One Photo Focus September 2016

After a bit of a hiatus, I’ve decided to participate again in the monthly One Photo Focus organised by Stacy at Visual Venturing.

This is her original image:


And here is my version:


I felt that the composition could be enhanced by focusing more tightly on the ship, which is obviously the main subject. Accordingly, I cropped out the left hand side of the original so that the bowsprit formed a strong diagonal from top left, while the masts and yardarms present clear horizontals and verticals.

Other than that, I took down the Luminescence of the Orange and Blue channels in order to make the superstructure of the ship stand out more and to add a little detail to the sky. Orange and blue work well together.

Finally, I boosted Clarity and Vibrance to add what Lightroom describes as ‘Punch’, and sharpened.


One Photo Focus June 2016

The original image for this month’s One Photo Focus was taken by David Croker and is a lovely shot of peaceful serenity; who doesn’t like the combination of sky, water and reflections?

David Croker original

The only problem with this original is that the air of tranquility is jarred somewhat by the electricity pylons running right across the horizon. I realise that it’s possible to remove such intrusions through various photo editing programs,including Photoshop, which I have myself, but it looks like a very painstaking exercise, particularly if (a) you haven’t done it before and (b) when there are not only wires but also the pylons to be erased.

Then I recalled that for a WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge some time ago, with the theme of ‘Dreamy‘, I had used a reflected image to get the dreamlike look that the assignment called for, and I thought it had worked quite well.

Accordingly, I adopted the same principle for this One Photo Focus, to produce this:

One Photo 0616

Here’s what I did:

  • Flipped the image horizontally
  • Cropped to remove the sky – and therefore the power pylons and cables. I also wanted to highlight that cloud on the right of the original image, so cropped out the whole of the left half
  • After that, it was simply a matter of adding a little ‘punch’ in Lightroom, and also adjusting colour Luminance to make the green and blue of the reflected boats stand out more.

I’m quite pleased with the dreamy, painting-y effect of this revised version

One Photo Focus June 2016

One Photo Focus: March 2016

This month’s One Photo Focus Challenge, provided by Nancy Merrill, had me thinking. Here is the original:


I felt that there were two possible approaches:

A matter of record

Shakespeare record

This first edit sees the image as a ‘record shot’ (absolutely no disparagement intended). Essentially, all this requires is a modicum of straightening and  a sympathetic crop to highlight the sign and put it into some context – so here we can see the structure of the theatre and the fact that it is located in a green (or at least non-urban) area.

Abstract form

Shakespeare abstract

It looks like this theatre has been built along the lines of Shakespeare’s Globe in London (which I’ve been fortunate enough to attend for quite a few performances over the years). The key architectural characteristic is undoubtedly the black and white ‘mock-Tudor’ effect, which is a worthy subject in itself. Consequently, I cropped down to the bottom left quadrant of the original image, flipped it a quarter-turn clockwise, tweaked for sharpness and added a little grain and a vignette to produce this almost abstract interplay of light and shade, straight and diagonal lines.

One Photo Focus March 2016

One Photo Focus: February 2016

The original image for this month’s One Photo Focus challenge was provided by Stacy at lensaddiction and is what I’d call a bit of a tester.


OPF Image for Feb JPG Full Size-3398


There’s a lot going on in the original image and not all of it sits comfortably together (a sailing ship and modern high-rise buildings, for a start).


After a lot of thought, I decided to crop in on the rigging and, in particular, the two human figures, which I placed on a Rule-of-Thirds point.

Having looked at the blown-up image, I felt that there wasn’t enough detail in the figures to command much attention so I went for the opposite extreme and effectively turned them into silhouettes by taking down all the sliders – Highlights, Shadows, Whites and Blacks – to -100.

This also made the background sky more interesting and to compound that effect I used a Graduated Filter at the top to reduce the exposure of this part of the image. This not only darkened the clouds but also reduced the ‘blown-out’ area where the sun sits. I think the final result is quite dramatic.

One Photo Focus February 2016

One Photo Focus: January 2016

For the January One Photo Focus we were given this image by Laura Macky of Laura Macky Photography

January One Photo Focus copy

It’s an excellent photograph as it stands: a well-composed image of an interesting subject. There seemed little to be gained from tweaking details like saturation; that would be more likely to detract than to enhance. So I decided to take just a part of the whole and turn it into something different.

The angle at which the boat is beached provided some interesting diagonals in the superstructure, so I cropped tightly into the subject itself. Although I like the colours in the original, I felt that it would also work well in black and white. A bit of work on the sliders brought out more detail in the peeling paintwork, giving it a more ‘weatherbeaten’ look.


January One Photo Focus


One Photo Focus: December 2015

My second contribution to the After-Before Friday Forum coincides with the monthly One Photo Focus. This requires all participants to edit the same image, which in this case has been provided by Julie Powell at Julie Powell Photography. Here is the original:

Julie Powell December One Photo FOcus

…and here is my edited version:


Herewith my rationale for the changes I made:

  • Cropped for balance, to put the flower itself at the centre of the picture
  • Darkened the background, to remove as much as possible that could distract from the subject. I also finished this off with a Lightroom pre-set Light Vignette
  • Adjusted the tone curve to soften the white in the petals (Clarity -24) and also bring out detail in the water drops on the right-hand side (Vibrance +30)
  • Most radically, I changed the colour at the centre of the image as the original yellow seemed to me to be rather ‘washed-out’. I simply took down the Yellow Hue adjuster to -100, which produced this – I think – more attractive salmon-pink tone
  • Cloned over the green ‘blob’ just to the left of centre in the flower, which was another distraction

December One Photo Focus