Editing Friday; (On Sunday) re-editing faux wet emulsion

If you have been following my blog you will know that I originally started “Editing Friday” by re-editing images and then after finding no more images to edit, I decided just to share my work flow each week of an image I edited in the week.lilly-highkey
Today we are having editing on Sunday because I took a few days off for my birthday celebrations on Friday and Saturday.

Today I am going back to a flower that I edited in the summer. This flower was part of my wife’s bouquet for our wedding. When editing I was being lazy with the technique trying to use the digital workflow as a quick short cut in creating the image. I wanted to create a kind of liquid emulsion effect and to do so I used a brush on a low opacity to paint the emulsion. The problem with this is that it takes a while and I got fed up and decided to duplicate the layer I had been painting, in turn  creating this strange pattern on the image. I also don’t like the contrast of the image as it looks a bit flat  with all the details of the petals being lost.

My first task is to make the emulsion effect better and the second is to improve the toning of the image.

I first copied the original raw file and edited the image from scratch


As you can see from my original camera raw edit I was trying to preserve these tones and it has a kind of HDR look to it. It looks interesting as a colour image but unfortunately  I will be making in black and white.

Untitled2I wanted to keep the balance of tones with the main settings, even with quite nice histogram the image looks underexposed.


Using my base settings I made local adjustments raising the exposure in the top and bottom of the image and darkening the center of the image. With the petals I added more midtone contrast using the clarity slider.

Apart from these changes I made my normal adjustments like; reduce noise and fixing lens distortion.


I imported the image to Photoshop  There were a few roads I could have taken here; one would be to do a manual black and white conversion using one of my methods, another heading into Color Efex and making adjustments there or using one of my filters film filters from Alien Skin Expousre 4.

Since I know my black and white options better in Exposure 4 I decided to head there.


It is strange since using Color Efex I have been using Alien Skin less, but when I have used it I have been experimenting more.
Exposure 4 has a lot of presets but each one can be manipulated. I started with the Ilford Delta 100 preset and then added split toning, made adjustments to the curves, added a white vignette, setting the center of the  vignette as the center of the flower, and finally adding a watercolor paper texture.


Next I burnt in  the petals to keep the details and not to let them become blown out.

I reduced noise and sharpened the Image using a Highpass method.


Next I had to head outside of Photoshop and paint a pice of paper black, then scan and place it into the document. Lucky I had one already scanned from when i created the wet emulsion video for my Vblog early this year.


I added an levels adjustment layer and used a clipping mask on the scanned layer, setting the scanned image to Linear dodge.

Final Image


I feel the final image is a lot stronger than the previous edit. Taking the longer route means the image has more care and attention paid to it, therefore  creating a better image.

I am not sure about the composition of the original image but I do think it will be much better as a colour image. The split toning in this image does help the composition as well as the vignette, although it cannot be fully seen it does have an effect in the bottom right of the image.

Well that’s just my opinion, what about yours? What do you think? Do like faux film effects or do you prefer to see images that were created traditionally? Let me know using the comment box below.

Until next Friday (or Saturday or Sunday) happy editing.

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4 thoughts on “Editing Friday; (On Sunday) re-editing faux wet emulsion

  1. Hey Ben…been away for a month…I’m going to try to go back and read the posts I’ve missed as I’m sure there is a great deal of worth while information!!!

    • Hi Heather, I popped over to your blog a few weeks ago after I hadn’t seen posts in the reader and you had not commented here and realised you must have been away.

      I hope it was a nice time you had away from the blog and look forward to seeing how you have progressed with your new camera.

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