View Full Version : Before & After #180

25th of April 2009 (Sat), 12:42
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::::::::::::::::::: Special Note Here ::::::::::::::::::::

I’m going to try an experiment with this round, by posting a high resolution source file
along with the 1024 sized image. I’ve found that working with the 1024 images, there’s
already a fair amount of compression and artifacting – and I think we’ll get some nicer
results in these contests if a larger file is made available. Tinypic only allows up to
a 1600 pixel file size, but it’s simply more to work with.

I’m going to post the high resolution file as a LINK ONLY (and others should follow suit)
if people like this idea. We can discuss it once commenting is open.

People submitting their Before and After entries, will still be constrained to submitting
an image no larger than 1024 pixels on the long side.

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This game is to help those of us who are trying to learn new tricks when it comes to editing.

Here's the breakdown of the game. I will post a picture that I choose, resized to exactly 1024 pixels maximum on the long side. Outside of being resized it has to be unedited...meaning no adjustments to any levels, it has to look like it did as it came out of the camera. As an option, a high resolution file may be made available for editing as LINK ONLY, and your final submission to the contest may not exceed 1024 pixels on the long side.

The game will last 72hrs and whoever can produce the best edited image (as judged by me) will be picked and it'll be their turn to post their unedited picture for all of us to take a crack at.

The participants must have their "Image Editing OK" turned on and they must provide at least a simple breakdown of how they edited the image, some entrants are a little vague on this point, please give us all details so we can learn and share tips. For instance if you use the unsharp mask tool or Smart Sharpen, provide us with the adjustments you used so others can try them out.

You can post multiple images, but the first image you post will be the one that is judged - all other images will be considered for knowledge and tip use only.

Also, please keep all comments, be they positive or negative, to yourself until after the game has ended.

If you happen to be the winner of the game please start the next one with the title of the game and the following number. For example…the next game should read "Before & After #181".

This is all about having fun so have at it!!!

This round will end Tuesday April 28th at 1:00 pm EST (USA)

Female leopard resting after a kill, Timbavati game preserve, Dec 1st 2008. Work your magic on her!


http://i43.tinypic.com/28qx6af.jpg (1600 x 1067 Image). Reminder, your entry MUST be no larger than 1024 pixels on one side!

25th of April 2009 (Sat), 13:27
Guess I'll go first :-)

3:2 crop, levels, selected leopard and applied some local contrast with curves, very light vignete


25th of April 2009 (Sat), 13:28

CS2 - dead bunny layer, blood layer, levels, curves x'2, contrast/sharpening, channel mixer, selective sharpening, random burning, background blur, desaturated 'sponge' bunny a little ,crop & resize


25th of April 2009 (Sat), 16:14

Saturated: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green


Quickmask selected around the leopard

25th of April 2009 (Sat), 18:40

Okay, into LR2:

5 copies at 2 stop increments, run through photomatix
Adjust exposure, fill light, blacks, clarity, vibrance, and pulled down the yellows a tad

Into CS4

Dodged the wood limbs
Cloned out the feather
Selected eyes and turned em green
Copied layer, multiply mode, and painted in tongue and eyes
Color Adjustment in LAB
Duplicate layer in multiply mode, punched a hold for vignette with 150 px feathered rectangular marquee
Sharpen with a medium action

25th of April 2009 (Sat), 19:48
urggh..my computer just randomly shut down..so lost my masterpiece.. here is a quick edit... LR2- cropped,upped vibrance, down saturation..adjust green and orange/yellow in H/S/L.. dark vignette..oh and bumped clarity/ sharpened.

25th of April 2009 (Sat), 19:54
Not an official submission since I'll be out of town for about a week by the time this ends, but wanted to play around anyway:

I didn't do a lot to it. Used a lot of selective color layers & masks to boost the colors that I wanted.
Two blurs at different angles for the background.
A little contrast and color work on the eyes.
Cloned out the stick near the neck and the most distracting leaf blade at the paws.


