AB Friday Forum – Week 38…

I was in LA this week and I had the opportunity to go to Manhattan Beach.  Along Manhattan Beach is a walkway where you can bring your dog, it’s called The Strand.  My dog and I were taking a rest and looking out at the ocean when I started noticing airplanes from LAX in the clouds.  I took several photos but I liked the composition of this one with the lamp, unfortunately there isn’t a plane in this photo.  So I took a plane from one of the other photos and added it to this one.  Now this photo has a plane and a bird. 🙂

Without further ado, this week’s AB Friday submission (click to enlarge)…

150223_NAT_016-gimp_LR1000-wmKind thoughts and comments are welcome!

For a tutorial explaining how I got to this version, keep reading…

*** Please don’t hate me because the weather is so nice!  According to WIRED.com, we are having unseasonably warm weather (10-15 °F) while the East Coast is having unseasonably cold weather (10-15 °F)…

Personally, I’m worried that such a warm winter will lead to a VERY hot summer. :/

Go find out what everyone else did this week for AB Friday Forum here.

I have joined ABFriday (after before Friday), it is a forum hosted by Stacy at Visual Venturing. This week’s forum can be seen here.

Every Friday Stacy showcases after/before photos we’ve submitted. Then, if we choose, we can tell how we did it on our own blogs.

How To…

I didn’t have to do very much to this photo, which is a nice change around here.  Unfortunately, I forgot to save my image as a .xcf (GIMP format) so I don’t have the layers file like I normally would, so I have to explain from memory.

1. First I brought this photo up in UFRaw…


2. I increased the exposure, adjusted the curves manually creating an s-curve, added some contrast and saturation, and auto adjusted the black point (Walkthrough of UFRaw, UFRaw Adjustments).  Which gave me this…


3. I imported this image from UFRaw to GIMP, then saved it as a .tif file.

4. Once in GIMP I straightened the horizon line and the lamp by using the Rotate Tool and the Perspective Tool.  Then I cropped off the edges that were now askew.

5. Then I duplicated that layer and went to Colors->Hue-Saturation where I adjusted the master levels (overlap set to 100%) of color for Saturation (about 40) and then reduced the Lightness of Cyan (about -20).


6. Then I opened up one of my images with a airplane over the clouds (after making adjustments in UFRaw) as a layer, File->Open as Layers.  I lined up the horizon line and then shifted the airplane to an open part of the clouds, added a mask and painted the airplane into my image…


which gave me my final image. 🙂


The airplane is a little hard to see at this resolution, so I have circled it in the slideshow…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Until next time…

19 thoughts on “AB Friday Forum – Week 38…

  1. Great work. The intensity of the colors is warm and inviting. Love that plane, too. I just wish we could see your work in a larger format!

  2. Ah, Malibu and Manhattan Beach!! Just awesome. As for the bright blue sky, lucky you – perhaps the haze one always hears about is only visible from afar 😉 Love what you did, and yes, while I did have problems seeing the plane, I got a good chuckle out of you circling it in your slideshow 🙂 Thanks for letting us beleaguered East Coasters enjoy the West Coast warmth and sun that you captured so beautifully, Nic! (P.S. Getting closer to California – about 4 hours away!!)

    • Thanks so much, Stacy! Have fun in LA! It looks like it will be raining this week so you won’t get to see these blue skies. :/

      Perhaps since I was in Manhattan Beach, near the ocean, I don’t see the haze/smog that LA is known for… maybe that is in the more inland areas around Hollywood? My husband has been told that the haze/smog has gotten much better over the years because of all the measures that have been taken to reduce it.

      Another thing I found interesting when I moved to SoCal from the DC area was that the mudslides, earthquakes, and fires don’t seem as prevelent and obnoxious as they seemed on the news when I didn’t live here, if that makes since. Or perhaps you just get used to an area’s natural disasters and it becomes less scary… when I lived in the plains of Texas, tornatos were just something you got used to.

      • Thanks, Nic! With the prospect of my daughter living in SoCal, hearing that the natural disasters we all associate with the area aren’t as big a deal as we think is REALLy good to hear! So thanks for that 😀

        • From what I remember, the smog and haze is mostly in the valley and in Los Angeles proper, nowhere near the beaches. Enjoy your visit there!

          • Emilio, I think you are right, I should have said the valley or more inland, rather than more populated. Manhattan Beach is plenty populated. 😛

    • Thanks, Lore! I was hesitant to use this image since the East Coast is having so much snow, I didn’t want it to seem like I was taunting anyone. Looks like Zagreb has had some cold days too… brrrrr.

  3. Great job, love the improvements in the clouds (am very fond of chunky interesting clouds) and nice addition of the plane.

    Its usually a monitor thing but your blue sky was REALLY REALLY quite bright blue on both of mine – you second image above felt a bit more natural in the sky tone.

    • Thanks, Stacey! I really liked the clouds too. Oddly there wasn’t a cloud in the sky above me, only over those hills in the distance. Which is why I focused my attention to the hills because the sky was rather boring elsewhere. 🙂

      So it was a really bright and blue day. The real color might be somewhere between the UFRAw adjustment image and the final, the UFRaw adjustment image is still a little too grey. Even though it is February, it was more like a summer day and it was around noon when I took this so the sun was high and bright. When I visited LA last May for a week, I actually got a migraine everyday even though I was wearing sunglasses, it was soooooo much brighter there than in San Diego. Where I live in San Diego I get the marine layer and clouds fairly often. I ended up buying a pair of polarized lenses and now I can handle the LA sun. So yes, it is pretty bright and blue in LA, especially with a cloudless sky (except over those hills) at high noon! 😛

    • Thanks, Ben! I wanted to have a more colorful image after last month’s One-Four Challenge. The skies in LA are so bright and blue! 🙂 Yeah the plane is a little small, but with a higher resolution it is easier to see, unfortunately at 500px it gets really tiny.

    • Thanks, Mary! I know the airplane was kinda small, in reality the airplane is probably 10 miles away and who knows how many miles in the air… plus my lens was 40mm, rather than a zoom so there’s that. The 500px image really shrank it down too, the image when you click on it shows the airplane much better. If you are curious, the hills on the horizon is Malibu and I was sitting on a bench in Manhattan Beach near the pier. 🙂

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