Here is my response to Visual Venturings After Before Anniversary Challenge. I am also including this as on my Tips and Tricks for cropping and a light balance with post processing.
The photo that I’m editing this week was taken by Karen Chengelis of KCinAZ. There are twelve of us participating and we all get a chance to edit Karen’s photo to our own liking.
Original Photo and My Analysis
I really liked Karen’s photo and wanted to get my hands on it. So below this photo you can see my initial analysis.
The first thing I noticed was the parts of the clouds are too white. This make my eyes go right to the clouds and not the rest of the photo. So I knew I probably would be cropping out some of the clouds.
The second thing I noticed with the clouds is there is a lot of colors in them: white, gray, blue, pink and orange. Seeing all these colors, I knew I could get a different feel of the photograph with using white balance adjustments in my software and maybe using some other tricks too.
I also like the depth of field in Karen’s photo. The river really draws your eyes back to the pinkish-orange spot of sunlight peaking through the clouds. I really didn’t want to leave this photo as it was taken, because I usually don’t photograph landscapes. So I ended up cropping this photo a couple of different ways.
So thank you Karen for taking this photo in a high resolution format which allowed me to crop and still get a good resolution.
The software I used was Photo Raw adjustments in Bridge (the latest version).
First Crop, the Buildings
I really wanted to see the building with a little bit of the river. I thought the buildings were quite interesting. In my corner of the world, we don’t have architecture like this so it intrigued me.
Here are some of the steps I took to fixing up this photo.
First I did a little fixing of the horizon very minor. I made the building look a little straighter by pulling the very top inwards just a little bit. Then I made a few other basic adjustments. Make everything a little shaper and vibrant.
Then the fun begins. I started to play with the sky. The river is reflecting the clouds and which made the water look a little brownish-green. So I kept with that theme. I adjusted my white balance. I warmed it up (moved the temperature slider) to a little more yellow. Then since I wanted to make it a little greener I moved the tint a little bit to the green side.
On the sky it self, I painted a slight shade of teal over it and darkened the sky a little bit to bring out more color in the clouds. For the clouds I brought the sharpness down because I wanted the soft lines to show up. The part I painted with this layer is in white.
I did a couple of things to, but these were the main things I did to change this photo.
Here is my result of cropping showing just the buildings.
Second Crop, The River and Sky
Here is my original crop for the river and sky portion of the photo. For the final photo, I actually cropped out more of the white part of the sky. Than what is shown here.
In this photo I wanted to bring out the pinks, oranges and blues. Orange and blue are great contrasting colors and the buildings already were orange, I thought it would give this photo a calming feeling. Along with changing the white balance for this photo.
One thing I did do was lighten up just the bridge itself. This makes the bridge more prominent, since your eyes automatically go to the brightest spot on a photo.
Here are some other steps I took to complete this photo.
For white balance I added a little warmth to the temperature (moved toward yellow) and for tinting I added a lot of pinks. This brought out the pinks and oranges in the sky.
Then I added a little more black (or darken the photo). The brings out just a little more contrast, since I didn’t want to lighten it. I also brought the exposure down just a little bit.
In addition to the basic edits, I added a couple of gradient layers.
One layer was to add an additional layer of of light red to the sky.
The other layer was I added was to the far left portion of the photo. I brightened it just a little bit, since the sun rays were showing from left to right. That would make the left side naturally just a little bit darker.
Here is my final photo with the bridge and river.
I hope you have enjoyed my edits to Karen’s work. It was fun. Thanks Visual Venturing for having this idea. Happy Anniversary for hosting this challenge.
My upcoming Tips and Tricks will be Part Three in the black and white. Please feel free to ask for a walkthrough on any photo you like.
To view my other Tips and Tricks click here.
Qi (energy) hugs,