July One Photo Focus

Prompts and Challenges
1pf

Original image courtesy of Robin Kent

Stacy Fischer of Visual Venturing has a challenge that occurs the first Friday of each month. It is called One Photo Focus wherein any one who wants to join in has to work on the same photo as everyone else and see what they come up with. This month the photo has been submitted by Robin Kent of photographybykent. Please consider joining in next month. Just mention it to Stacy in comments on her site and she’ll get you next month’s photo as soon as it is available.

I have an admission for this month’s One Photo Focus. I cheated! Robin, I have the utmost respect for you and your talent. But when I saw this image of yours I came up blank. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. I decided to sleep on it and the next morning woke up with nothing but a terrible taste in my mouth and a need to visit the bathroom.

Yes, I had been drinking the night before!

As for the cheating, I reverted to using a preset in Perfect Effects 9.5.

Yes, I did.

But you know what? It’s so much better than what I could have come up with on my own. Usually, when I use a preset, I will play with it, use it as a starting point until the processing is basically my own and not some stranger’s. Well, that’s what I did here so I don’t really feel too bad about the cheating thing. I still worked just as hard on your image as I have on any of mine so please don’t feel short-changed! And even though it is the Fourth of July weekend, I did not revert to fireworks!

The reveal:

Final Image

OK, so what I did was avoided Lightroom entirely and exported the RAW image directly into Perfect Effects 9.5 I found a preset- after playing with at least 2 dozen- in a sub folder labeled Hipster called “Straight To Heck”, which looked like this:

Straight To Heck

Straight To Heck

This preset was made up of seven layers including the original. So what I did was start from the bottom with the original

Original

Original

and added the second layer, which was a slight Blur:

Layer 2

Layer 2

Layer three added a split tone of yellow for the highlights and orange/red for the shadows:

Layer 3

Layer 3

The fourth layer was a Texture that, if you enlarge the image, you might be able to see. It appears to be some kind of dark screen with very fine lines throughout:

Layer 4

Layer 4

Layer five is the same as a Radial Filter in Lightroom that throws the sides out of focus:

Layer 5

Layer 5

Layer six was a light leak on the lower left and Layer seven was a dark Vignette all around the image- both of which I deleted.  I added a new layer from the Borders subfolder called “35 Contact Sheet”:

Layer 6

Layer 6

Finally I exported into Lightroom to remove the people on the lawn that were still visible and darkened the overall image slightly. And that was that:

Final Image

Final Image

Stacy’s Visual Venturing is more fun than a barrel of monkeys!

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23 thoughts on “July One Photo Focus

  1. I thought this one was pretty challenging. Appreciate you showing the step-by-step process. I really like the final version. Well done, Emilio.

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  2. “straight to heck”! ha how funny! You did a nice job on this, I’m glad you ditched the light leak layer, it looks better without it. Great final image, and you didn’t even change the clouds! Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

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  3. Emilio, you never disappoint, with your images OR your witty commentary! So you think you cheated? Nope, you took a preset and then made changes to make it your own – no harm/no foul! And I love the whole old filmstrip vibe of the finished image! You are a powerful spokesman for PE9 – they should pay you 🙂 Thanks for always adding to the fun of 1PF. Now, no dissing fireworks – just sayin’ …. 🙂

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  4. I’ve never understood the digital side of photography’s fascination with trying to reproduce the look of film. Digital is the only photographic medium that may people have ever known, but trust me digital does a poor job of looking like film. Just do film if you want the look of film. When my cats wanted to do photography, I made them learn using film 😉 I did a series on my cats taking up photography. It took two weeks to complete between finishing the roll of film, developing the negatives and making prints:
    http://photos.tandlphotos.com/blog/2015/3/when-kittens-take-up-photography
    http://photos.tandlphotos.com/blog/2015/3/spunk-does-film
    http://photos.tandlphotos.com/blog/2015/3/positive-notes-on-negative-development
    http://photos.tandlphotos.com/blog/2015/4/kitty-prints

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  5. I really enjoyed reading your creative process, your writing always make me smile. I like the final effect you achieved with the preset! Glad you ditched the light leak 🙂

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  6. I know the feeling, sometimes a challenge image grabs you with instant inspiration and sometimes you have to hammer your forehead on the desk many many times before it works. I like what you came up with, the blurred vignette effect focusses the eye on the lovely building and it was certainly different to everything else too!

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  7. Hi, Emilio. No such thing as cheating in photography, at least that’s my theory. And I like what you did here. I think you made excellent choices in selecting which layers to retain and which to jettison. The retro border was a nice finishing touch.

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  8. I have to play around with those presets. I haven’t really gotten into OnOne. I find them difficult to “fine tune.” But you just reminded me that I have the package and I really should try using it sometimes. It’s an interesting version of the picture.

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

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