After-Before forum Nov 14, 2014


If you have been following for a while you might remember that I have been participating in the After-Before Forum, and over the last few weeks each of us submitted one image, that we would like to see everyone process, and interesting challenge to finish another photographers photo. There are a lot of choice to be made when processing an image. I can’t say, like many photographers, that I always have an idea of the image I want to end up with when I click the shutter button.  Just as often as not I will import the image into Lightroom and see what happens.

When I received the email that the image of the Florence Riverfront had been chosen for us to work with I had to decide if I would keep true to the image that we had, or make an image that reflected my vision. Here is the image that we were to start with.

Riverfront by Karen Chengelis
Riverfront by Karen Chengelis

You can see I made a few changes!  I had, just a couple of weeks ago, visited Florence and photographed the same river and bridge! I remember the feeling of wonder as I walked down the street viewing the artists sitting painting. I knew I wanted to create an image that reflected those beautiful watercolours as well as the scene before me.

There are a lot of steps involved, and I apologize to the non-photographers and photoshoppers who follow the blog for the “jargon” and lack of detail. While the steps and process for this type of image is similar each layer is added and adjusted as the image and personal taste finds pleasing.

First I wanted the reflections in the water more visible; I selected, copied and pasted them onto a new layer. Then using the transform tool  I shaped the selection into the area I thought the reflections would fit. I decreased the opacity of the layer, and the water of the river would show through.  On the original image I increased the vibrance to punch up the colours.  I then created a duplicate layer, and on this layer I used the find edges filter, the blend mode was set to overlay and I masked off part of the river, the lines and ripples in the water created a distracting detail.  The final step was to add another layer, using a copy of a robin’s egg textured paper at 37% opacity, I masked off the area of the buildings and bridge so the colour did not show through, but gave the sky and water some colour that had been affected with the find edges filter.

Learning to use textures has been and interesting process and I have discussed it before, send me a message or comment if you are interested in more information. Hop on over to the After-Before Forum page and see what the other photographers have come up with.


10 thoughts on “After-Before forum Nov 14, 2014

  1. I like your comment “…as often as not I will import the image into Lightroom and see what happens.” More often than not, that is my approach, too. Most of the time an actual “real” depiction of the scene does not interest me. Not usually. I like to see what I can make of it. My medium is photography because I am a terrible painter. But with lightroom, now I can interpret the image almost like a painter might. Make it mine, in a sense. You have definitely done that with this image. Beautiful work! I love the colors of the buildings you got as well as the reflection in the water. And your texture of the sky really works with the balance of the image.


    1. IHi Emilio, it’s nice to hear you like the images, it seems we have a couple of things in common, photography and a lack of talent for painting! Digital photography, and the different software that is available does provide so many options for the photographer. Next week we are back to the regular after-before, only time will tell if Stacy will take on this type of group project again!


  2. The reflections are fantastic! I was wishing I saw more reflection in the image but had forgotten that it could be done with a reverse layer. I also like your lighter pastel approach


    1. thanks Kcinaz. I think the value of this type of challenge is getting to see what others saw, learning new possibilities we didn’t know existed. It opens our eyes and recharges our creativity. I am happy to hear you liked my lighter pastel approach.


  3. Janice, what struck me first when I saw your image were the beautiful reflections. I had absolutely no idea how you managed to do that, and because I’m such a noob with Photoshop, I’m not sure I still understand, but I’m so glad you revealed the magic you used. I know I can come back here and learn more once I get the basics down! I also love the muted pastel look you chose. So different from everyone else’s vision, which made it so much fun! Thanks so much for participating! 🙂


    1. thanks Stacy It is nice to hear you like the final image, all of the images were different and something to learn from everyone who participated! Creating reflections isn’t that hard, maybe I will have to learn how to do one of those video tutorials to send you, I have no idea how to do that, we each learn what we need when we need it.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s