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Autumn Is My Favorite Season

It truly is.

I love cooler days, pleasant warmth of the sun, beautiful colors, the abundance of nature’s products…True, it is raining today, but I like even that…Coming home to my favorite blanket and book, reading while the rain beats on my windows.

For this week’s ABF Forum, I decided to work on this image. I took it on my usual stroll with Berta, down by the river. I could see there was so much richness hidden in it and I was right.

Loré Dombaj ABF61 before

It needed so little work, for a great result. Although I saw it from the start, still I was surprised with the golden tones and the glow.

I imported the image into PicMonkey, used Orton and tilted it a bit, to give it more dynamic look. Easy peasy!

Loré Dombaj ABF61 after

Please, join us in this fun challenge, we would love to see more faces. If you are new to the AfterBeforeFriday Forum, hop over to Ben’s blog Aperature64. There you will find all the info you need and all our images in one place.

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We Can Make This World Beautiful

Another Friday, another ABF Forum. This is our second week in our new home, Ben’s Aperature64. It is warm and cozy, with free cookies and hot chocolate, so do not hesitate to join us.

 Before

Before

For this week I decided to show the before of an image I published last month, as a part of the post about animals in Milan.  With the help of my editing programs I cleaned this little patch of nature, exposing the beauty that lies beneath.

 After

After

Since this is a public park and I was just a visitor, I didn’t feel comfortable enough to actually do something about it. When I came back to Zagreb, I cleaned up a part of abandoned public space behind my building and I am planing to do it again and plant some flowers for spring. Neighbours usually look at me like I am crazy, some congratulate me, some smile, but in thirty years that  I am  doing it, not once any of them joined me. But that will not discourage me in my efforts to make at least one corner of this planet beautiful.

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If you are new to the AfterBeforeFriday Forum, hop over to Ben’s blog Aperature64. There you will find all the info you need and all our images in one place.

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And Then There Was After

It always surprises me how things work out. Last week I said my goodbyes to ABF Forum, due to Stacy’s inability to continue hosting this challenge. But, by the grace of our dear fellow blogger Benjamin Rowe of Aperature64, we are back in the saddle.

Berta and I made a new friend this summer. We spent our weekend mornings by the river, sitting on a new wooden dock, enjoying the sun. This little duck decided to check us out, so she swam close by, wondering what strange creatures we are. First time I had a 18-55 mm lens, so the images were not great. But the next weekend I brought a 75-300 and got much better results.

Loré Dombaj ABF59 after

The editing was very simple, a tighter crop and small adjustments of colors and exposure. I used focal soften effect to make the water a little bit misty. The green in the water is a reflection of a railway bridge above, I am very happy how it turned out. It has a warm, summery feel, just like it really was. After few rainy days, the ducks are gone. Who knows if our little friend will come back to us.

If you are new to the AfterBeforeFriday Forum, hop over to Ben’s blog Aperature64. There you will find all the info you need and all our images in one place.I am very curious to see how many old friends will gather around at the new place. Hoping for some familiar faces and some fresh ones.

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September One Photo Focus – The Times They Are a-Changin’

By now my One Photo Focus entries can be described simply – If it’s not crazy, it’s not mine. 😛

But there is a logical explanation to my craziness. If you participate or follow this challenge, you’ve seen other versions. Crisp, clean, magnificent…and I am not on that level. Yet. So, to make my own mark in the sea of excellence, I go big. I go bold.
startrek-boldlygo
I was very disappointed when Stacy revealed Ben’s image for this month. I wanted it to be a bug!!!!! But to be honest, this is another of those great images, the composition is very interesting and offers many possibilities.

I knew I would go for panorama, the pull was irresistable. As I played with exposure and colors, I got some good results. But it was missing that “wow” or at least “ah” factor.  In a pure stroke of genius (who am I kidding), I slided brightness to minimum and it was there. Something I could work with. It was so much easier when sky was all I had to play with.

Once I started on that crazy road, it was so natural to add my little bicycle gentleman. I am dreading Ben’s reaction to my artistic freedom. 😀

Loré Dombaj ABF58 OPFI don’t know if this will be to anyone’s taste, but I love it. And as I learned long time ago, most of the time that is what really matters. Besides, it reminds me of a promo for Downton Abbey. Shoot, I should have done just that, add an upside-down mirror version of the castle! 💡

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The original is an image of Pendennis Castle, on the west side of the estuary of the River Fal, near Falmouth in Cornwall. Together with St Mawes Castle its companion fort on the opposite east bank, it was built by King Henry VIII between 1539 and 1545 to guard the entrance to River and to defend Carrick Roads from the perceived French and Spanish threat of naval attack.[2] The castle comprises a simple round tower and gatehouse enclosed by a lower curtain wall. It is now in the ownership of English Heritage.

