This weeks “After and Before Forum” is sponsored by Loré at Snow’s Fissures and Fractures and today is March’s one photo focus. Usually the “After and Before forum” is a post where we share an image before and after editing and share how we get the wow in out photographs. One post a month av member of the forum gives us all a photo to edit. In previous editions I have edited Emilio’s Old Truck picture and Manal’s street scene.
Upon opening Loré’s picture I wasn’t sure how to tackle this picture, there were many different approaches but none seemed right. In the end I decided to edit the picture with the idea of why I would take such a picture.
I imagined being in an Italian café on holiday and seeing the geometric pattern of the tables arranged around the statue. I am sure at that moment I would have whipped out my phone taken a picture for Instagram.
Of course for the forum I wouldn’t share an Instagram edit; I did though started to like the idea of a square crop and some kind of vintage toning.
I cropped the image to a square format using the guides to help create a balanced composition.
I then cleaned away distracting elements in the background; the chair, sign, fire hydrant and the pole. I did this by using the pen tool to select the chair and the sign to create a selection, and filled the selection with a content aware fill. I used the patch tool to remove the fire hydrant and the pole. I made these adjustments on a separate layer, duplicated and merged them together to create a clean copy.
I wanted to create the Instagram style and a kind of image. I thought a lomo look would fit quite nicely. I duplicated my clean copy layer and set the blending to overlay.
I then created a curves adjustment to brighten the whole image.
I created a channel mixer adjustment layer. I went to the blue channel and reduced the blue slider to +90. This has the effect of adding a creamy yellow tone to the highlights.
I needed to create a vignette. I selected the whole canvas and modified the border by 200px (select-modify-border), I then inverted the selection and modified the feather to 100px (select-modify-feather) and filled the selection on a new layer with black. I set the blending to multiply and reduced the opacity to 70. I duplicated the vignette layer and set the new layer’s blending to overlay. I created a folder and put both vignette layers inside. I then adjusted the opacity of the folder to make the vignette blend with the whole image.
For me the image wasn’t vintage enough, I decided to add a half sepia tone to add a bit of age to the image.
I added a hue and saturation adjustment layer setting; hue to 25 and saturation to 25. I set the blending to hue.
I then created a gradient map choosing a light blue for the shadows and an orange/yellow for the highlights and set the blending to overlay.
The image felt a little too smooth and clean, I decided to add some noise for texture. I created a new layer and filled it with 50%grey and converted it to a smart object. I used a smart object because I would be applying filters to this layer and if I wanted to come back and tweak them I could. If I used a normal layer tweaking the noise effect would mean starting this step from the beginning again.
I first applied a noise filter with a low setting and then blurred the noise with a small Gaussian blur.
I felt I had lost details in the face of the statue and burnt the detail back in (new layer, 50% grey, black brush low opacity)
I sharpened the image with high pass sharpening. I selected the original clean copy layer and moved it to the top. I applied a high pass filter (set to 10) and then set the layer’s blending to overlay. I didn’t want to sharpen the whole image so I added a layer mask (hide all) and painted white to only add sharpening to the statue and plant.
I added a finishing touch with a frame. In this case I used a medium format film frame to add to the vintage effect. Something I did add since sending the file to Stacy was a drop shadow to the frame to make it blend in a bit more.
Overall I like the editing; it has the Instagram, faux vintage feel that I was going for. I feel the crop and the cleaning makes the statue more the focus of the image and the warm tones add a feeling of a pleasant memory.
What do you think? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.
Remember if you liked this post to; like, share and subscribe.
If you wish to get notifications when I post on my blog, you can follow me on Twitter@apertureF64, on Facebook.com/aperturesixtyfour or alternatively be emailed by subscribing below. All images are the Copyright of Benjamin Rowe , ALL RIGHTS Reserved unless credited to another photographer. For more information please read my Copyright Statement