AB Friday. From Blah to Art.

For the first After Before Friday Forum of 2016, I wanted to post a picture from my recent trip to Barbados. The picture I chose is not a particularly amazing photo as it was taken from a moving bus. No, I generally don’t like publishing photos that I take from moving vehicles. And I don’t normally like to take photographs that way either. Wait, it that a form of photography? There seems to be a form/style for nearly everything else… but I digress.

I am sure it is not an official photography style, but I assume most average folks have a few of these. You know the shots that catch your eye so you snap real quick when you have no other choice. In this instance, I was on a tour bus and the guide was showing us this bench on top of this huge rock. I found it interesting, particularly because I was trying to make a post on benches. Of course, I could not ask the tour guide to stop his route to accommodate my blogging needs. Though that would have been nice.

So that meant I had this blah photo to work with. I did make my bench post, and you can see that edit here. However, I thought it might be nice to show you all how to do something fun with a less than impressive picture. That is something other than delete it. In this case, I thought I would make the blah photo and abstract, and below are the steps I took in Photoshop CS5.

The screen shot below shows you a summary of the main steps I took. I originally captured that as a reminder of what I did since there was some time between the actual edit and the writing of this post. But, as I started writing it, I figured I would just keep this shot in here for those of you who may be interested.

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 7.39.43 PM

This is the photo, before any editing. You can see that between the cloudy day and the bus window, there is a dull brown, hazy hue to the photo. So, my first step was to play with the colors. I played a bit and it kept looking odd. I resorted to trying an auto color and tone and that seemed to work pretty well.

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 7.40.12 PM

This is the auto color and tone results. Not stunning but still better than the original.  Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 7.40.34 PM

The next thing I did was crop the horizontal photo into a vertical shot. Then, I opened the image up in the HDR Toning option, which is under the Image tab. I was playing around with the saturation and curves and got the different results below.

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 7.40.47 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-29 at 7.41.01 PM

I kind of liked the intense colors and kept playing. The next thing I did was to open up the filter gallery. Out of curiosity, I added the Poster Edges filter. I liked and went with that (but that was after trying about 10 other filters). It is kind of wacky and abstracts are not for everyone. And some filters will work better with some photo than others of course. Either way, I thought this filter on this photo made it look like something I would see abstract art print or a t-shirt at a beach gift shop (minus the power lines, which I took out on my bench edit).

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 7.41.18 PM

What do you think? Do you have some less than impressive pictures in your collection that could possibly be fun abstracts? I bet most of you do. But if all of your photos are impressive…well then, lucky you! I bet they could still make great abstracts too. Heck, they would probably make impressive abstracts!  So you may as well give it a try. Think out of the box and just play. You never know what odd tweaks to a picture will make it look good.

Before you start making abstracts though, make sure you click on the badge below to see the host post of the AB Friday Forum. Ben is an editor extraordinaire and explains things quite well (better than me for sure). His AB post will also show you the before and after shots from the other photographers in the forum. If you are not part of the group, join the fun.




2 thoughts on “AB Friday. From Blah to Art.

    1. Thank you. I did use the final image anyway just because the bench on the rock was so interesting. I have a good number of photos from the tour bus of things I found interesting. I may just need to post a ‘from the bus collection’ so they don’t go to waste. And, there are some interesting buildings in there. Thank God for blogging! Where else could I share my 1000s of crazy photos? Thanks:)

      Liked by 1 person

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