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July #One Four Challenge – Finale

Here we are, at the end of July One Four Challenge and it is time to present our final edits for this month.

From the start I had all intentions to do one monochrome edit, but it just didn’t look interesting enough. Another idea was to do totally crazy edit in this last week. That didn’t work either.

So, I went back to Week 1, which I liked the best and played around to see what else was there. My Week 1 crop was accidental, but this week I carefully applied the rule of thirds. If you compare week 1 and week 4, I think you can see the difference, it is a small adjustment, but it makes a significant improvement.
JulyOneFour4After that, my focus shifted on colors. I really wanted to make her/him bursting with colors, but as I increased temperature and saturation, the image started to look too loud. That’s when I imported the image into FotoSketcher and started playing with different settings. My heart settled on this soft “oil-painting” version, where I reined in my wild imagination and applied the softest touch. By adding the texture, somehow the entire image just settled down.

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So, tell me…which version is your favorite? Would you do something different?

August is our “summer break” month, there will be no new OFC posts. Some people will revisit some of their old edits, some will take a break. We’ll be back in full force in September. In the mean time, you are welcome to check the tag “onefourchallenge” in your WP Reader and Robyn’s blog Captivate Me.

Have a nice time for the rest of the summer!

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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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The Italian Job

It’s been awhile since I used my favorite Orton effect. It is a feature in PixlrExpress that I got addicted to. But it doesn’t work every time, so I really needed to be careful not to slap it on every image I was editing.

Oh, happy days! It worked on this one, so my addiction was fed one more time.

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I like the softness it gives, almost like a velvet, it feels to me like the walls would be smooth and soft to my touch. Strange, I know…but try living in my head for a minute. I dare you.

I took my time taking images of this building, until I realized it was the bank and the guards were looking strange at me. Maybe they thought I was preparing for The Italian Job? 😀

As you should all know by now, Monochrome Madness is a weekly challenge hosted by Leanne Cole on her blog Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY. If you’d like to participate or browse through the amazing gallery, be sure to check it.

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July #One Four Challenge – Week 3

It seems this month’s One Four Challenge is all about compositions. It became obvious how I really don’t think too much when I look through the lens. I concentrate on finding the subject, but then I just don’t take that one step back and let myself find the right composition.

Post-processing can in small measure help fixing that problem and I am trying to demonstrate that this month. Take this week…I stumbled upon this version after five or six different tries, quite accidentally. And I was surprised how good it looked (compositionally it looks good, but the quality of the image up close is not to my liking). This  is not something I would do when taking an image. That is one of my biggest problems, front central subjects without much consideration about the composition.

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I am still too self-aware, not able to lose myself completely. I remember the day I took this image, I was surrounded by too many people, Castello Sforzesco being a main tourist attraction. I wish I just set down in front of that cat and took my time. But I rushed because she was ready to leave any second, too many people made her uncomfortable. That cost me the quality of the image and that is something post-processing can’t really fix. Another lesson learned.

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As always, be so kind and check other OFC participants by checking the tag “onefourchallenge” in your WP Reader and Robyn’s blog Captivate Me.

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Bicycles!

After too many tries, I finally managed to capture this image to my liking. Every time I see a row of bicycles, I stop and take a photo. When I come home, I just don’t like it. But, this one works for me. I suspect it is because of the background. The truck, the scooter, people walking by, cobblestone street… it all comes together nicely.

I rarely do street photography, but sometimes I think I should give it a try more often.

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Monochrome Madness is a weekly challenge hosted by Leanne Cole on her blog Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY. If you’d like to participate or browse through the amazing gallery, be sure to check it.

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July #One Four Challenge – Week 2

Last week my focus was the cat. Hence the tight crop and adjusting the colors and exposure. This week the exercise was the overall placement of the main object in the frame. I wanted to explore how to connect the background with the object, trying to build the composition that would serve the purpose to the story I have in my mind. I know this all sounds too complicated, but it is quite simple.

The image was taken in the courtyard of Castello Sforzeco, one of the most beautiful and important historical landmarks of Milan. My first edit was just about the cat and she could be anywhere in the world, the background is just that…the background. In this edit I wanted to make the background an actual stage…looking at the image, you see the cat sitting on the steps and you are wondering where that is.

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If I was seeing it for the first time, I would guess it was taken in some historical place, probably Mediterranean, on a lazy summer afternoon. I am curious to know if my exercise worked for you? I think there are many elements of the image we forget to look for, concentrating on improving the obvious things. And I think I did that in my first edit, so I was looking for those other elements, little things that actually tell the story. And you know me, it is all about the story. And flipping the image. 😉

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As always, be so kind and check other OFC participants by checking the tag “onefourchallenge” in your WP Reader and Robyn’s blog Captivate Me.

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Blinded

Sometimes it is hard to find the words to express how one feels. It is out of reach, this emotion you try to describe, the magic of the moment and the place. And sometimes you manage to do that with an image.

The softness and the glow reflect my love for this place and for that particular moment. I fell in love there and then…I fell in love again…I fell in love with life.

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Monochrome Madness is a weekly challenge hosted by Leanne Cole on her blog Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY. If you’d like to participate or browse through the amazing gallery, be sure to check it.

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July #One Four Challenge – Week 1

Last month was almost too easy, I knew which image I would choose and I had an easy job editing it. This month I presented myself with another challenge, but I always try to offer something new. Hence the cat.

I took this image on my trip to Milan, in the inner court of Castello Sforzesco. She was claiming her spot in the sun, ignoring me…and giving me a side way glance now and then, like she was trying to say: Disappear, you puny human.

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This was a very basic edit, just a bit of cropping and adjusting the exposure and temperature. I am curious to see where I will end up by week 4.

I have few more images of the same cat, I was following her around. Or she was following me, who knows. I really need to find some time to go through all my images from that trip.

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So, this is my first week of this month’s One Four Challenge. As always, be so kind and check other OFC participants by checking the tag “onefourchallenge” in your WP Reader and Robyn’s blog Captivate Me.

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Quiet Times

I am finishing a big project relating to my job, so I am utterly spent and tired. Hope it will all be over in two weeks and I will be back in full force. For now I am sharing my Monochrome Madness entry for this week. Just a little quiet spot in Milan’s Parco Sempione, where I used to sit and observe life.

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Leanne Cole’s weekly challenge Monochrome Madness is featured on her blog Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY. Be so kind and check images from other participants.

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June #One Four Challenge – Finale

Where did the time go…again? I feel as if I blinked and the 4th Monday jumped at me. This month was such a fun, it just goes to show how important picking the right image is. I had fun with every edit, which is not something that I can brag about often.

I went “cinematic” with all four versions. Thor, Hulk, Film Noir…and this last one is my King Kong version.

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I played a lot in FotoSketcher, trying different settings in vintage photo option. Once I was done there, I imported the image in Pixlr and played around with contrast and brightness. There, I stumbled upon the stickers and found this little plane, which gave me the idea of King Kong. So, I tweaked it a little bit more, added some texture and the frame.

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I know weeks 1&2 are favorites, but I must confess I like all the versions. Hope you take your time and vote.

Well, that is it for this month. Until we meet again, be so kind and check other OFC participants by checking the tag “onefourchallenge” in your WP Reader and Robyn’s blog Captivate Me.