One Four Challenge – April Review


It’s been 5 months since Robyn started up the One Four Challenge and I’ve participated in 4 of those months. It has been great so far and I’ve learned how to use different tools within LR that I never knew about before. Trying to come up with a different look for a photo that you’ve already achieved a good look for is quite challenging, especially once you get down to the last week. I look forward to continuing this challenge in the months ahead as I learn how to edit photos in more ways. I don’t know if I’ll ever settle on one specific style as I like to evolve with my photography.

Until next month, here’s a gallery of the photos of the months I have participated in.

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ONE FOUR CHALLENGE – March WEEK 4


DSC_4336 - Copy It is now time for the final post for March’s One Four Challenge. We are also on break next month which is somewhat of a relief because I have no idea what photo I would use. That will give me a month to prepare for May when it returns which is nice because I’ll be away for the first week. Having some extra time to prepare is always nice. Some have responded that they like the look of the original photo so I decided for my final edit to work on that look a little. I decided to only crop a little from the bottom then worked next on bringing out the details and colors of the remaining elements. I think I liked the red look more than the original so I made the rose more red. I also wanted to bring the green out a bit more in the leaves in the background that complimented the red color of the roses instead of the more flat green look of the original. To me this version gives a bit more of a natural look and feel to it vs. more of a photographic art look like the other ones. For reference I have also included the original RAW and previous weeks photos below.

Reflections - RAW

RAW

Reflections - B&W

Week 1

Reflections

Week 2

Red Droplets

Week 3

ONE FOUR CHALLENGE – March WEEK 3


Red Droplets

It is now time for week 3 in this month’s One Four Challenge. I’ll state the obvious right away that I did crop this version down to get rid of the reflection. I knew I was going to do a version like this in the beginning but just wasn’t quite sure on exactly what I was going to do with it. For this version I wanted to make it a bit more low key so I darkened it up a bit and pronounced the shadows. I also wanted to make a change to the color to make it look like a completely different photo from the original but still make it look natural. If you look at the original you will notice that the rose has more of a purplish red color to it. For this version I wanted to make it more on the red side. I can’t say exactly how I made this happen as the edit was done across multiple days just slowly changing different settings within LR. Still not sure what I want to do for the final week but we’ll see!

This photo also made it on Explore on Flickr! 🙂

For reference I have also included the original RAW and previous weeks photos below.

Reflections - RAW

RAW

Reflections - B&W

Week 1

Reflections

Week 2

 

ONE FOUR CHALLENGE – March WEEK 2


Reflections

Week two is now here for March and here’s my submission for the One Four Challenge. This is the version I wanted to do for the first week but with posting 5 B&W photos in a row I decided to just start out with the B&W version. I’ve been too busy to even think about what I’m going to do for the next two weeks but for this one it is basically the same as the B&W as far as the editing goes except that it’s color.

For reference I have also included the original RAW and previous weeks photos below.

Reflections - RAW

RAW

Reflections - B&W

Week 1

One Four Challenge – March Week 1


Reflections - B&W

 

This is my first photo for this month’s One Four Challenge. For this photo I ended up taking a rose and spraying it with water to get the water droplets I then poured some water under the rose to get the reflection. In order to get the lighting correct I used my off camera flash with a white shoot through umbrella. In order to get the look I wanted I also made the background completely black in order to keep the focus on the rose and the reflection without any other distracting elements. I have also been  invited to do the Black-and-White 5 days photo challenge so this is the start of that as well. This week you will be treated with just B&W photos and possibly a couple color ones as Wednesday I’ll be posting photos of my new son in both B&W and color. Yes you have to wait until Wednesday, unless you take a look at my Flickr account!

For this first day I would like to invite Emilio Pasquale. Although I do like his color photos I do like to see his B&W and only getting to see them on Monochromia is just not enough. So it’s time Emilio to do 5 posts of B&W!

