There seems to be no end to the way that editing software is being enhanced. From the use of AI to choose and replace your sky to methods available to make pinpoint selections of areas within your image by colour, luminance or, indeed, both!

Our evening on 1st December saw several members offer a selection of images that we could share and then demonstrate our own styles of editing on.

A big thank you to Dave S, David M, David A, Chris, Martin W and Alfred for joining me in sharing images to edit and so see and enjoy some work we might not normally expect to see.

Alfred led us off with his take on one of my images, taken in Sri Lanka. As can be seen, mine had a few issues and Alfred was quick to crop and remove the distractions. Alfred’s editing style is very much inspired by Serge Ramelli (https://www.photoserge.com/) and involves detailed brightening (dodging) and darkening (burning) of select areas of the image. The aim is to get the viewer to look and see the main area(s) of interest and in his edit of this image, you can see where he has directed the eye to follow the lead of the statues and thus go further into the image.

Chris took on one of David A’s images – a version of which scored top spot in our second Open PDI of the season the other week.

David A left this one as taken and Chris made his edits with the aim of giving even more attention to the owl but also cropping to a square and cloning over the bottom area to add texture to some otherwise bland areas.

I took on an image provided by Chris of a location that has just seen a huge boost in the number of photographers beating a path there. This is Mill Lane, Halnaker, West Sussex -just off the A285 road to Chichester and it is is the location of the 2021 Landscape Photographer of the Year’s winning image.

Chris has recently moved and so this area is that bit closer. Knowing it was an autumn scene, my aim was to emphasis that in the colours of the image so I made use of Lightroom’s new masking tools to be able to affect precise areas of colour and light and try to get the autumn hues to the fore.

Alfred then, in front of our very eyes, turned day into night…well, later in the day, that’s for sure. Those of us familiar with Alfred’s work know he is a keen monochrome fan and when he saw Chris’s Bristol skyline, he immediatyely knew how he would work. Once again you can see Alfred’s skillful use of directing the eye and giving us areas of light just where he wants us to look, with an added crop to really leave us with the interest of the building frontages. The final effect is very much to create that late evening look – it works very well.

Chris then was able to put his skills to work on one of Alfred’s seaside wreck images and perhaps as a recognition of whose image it is, this one also became a monochrome. Whilst both Chris and Alfred agreed the untidy area in the middle left needed to go, the contraversial call in this image was when Chris took out the central crane. Alfred felt it was a main feature and Chris thought the title of “Three Wrecks” should be about just the…errr…three wrecks. Each to their own.

We had some images provided by members who chose not to edit and here are a few of these that I found time to work on.

Martin W sent in an image of what I assume is taken in East London and to me, this called for a monochrome conversion and a slight crop to focus on the front of the bulding and the signage, given its historical context.

David P sent in an image capturing a bee hard at work on extracting the pollen from the flower. It was party surrounded by other leaves and plants and so it was a bit more of a challenge to clone out those distractions. On that note, the one area where Photoshop still takes top prize over Lightroom is in cloning, healing and content aware fill. Here are the images to compare.

David M dropped a couple of images over, both being taken in that mysterious Dartmoor woodland area of Wistmans Wood. This is such an iconic area – I need to visit myself – and from what I see, it must present a challenge to capture. The downside here is that parts are now under threat from so many eager visitors and so it will be interesting to see what steps are taken to help preserve such a unique area.

David said he had struggled to get something out of the image and so I had a go to see what was in the raw data. It took a bit of time but here we are. You can see what attracted David to take this.

Dave S and David A also provided some edits on the night to images from Alfred and myself – thanks to them and all who joined us.

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