If at first you don’t succeed try try again.

I have had this picture for some time now. Every time I edit the picture I just get so annoyed by it. The edits just have not done the picture justice. Well I tried again and I think that it has worked this time. We will see, maybe there is some truth in that old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed try try again.”[i]


So here is the image. it is quite dark and moody and was taken quite early on a Friday morning. This power station is about a 5 minute drive from where i live and is also below the route that planes take when they are going to land in the city.
First i wanted to just tone the image and fix the brightness. Over time i have done this as a black and white and color image. This time i went for black and white again but thought maybe a similar tone to the Ilford SFX 200 film might work.
With the toning complete, I also used the perspective crop tool to crop the image and then used noise ninja to reduced the digital noise. I left some noise in because i think it gives a nice feel to the image.
I then added a curves adjustment layer to give the image a little pick me up in the highlights.
The image looked good but i wanted something else and I thought about the Half Sepia technique I wrote about last week. I modified it a little for this image
First i applied a Hue and Saturation adjustment layer with the colorize box ticked. I went on to Image – Apply Image and changed the source to the background layer.
I then duplicated the adjustment layer inverted the layer mask and chose a colour that would work well with the earlier reddish tone. I chose a Cyan tone to complement it.
Lastly I wanted to darken the sky a bit to give a little more drama. I did this with a new layer set to overlay and drew a black gradient down from the top and adjusted the opacity to taste.
I adjusted the curves some more and then sharpened the image.
The image looks the best it has ever been. After my previous efforts  i have been so unhappy with them that  I have never even saved them.
What do you think, do you like the edit or would you have gone another way? Let me know using the comment box below.

[i] “IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN. Don’t give up too easily; persistence pays off in the end. The proverb has been traced back to ‘Teacher’s Manual’ by American educator Thomas H. Palmer and ‘The Children of the New Forest’ by English novelist Frederick Maryat (1792-1848). Originally a maxim used to encourage American schoolchildren to do their homework. Palmer (1782-1861) wrote in his ‘Teacher’s Manual’: ‘Tis a lesson you should heed, try, try again. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.’ The saying was popularized by Edward Hickson (1803-70) in his ‘Moral Song’ and is now applicable to any kind of activity.”

2 thoughts on “If at first you don’t succeed try try again.

  1. Very interesting process and certainly the end product is excellent. Do you think Noise Ninja is better than Adobe’s proprietary software? I’m not impressed with LR’s noise reduction sliders – they make the images too soft when they remove noise. Have you tried Tony Kuyper’s actions? I use these a lot. I’m also using Exposure 4 as an experiment now. There’s so much to try nowadays.

    • I have been using noise ninja for about two years now and i am quite happy with it.

      I think it is better than adobes because you can control the amount of reduction, smoothness of tone and contrast. You are also able to shapen the reduction if the image becomes too soft. What impresses me the most is the local adjustment option to reduce noise in one area.

      Before I used noise ninja there was another plunging and something with a layer mask but i can’t remember now. They do have a demo, it is worth a look.

      I do use Alien Skin Exposure but never used the noise reduction more the add grain filter from time to time.

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