One-Four Challenge: October Week Four

Here’s my final October edit for Robyn’s One-Four Challenge. My main aim for this month was to learn how to layer images to create a composite. I also wanted to build up to a really spooky image for the final week. I’m feeling quite happy with everything I’ve achieved but I’d love to know what everyone else thinks!

Week Four Edit

Week Four Edit

This week I began by opening the original image in Photoshop where I gave it the same crop as week two’s edit. Next I found a picture in my archives that I could crop down to show only the eyes – one of the very rare pictures of me! I gave this a black and white gradient map before copying it into the main image. I reduced its opacity to 20% and used the eraser tool to blend it into the background. I then added a violet, green and orange gradient map with a 40% opacity.

I then took the image into Camera Raw where I  increased contrast, clarity, blacks and shadows by a lot. Highlights and whites were also given a slight boost but I mainly wanted to give the image a more menacing feel.

Next I returned to Photoshop where I added a textured layer that I found on I lay this over the lower two thirds of the image with a hard light blend at 10% opacity and I used the eraser tool to fade its edges into the background. I then finished off by extending the canvas with a dark green fill to create a border.

As it’s week four it’s time to include a poll so you can all let me know which of the four edits you liked best. Here are all the edits together for comparison:

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And here’s the poll:

As those of you who also follow my writing posts may already know I’m joining in with NaNoWriMo during November so unfortunately won’t be taking part in with the One Four Challenge. The only posts I’m likely to be doing are the occasional writing update and some Wordless Wedsnesday. Hopefully I’ll be back for the review month in December but that depends on how engrossed I am in editing! If I haven’t managed to make my way over to your posts this month, I apologise – I’m trying to get the whole novel thoroughly planned before November!



One-Four Challenge: October Week Three

Here’s my October week three edit for Robyn’s One-Four Challenge.

Week Three Edit 3

I’ve been playing around with this week’s image so much that I’m really not sure what steps I took to reach the final version – but I’ll try to remember as best I can!

I began with the week one edit which I opened in Camera Raw where I increased both contrast and clarity by quite a lot. A number of other sliders also moved, but I’m not sure which or by how much.

I then took the image into Photoshop Elements 13 where I added a black and white gradient map. This was then shifted into the reddish tones using the smart brush (which I’d never used before) on the ‘spooky’ setting.

Next I added a texture layer that I found here. Using the eraser tool I removed the texture from the spider web, bokeh and from some areas of the gravestones. I also faded it slightly in other areas. The opacity of the layer was then reduced. I might have also changed the blend mode. I then repeated the whole process with the texture layer reversed.

The next addition was a few spiders. As someone with a severe case of arachnophobia this was not a pleasant process! Even looking at pictures of spiders makes my skin crawl. I found two different spiders on Pixabay that I copied and pasted into the image several times, changing their sizes, orientation and opacity to suit. Several different blend modes were tried out, though I’m not sure which ones I actually used. As they all still looked a little too sharp I used the blur tool to soften their edges.

Whilst I’m not completely satisfied with this week’s edit (the spiders just don’t look right), I am glad I managed to create the composite image I’ve been wanting to for this month – even though it took me most of the week just to work out how to do it! I’m already looking forward to trying out some of the ideas I have for next week.

Here is the original image and all the edits together for comparison:

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One-Four Challenge: October Week Two

It’s time for my October week two edit for Robyn’s One-Four Challenge. This week I wanted to focus on the spiderweb and bokeh. I also wanted to give the image a slightly a magical or spooky appearance. Hopefully I succeeded.

Week Two Edit

Week Two Edit

To create this week’s version I first opened the image in Photoshop Elements 13 where I cropped it and added a black and white gradient map. I then took it into Camera Raw where I made these changes:

Temperature -23 (to give it a bluish tone)
Tint +6
Contrast +57
Shadows +23
Whites +36
Blacks +12
Clarity -32
Luminance 42
Luminance detail 96

To finish off I returned it to Photoshop where I overlaid it with a soft light fill layer at an opacity of 13%.

Whilst I’m really happy with this week’s edit I had actually intended to create an image using blended layers. Unfortunately, I just don’t seem to be able to get the knack of it! Very few of the online tutorials seem to apply to Photoshop Elements 13 and very little I tried seemed to work as I wanted it to. Grr. Maybe I’m just too much of a perfectionist to accept my meager attempts… Hopefully over this week I’ll be able to spend more time working on it and by next week I’ll actually have something worth sharing.

