One Photo Focus: February

This month, I signed up to join a project called ABFriday (also known as One Photo Focus). The idea behind it is relatively simple, an image is sent to all involved and you get to edit it however you decide. Simple, right? Actually, not as simple as it first seemed. While being sent an image taken by another photographer (namely Stacy of lensaddiction), is great in someways as it gives you the chance to put your own spin on it, not knowing the initial intention proved to be both a blessing and curse as I will now explain.

The initial image:

Having viewed other posts on Stacy’s blog, I got some inspiration from others prior to recieving the image. However, I had no idea what the image would be of. Would it be of people? Would it be a busy shot? Would it have an obvious subject? I have to say, I was slightly relieved when I was sent the image image shown below as it wasn’t too busy, or of people and it had an obvious subject.

The editing process:

While some obvious elements needed altering straightaway, others required a lot more consideration. The first stage was to find out how much detail was in the original, under exposed image and then consider a theme. Seeing that I was working with a RAW file, there was a lot more to be recovered than I imagined and seeing the that boat was quite old, my theme was an older style looking photo. As I made the initial changes to the image, playing around with sepia tones and black and white conversions, I decided I would create the style through a combination of settings rather than a preset. Cue the most processes I’ve ever used on an image. A grand total of 50 – not  including the ones I decided against.

The second stage, was to play around with contrast adjustments (which revealed the brilliant, almost stormy cloud detail), apply graduated filters (to darken the top and bottom parts of the image) and use selective colour reduction. The last one of these was a new venture to me and I chose to use it to remove the blue tones on the buildings. This in itself took quite a bit of work as they were made up of blue, aqua and even some red times, to me though it has made a big difference. Before exporting the final image, I applied a colour boost, a vignette and a light grain preset to complete the effect I was after.

Will I be doing this again?

The short answer to that is definately. It was great little project that allowed me to learn some new editing skills which I can apply to my own images. As this is a monthly project, be sure to look out at the start of March for the next one. In the meantime, you can few the other entries by clicking here, and if you’ve been inspired to get involved, you can find out the details here.

4 thoughts on “One Photo Focus: February

  1. David, I really enjoyed reading about your thought processes and seeing the different renditions as you worked your way through the image. I have to say I wish I had been able to selectively reduce the blue in the buildings. My skill set is such that when I used the HSL tab in LR and used the adjustment tool, the blue in the boat was reduced (and I really liked the blue in the boat). What application did you use to achieve that? A truly beautiful after image. Your 50 processes were well worth it. And so glad to hear you’ll be back. I’m looking forward to seeing more!


    • Hi Stacy, I think it’s sometimes good to include the processes so that people can see the work that goes into getting a certain image rather than it being ‘just a nice image’. The selective colour reduction was what I did through the sat’s in HSL. I think it probably worked in my version as I didn’t really want the truer blue in the bow of the boat. In fact, having looked at the file again – the desaturation is equal on the blue, aqua and green making the windows and the bow the same tint. Though I didn’t use this, I have just worked out a way that could do it: Set the adjustment brush to ‘tint’ paint over the windows then desaturate. I’m this is by no means the right way, but it has some potential. Thanks for taking the time to comment.


  2. David welcome to the challenge and thankyou for your thoughtful consideration of my image. I also like to explain my process (tho I was very slack this time round due to forgetting about it!) and I agree, seeing *why* people do things is helpful for learning.


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