I recognize that at a certain point, we have strayed from photography into a different art form. Which is okay, too. There’s room for everything. Art rules.

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    1. Thanks, Marilyn. Sometimes I do not process as much as I have here. But I don’t think I want to fall into all my images looking alike. There are certain people I follow whose work never surprises me in that they always seem to process the same and they definitely all have a “look”. I’m still searching for mine.

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    1. Thanks, Joanne. You’re confused? How do you think I feel? Every time I listen to my wife, her arguments seem so valid and thought out that I have to try her suggestions. Occasionally I see the error of my ways. 🙂

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  6. Enjoyed the back-and-forth between you and your wife almost as much as the tutorial about how all this was achieved, Emilio! Too funny. I’m with Joanne, they’re all wonderful IMAGES!!!

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  7. I like your first and final afters, the first looks almost like a painting. The last one is so real, I feel I could almost touch those branches. All in all, excellent work. I wonder why I can’t leave a comment using my iPad, that happens only on your blog.

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    1. I have no idea why you can’t leave a comment using your iPad. I looked at all my settings but nothing relates to an iPad so I’m at a loss. Sorry. As for my processing, I still favor the first. Maybe the color shift was a bit towards the red. I might try it more towards the yellow, to approximate the golden hour.

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  8. I’ve learned to keep harmony in the house to never, ever ask my husband what he thinks 😉 Of course, in ABF, all that goes out the window – so here’s my take (and apologies to your wife): I like the dried, sun-bleached effect of your after. I can picture it hanging in an old western style saloon, with honky-tonk playing in the background and sawdust on the floor (okay, I may be exaggerating, but you get my drift). It just seems to suit the image (and, yes, here’s to the “i” word – perhaps Images by Emilio??) Nice to have you back!

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

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