Last weekend, I shuttled a group of kids to Little Grassy Lake for a church youth retreat. Of course, I had to take a little time to wander the grounds, and take a few pictures (here and here). Same as I did last year. So, this year we got to the camp just a few minutes before a storm was to blow through. The light was pretty even and flat, no harsh shadows (even though it was mid-day). So I hustled to grab a few shots before the storm.
Anyway, the image above turned out reasonably OK, but not until there was a LOT of tweaking. Below is the original SOOC (stright-out-of-camera) version:
So, what did I do? Well, I don't usually track my workflow real carefully, but this is close:
- Try to fix the exposure: Duplicate layer, set blend to multiply, drop opacity until it looks optimum. This is a cool tool, think I learned it from a Scott Kelby book.
- Flatten layers
- Fine tune levels.
- Crop to 4x6 aspect ratio. Just because I generally prefer 4x6, unless there's a reason not to...
- Create a new layer for effects
- Apply Topaz - Impression filter. I'm pretty confident I used the "Edward Hopper I" preset.
- Apply Topaz - Simplify filter. I used the BuzSim preset, but tweaked the Simplify function way down, (<0 .10="" li="" nbsp="">
- Adjust colors. I selectively dropped Reds (to de-emphasize the dead leaves) and boosted the yellow a little, to make those leaves "pop"
- Resize for publishing (I usually use 1024 px on the wide side for 365project.org).
- Flatten and save. 0>
Sounds like a lot, but not really. Maybe 10 - 15 minutes of time. I'll spend that much easily dialing in a B&W conversion.