October One Photo Focus – Summertime An’ The Livin’ Is Easy

First Friday of October is here, meaning it is time for another edition of One Photo Focus. For new faces with question marks above their heads, all of us merry people edit one and the same image and share it with the world on the first Friday of the month.

For this month we were lucky enough to edit this lovely image from Michelle Lunato. I think it is a gorgeous image, reminding me of those beautiful summer afternoons, when the sun is just as it is supposed to be, nice and mellow.
Michelle Lunato October One Photo Focus

This month I decided to share all the steps, which I usually skip (because I forget to save mid-steps 🙂 ). My first step was to up clarity and sharpness, which worked nicely. Next was adjusting saturation and temperature.Michelle Lunato October One Photo Focus1

I liked the warmer tones, but it was overall too yellowish. So, I used gradient filter. Actually I used two, light blue and pink, which gave me what I wanted, improvement on the sky and especially toning down of the sun reflection in the water. Also, I cleaned up that bottom left part of the image, I just didn’t like those little foam patches.Michelle Lunato October One Photo Focus2

When I achieved the overall clearer, but softer looking image, I stepped away. Taking my own advice, I returned the next day. In my last month’s One Four Challenge journey, I experimented with the Dodge/Burn tool and I liked how you can manipulate the image. So, this time I used the Dodge tool and lightened some parts, the main building, the stretch of the beach on the right of the building, boats and even those buildings and that beautiful tree in the far background. Also, upon observing the image, I noticed how I missed that little flair/spot near the sun, so I removed it.Michelle Lunato October One Photo Focus3
Finally, we arrive at the end of my editing process. Again, I stepped away and returned after few hours. Looking at my previous edit, I decided it was too dark, for a shade or two, so that way my last adjustment, fine tuning the exposure. Oh, and I cropped it at the bottom. So, I guess that way my last adjustment. 🙂
Loré Dombaj ABF61 Michelle Lunato October One Photo FocusI am curious to know what you think about my editing process. See, I can learn new things and work more seriously…I know, I am shocked as you are. 🙂 All jokes aside, I am very pleased with Michelle’s image, it was a real joy working on it.

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As always, you can check works from other participants on Stacy’s blog Visual Venturing and checking tags ABFriday and OnePhotoFocus in your Reader.

One last thing – as of last month we changed the host for our other ABFriday challenge, where we edit our own images. Ben graciously stepped up and is doing a wonderful job. I would love if we could see more faces there, our numbers dropped and I am not happy about it. I know sometimes all this blogging is too much, but if you could dedicate at least one more Friday every month to our little community, that would be awesome. First Friday of the month is reserved for One Photo Focus, but other Fridays are open for your own images. It doesn’t have to be all Fridays or always the same Friday, just remember that we are there and we care. 🙂



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.


February ABF One Photo Focus

On this month’s One Photo Focus 25 photographers are sharing their post-processing interpretations of one “before” image submitted by Manal Ali of A Single Shutter.

When I finish editing a certain image, I think to myself: Not bad, not bad at all. And that works well when I am the only one editing that image. But when other 24 people post their versions of the same image, then I think to myself: Oh my, I really failed this time.
Loré Dombaj ABF35 OPF

It started promising. Using GIMP, I straightened the image and that worked well. Adjusting the exposure and colors was another easy part, I knew from the start I wanted to have a very colorful image. But then came the hard part – dealing with the sky. I tried many different things, ending up with this version. The sky was still overblown, so I added the texture to tone it down. I don’t like it, but sometimes you just have to let it go.

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Next month our merry old band works on my image, which I still have to choose. It is a daunting task and it gives me far less pleasure than I thought it would. But, I’ll figure it out.

In the mean time, if you’d like to join us in ABF’s One Photo Focus or our regular shenanigans, you need to hop over to Stacy Fischer’s blog Visual Venturing, where you can check all the details and other versions of this same image. Looking through the gallery, I am blown away by some of the other versions, especially Ben’s from Aperture64. What an imagination.

Hope you have a great weekend.