Pendennis Castle was built as one of a chain of forts running along the coast of the southern half of Great Britain from Hull in the east to Milford Haven in the west. The building programme was in response to the threat of invasion by the French and Spanish, following the rejection of the Roman Catholic religion by King Henry VIII and the adoption of Protestantism at the Reformation. The Pope had asked the catholic kings of France and Spain to invade England to perform a restoration of the Catholic faith. The English were aware that the French and Spanish were familiar with the strategic area of the Carrick Roads, perhaps as an anchorage from which to launch a land invasion, having had a naval battle there shortly before, and knew it to be largely unprotected. It thus appeared urgent to Henry that defences were required.

Pendennis Castle played an important role in the Civil War and was the last Royalist position to be held in the Westcountry and was the last Royal castle to fall in England. A Royalist garrison withstood there a five-month siege (March 1646 to 17 August 1646) from Parliamentarian forces before surrendering with honour. The Parliamentarian forces attacked the castle from both land and sea, when the Royalist garrison at Pendennis, largely formed of Cornishmen was under the command of the 70-year-old John VII Arundel (1576-1654) of Trerice. Pendennis was the third from the last stronghold, before Raglan Castle and Harlech Castle, to hold out for the Royalists. About 1,000 men, women and children survived the 155-day siege at the castle before being forced to surrender due to of starvation. Previously it had given sanctuary to Queen Henrietta Maria, and the Prince of Wales (the future King Charles II), before their escape to France.

OnePhoto Focus Ben Pendennis Castle                           Ben's original image

In other news, we are ending our AfterBeforeFridayForum, where each of us edited our own images and posted before and after versions on Stacy’s blog. Our dear Stacy, who brought us all together in the most amazing way, will not be able to host that part of the challenge and we all support her in her decision.

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I must confess I am a little heartbroken, because I met so many wonderful people, learned amazing things, tested the waters with my first posts on this blog. But the truth is, the challenge ran its course and grew into something even bigger and better, this great One Photo Focus.  So, there is no escape from me, at least once a month.

x2P.S. Now that I figured out I can incorporate gifs in my blog, there is no end to my craziness. What took me so long???

You can check works from other participants on Stacy’s blog Visual Venturing.

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ABFriday Week 57/September One Photo Focus Reveal

abfriday-one-photo-focus

Mwahahaha!!!! I tricked you all, my minions! From now on I am the one and only host of After Before Friday Forum!!!

Ok, ok…just this Friday. Our Mom Stacy is  enjoying some family time, so we are temporarily gathered here. There will be a post from Stacy with all the usual stuff and one big reveal – September One Photo Focus Reveal. It will be one from Benjamin Rowe of Aperture64 and I do hope it’s a bug. 😛 For all the details check her blog Visual Venturing.

Moving on to this week’s ABF submissions.

Submitted by Michelle Lunato  Michelle Lunato Photography
Submitted by Emilio Pasquale  Photos by Emilio

Emilio says:
The original image was taken during our 3 year wedding anniversary spent on the Queen Mary, which has been moored in Long Beach Harbor (California) since 1967.

Submitted by Lynne Ayers  Beyond the Brush Photography
Submitted by Katie Prior Drawing with Light

Katie says:
Big thanks to Loré this week for taking on the responsibility of the ABForum whilst Stacy takes a well-earned break. Continuing with my experimenting with Photoshop, I have been playing at turning a photo into a sketch. See my post for more details.

Submitted by Robin Kent  PhotographybyKent
Submitted by Loré Dombaj  Snow's Fissures and Fractures

I say 😛 :
I just wanted the image to look more vibrant and shiny. So, I polished it a little, cropped more tightly and adjusted exposure and colors. Nothing fancy, I liked this image from the beginning, hence modest editing.

That’s it folks for this edition of ABF Forum. Be sure to visit every participant and say something nice. 😉 Thank you all who sent their images, visited, left comments or cookies…Next gathering is on September 4, over at Stacy’s Visual Venturing.

Have a nice weekend!

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August One Photo Focus – Persuasion

Hello again! Another One Photo Focus is here and our WP feed will be swamped with so many versions of Katie Prior’s image of the Cobb.

As soon as I saw Katie’s image I was reminded of Persuasion, a movie version of Jane Austen’s book. There is a scene or two where the characters are taking a walk on the Cobb. I wonder if it is the same one, in Lyme Regis.

Loré Dombaj ABF56 OPF

What to say about the editing process? Obvious things – flipping, removing those poor people (how positively cruel 😛 ) and tinkering with the hue. I settled on this color choice, because it was so different from the original.

After months of really lazy approach to editing, I returned to GIMP for this one. Go me… 🙂

As always, other crazy participants of OPF gathered around our hostess Stacy on her blog Visual Venturing.

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The Remains of the Day

And I am back!

I know you missed me like crazy. 😛 It is good to be back in the world of ABF, I must confess I missed this little gathering of ours.