25th of April 2009 (Sat), 20:16
i wish i could've photographed the original, but here is my entry:


used lightroom,

white ballance
fill light
noise reduction
Vignetting, post and pre crop
Camera calibration (shadow tint, Red saturation, green hue and saturation, )
went back over exposure
went back over vignetting
Added brush tool strokes
Updated exposure
Added brush tool strokes
adjusted vignetting
added brush strokes

25th of April 2009 (Sat), 21:17
Yes I know mine might be not as creative but I wanted to bring out the natural beauty of the Leopard so here you go.

- Used Nik Vivera (my new favorite program) to bring out the colors and contrast
- Added a Cross Balance filter in Daylight to added a warmer tone to the photo
- Cropped
- blurred some of the background
- Darken/Lighten Filter to focus in on her more
- border


Rachel B
25th of April 2009 (Sat), 23:46
I only have photoshop elements 6,
Increased sharpness, contrast and saturation.
Selective Gaussian blur stronger amount further away from subject, lighter amount closer to subject.
Warming filter, contrast boost to tongue and eyes
finally a crop and border


26th of April 2009 (Sun), 04:03
I haven't played in a while...

Great image and it belongs on a magazine cover!
Opened the hi-res file with camera raw and saves as a TIFF
Cropped for vertical orientation
NIK Color Effex:
Darken/Lighten filter- two passes to highlight the leopard
Foliage filter- to enhance greens
Darken/Lighten filter- one more pass
Glamour Glow- 10% glow, 54% saturation
Canvas tool to create border.
Text tool to create titles


26th of April 2009 (Sun), 13:59
What a bunch of tough acts to follow...but heres my shot at it.

adjust color/adjust color curves/increase contrast
Nik Bi-color filter violet/pink#2
Nik graduated filter user defined 16% opacity, 37% v shift
Slight sharpen on cat


26th of April 2009 (Sun), 14:01
Man, this brought everyone and their mojo out of hiding, huh? This is gonna be a tough one to call!

27th of April 2009 (Mon), 01:39
Here's mine:

-3 duplicate multiply layers to reduce brightness
-brightness/contrast adjustment layer
-one more duplicate layer with hard light at very low opacity.
-minor sharpening
-vignette added
-resize and -save at poorer quality to fit back under 150K

27th of April 2009 (Mon), 11:08
... Just playing around. Here's what the inside of Ed's National Geographic looks like. Your picture made the cover and the center pic !!

1. Opened image in camera raw and adjusted exposure @ -4,-2,+2,+4 ev
2. Tonemapped in Photomatix
3. Burned & dodged a few places to increase contrast
4. Cloned out white paper/trash on ground
5. Split into left-half and right half
6. Applied gradient shadow @ "spine" edges
7. Applied gradient glare @ bend in pages
8. Warped to curve/bend pages
9. Merged left & right halves
10. Copied & adjusted colors for added pages
11. Added offset shadow


27th of April 2009 (Mon), 16:41
Ran through ReDynamix using default settings and up brightness a tad.
Used clone tool to remove distracting log right of leopard.
A lot of touching up w\dodge-n-burn
Used Nik color efex pro sunshine filter
Lastly I used Nik darken lighten center to bring out the leopard.


28th of April 2009 (Tue), 12:50

Conversion in Color Efex to B&W
Center light
Soft Gold Reflector
Billboard from BIG Huge Labs

28th of April 2009 (Tue), 15:58
Wow, What a Fabulous Turn Out For This Competition!

Maybe supplying the high resolution source file, made a difference. I’m hoping that’s a trend that will continue, as I think it can only make these competitions more exciting. Feel free to discuss.

