Happy Anniversary ABFriday/One Photo Focus!

Prompts and Challenges

Happy Anniversary Stacy!!!

For June’s One Photo Focus, we’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of ABFriday and the six-month anniversary of 1PF by post-processing one of Stacy’s own photos! I can’t wait to see what havoc my cohorts have wreaked on her fine photo. Please go check out all the versions on her site Visual Venturing!



My wife and I were traveling the Chicken’s Neck, a narrow stretch of land located in West Bengal, when we came across this home so totally out of character with the rest of the India territory that we begged the bus driver to stop and allow us to take a few pictures. Behind the house, cattle grazed freely; cows, sheep, goats, and one water buffalo. Aakar and Tamanna the owners, invited us to spend the night but we had to…. OK, OK! AS I said above, it’s one of Stacy’s own photos. You can’t blame me for wanting to take credit for it, though. (And my story is much more entertaining!)



Stacy has stated: “…what I’ve chosen is a very overexposed image of the Mork and Mindy house in Boulder, Colorado. While some may be unfamiliar with “Mork and Mindy,” an American sitcom that ran from 1978-1982, I’m certain all have heard of Robin Williams, its young comedic star. This Boulder landmark became a memorial for Mr. Williams upon his tragic death in August 2014.”

I imported Stacy’s RAW file into Lightroom and clicked on Enable Lens Profile (which gets rid of any lens distortion), Chromatic Aberration (which removes any color outline on objects), and Upright Perspective (which straightens the image).

Lens Profile, Chromatic Aberration, Upright Perspective

Lens Profile, Chromatic Aberration, Upright Perspective

I then proceeded with my usual workflow of adjusting the shadows and highlights, and also the black and white clipping.

Shadows and Highlights, Black and White clipping

Shadows and Highlights, Black and White clipping

I then lowered the overall exposure by 1 stop, brought up the clarity by +25, and got rid of the blue saturation to turn the sky gray.

Exposure, Clarity, Blue Saturation

Exposure, Clarity, Blue Saturation

I then exported into Perfect Effects 9 to add clouds in the sky. Obviously I really dislike a clear blue sky in photos!



Back in Lightroom, I added a radial filter to adjust the exposure on the porch, then clarity and contrast.


Radial Filter, clarity and contrast

I then used the East Brunswick Preset that Stacy sent to me when I told her I loved what it did on one of her images.


East Brunswick Preset

I then lowered the overall exposure by -1.3



I added a highlight streak on the upstairs windows with one Radial Filter.


Radial Filter

I then added highlights on the walkways and separately on all the lower porch windows.


Brush Filter highlights

One Photo Focus is a once a month challenge wherein all participants submit their post-processed version of the same pre-selected image. This month, the image was After Before Friday’s own Stacy Fischer, who is celebrating the one year anniversary of ABF and the six month celebration of 1PF. Please visit the rest of the submissions for this week here and join in next time for either After-Before Friday or One Photo Focus.

Please click on any of the images above to view a larger version!

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34 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary ABFriday/One Photo Focus!

  1. Emilio I have noted this in your work before. The addition of the clouds captivates me. A complete change to the scene. That is something I would like to learn in the future. Wonderful final product!


      1. Thanks, Ladies! The problem is I live near Las Vegas where the skies are normally clear and blue. Sometimes there is an inversion layer that makes the sky look brown- as in Los Angeles. But very rarely do we get clouds. So I miss them in my photos. Now that I’ve learned you can save and use your own shots of clouds in Perfect Effects 9, I have started to collect them. Have to get some at golden hour soon!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I can give you private lessons, Sue. And I’m reasonable. Well, my wife probably wouldn’t agree (that I’m reasonable). Or understand (about the private lessons). But it’s pretty easy to add clouds when PE9 is cooperating. I understand you can do it in Photoshop, too. But I don’t know how much processing you actually do in any of your shots.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like the result. I didn’t know “brought up the clarity by +25” will add the blue to the sky. Thank you for showing the details of your process, Emilio.


    1. Thanks, Amy. I’m not sure you read that correctly or maybe I wrote it incorrectly. When I “brought up the clarity by +25” I also removed all blue in the sky with the saturation slider. So it should actually look gray, not more blue.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice work Emilio! I like your final edit, looks like it has been captured in pre storm light, very moody! Thanks for sharing the step by step process, very informative.


  4. Wow. Another great walkthrough and another great result. I must agree with the comment from Joanne….when I see one of your posts come up, the first thing I look for is clouds….seldom disappointed on that one! 🙂 Do appreciate the minute breakdown of your process…….most helpful!


    1. Thanks, Torrie. I just had an idea. Anyone who wants to send me some clouds, I will use in one of my photos. No charge! 🙂 So far I’ve been using the same clouds over and over. I just went out last night to take some sunset clouds but there weren’t any. Just a clear blue sky dissolving down to orange where the sun set.


  5. I like the steps you took us through, the sky is an improvement in your version and I like the added radial highlights. Personally I am not a fan of the preset colour but thats a personal thing, there is nothing wrong with the image at all 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure which preset color you are referring to.But I would imagine it is the East Brunswick Preset- which did not really change the color as much as de-saturate it and add clarity. I liked what it did on this image but have tried it since and have not been as excited and have not yet used it again. Since this was Stacy’s photo, I can agree with your last statement that “there is nothing wrong with the image at all”. 🙂


      1. Yes the East Brunswick preset. I find a lot of the creative style presets I don’t actually enjoy that much, I have bought a few and rarely use them.


  6. I like how you have brought out a lot of dynamic contrast highlighting details yet also muted the colours. The image has the feeling of being a memorial to something else, as it is sitting on of reality and our memory.


  7. Okay, I can see I never should have sent your the LR preset, Emilio, as you will use it to much better effect than I will! JK. LOVE the muted colors along with the ominous-looking gray sky. I agree with all that clouds are becoming your signature, but so is your use of highlighting. Really such a simple thing to do, but seeing creatively where they will work the best and not look “fake” is not an easy thing to do. Watching the transformation in your slideshow as you add them in is just wonderful – I keep going back to that to watch. And such amazing resulting reflections in the windows! Great choices, great final edit!

    Quick question – I found when replacing the sky in PS, the layer obscured the trees. Of course, I could have dialed down the opacity, but I was going for a vibrant blue sky. Does PE use a layering technique too? I mean, the trees look great. I’m wondering how you managed to do the sky AND keep the trees.


    1. You know that old adage “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you”? I can’t have everyone stealing my secrets. Then there will be all these little Emilio clones running around. You just keep doing what you’re doing. ’cause I like your version better than my own! (OK, since you asked so nicely, But I’m trusting you not to tell anyone else. PE takes care of it themselves. You add the clouds over the entire original, then erase it over buildings and such. As for branches and leaves, they have a detail brush that does a pretty good job usually. More difficult to describe than use.) I watched your tutorial last night and hadn’t even realized you got rid of the tree. I’ll let you in on a goof of mine. The lightning rod on top of the tower to the right still has the clouds on it. I missed erasing them.


  8. this is beautiful Emilio. I love the addition of highlights on the house and pathway, something I wouldn’t have though to add. The overall tone is just lovely.


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

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