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A Failed Experiment

After-Before Friday is a weekly challenge hosted by Stacy Fischer on her blog Visual Venturing:
“After-Before Friday posts provide an opportunity for photographers (amateur and seasoned, alike) to share their photos, and if they wish, their post-processing decisions. The photos will provide a fun “wow” factor; the post-processing descriptions, the “how.” The goal is to enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at others’ work while picking up helpful ideas along the way that each of us can use as we work with our own photos.”
If you are interested in joining us, you can find all the details on her blog.

Peterskirche (English: St. Peter’s Church) is a Baroque Roman Catholic parish church in Vienna, Austria. The construction  begun around 1701. By 1722, most of the building was finished, and in 1733, the Peterskirche was finally consecrated to the Holy Trinity.

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After

The turreted dome was mainly designed by Matthias Steinl, who was also responsible for the interior decoration and the pews with their fabulous cherubic heads. The frescoes were originally painted by the famous Italian Andra Pozzo, whose paintings were removed after his death. As a result, in 1713, Johann Michale Rottmayr was able to start a completely new set. The fresco in the cupola represents the Coronation of Our Lady.

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Before

In all my ventures into the world of post-processing, I realized I mostly enjoy working on low-quality images. As in most things in my life, I like the challenge. That’s why this week I picked another image from my folder “discarded”. As you can see in the original image, it is out of focus, details are not very clear. I was wondering what to do, in which direction to go. I started with exposure, decreasing brightness and increasing shadows. The shadows seemed to accentuate some details more than the others, giving it overall a much dramatic look. Post-processing was done in PicMonkey.

To be honest, I don’t think there is much improvement in the “after” image. It just has a different atmosphere, a darker, fiery tone.  In the end, you need to have a quality “before image” to get a quality “after” image. There is only so much you can do in the post-processing.

But to quote Richard Buckminster Fuller: “There is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes.”

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8 thoughts on “A Failed Experiment

  1. I would agree with your conclusion, although the original does have potential I think the image just needs a light touch. The after image does have a lomo quality to it.

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  2. Seems you, me, and Ben are all in agreement here, Loré. I actually liked the lighter tones of the before image, despite the focus being a bit soft. I would have perhaps gone the other direction with it and begun by opening up the shadows and desaturating it to begin with, and then played with exposure and contrast. Isn’t it interesting how two people can look at the same image and go in two different directions 🙂 I might have even given black and white a whirl to see how it looked. Oftentimes, by doing this, I’ll instantly see that it wasn’t a photo based in good photographic principles and discard it. (I’m not saying that about yours at all, by the way, just that b&w conversion helps me see a photo better if I’m having trouble with it.)

    So, I love the quote at the end – so true. And we can’t learn without trying! Thanks, as always, for supporting ABFriday 🙂

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    • I was playing around with this photo so much and when I got to that final “after” image, it struck me I might post it so people can see how you can do things in a wrong way. Hence the title “A Failed Experiment”. I like ABF cause that’s the place where I can do different things week after week and I can get an honest feedback and input on what other possibilites are. I too believe that light touch is what this image needs, but it wouldn’t do much, because the image is too blurry.
      Also, I believe I reached the outer limit of PicMonkey and PixlrExpress, there is not much you can do with those. I’ll try to explore Gimp some more, maybe it will take me a step closer to Photoshop/Lightroom possiblities.
      Anyway, thank you for your comment, it was worth to post a crapy photo. 😀

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