The rules for the Black-and-White 5 days photo challenge are:
(1) Publish a black and white photo every day for 5 days
(2) Invite someone to participate each day

Here is the RAW version of the above edit for comparison:

Reflections - RAW

RAW

 

ONE FOUR CHALLENGE – February WEEK 4


DSC_3758 - 3-Edit

 

Here is my fourth and last entry for this months One Four Challenge. It was difficult trying to come up with something that didn’t mimic or go off any of the previous edits. This week I had to have a different mind set and was thinking of how to make this photo look more low key. I don’t think I quite got the effect I had in mind but it was difficult trying to make a low key effect with this photo. I ended up doing some basic edits in LR such as the cropping and using the graduated filter to darken up the corners on the left of the frame. I then exported it to Analog Efex Pro 2 from the Google Nik collection. After clicking on what seemed like a few hundred different presets I found something that came close to what I liked so then I fine tuned it a bit and came up with this. I will say it’s not my favorite edit out of the group but it does seem to have a bit of appeal to it. Now off to decide which photo to do for next month.

For reference I have also included the original RAW and previous weeks photos below.

RAW

Week 1

February Week 2

Week 2

February Week 3

Week 3

 

 

ONE FOUR CHALLENGE – February WEEK 3


 

February Week 3

Here is my third entry for this months One Four Challenge. I didn’t quite wait a week between this edit and my last one but I did wait enough to not be distracted by what I did with my last edit. For this one I decided to take more of a natural look approach with trying to pull out a lot of details. I don’t remember exactly what I did but I did do quite a bit of processing within LR then moved it to Nik Color Efex Pro and added a couple of layers to bring out a lot of the detail. I also cropped it from all sides in order to remove any additional distracting points. For week 1 I only cropped to straighten but found the top left corner to still be a bit of a distraction. So for Weeks 2 and 3 one of my main goals has been to remove that part of the frame through cropping. I almost wanted to leave more of the bottom of the frame but it didn’t really seem to balance out very well like that so I cropped it up until it looked balanced. Now the real challenge will be Week 4 which I will have that post scheduled ahead of time as next weekend I plan on being on the hospital with my wife and new son.

For reference I have also included the original RAW and previous weeks photos below.

RAW

Week 1

February Week 2

Week 2

 

ONE FOUR CHALLENGE – February WEEK 2


February Week 2

Here is my second entry for this months One Four Challenge. Waiting a week between the first and second photo allowed me to jump in with a fresh start. Without looking at the previous photo for any drive I decided to head into this one thinking B&W with a little bit of a high key look to it. I didn’t do any color transitions as I wanted the white of the ice to really stand out. The white of the ice on the left of the frame was a bit overpowering though so I toned that down a little. I also cropped it from the top and bottom to make a panoramic looking photo. Now for the next one I may jump out of LR and use some of the Google Nik plugins to create something.

For reference I have also included the original RAW and first weeks photo below.

RAW

Week 1

 

One Four Challenge – February Week 1


Iced Pillars

I know how much some of you like my ice photos so I decided to use one I took recently for this month’s One Four Challenge hosted by Robyn G. When comparing the RAW and the first week’s edit you will notice right away the color difference. I decided that I wanted the ice to have more of a bluish turquoise look to it rather than the white. The way I did this was by using a feature in LR5 I have never used before. What I used was Split Toning. What this allows you to do is to set the Hue and Saturation for just the highlights or the shadows separately. I ended up setting the hue the same for both but applied a different amount of saturation for the highlights than I did for the shadows. It is something that I may play around with in the future, especially with photos with Ice.

I’m going to try and change it up a bit for this month. I haven’t done any other edits yet and am going to try for more dramatic differences between the photos rather than just creating a photo after I get to a certain point. This time around I’ll start from scratch to come up with something different.

 

Iced Pillars RAW

RAW

 

ONE FOUR CHALLENGE – January WEEK 4


Here is my fourth entry for the One Four Challenge for the month of January. For this version I decided to go B&W. For this take I went off of last weeks with a darker theme. I really like how this turned out in its B&W theme. I didn’t do much of anything different from last weeks version except lightened up the other items outside of the bucket a bit more. This time around I’m not going to include a poll to vote but if you’d like to say which one is your favorite then you are welcome to in the comments below. Now off to hunt for the next photo for next month.

For reference I have also included the original RAW and rest of the photos below.

