September #One Four Challenge – Finale

…or what I like to call “What I’ve learned this month”.

At the beginning of the month I explained how I wanted to go back to my very first after/before image that I submitted to Stacy’s ABF Forum in June 2014. My intention was to see how much I’ve learned in the last year.

Week 1 is my edit from the last year and when I see it today, I cringe a little. Which is ok, because that means only one thing, right? My skills improved big time!

 Week 1

Week 1

Not so quick…although it is true I know more to recognize that this was a bad edit, that doesn’t mean much. Why? Because I know what I want to do, but I don’t know how to do it. Week 2 is a great example for this, with my unsuccessful merge of two images.

 Week 2

Week 2

As I am too lazy to finally learn how to properly do layers in GIMP, I went the other way and imported my own cloud image as a texture through PicMonkey. The problem is that the texture goes over the original image, so the clouds looked great in the water reflection, but not so good over the statues and the trees. But what I like about Week 2 is that I didn’t ruin the original image, it looks smooth and the statues are relatively sharp.

In week 3, I continued to work on the merge of two images and was slightly more succesful.

 Week 3

Week 3

I managed to clean the statues, but I made a horrible job on the trees. At this point I need to remind you this is a scan of a paper photo, so there were some visible lines at the corners of the trees. I tried to mask that by darkening those parts, but I lost the character of the trees, all that is left is this black wall. And what about the hue of the statues? They look like a highschool girl who used a face powder for the first time. In this case, orange is not the new black.

So I said to myself: You can do it. Just work a little bit harder and put more time and effort into your last edit. You’ll see, it will turn out great.”

SeptemberOneFour4Few things…Firstly, when you do a project like this one, four edits over four weeks and you want to combine two images into one, remember which freaking images you used the first time! I used different cloud image on all the edits, because I couldn’t remember which one I used the week before. I mean, seriously…who does that?

Secondly, always take at least two days to edit an image. Trust me, don’t trust your self with one day. Last night I thought I was a genius for creating this magnificent edit. Today, I opened up the image and said: What the #%&$? I managed to fix few things here and there, but this is far from that beautiful edit I was seeing last night. Which brings me to my third point/thing/whatever…

Stop. There is only so much you can do. That’s what went wrong with the last edit. I was sharpening, softening, burning, darkening, lightning, contouring, shadowing…no wonder my eyes were so confused. Don’t get me wrong, there are parts I like. I think the trees look best of all edits, the clouds are great, the water was never an issue…but I ruined the statues with my tinkering. No big deal, just the central piece of the image.

My favorite edit would be the smoothness of week 2 combined with the statues of week 3 (in a different color of orange) combined with everything else from week 4.

There is a right way to do this. Ok, there are two right ways to do this. 😛 The best way would be if there actually were clouds when I took this image. Beautiful blue sky with fluffy white clouds, just waiting there, because they knew I was there. Alas, as with all things in life, I ended up with this version. Ok, there are more than two right ways to do this. One more way is not to choose a paper scan for editing, go digital. Make your life easier. Finally, learn how to use editing programs. Don’t do this half-way, backward thing I am doing.  Find on-line tutorials, buy a book, ask your fellow bloggers…Learn!!! Be sure to learn new things the proper way.

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For all of you that will jump to my defense and say I am too harsh on myself…I am counting on you, people!!! My ego needs you.

bestThat’s it for this edition of One Four Challenge. October is closing in so fast and as usual, I have no idea what to do. Maybe I should challenge myself to finally learn doing all the crazy things you people do so effortlessly…

GKBVDAJUQlCcR5EuyipM_Dog No Fetch

Or not…At least I have this gif thing working for me. :)

Remember, you are welcome to joins us in our weekly fun or just be so kind and check other OFC participants by checking the tag “onefourchallenge” in your WP Reader and Robyn’s blog Captivate Me.

