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Monochrome Madness: Tips On Processing

Clint in B&W

Monochrome Madness: Tips On Processing

Monochrome Madness has reached its 22nd week and is still full of surprises and diversity! Thank you to Leanne Cole and Laura Macky for bringing us all together.

I wanted to talk about the processing that went into creating my image for this weeks challenge. I spotted this beautiful horse, a show jumper called Clint, at the Elm Lane Stables where young Mylie was competing in her first show.

He was braying for my attention and I couldn’t resist! Such beautiful lines and markings, he reminded me so much of some of the horses that I used to love painting and sketching.

His pasture was elevated from my position which enabled me to get a great base image of his profile against the sky from which I could work on to get the look I wanted.

 

Pre-edit

I imported my original image into Lightroom to get all my levels, hues, saturation and contrast right. I also cleaned up the foreground, removing the strands of grass and thistle with the cloning tool.

First edit in Lightroom

I really like this edit, it’s soft and natural. However, I really wanted to get the look of a pencil or charcoal drawing. I tried a monochrome edit in the Nik Software plugin but I wasn’t happy with the results this time. I just couldn’t quite get the detail right!

Nik Software edit

At this stage I imported my first Lightroom edit into Photoshop CC to make use of some of my customisable Action Pre-sets and brush tools. I was able to isolate my subject using the wand and selection tools to get a crisp white background. I managed to achieve a really punchy, vibrant edit, reminiscent of a pastel drawing, which I accentuated using the smudge and blur tools.

Final Colour Edit

I then used the Greater Than Gatsby Timeless Black and White Action, with a few custom tweaks for my Monochrome Madness image. Really happy with it and I hope you like it too! Here’s a gallery to show the evolution from start to finish.

 

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Blue Monday: Macaw

SONY DSC

Blue Monday: Macaw

We came across this Blue and Gold Macaw, along with a number of other parrots, in a large, shaded square in the centre of Rhodes Old Town. Now, I’m always a bit uncertain about the use of such intelligent, long-lived and sensitive birds within the tourist trade but this group did seem to be pretty healthy and well cared for. They weren’t being mobbed by tourists nor were neither handlers pushing them at people. What’s your view on this practice and have you ever paid to have your photo taken with an exotic animal whilst on holiday?

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

Sparrows feeding on sunflowers

Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

Haiku: Contained

Dying sunflower
Repository of food
Tasty treats for all

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Back Home & Back To Work

Flower Girl

We’re back in the UK from our Greek Island travels and straight back to work! Sometimes my work really is an absolute pleasure though 🙂

Sorry to have been neglecting you all but I’ll be doing my best to catch up properly when I’m a little less busy!