After-Before One Photo Focus

after-before one photo focus; after image; photographer Manual Ali
after-before one photo focus; after image; photographer Manual Ali

It’s Friday and that means the After-Before Forum, this week we have a group challenge. In fact the first friday of each month will be a group challenge, One photographer will share an image and each of us will process the image, sharing on our blog our processing interpretation.

The image this month is from Manual Ali, I have to admit that I know nothing about this photo, I don’t know where it was taken, or what was of interest to the photographer,  his raw image is below, and below that I describe my process.

Manual Ali, before image
Manual Ali, before image

The challenge of processing any image is deciding what features to draw out, and what story is to be told. When I looked at Manual’s image I immediately saw a main street of a small city in the midwestern United States, while this is a modern city, I wanted to give it a 1960’s look. I wanted to reduce the tree branches come from the top right corner  and correct the perspective (keystone) of the lamp-post and buildings.

Working in Photoshop, camera raw, I used the auto lens correction, once this was done, I turned to Nik Analoge Efex Pro 4 software to produce the old photo!  Nik Analogue Efex Pro 4 has many options, so many that it is worth an afternoon just exploring their effects on a photo if you have the time! I knew the look i wanted so I went straight to Wet Plate #6. The screen shot below;

Screenshot 2015-01-25 17.41.35

One the right side of the screenshot you can see there are several areas to make adjustments, and personalize the image as needed.  i moved the Bokeh to the bottom right hand corner, keeping the building in focus and the rest of the image out of focus. This adjustment feature is similar to the tilt shift blur filter in Photoshop. Once the adjustments have been make and I was happy with results I hit the “okay” button, this brings the photo back into Photoshop as a separate layer. I changed the blend mode on this layer to color dodge. “The color dodge blend mode brightens the base color to reflect the blend color by decreasing contrast between the two, while lending with black produces no change”   I found the information regarding blend modes on the pages,  I provided a link just in case you wanted to learn more about blend modes. For the purpose of this image, it reduced the branches that I found distracting.

If you visit Stacy Fischer’s After-Before One Photo Focus page you will find several different versions of the image, each photographer interpreting the image from their own perspective drawing out the features that they saw as important. This exercise is meaningful to me for several reason, first I get to see how others might interpret the image, it is enlightening to see what others have seen, we don’t always get that when we are working on different images. As well we learn about their process, each photographer has different software, and skill level, and I become more sensitive to alternative processes, learn tips and trick I might not have thought of on my own, and finally I hope to get some useful feedback on my process.

I hope you will hop on over to Stacy’s blog for a look at what the other photographers have done with the image.


23 thoughts on “After-Before One Photo Focus

  1. I really do have to try Nik Analog Efex. I have it, but have never used it. The bokeh filter is wonderful! And the vintage look really does work well with the image. Were you surprised to learn it’s London and the tower in the background is the BP Tower? 😉 Thanks for your lovely description of both ABFriday and One Photo Focus, Janice. I am so glad to have you participate each week and appreciate your support!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Stacy, I am happy to be apart of the group! I didn’t realize the photo was London! The bokeh filter can be move and manipulated so nicely it is great! Spend a day with Nik so much to learn, but it is just takes experimenting with….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the old time, almost daguerreotype, effect. It works well here. This is one of the few black and white treatments of this image that I like. The slight brown hue adds to the effect.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Janice, lovely edit, I really like that you cropped the tree branches right down which I didn’t do so that did bring your eye back down to the middle of the photo and then the blur effect (which I did as well so we were on the same page with that one). I couldn’t get black and white to work for me but you have done wonders with it. Really great job 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. J – I liked what you did with the picture and enjoyed hearing your process. I use Topaz, not Nik, but can probably get a similar result if I figure out which filter to use! I agree with Emilio that I also like the old-time look. You definitely achieved what you set out as your vision.

    Thanks also for the tip on the color blend mode. I couldn’t figure out how to diminish those branches except to clone, which I couldn’t pull off. Just diminishing them does the same thing. I have to play with that for sure.


    Liked by 1 person

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