2017 Week 10 Theme...My Vision

by Russell Smith March. 07, 2017 1410 views

First things first. Thank you to Ben Mckechnie for allowing these images to be edited by everyone that wants to participate. I must admit It felt strange to me to edit someone elses pictures. I found it almost not natural or like I was doing something wrong. Edits of a picture to me are like grand maw's chicken soup. There are 100,000 different recipes and everyone knows their grand maw's recipe is the best . With that in mind I decided to jump in and give this a whirl. I cannot speak for anyone else so I will speak for my thoughts. When I sit down to edit I have a feel for the day or the trip. I have emotions or experiences  tied to the pictures from the shoot so I try to convey what I saw and felt while I was at the location. I did not realize how much of that process went into my work flow until I did this. I looked at the images and drew a blank . I started moving sliders around looked and said nope and reset the image. Something is wrong. I put it to the side and did some futzing around the house. I came back and sat down. I looked at the pictures and thought why am I having a hard time.  It is because I was not there I am missing smells tastes feelings. I realized for me how important that is to me or at least at this point in my journey how important it is. My next thing is Consistency . I want it to look similar . I can struggle with this . I am getting more consistent with my editing style but I am not consistent across the board yet.  I have learned in the past year what I like for edits and how to reproduce that look but I also look at images on websites and think I want to try this so off on an editing tangent I go. I guess this is somewhat normal I do not know for sure I know it is normal for me.  Anywho enough of my rambles I will post the pictures and a why I chose the style.

Edit 1

Edit 1 : I struggled with this picture . I like the original comp but parts of it I did not like for my taste . Limiting  myself to lightroom (per the challenge) was a large challenge. I could have moved to Photoshop and removed a few of the things like the ashtray . I liked the bright greens of the sign but some of the other colors I did not like. Decided on a tighter crop although a bit tigher than I wanted but because of my lack of skills/luck with lightrooms clone tool I went tighter. I did add a slightly yellowish cast and a blueish cast to the shadows I wanted something that in my mind evoked an older time but at the same time a cool hip place. I am not convinced that I was able to get that look nailed but this is close to what I had in my mind. (I am curious to see if anyone did anything with the reflections in the window).

Edit 2

Edit 2 : I seriously wanted to move this image to Nik Silver for post processing but did not . I wanted a slight sepia look to the image and while this got close I know I could have done a better job of realizing my vision in the Nik Silver Effects program. On a side note I seriously want to go to the location this was taken.

Edit 3

Edit 4: I wanted to do this in a color but I could not do it in a way that did not (in my mind ) distract from this lovely lady. So I went with a black and white. I did add a bit of a blue tone to the picture to try and get it closer to what I remember from shooting black and white film.

Edit 4

Edit 4: Another one I struggled with. I was missing some information . I was missing smells, feelings, I was missing the experience of being there.  I like the newer bridge in contrast to the older style boat . That is the part of the image I focused on. I wanted the picture to have an older vintage feel . Seeing as I was missing the experience of being there I wanted something that felt almost like an old forgotten or near forgotten memory.

Edit 5

Edit 5: This picture has added another place to my bucket list. The colors and life in this picture told me color it has to be color and I have to try to do the color justice. I did not like the power lines at the bottom of the picture so I tried to crop in a manor that did not mess with the over all lines and flow of the picture.

I do thank the photographer/s for allowing their work to be edited by complete strangers. I do admit I am nervous about posting this because edits can be as subjective as the process of taking a picture. My mind says what if the soul taking the pictures looks at these and thinks wtf is this guy thinking he is ruining my vision. I know that is part of my insecurity by posting this I do take that chance but by not posting this I take 0 chance and I have 0 opportunity to grow. I do look forward to any feedback on things you would have done differently or things you like in the edit (any questions on how I did something just ask I will do my best to answer) and I look forward to seeing the posts on how you did it . 1 major thing I learned was how much being connected to the experience means to me in the post processing. A lesson I would not have learned right now if I did not have this opportunity. I hope your day is or did go well and thank you for taking a few moments of your time to spend with me as I learn and grow.

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There are 8 comments , add yours!
Jill Bahm 3 years, 8 months ago

This was a fun challenge - I agree that we were missing out on the other senses involved in creating the image. I really like what you did with #5 - the city just explodes with color!

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Jill Bahm 3 years, 8 months ago

It looks like such an amazing place that is full of life . I was thinking how lucky Ben was when he got to witness that scene and thankful he captured it for others to see.

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Joe Zink 3 years, 8 months ago

Edit 4 is exactly what I had in mind for this photo...and you did a really nice job with this!

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Joe Zink 3 years, 8 months ago

Thank you .

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Ben Mckechnie 3 years, 8 months ago

Hey Russell! Well done for this. I really enjoyed reading your explanations. The first thing I'd say is if you don't like a tint on a raw file, it's easily fixed. Since shooting raw means you don't have to worry about white balance in-camera, you can play with the white balance and change it to your tastes in Lightroom. Much better than you could if editing a JPEG. Also, you can try desaturating a particular color in the HSL / Color / B& W tab on the right in Develop mode. For example, raw file is too orange, you can work on toning it down without desaturating the entire image. You're so right about missing smells, sights, sounds. Having no knowledge of what it was like to be there really makes it difficult to post-process another photographer's photos.
Cheers, Ben. PS. They're all my photos. The statue you like was taken in Okunoin Cemetery on Mt. Koya in Japan's Wakayama prefecture (near Osaka). You should definitely go, it's one of my favorite places on Earth.

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Ben Mckechnie 3 years, 8 months ago


I was having a mental block the day I edited the first picture and could not get the colors the way I saw them in my head . I think honestly I was fixating on that green on the sign and was set on a image in my mind that I could not produce using just lightroom . It is one of those times I would shelve the photo for a week or 2 and come back to it . I do appreciate the tips .
I don't know if you do this but sometimes I will compose an image with a particular edit in mind before I take the shot.

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Stephanie Hyde 3 years, 8 months ago

I really enjoyed your edits and reading about your thought process on these. I hope to be able to edit a few others too as I found it fun to do.

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Stephanie Hyde 3 years, 8 months ago

I agree it was fun and I find it interesting the different directions that; we as artists; can go with using the same canvas and tools .

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
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