One Photo Focus. July.

Welcome to the One Photo Focus post for the After Before Friday Forum. If you are not familiar with 1PF, I highly recommend it. The challenge, which is hosted by Stacy on Visual Venturing, is about challenging photographers from all levels to edit one photograph. They can edit dramatically or subtly. The fun is seeing all the different possibilities on that one photograph.

This month’s photo to manipulate was taken by Robin Kent of Photography by Kent. What a bold picture to have fun with!

July 1PF

For this photo, I wanted to do something fun but yet elegant. I was pressed for time though so I just decided to give myself a few minutes to play. No holds bar, no over thinking, just go and do what you can in a few minutes and leave it. So here is what I did in Photoshop CS5:

  • Duplicated the photo into another layer.
  • Applied the Fresco filter to one layer (brush size 10, details 9, and texture 1).
    • This gave it a kind of “painting” look.
  • Added the Glowing Edges filter to another layer (edge width 9, brightness 11, and smoothness 12). Then made this layer 40 percent opaque and made it the top layer.
    • This gave the clouds a bit of “electric” highlights.
  • Erased everything out of the glowing edges layer but the sky.
    • This let me keep the “electric” sky but the “painting” look in the White House and the grounds.
  • Raised the curves of the Fresco filter layer (the “painting” look) to brighten up the lower part of the photo.
  • Merged the two layers into one picture.
  • Applied the HDR Toning option and turned the details down completely.
    • This made the picture details more smooth, more muted.

After those steps, here is what I got:

July 1PF-Michelle Lunato Photography

So what do you think? What would you have done differently?

Feel free to comment and critique. I find that honest feed back is truly the only way to learn. And, I know that not all tastes are the same. Therefore, my feelings are not hurt easily by any suggestions or tips.

Now make sure you go check out Stacy’s post for today! She posts all the different edits (and links) on this picture on her site. It is a ton of fun to see all the different edits in one place. And, it is a great community of photographers to engage with as well.




14 thoughts on “One Photo Focus. July.

  1. I have to add my two cents to Stacy’s two cents and agree with her. Now you have four cents! But I do love that you just jumped in and played without having an idea where you were headed. It’s great to know the tools you use so well that you don’y even have to think about it. I have yet to attempt Photoshop so what would I do? Just lots and lots of Lightroom and Perfect Effects- which I did! Thanks, Michelle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah! I have four cents!! Whoop Whoop! I have to admit, there are many times in life I jump in with no clear idea of where things may go. Sometimes it has been great. Other times, not so much. But hey, we take the good with the bad I guess. I don’t know my way around Lightroom or Perfect Effects at all. And, my Lightroom is an older bare bones version that it doesn’t seem to do much. That is probably my skill level though, lol. If I keep reading these other blogs though, maybe I will learn something!


        1. Time. Yes, that is the hard part. Well that and money for all the tools we want. I think to improve, we need to view other people’s work and get their feedback. It helps with my tunnel vision, and makes me realize….um, maybe that shot is not a good as I thought, lol.


          1. I think a lot of times I shoot something that I think will be fantastic. Only to be disappointed. And then there are the times that are just the opposite: I shoot not thinking twice about focus or aperture or anything. Just sort of on autopilot. And I get something I love.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I totally know what you mean. I do the same. Not thinking about technical things and just go. Though, I admit, I really could up my level of quality if I took more time to learn the technical aspects more. Sometimes during a wedding, people will come up and ask me some wacky tech question like, if you change the flux capacitor to speed 15,000 in combination of the ISO being at the same level of the flash power, do you… At least that is what it sounds like to me! My response is generally, man, that’s a good question. I just shoot and until I like what I see….plus I haven’t found the flux capacitor on my camera yet.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. The flux capacitor is only on the newer Zeiss Ikon cameras. You shoot the Lincoln Memorial and get a shot of Abe at his first inauguration! Quite the camera but a bit expensive. I was at a wedding taking shots for myself and the professional photographer they had hired came over and asked me some simple question and my answer was; “I don’t know”!

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Hahahhaahaha! I love it. I may have to try that one day. It would be a short, sweet and true answer. And as long as I get the shots the bride and groom want, who cares how I do it?


                    1. Well, at least you weren’t THE photographer. They may have been upset. It certainly can be stressful to know you have to get this and that. But there is a magic to it as well.

                      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really interesting approach, Michelle. Very impressive, especially since you knocked it out so quickly. Thanks also for the very detailed description of what you did. Using the filters on a separate layer is something that I haven’t done, but now that I see what you have done here, I’ll be trying it soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Robin. Yeah, I did it pretty quick so I could still contribute. I am sure with a bit more thought and time, it could be blended. But it is fun to just wing it at times and see where your creativity takes you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay, for a few minutes of work, you really created something very different from Robin’s image! That’s what happens when you know how to use your tools 🙂 I really do love the painting effect on the bottom half of the image! If I understand your steps, you left the glowing edges filter on the sky, right? I might have toned that down a bit only, because to my eyes, the top doesn’t seem to “balance” with the bottom. I mean, I love the blue, it’s just the edges of the clouds and the Capitol that seem out of place. Maybe I would feel differently if the effect was’t quite so strong. Anyway, that’s just my two cents (since you asked!) 😀 Thanks, Michelle, for your ongoing support of ABF/1PF!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the feedback Stacy. You bring up a good point. It does seem to be more bold than the bottom. I really like getting the perspective of others. When we look at our own work, it is hard to see how things look at times. So thank you. I can see that view now.


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