Ok, on to the Judging:

I was cringing this morning as I opened the page, actually praying that there wouldn’t be any further entries. It was a ridiculously, insanely, impossible task to judge this round. The entries submitted were simply stellar, and there wasn’t one in the bunch that I didn’t like. Since you have all worked so hard to deliver these masterpieces, you deserve a through critique in return. Though I scrolled up and down through the entries multiple times taking notes, I ultimately decided to paste them all into a single large .psd file (measuring almost 4000 x 4000) so that I could look at them side by side. Short of printing them out, and laying them all on the dining room table for comparison, I thought that this was the most efficient way to view them. The resulting (and reduced image) is below for your enjoyment.

Comments, based on the order the entries appeared:

Monty: Nice. I like it when the adjustments are simple and clean (something I can never seem to do). The 3:2 ratio crop and local contrast touches are splendid.

Lore: Please tell you didn’t kill those cute little bunnies in your backyard! It’s a pretty convincing edit, but maybe a small bit of blur on the dead bunny was needed. The blood looks a little off, but doing liquids is REALLY hard in my humble opinion. You were also the first person to convert the landscape to a portrait (another reason we need these larger source-file sizes). Good job - as you always do!

Masterwillems: Interesting choice with the blur, and I like the direction you were headed with this. It looks like you need a few more adjustments to make that leopard really pop though.

Mattograph: Really excellent editing choices here, and it’s wildly vibrant (almost a touch too far in fact). Out of all the entries, you really got the eyes to stand out (I was hoping someone would try that). The tongue really stands out too. A great entry.

Brennasg: Another good one, and the photo almost has an “aged” feel to it, circa 1965 or so. It’s just a hair over-sharpened, but otherwise a great edit!

TheSonOfDarwin (Justin): Great work cloning out the stick, and I was waiting for someone to give that a spin. It was that one little distraction that I didn’t like. You did some crazy choices with the color, and it really leaps right off the page. The yellow is just little bit to far over the top for my tastes. Otherwise, I love it!

Bigcountry: I wish you could have photographed the original as well. They are really magnificent animals, and it’s AMAZING to see an animal that only weighs 200 lbs pull a 200 lb impala up a tree. They don’t drag it up inch by inch, but literally run right up the trunk with it to a high branch. It’s like watching the Bruce Lee of predators. Anyhow, I digress. A simply lovely edit. The contrast, saturation, sharpening, and color balance are spot-on, and the darkened background is superb.

BitterSweet (Tracey): Your edits are always a treat when I see them – and this was excellent work. The cross balance you added really does add that warmer tone, and the darken/lighten filter really puts an A+ polish on the photo. Wonderful entry.

Rachelsne: A very nice entry, and you were possibly the only person that didn’t play with the color balance very much – and that takes restraint. The blurred edge (also done with restraint) is a great way to center up the subject. Bravo!

Dilorenzo (Ed): Man do you know how to butter up a judge :) ! I would die and go to heaven if a picture of mine ended up in the advertising section of National Geographic, much less the cover! I love the “See ‘Show Me What You’ve Got’ Winners at the bottom. Had you gone with: “Is Your 40D Burst Rate Not Hitting 6.5 FPS?”, I would have had one of those coffee/spewing/keyboard moments. I like the edit, but what happened to the eyes? You certainly get the prize for most creative idea though!

MJA (Mike): Love this entry, and the sepia tone feel I get from it is unique. The sharpening you did was right on the money, and the Nik tweaks are spot on as well. The final product looks a tad flat, but again I like the feel that this entry evokes.

Tkbslc: Another nice one. I’m not sure why you felt you needed to stay under 150k, as everyone else (including my wasteful self) seems to regularly violate that rule. Never the less, your halo is glowing by not eating up Pekka’s bandwidth. A good reminder for us all to make a donation (Donate (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/donate.php)). Love the darkening you did for this, and it almost comes across as a day for night shot (or twilight effect) when I look at this. The sharpening is quite good too. Would love to have seen your larger version.