Here’s the original image and my week one edit for comparison:


One-Four Challenge: October Week One

It’s now October and so time for a new image for Robyn’s One-Four Challenge. I took this image just last week when out for a walk around the village. I’ve always found graveyards fascinating places to walk around – I always wonder about the stories of the people buried there.

Here’s my first edit:

Week One Edit

For this first edit I’ve done very little, just a few tweaks. I quite liked how washed out the original appeared to be, with the bright light streaming through the gravestones, and I wanted to heighten this effect. To do so I opened it in Camera Raw where I made these changes:

Temperature +2
Highlights -14
Shadows -100
Blacks -35
Clarity +20
Vibrance -16
Saturation -12
Luminance 25
Luminance Detail 55

I then opened it in Photoshop where I reduced the dark splodge at the base of the gravestone on the left – I felt it was a little distracting – and gave the image a slight trim.

Here’s the original image for comparison:



One-Four Challenge: September Week Four

It’s time for the final September edit of Robyn’s One Four Challenge.  I can hardly believe it’s week four already – this month has flown by! For this week I wanted to create a soft look of an impressionistic painting for the image.

Week Four Edit

Week Four Edit

This week’s edit was actually the first one I created, as soon as I started playing around with the image. Because of this, I’m not 100% certain of all of the steps I took, although I did note down a few of them.

As far as I can remember, this is what I did.

In camera raw:
Reduced shadows and blacks.
Increasde clarity to 100.
Increased vibrancy to 75.
Increased luminance to 100.
Reduced luminance detail to 25.

In photoshop:
Added accented edges brush strokes with an edge width of 4, edge brightness of 26 and a smoothness of 3.
Selected and brightened the sea by increasing the saturation.

In FotoSketcher:
Added a canvas texture.

Before putting up the post today I’ve had another play around with the image, giving the impressionistic painting a sunset colouring using gradient maps and photo filters. I also slightly darkened the shadows and blacks.  

Week Four Sunset

Week Four Sunset

I’d love to know which edit people like best, so please leave your vote on the poll below.

Here all the edits together for comparison:

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One-Four Challenge: September Week Three

It’s time for the third September edit of Robyn’s One Four Challenge.  This week’s edit is in response to Joanne’s suggestion that she’d like to see a black and white version of the image.

Week two edit

Week Three Edit

I again began by opening the original image in Camera Raw where I made these changes:

Temperature: +20
Contrast: -100
Highlights: -19
Shadows: -78
Whites: +21
Blacks: -8
Clarity: +100
Luminance: 40
Luminance detail: 45

I then opened it in Photoshop Elements 13 where I cropped it and added the black and white gradient map.  I also used the blur tool on a light strength setting to smooth out some of the pixelation, which was quite severe in places. I thought at first this was due to the high clarity but after reopening the original I realised it was actually present from the beginning.

I also had a little play around with the image in FotoSketcher, adding an aged look, but decided in the end that I preferred the non-distressed version. I thought I’d share the distressed version with you as well.

week 3.2_FotoSketcher

Week Three Distressed

Personally, whilst I love black and white, I miss the colour in this image and look forward to its return next week.

Here all the edits together for comparison:

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One-Four Challenge: September Week Two

It’s time for the second September edit of Robyn’s One Four Challenge. I wanted to create an image this week that was very different to last week’s highly detailed version. Stacy of Lensaddiction suggested that I crop some of the rocks away from the bottom, whilst Ben Rowe of Aperture 64 said how he’d like to see it with a lower clarity. Both of these suggestions fitted with the ideas I’d already had for this week’s edit so I was happy to oblige.

Week Two Edit

Week Two Edit

As with last week, most of the editing for this one was done in Camera Raw, with only the crop and a slight increasing of the saturation (+25) of the central line of the sea done in Photoshop Elements 13.

These are the changes made in Raw:
Tint +10
Contrast -18
Highlights -46
Shadows +43
Whites +48
Blacks +63
Clarity -29
Vibrance +24
Luminance +25
Luminance detail +60

Here’s the original, week one and week two edits together for comparison:

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