One Four Challenge – May Week 1

I missed the regular rhythm of the One Four Challenge and have been looking forward to the month of May, to resume this interesting photo editing exercise.  For those not familiar with the One Four Challenge, this is a photo editing project hosted by Robyn Gosby at Captivate Me, whereby we select an image and edit it in four different ways over a four weeks’ period.

Doing one edit is straight forward; after all we all do this to a certain degree.  But interpreting one image in multiple ways is harder than it seems.  I find it is a challenge at different levels, not only in your processing skills, but also in your choice of image and your ability to visualise what you might do with it. 

May 2015 Image

I struggled with the choice of my subject for May, until last week, when I discovered Banyule Flats with Photographer Leanne Cole. This is a grassy wetland in the heart of Melbourne.  We were there at the crack of dawn on a very grim morning.  The river red gums in the middle of the Banyule billabong and light mist over the water gave an eerie feel to our surroundings.

Having recently subscribed to Lightroom and Photoshop, and also bought the Nik filters collection, I thought this image would give me the opportunity to practise with the new tools.

Week 1 Process

Here is the original Raw image, untouched.

Banyule Flats

Banyule Billabong – Original

As you can see, it is a very grey day. So for this first week I wanted to emphasise the moodiness and eeriness of the billabong.  Even on a this day with low light, I can see why the area would have inspired the famous Heidelberg School of Artists in the late 1800s.

Here are the adjustments I made to the original Raw file:

  • In Lightroom, made some minor adjustments to exposure, contrast, highlights & shadows, clarity, vibrance and saturation.
  • Moved to Photoshop and applied the healing tool to remove two blemishes (possibly distant birds) in the sky, as well as their reflection in the water.
  • Applied an adjustment layer to tweak the curves – to darken the image and reveal more detail in the clouds and their reflection.
  • Used the gradient tool and applied it to the sky to emphasise the threatening mood of the day.
  • Back into LR, applied a radial filter to the trees on the right to bring out more detail in the foliage.
  • Applied a vignette as the final step.

Here are the result of these initial adjustments:

Week 1 - Minor Adjustments

Week 1 – Minor Adjustments

I look forward to your feedback.  As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome.

You should also click on the One Four Challenge link to look at what other participants to this wonderful project are doing this month.

33 thoughts on “One Four Challenge – May Week 1

  1. I thought, I know that place when I first saw the image, it is amazing to see it with someone else’s camera, wonderful shot Chris, looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

  2. They are subtle shifts to this image but they are really nice, Chris. It has a lot of interesting parts to it and the depth of field (at least for me) plays tricks on my eyes. There is some really nice potential with this image, looking forward to seeing where you take it this month.
    Nice to be back in a groove, as you say. I was glad for the break and looking forward to the routine again too.

  3. A gorgeous image Chris, even on a grey day.
    I really like seeing Banyule Flats from your point of view too. I always enjoy Leanne’s posts, so I was excited to see you posting about it.
    You are so right about it being inspiring to the Artists of the day and now. So much to see.
    I really like your first processes. A beautiful image to work with. Great work Chris and welcome back to the One Four flow 😀

    • Thank you Robyn – the pressure is on with Leanne watching her ‘ backyard’ being interpreted, but you know find One Four really good for experimenting and learning!

      • Ha ha – the pressure.. Yes I understand 😉
        As you say Chris, its a good platform to try things.
        Enjoy your newfound skills and software!!

  4. A grey misty morning with lots of atmosphere. I liked how you lightened it to give it more depth

  5. The editing is good, I just wonder why you went from lightroom to photoshop then back to lightroom. All the steps you described can be achieved in lightroom without the raw image being compressed to a tif to be edited in Photoshop.
    In the end though you got a good picture.

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