SilverHCIC: Really cool effect, and it instantly comes across as an “Out Of Bounds’ style edit. That’s a tough warp to pull off, and you ran it right down the middle of the leopard – amazing. The gradient glare on the pages is quite convincing. The only thing that breaks the illusion is the pages underneath, otherwise great work! By the way, that wasn’t trash on the ground – it was a feather I think (we were miles away from anything civilized).

Frenchfx: Wow, you killed the entire log – and I can’t tell the difference. I really like the color changes you made with her, while still maintaining the lush green effect. I’m envious of your dodge and burn work. You were the only person daring enough to go for a square crop, and that’s something I admire. Terrific edit French.

Flo (Gail): Simply too funny! That leopard looks a long way from home though in the wilds of New England (or wherever it was taken). I’m not sure the B&W white works on the color background, but it sure is one heck of an interesting entry, and you made me smile!

And the Winner Is: Bigcountry.

If I had to pick an entry – print it, frame it, and hang it on my wall – that’s the one I would want. Nice work Big!

2nd place goes to Tracey, and 3rd to Frenchfx.

Great work everyone, and you are all to be commended! Now I need a martini. Whew.


28th of April 2009 (Tue), 16:26
WTG Big!! This was a fun one;)

OK, how did you do the final photo post! I love it!

28th of April 2009 (Tue), 16:57
Congrats to the "big" man.

And Chris, wow -- thanks for taking all that time to do a great evaluation.

Tough act to follow for the boy from Kentucky...... :)

28th of April 2009 (Tue), 17:09
Great edit Bigcountry!! Great edits everyone! I was stunned by the amount of entries. I'm sure this would have been tough to judge. Great judging and presentation Kendoway!

28th of April 2009 (Tue), 17:47
Congrats Bigcountry!!

Nice job Chris -- I think I would have thrown my hands up in the air and just gave up trying to judge all these!

28th of April 2009 (Tue), 17:54
Congrats Bigcountry!!

Nice job Chris -- I think I would have thrown my hands up in the air and just gave up trying to judge all these!

Lol.gone fishin eh Mister?:p

28th of April 2009 (Tue), 18:25
OK, how did you do the final photo post! I love it!

As I said up above, I posted every 1024 image into a huge 4000 x 4000 .psd file so that I could look over every entry with no name attached or descriptions to clutter things up. This also allowed me to use the magnifying glass. After picking my winners, I went back - added the names, and crushed all all of the entries down to 300 max on one side and added a neutral background. The ribbons are cheap/fast clipart.

There were simply too many to scroll through, and this workflow seemed like a good solution.

28th of April 2009 (Tue), 19:44
Great edits every one! Congrats bigcountry! Great choice Chris:D

Chris...about the eyes...I tried making them darker and more translucent and it actually looks good on my large file, but the compression and conversion hurt it a bit:confused: That bothered me too...

28th of April 2009 (Tue), 19:53
Congrats BigCountry. Awesome edits everyone.

28th of April 2009 (Tue), 20:19
Great turnout - nice edits everybody. :lol:

As far as the larger pic size - I think the original contest starter was following POTN rules with the 1024 original and hadn't thought of hotlinking to a larger size? If it catches on, I'm sure some people might have trouble with it. As long as everyone gets a crack at the same pixels, I don't mind.

Rachel B
28th of April 2009 (Tue), 22:13
congrats winners :) this was a fu one to keep track off

28th of April 2009 (Tue), 22:19
Congrats bigcountry, fantastic edit!

Great turnout everyone.

28th of April 2009 (Tue), 22:47
great edits and congrats BIG! great feedback and display kendoway!!
"Hey, that rhymes :-)"

29th of April 2009 (Wed), 00:56
Congrats BigCountry and all the others!! This was an outstanding turnout, and a lot of fun to play with!!

As far as the larger pic size - As long as everyone gets a crack at the same pixels, I don't mind.

I agree with MJA that image size is not critical, since all participants will play with the same original image. In fact, I think the more challenging images make the game more interesting!!