RAW

Week 1 Processing

Week 2 Processing

Week 3 Processing

 

ONE FOUR CHALLENGE – January WEEK 3


Here is my third entry for the One Four Challenge for the month of January. For this version I decided to take more of an artistic approach. To give this photo even more mood and to make the pumpkins stand out even more I knew I need to start pushing the envelope and start thinking more extreme. I thought to myself, “What’s the least important part of the photo, the part that nobody will miss?”. The answer I came up with was the sky, the upper left part of the frame. I used the graduated tool to darken that part and have it gradually get lighter as it approached the lower right side of the frame. I also brightened up the pumpkins a bit while making the inside of the bucket just a tad darker. I did play around with lightening up the inside of the bucket to show a bit more detail but then it started to take some focus away from the pumpkins, which are the main attraction on this carnival ride. Also on that note I knew I had to give them a bit of extra oomph so I added just a tad of saturation back to just the pumpkins in the bucket while leaving all the other items a little more de-saturated. Think of it like a bit of de-saturated selective color.

I really like the way this version works as I am immediately drawn to the pumpkins. I then notice the detail of the straw which leads me to the edge of the wagon then along towards the background. I scan the other objects as my eye travels towards the sky and clouds and in my mind I can’t help but wonder if there is a storm coming. Looking between the RAW version and this version reminds me how powerful it is to work with RAW files vs. JPEGs.

For reference I have also included the original RAW and first weeks photo below.

RAW

Week 1 Processing

Week 2 Processing

ONE FOUR CHALLENGE – January WEEK 2


Here is my second entry for the One Four Challenge for the month of January. After the first file was processed I wanted to give it a go with more of a de-saturated look since I’ve been playing around with that lately. To get a more natural de-saturated look I ended up making the photo look a bit more under exposed to try and get it to have more of a mood to it. When I got to this point I decided to call it good but after staring at it for a few moments I decided that although it can hold it’s own, I wanted to take it a step further. For next weeks photo you will see more of an artistic approach to the de-saturated look than this one.

For reference I have also included the original RAW and first weeks photo below.

RAW

Week 1 Processing

One Four Challenge – January Week 1


Week 1

After sifting through many photos I finally decided to use this one for January’s One Four Challenge. For reference I have included the RAW version below. For this photo I did my normal processing edits where I’ll reduce the brightness in the sky the focus on making my main subject stand out more. As you can see in the RAW version the eye tends to want to go towards the top left of the frame from the brightness of the sky. The bucket is the darkest spot so for me at least it tends to keep my attention away from it. In order to reduce this effect I make the inside of the bucket a little brighter and boosted the saturation a bit to the pumpkins to make them stand out more. I also boosted the clarity and contrast a little to help strengthen the photo. This photo was also taken at 16mm so you can see a bit cut off around the photo on the edges. As with the last photo I have already created all of my photos in advance but through processing I kept going off each version to try and make it better. I can’t wait to show the rest of them in the coming weeks.

And to think I was going to scrap this photo as I couldn’t “see” anything in it until I started playing around with it a bit. Only then was I able to work with it and produce something out of it.

 

RAW

 

ONE FOUR CHALLENGE – DECEMBER WEEK 4


DSC_2183-2

Here is the final post for December’s One Four Challenge. I know this one may be a bit more high contrast B&W that some people like, but I like the effect that it gives. I want to work more on the high contrast photos where you get more bright areas and dark areas. What I did with this version was slightly crop it in from the right to get the edge of the flower closer to the edge of the frame. I then made sure that the background was completely under exposed so it was completely black. Then I wanted to up the brightness of the petals on the flowers to give them a sort of glowing/light effect as though they are providing light themselves.

I was able to get this look with just LR alone and did not need to export to Silver Efex at all. I was talking to another photographer and mentioned that I wasn’t able to get what I wanted out of LR for my B&W photos and explained what I wanted and he mentioned to play around with the white balance and colors and it would get me what I wanted. I took this into consideration for this photo and found out that it does work. As you know from last weeks post, I mostly got where that photo was by doing this technique then switching back to color to see what it would look like.

I’ve since been trying this technique with other photos when converting and I have to say that it is a good way of going about getting specific looks when converting to B&W. I hope you all have enjoyed the photos this month and like the previous weeks I have included the previous photos below and a poll at the bottom so you can vote for which version you like the most. I have also decided to link each photo to it’s original post so you can see them a little bigger with just a click if you want. Now off to look forward to Christmas and look for next month’s photo to use for this challenge!

DSC_2183-3

Week 3 Processing

Week 2 Processing

Week 2 Processing

Week 1 Processing

Week 1 Processing

RAW

RAW