21 thoughts on “September #One Four Challenge – Finale

  1. You’re being too harsh on yourself! You’ve done a good job with a tricky image. 🙂 As I mentioned last week, I wouldn’t know where to start with combining images… Having said that, I’m thinking of trying that with my October image. Eek! I’ll be taking your points of advice to heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That would be great, I hope you try it. Although my post sounds a bit frustrating, I enjoyed this month. There is always something new to learn. I am thinking of doing something similar for October, but with a better original image. And this time I would try to do it the right way and maybe share my experience. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Emilio Pasquale says:

    Actually, I don’t think you’re being too harsh on yourself. I think it’s just about the right amount of harshness. When you say it took you 4 weeks to get to your final image, I’m assuming you’re like me and didn’t sit there for 4 weeks straight trying to merge two images. Probably closer to 8 days- if that. So what makes you think you could do this in 8 days? Merge two images seamlessly? It takes time, patience, and lots of you tube videos. I think you did a great job, both in the attempt and in recognizing what you need more help with. I’d love to be able to assist, but GIMP is a mystery to me. I could do this in Perfect Effects, and I know it can be done in Photoshop, too. But both those are beyond my skill set. Good luck next month and don’t be so harsh on yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I think think you’re way too harsh on yourself, but I have to say there are times when I understand how you are feeling about what I am doing. Honestly I think we all do at some point.
    I think you raise some very good points. Something I learned and really agree with, is to walk away and come back to ‘see afresh with different eyes’. It really helps.
    This week is actually my favrourite of all of your edits for Sept. This clouds give a feeling of the greatness of the sky and also create visual perspective (for me). Possibly a bit smaller, but I love it anyway. I also like the cooler tone and the way you’ve opened up the shadows. Perfect or not, I think your intention is clear this week. It’s always interesting following your progress, seeing what you are experimenting with. Please don’t stop.
    What software are you using now? Do you have LR or PS at this point? If not, do try some GIMP tutes. I know it’s tricky, but if you can get your head around this, it will definitely help with the others when/if the time comes.
    ..and yes please. Do ask.. anytime! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your words of encouragement, Robyn. My ego thanks you, too. 😛
      I am still using PicMonkey and PixlrExpress with a touch of GIMP here and there. Every month I say I will start with LR and PS, but I still need to transfer my stuff from old PC to my new notebook. I thought I would do all that on my vacation, but the first day I woke up with serious back pain, so had to spend my vacation resting.
      Hoping to resolve all that in near future. But that will mean there will be no more excuses for my laziness.


  4. I agree that you’re being overly harsh on yourself. These are all very nice, each one appealing in its own way. I agree that the cloud reflections need to be aligned better. But the clouds themselves are very nice. Colors and tones are nice all round. Everything is a learning experience. Good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lensaddiction says:

    Yup learning to use the tools you have to achieve the outcome you want is actually a lot of effort sometimes, depending on how complicated the thing you want to do is. But the more often you use them, the easier it becomes. So Im going to agree with you, stop being lazy and do the work 🙂

    I laughed at your clouds thing, I wouldn’t have noticed they were different in the sky and the reflection if I hadn’t read it, and I liked the colour tones of this week and the slightly softer focus was, I assumed, artistic licence 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Loré you did a fine job! I like your reflections on your process this week. And I have to agree, stepping back and letting an image sit for a while after you have edited it is a really good habit to get into. I like the combination of your week 3 colouring and your week 4 details!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the perspective of this image to begin!! Good work Lore- I’m not sure if there is a right or a wrong way I just go with feeling and intuition sometimes technicalities be damned!! I love the warmth of this edit but week 2 called strongly with it’s water colour clouds and the charioteer rising up out of the water!! There is a myth taking form here.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have never even attempted to merge 2 images because I know how hard it would be to make it look perfect- I have watched many tutorials on it!! I am now much more trying to get as much right in the photo and do less editing…it is way more fun to be out photographing than sitting in front of a computer.. I would never have noticed the difference in the clouds in the sky and in the reflection or the overlay of the clouds on the statue!!

    Liked by 1 person

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