A Photo a Week Challenge: Street Lights

On a Rainy Day... | Anita
Given that the day was cloudy, rainy and dark, wish this lamp was on and glowing!

For Nancy Merrill’s A-Photo-A-Week Challenge: Street Lights

One Four Challenge: Lamp Post IV – on canvas

Yay! It’s week 4 of January’s One Four Challenge hosted by Robyn, where we process one image of our choosing in 4 different ways over the month. This final week is when I get to show you the original as well, and ask you which, amongst all versions of this month (including the original), you like best. (For other wonderful submissions, check out Robyn’s blog or search for the tag ‘One Four Challenge.’)

Okay, last week’s foggy day effect was considered spooky by a few 😉 so I decided to publish something much less foggy this time — a painting on canvas. To tell you the truth, I had this version ready well before last week’s version, and I was still trying a couple of different versions. I didn’t like them as much as I did this one, so without further ado, here it is —

Lamp Post

Lamp post, on canvas

I’d restrained myself long enough from using edge detection, but for this, I went bonkers! 🙂 Edge detection, works very well in… a painting effect, for instance, if you’re interested in giving the edges that extra definition. For this version, I made a copy of the original image layer. I applied a slight blur on it (so the edges don’t come out crystal clear) and inverted the colors before performing a Sobel edge detection. This layer is in Value mode at 35% opacity. I then applied a canvas texture on the image. A simple process when compared to the past couple of weeks, but simple is good, especially when it achieves the purpose, isn’t it? 🙂

As promised, here’s the original, with some color and contrast correction applied, that I used as the base for this month’s versions.

Lamp Post

Lamp Post, original

To refresh your memory, or for your benefit if you haven’t seen them yet, here are tiny versions of the other edits for this month. Clicking on them will take you to the corresponding posts where I’ve mentioned how those effects came about.

Earlier images this month in this series

Lamp Post - radiating Lamp Post - damaged Lamp Post - foggy day

Do you have a favorite? Would you like to tell me which one?

One Four Challenge: Lamp Post III – foggy day

It’s monochrome time! 🙂 I think this image will go well both for this week’s One Four Challenge hosted by Robyn, and for the week’s Monochrome Madness at Leanne’s. Do check out their blogs for other brilliant submissions.

This time, I thought I’d add a foggy day feel to the scene. These were what I wanted to accomplish: (a) The fog would lend a slight softness to the scene, reducing the contrast. (b) The lamp would be switched on. (c) Because fog translates to low visibility, the reach of the lamplight would not be much.

This is what I decided to submit —

Lamp Post, foggy day

Lamp post, foggy day

For this version, I had to do a lot of things, but this is the gist —

I added a copied layer in Grain-extract mode and blurred it by 3 pixels to make it softer. It was a bit too soft, but reducing the blurring would kill the softness, so I added another copied layer (with no effects added) above it, with reduced opacity. That completed the softness part.

To make it monochrome, I added an all-white layer in Saturation mode. (I think this was the simplest step in the process. 😉 )

To light up the lamp, I added a small starburst with a lot of short spokes over the lamp. I reduced its opacity until it felt right.

For the light emitted by the lamp, I used three layers — one with a radial gradient of white-to-transparent, applied with the lamp as the center, to simulate the light’s glow; another a black vignette to darken the surroundings where the light would be weak; and a last layer with some faint extra shadows in the background, cast by the fence post and the tree, that would correspond to the weak light. I’m not overly fond of how that last layer turned out, but without it, the scene looks weird to me. Maybe I’ll try something else the next time I have to add shadows.

Finally, I added a sepia layer because I thought it looked better that way. 😀

Most of the time, I played around with the transparencies of all the layers until I was satisfied it had just enough of the foggy feel. But now that I’ve linked the picture here, I see that I have a problem that’s the opposite of what Robyn’s been facing with her image this month — mine looks clearer here than it actually is…! 😮 Should I consider this one of life’s mysteries?

Earlier images this month in this series

Lamp Post - radiating Lamp Post - damaged

One Four Challenge: Lamp Post II – damaged

I’d originally decided to go vintage for this week’s One Four Challenge hosted by Robyn. Vintage, for me, translates to sepia or black and white images, so I decided to shake things up. I thought I’d retain the colors while introducing some damage to the picture. (Now that’d make it not so vintage, wouldn’t it? 😉 )

I first thought of creating something like heat damage, but none of the stuff I tried came out satisfactory. The different dark and light areas cause something that looks good in one region look, well, not so good in another. I was beginning to think that I should abandon my attempts and try something else, but decided to give it a chance when I got this result — a faded, damaged (though not overly) photograph that looks like it used to be a high-contrast one with some over-saturated colors in it…

Lamp post, damaged

Lamp post, damaged

For this version, I started out by adding a copied layer in Burn mode to get a darker, more saturated version of the image. Then came two vignette layers with 50% opacity, one with black to darken the over-exposed looking ground and sky, and one with blue in Color mode to augment the next layer. And the next layer is the ‘damage’ — a red-on-black lava effect (that one’s available as a render-filter in GIMP), which I added in Grain Extract mode at 60% opacity to make the effect subtle. This layer also lightens the image, which compensates for the earlier darkening from the Burn mode and gives a faded look.

Though it was not what I originally intended, I think it doesn’t look so bad either… What say you?

Earlier images this month in this series

Lamp Post - radiating

One Four Challenge: Lamp Post I – radiating

It’s time for the first One Four Challenge of this year, hosted by Robyn, where we process a single image (of our choosing) four different ways. This post’s actually probably late, because there already are about a hundred others published for the challenge. I’d been wondering at the end of last month about whether I’m going to take part in the challenge this month (since I don’t post too often in the first place), and if I am, which photograph I’m going to choose. And I forgot to decide! 😥 I hastily browsed through my pictures, but I think I’ll just stick with one that was a candidate last month — a lamp post.

Lamp post, radiating

Lamp post, radiating

This lamp post is one of several in the gardens around the Royal Palace of La Granja, Spain. The original photograph will be on display in my final post for this month’s challenge.

I’d intended to not apply drastic effects (like, say, a color splash 😉 ) this time, but seeing that I didn’t spend hours browsing through my photo stash to find a versatile photograph, I’m hoping that I’ll keep this promise. (Now there’s my challenge! 🙂 Right?)

For this version, I applied a zoom blur radiating outward from the light in the lamp post, and tinted the image a tiny bit of yellow to make the scenery somewhat warmer. (It was really cold that day.) I like how the blur masks the distracting piece of sky at the top and keeps the focus on the foreground.

As always, here’s hoping that the challenge is a fun and enlightening experience! Thank you for hosting, Robyn.