What to say about this week’s edit? This is an image from my vacation in Italy, from my favorite place for the afternoon rest. It is the end of the Parco Sempione, where the Castello Sforzesco begins. Berta and I spent many hours walking around the park and resting on the benches right at this spot.

Loré Dombaj ABF55 beforeIn this edit I wanted to bring the image closer to the memory of that sunny afternoon, when the sun was playing game of shadows on the walls of the Castello. The original is rather bland, so I played with the colors and the exposure, until I got what I wanted. As I said it on Stacy’s blog, I used one of my tricks and it wasn’t flipping. 🙂 I stretched the image horizontally, for about 15%. I don’t know, it looks better this way. It is funny how the stretching changed the angle of the image.

Loré Dombaj ABF55 after

As usual, all my editing was done in PicMonkey.

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Now, hop over to Stacy’s Visual Venturing to check what other crazy people did to their image and what is the image we are collectively going to ruin for our August One Photo Focus.

As always, have a fabulous weekend…hopefully running around with your cameras.

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Sweet Dreams

It is always interesting to choose an image for ABF Fridays. This one I knew I would feature here, the moment I took the image.

I hope my cousin wont get mad for publishing this photo without his written consent. 😀 But it is such adorable image, I couldn’t help it. I managed to sneak up on them one afternoon while they were resting. Apparently , not on Berta.
Loré Dombaj ABF53 after
Not too much effort in this edit, my biggest intervention was to remove a speck of dust on Berta’s head. Everything else was just tweaking and adjusting to get this dreamy effect.

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There are some changes to ABF Fridays, we are featuring One Photo Focus on the first Friday of the month and After Before Forum on the third Friday of the month. So, we cut back to give ourselves some time to breathe over the summer. And to get out and take more image. Please, hop over to Stacy’s blog Visual Venturing to check out other after/befores.

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What Comes After Before?

I came across Stacy’s blog through Monochrome Madness Challenge. It seems it all runs in circles, but I was lucky enough to jump into a good circle, with so many wonderful people. I joined her AfterBeforeFriday Forum around 7th or 8th week, but nevertheless I celebrate this one year anniversary with all my heart. Six months ago, we implemented One Focus Photo feature and it has been a huge success.

So, we have two anniversaries today – One year of ABF Friday and Six months of OFP. It is only fitting to mark it with one of Stacy’s photos. When I saw the photo, I knew it would be a monochrome version. Seems I am not alone, if you check the gallery on her blog, quite few of the participants went the same route.

Loré Dombaj ABF52 OPFI call this image “Low Winter Sun”, although I had no idea what season it really was. I was right, because the image was taken this February. Stacy presented us with quite a challenge, because of the contrast between those dark and light parts. It was hard to find a balance, but the monochrome just whispered to me in the right way. And naturally, I had to flip the image.

Please, hop to Stacy’s blog Visual Venturing and see how it’s really done.

I leave you with some of my favorite afters from the first year of AfterBeforeFriday and hope there are many more to come.

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After Before or Before After?

I was wondering what would be my theme for this week’s ABF. As it is probably noticeable by now, I like to do different things, various approaches, question what I know or think I know.

To me, ABF was never a place to just show my “before” and the best version of “after”, but the place where I can brainstorm all of my ideas, learn many new things and get the feedback. I admit, it hit me harder than I anticipated, the first time I got a critique. Fortunately, I got over it very quickly and today I can laugh at that. Sensitive little flower. 😛

My point is, although this is a virtual world composed of bytes and pixels, this is my favorite place to hang around.

Ok, enough of all  that mushy mushy stuff…moving on to this week’s subject.

Loré Dombaj ABF46 before

It happens once in a million, but there are images I really like how they were taken originally. This is one of them. For the sake of argument, I played around and posted the best “after” version. Still, I prefer the original.

I don’t know how many of you know this, but I don’t actually own a camera. My best friend buys cameras and rarely uses them (I could strangle her 😛 ), so I manage to borrow the equipment from her.

I took this image last October, when I was visiting our local flea market, with my friend’s Canon EOS 500D. I was so exited, because I used it for the first time. As I was already participating in ABF and Leanne’s MMC, I tested my acquired knowledge. I remembered Stacy’s post about shooting from the hip, so I spent the entire morning just clicking without actually looking through the eye of the camera. I had a blast!
Loré Dombaj ABF46 afterI think that is way I like the “before” image so much. For the first time I realized I could take a quality image and not just pretend to know what I am doing. I am sure someone else could edit this image in way that would blow my mind, but I couldn’t get any “after” that I liked more.

My lesson for this week – what is better, after before or before after, it is all in the eye of the beholder.

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I will not participate in May One Photo Focus and probably all May ABFs, because I will be on my vacation and traveling. That will not stop me from following what all of you will be doing, so keep up the good work and have fun.

Please, be so kind and check other wonderful entries on Stacy’s blog Visual Venturing.

xoxo