Rework Wednesday – Harley


Rework Wednesday - Harley

F/4, 1/400, ISO-200, 18MM

This is one I’ve been wanting to rework possibly longer than any other photograph. The original was OK, but it is very evident how green I was at post-processing at the time. It’s particularly evident if you look at it on a flat-panel screen from a very high angle. It was a drizzly, overcast day when I took the photo, and I struggled getting the clouds to provide some texture. To be fair on my post-processing skills, the picture first went wrong in the camera. I was lying on the ground and had a lot of difficulty with framing and metering. I should have been 5 or 6 feet back really.

However, in post-processing, I tried to fix the clouds with the adjustment brush in Lightroom. I didn’t yet have the imagination or experience to do area adjustments without the brush. Consequently when viewed from a high angle there are lots of halos around everything because the adjustment brush is a really lousy way to do that sort of editing.

This time I focused on not blowing out the black areas, which gives the whole thing a bit more of an HDR look. I used the gradient tool and a bit of vignette to bring out the clouds a bit. And I did end up using the adjustment brush after all, but for the sort of thing it is good at – I lightened the shadows in the eyes to get rid of the raccoon look.


Rework Wednesday – Har by Anthony Bopp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

4 thoughts on “Rework Wednesday – Harley

  1. Liked the first version when you posted it. Like this one even more. Only criticism I can give is that the subjects face isn’t as sharp as the color version, emphasis seems to be on the bike not the subject. Which, may very well be the intention… All in all it’s a keeper, nice (re) work.

    • I had a really difficult time originally choosing between the color and b&w versions. I went with b&w eventually because the customer liked it better and I decided the dramatic impact was far steeper. In the reworked version I used different software to edit the face, so that may have contributed to the distinction between then and now as well.

    • The halo effect comes from the amount of feathering I have for the brush in order to make smooth lines, and my own inability to use the brush well in a lot of cases :) It’s especially noticeable when I am doing a high-contrast area like this. I want to darken the sky as much as possible, but I don’t want to darken the face any at all, so I avoid the face, and the feathering leaves a halo. I’m finally learning different techniques that help, but I’m still not entirely satisfied with this effort. Maybe someday I’ll rework the rework :)

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