One Four Challenge – December Week 1…

I thought I would join a month-long photo post-processing challenge called One Four Challenge, hosted by Robyn at Captivate Me.  “This challenge is about processing 1 image in 4 different ways over 4 weeks.”  Every Monday Robyn posts a new version of her photo and challenges us to do the same each week.

I have ideas for this week and possibly next week… but then I’m going to have to really get creative – which is the whole point of the challenge!

The first thing I wanted to try was to apply a grungy high-contrast technique to a photo.  I haven’t applied a grungy-look to a photo in quite some time and had to refer to one of my books (Scott Kelby’s Photoshop CS5 Book for Digital Photographers) to see how it was done.  Then I applied that technique to six photos.  I really liked four… but I needed to narrow it down to one…

Oddly, the cutest, cuddly photo looks really good grunged up.  Photos have a way of surprising you.

high contrast - one four dec challenge
The grungy high-contrast really brought out the textures of everything.  I really like it.

If you’d like to know how I did it… see tutorial below.

Grungy High-Contrast Tutorial using Photoshop

I found this technique in Scott Kelby’s Photoshop for Digital Photographers (both CS5 and CS6), if you have a newer version of Photoshop it’s probably covered in his newest edition as well.

I followed the directions from the CS5 book even though I’m running CS6… I was able to navigate the minor changes with no problem.

  1. Open your photo in Photoshop and create a copy of your background image (Ctrl-J ).  1
  2. Change the blend mode of the new layer (layer 1 ) to Vivid Light.2
  3. Next invert layer 1 (Ctrl-i ). 2-3
  4. Then, go to Filter->Blur->Surface Blur. 3
  5. Change both the Radius and Threshold to 40, click OK.  This will take a few minutes to process.  4
  6. Create a merged copy of all the layers (Ctrl-Alt-Shift-E), which will create a new layer (layer 2).  Delete layer 1 … we don’t need it anymore.5
  7. Change the blend mode of the merged layer (layer 2) to Overlay. 6
  8. Now go to Image->Adjustments->Shadows/Highlights7
  9. Click the ‘show more options’ checkbox to see more.  8
  10. Change the Shadows Amount to 0. Now drag the Midtone Contrast slider to the right… the farther right you drag it the sharper your image gets, don’t set it too far, if you plan to add more sharpening later.  Click OK.   9
  11. Now Flatten the image by using the Layers panel fly-out menu (circled in red). 9-10
  12. To add a vignette… go to Filter->Lens Correction.11
  13. Click on the custom tab, in the Vignette section drag the Amount slider to -100, then set the Midpoint slider to adjust how far into the center the vignette goes. Click OK.  12

And that’s it, you’ve added a grungy high-contrast to your photo.

I then added a high pass filter to sharpen the photo a bit more, but that is a step I do to every photo. Let me know in the comments if you’d like a tutorial on that as well.

Until next time…

20 thoughts on “One Four Challenge – December Week 1…

  1. What’s not to love about this image, she’s adorable. I’m amazed how well the grunge works and thanks for the step by step through CS5 it’s all the little hidden areas of the program that have me befuddled and you make this very clear, thank you. Looking forward to what you do next week.

    • lens addiction,
      Thanks! I’m glad you like it. I’m looking forward to playing around with more post processing. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  2. Hi Nic – Welcome aboard the One Four challenge!!
    I think your cute cuddly guy looks wonderful all grunged up.. Brings out all the textures. Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial – very generous of you!! 😃

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