Episode 075: Urban Paradise (1)

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Download the companion file! (…if there is one…. ;-) )

This is the first of two episodes about the complete work on an image. It’s pretty slow, because Rolf is slow on thinking with a thick head from a cold.

The image is from a not so nice part of the town and it shall finally show a certain lost atmosphere. But for that he needs a plan.

Following advice from Vincent Versace‘s book “Welcome to Oz” he makes some maps over the image to find a crop and to get the light and contrasts right. The crop is found at the end of the episode, the lighting will follow next week.

If you want to work ahead – the original image with all the work done up to now is in the downloadable companion file. See the top of this posting for a download link.


00:45 How I made the image
02:20 Selecting the image
06:50 Making a plan
09:30 Defining a crop
13:40 Cropping help with a black bar
16:10 Looking for tilt and deformation
17:00 Cromatic abberation
17:45 Zoom memory
18:00 Lighting issues
22:00 Rotating on a separate layer
26:10 Making the crop
31:10 The second crop
33:15 Locking the layers
33:35 Good bye

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9 thoughts on “Episode 075: Urban Paradise (1)

  1. I really enjoyed getting a look at your thinking processs in this epiosode.

    Not that everyone will follow the same mental path nor that the questions will even be the same for every photo but nevertheless it’s a great example of how one might “find the picture” in the photo.


  2. Right, you have to find your own path – and adapt at every image. And I am no real photographer, just an amateur. So this can’t be real advice, just an example.

    Versace stresses the need to build a conscious workflow that then sinks into the automatic behavior repertoire. I am far away from that point. ;-)

  3. Good episode Rolf. Nice to see how you are taking a single image and teaching allot of the basics of image editing with this and future episodes. :)

  4. Before I downloaded and watched the video I was doing some revision.
    I had been looking he video about selective sharpening. Then I looked into the website from tipsfromthetopfloor dot com.
    (feeling homesick?… maybe a little ;-) )
    This episode is just the thing I liked to see.
    Concerning the path. No, I don’t make layers with comments for what to improve or change. Yes, I think everyone does, I look, study and decide what to change or to improve thinking about the aim of the photo. Where or how will it be placed or viewed.
    So I say, you presented a nice and welcome episode again!

  5. Thanks a lot for the show!

    I just started to read Welcome to Oz and was delighted to see you go through an example.

    Concerning the “crop-decision” I played with the .xcf file and really would like to include as much of the neon sign and the corresponding reflection as possible. I think it works well for the atmosphere and is a nice symmetry/line (whatever you call it) connecting foreground and background. Those reflections really come out nice, when you darken the border (e.g. a soft light layer to vignette and focus on the person in the background).

    Looking forward to next week


  6. Hi,

    while testing your crop-decision you created a new layer with a black rectangle. Is there a reason why not to use the crop tool it self? I found it to be very usefull as its hides (to a leve you decide!) the stuff you would crop.


Anything to add from your side of the computer?