AB Friday Forum. Aerial View of Baghdad.

For this week’s After Before Friday Forum, I went with a photo from my deployment to Iraq in 2005-2006. I like going back to these old photos to see if I can make the so-so photos a little more exciting. I find that when looking at my old photos, I do a lot of lamenting. I wish I had tried this or that. I wish I had taken more. But, that’s the thing with hindsight I guess. It is always 20-20. So the next best thing to do, is to try my hand at editing the average shots into something more professional, something with more pizazz.

The photo below was shot from a helicopter, and if I recall correctly, through some “glass.” Not all helo flights had glass so I cannot be sure but this one appears to have some. Iraq had a lot of hazy days too due to the sand storms. So, when I look at this shot it is just kind of blah. And the big black mark of the helicopter frame does not add appeal either.

Michelle Lunato Photography Before

To give the picture a bit more appeal, I decided to do the following edits (or I think this is what I did since I did it all in 10-15 minutes when I remembered I had yet to send the file to Stacy and had to get to work):

  • Boosted the saturation, contrast and brightness.
  • Made two layers of that adjustment.
  • Sharpened the details on layer one.
  • Blurred the photo about 10 percent on layer two.
  • Erased the mosque out of the burred layer so it could show through and be clearer and stand out more.
  • Merged the two layers and tweaked the brightness and contrast a tad more so they were in unison.

And, I think that was about it. Short, simple and bam….just a bit more professional looking.

Michelle Lunato Photography AFTERTo read more about the mission I was on when I took this photo, check out my other blog post here.

To check out other blog entries to the After Before Friday Forum, check out Stacy’s page, Visual Venturing. There are some amazing photographers on there, so I am pretty honored to have found this wonderful group:)

Have a great day!


11 thoughts on “AB Friday Forum. Aerial View of Baghdad.

  1. Michelle, I’m still in awe over the experiences behind your photos! And I like your thought about going back to your old photos to see what can be done with them. This is a beauty. I love being able to really see the details of the mosque through your boost of the color and clarity. It worked beautifully through the glass and the haze. Thanks so much for sharing your stories on ABFriday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Stacy. It has been an interesting life for sure. I am so excited that these old pictures and stories have a home. It makes me feel like my time away from home now has an extra bonus.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You have really transformed this picture, shooting through the glass and the haze was really cutting out all the vibrance in the Before shot. With the after you have got all the impact of the colours and created a nice tilt shift effect with the blur. Great work.

    Liked by 1 person

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