AB Friday Forum – Week 45

For four years I ran a food blog*.  Often times I was tweaking someone else’s recipe to fit my dietary lifestyle, but even my own recipes were seldom followed to the letter by me, and I would often post retweaked recipes.  Basically, any time I make a recipe I am constantly trying to improve it.  Sometimes it is based on new information, other times it is because I felt that last time it needed something else, other times it is pure whimsy on my part to make oddball changes.

This tweak and retweak mentality is something that I do in most aspects of my life, which includes photo post-processing.  What I implement one day, may get reworked in another image the next day.  I’m on constant ‘improve’ mode.

Last Friday, I showed you how I tried out some blending of grungy and hdr effects.  This week I tried to do that to a few images, but of course I didn’t follow my own recipe to the letter, because that’s just not what I do.  This image reminds me of watching your grandmother cook and then asking her for the recipe.  Her response being, “a little bit of this, a little bit of that.”

I’m not even going to try to make a tutorial this week… I already know no one will try it… it has waaaaay to many steps.  I’m not even going to try repeat what I did here on another image.  I do like the outcome, and everything I did is something I’ve talked about before.  So maybe I’ll just create an outline with links or something.  I did my raw edits in UFraw, and all the other edits in GIMP**.

Anyway, I was playing around with a few images from March 2013.  It was an early cloudy morning.  I went to the beach for a class assignment and I took a few shots of the surfers.  I managed to catch one of them falling off the surfboard.  And maybe it’s just my sense of humor (slap-stick), but I find it really amusing.  Hopefully you do too.  I stuck around for a bit, and as far as I know, all the surfers were fine after their falls.  By the way, if you don’t know, the Pacific Ocean is a bit chilly, surfers tend to wear wetsuits.

Without further ado, my After…





Kind thoughts and comments are welcome!

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 Overview


Frightened?  Yeah, me too.  The days it would take to write up that tutorial! Eep.


Ok, it’s not really that bad.  I just kept tweaking the heck out of this thing because I felt the colors were dingy.  Then I had to deal the the reality of over-processing causing noise.  So I tried out a new filter in the G’MIC plug-in.

  1. I did some raw edits in UFRaw, very much like I explained here.
  2. Next I played around with the G’MIC filter Color Grading, I talked about this a little bit last week.
  3. Then I did the faux hdr effect, and reduced the opacity to 50% (last week’s tutorial).
  4. Then the grungy effect (last week’s tutorial).
  5. I felt it was too dark, so I made some curves adjustments.
  6. Then freaky details, and reduced the opacity to 35% (last week’s tutorial).
  7. High pass filter (last week’s tutorial).
  8. Still too dark, levels adjustment – blend mode set to overlay, opacity 35%
  9. Felt the wave crests were too blue, desaturated the image set the blend mode to dodge, opacity to 12%
  10. Realized I had a noise problem, G’MIC plug-in filter Iain’s Noise Reduction, opacity 50%.
  11. Felt that I had pulled out too much color from the sky, added a split-tone Highlights – hue 38, opacity 17%
  12. Felt that the ocean needed a boost of color, added a split-tone Shadows – hue 185, opacity 25% (split-tone tutorial).
  13. I then took my dog for a walk.  Because I had been staring at this thing for hours.

I waited a few hours before coming back to it.  That evening I showed my husband this image and another image and asked which set he liked, with the caveat that he could say he didn’t like any of them.  He actually like both the before and after of this one, and couldn’t decide which he liked better.  He also liked the after of the other image I had him look at.  Ultimately the silly image won of the two sets.

The other image was of a flock of pelicans (image taken two days before)…

Told you it was ‘a little bit of this, a little bit of that’. 😉

Until next time…

*My journey into the blog world started out in June 2009 with a food blog, which is were I found a love of photography.  I created this blog in June 2013 to focus on photography.

** GIMP is Open Source software that is available for all platforms (Linux, Mac, and Windows), it is a photo editor that does many (if not all) of the things you can do in Photoshop. You can download it for free here. The GIMP online manual can be found here.


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12 thoughts on “AB Friday Forum – Week 45

  1. The sharpness of the sky does not bother me at all, though I understand what Ben is saying. It’s just a great shot and pulls one right in. The color tweaking is also well done.

  2. Okay, I am so with you on the “a little bit of this, a little bit of that” and retweaking with fresh eyes. I have had some monster edits myself – usually those in 1PF, where I find it easier to got out on creative limbs 😉

    You did a great job with the color and I love the just-barely-there shafts of sunlight in the sky. As for Ben’s comment about wishing the sky were a bit softer, I can see his point, though the legs-in-the-air certainly are funny enough to draw my eye in immediately 🙂 Like you, I have a crazy sense of humor, so I appreciate your choice this week – LOL!

    • Heehee, I’m so glad you liked the funny wipe-out too! 😀 Thanks for your kind words, I did spend a lot of time trying to add focus and sharpness to the surfer and board with contrast and everything else I did. So it is good to know that even though the sky and distance should be a bit softer that the focus is where I want it. Thanks, Stacy. 😀

  3. I like the way the process brings out the details in sea and sky, also the colour correction of the sea helps as well.
    Although I like the detail I do wish the sky was soft adding more depth to the image and leaving the focus on the bailing surfer.

    • Thanks, Ben! You are right, I was trying to bring so much focus/sharpness to the surfer and the wave crests, that I forgot to make sure the things far away remained less sharp.

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