One Four Challenge, Week 2 January: Vietnamese Boats

One of the great things about this challenge is all the feedback you get.

In the case of my Vietnamese boats the general feedback from Week 1 was that the image was a tad too dark. In this case it was the original underlying photo that was too dark and when I added storm clouds on top the mood was lost in all the darkness.

Robyn G. made some suggestions on how to lighten up my photo, and I have put the three steps/images in the process together to show what a difference they made. (The actual processes are described below the three photos.)
3versionsoflightenedboatw 1. The photo as I originally edited it, a bit too dark.

2. Robyn suggested I use a Neutral Density filter ‘after the fact’. While Photoshop does not have a neutral density filter per se, I figured that a graduated screen mask would serve the same purpose. The second version shows the image after the lower half of the photo has been lightened and then, selecting inverse, the sky darkened.

3. Robyn’s next suggestion was to play around with ‘clarity’. Again, Photoshop doesn’t have a clarity filter, and the only place I knew of where ‘clarity’ was an option was when opening camera RAW. Unfortunately, my photos were all taken with a ‘point and shoot’ where RAW was not an option.

As an experiment I went to Bridge, selected the second version of the boat, and clicked ‘Open in Camera Raw’. And surprise, it did!

From here I adjusted ‘clarity’ and Holy Smokes! what a difference. I also increased the exposure slightly.

In this third version I found that the sand in the foreground had lightened up to the point it was distracting so I cropped it out.

And here’s how it looks with the stormy sky added, which I have added to Week 1 January as well.
Boats in a Village near Hoi An: Storm Effect But wait, there’s more!

What I really wanted to do this week was play around with some black and white versions. This was my original version with the colour saturation upped a lot and then processed using Photoshop Express’s ‘Memory Look’.
HoiAnBoatMemoryFilterW_1120 This is my newly edited colour version changed to black and white with a sepia tint. With the original photo edited properly this was just way too easy, but it’s my choice for this week.
13DeVtHoiAnBoatsVillageFinalcolourstorm0194bwW More on Robyn’s One Four Challenge: January Week 2

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21 responses to “One Four Challenge, Week 2 January: Vietnamese Boats

  1. Pingback: One Four Challenge December Review 1 | Elizabatz Gallery·

  2. Pingback: One Four Challenge, January Week 1: Vietnamese Boats | Elizabatz Gallery·

    • Bridge is a photo (and other graphic items) organizer that comes as part of the Adobe Creative Suite. As a graphic designer I had to purchase the full suite – ouch, ouch, ouch in the pocketbook. I’m not sure if it also comes if you only purchase Photoshop but it should, mainly because there are editing features there that are not in Photoshop…

  3. Eliza, Ive really enjoyed reading this post, including the comments.
    Im so pleased you worked your way around the process, finding your way into Camera Raw.
    The difference and improvement in the steps is fantastic and Im glad my suggestions were of some help.
    This week’s edition, works so well!! The sepia is so appealing, with no distractions at all – the clarity in the image is great, but the one thing I notice most about this edit are all of the wonderful lines pointing to the centre boat – the light on the horizon, the mooring lines and the small boat in front. Wonderful!! 😃

  4. Even if you take a picture with a point and shoot from bridge you can open both Jpegs and Tiffs in Adobe Camera Raw. Also in Photoshop CC you can use camera raw as a filter, utilizing all its function there, really good when combined with an image as a smart object. Another option is to use shadow and highlights as a smart filter which can replicate the clarity by adjusting the midtone contrast with it.

    With the image I like the idea of moving to sepia, for my taste the sepia is a little strong, but that is just my personal taste,

    • Up until now I have been using the Shadow/Highlight filter to edit many photos, but for an image like this one, without a ‘highlight’ portion, the result was always a bit like a fake HDR, and adjusting the midtone contrast never really worked for me, although I will look at it a bit more closely after what you just said. However, using ‘clarity’ was a revelation!

  5. What a world of difference the edits have made! The sepia looks great. (Let’s not be hasty in thinking it too easy — the pre-editing work needs to be included, after all! 🙂 )

  6. Great job on this, the edits are a great improvement and I liked that you redid it with your sky. Robyn is referencing the controls in Lightroom Im fairly sure, but Adobe Camera Raw is essentially the same – LR does the same things but in a separate program and its a bit easier to do the different stages etc.

    I like your comment about how its much easier to post pro the image further once you do the first basic process well, thats an epiphany I have ever seen one 🙂

    Love the sepia, its a great choice and your sky looks really natural here.

  7. Wow, this soundss like heaps of work….. Lightening the image has made all the difference, and I agree the sepia tone looks good…..

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