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.)
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.
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’.
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.
More on Robyn’s One Four Challenge: January Week 2