One Four Challenge- December wk 1

The challenge begins again. One image, over four weeks, processed four different ways. If you want to join in, go to Robyn’s blog Captivate Me for all the details. There are many of us participating, you can find Robyn’s week 1 process of December, HERE, as well as links to all the other participants in her comments section.

As I am writing this, I still have no idea what image I am going to choose. I am just getting back from a beautiful adventure with my family. We camped on the North Coast of California, about 2 1/2 hours south of where we live but it is still considered the North Coast. I am still in awe of all that we experienced. I think I will just close my eyes and chose an image, I don’t think I can go wrong.

Photo By: Carrie

Mackerricher State Park, Fort Bragg CA

This photograph was taken just after sunrise, we walked around the lake as the sun rose. I fell in love with these clouds like someone quietly drew each one on purpose. Walking with my boys bundled up in their puffy coats, their breath steaming in front of them was also a great memory maker. We didn’t see or hear anyone else awake but the birds on the lake. It was as peaceful as this image feels. A lovely way to remind ourselves all that we have to be grateful for.


  • Used the direct positive preset in Lightroom 5
  • Warmed up the image a bit and clicked the exposure up too
  • Decreased the Highlights all the way, this brought out the depth in the sky
  • Increased the shadows a bit
  • Brought the clarity up
  • Dropped the vibrancy a little and added a hint of saturation

I hope I will remain inspired by this image over the next few weeks. I want to try a few things and see where I can push this image. I am looking forward to it. Of course, your thoughts and suggestions are always welcome. I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s new images.


  1. Morning Carrie πŸ™‚
    I love this image and that you shared such a lovely adventure with your family.
    Such a beautiful time of day – before sunrise -… the clouds are gorgeous and everything about this place.
    I hope you are inspired by it, this month.
    Here we go again… yippee!

    1. Hello Robyn, I love adventures! This was such a great one, we didn’t plan much and decided to go camping earlier than we intended since the weather looked better at the beginning of the week instead of after Thanksgiving. I am not up before sunrise, hardly ever. But, when camping why not take advantage of living outside πŸ™‚ I think I will find some great inspiration from this image this month, at least I get to relive this trip over and over! Yay!

    1. Yes, it is exciting to start again! Thank you, Chris. I think that is why people say photographs are worth 1,000 words. There is always a story behind an image πŸ™‚ It was such a beautiful morning and adventure, so happy the weather cooperated!

  2. Hey Carrie this is a lovely image, LOVE the sky, Im a sucker for great cloud texture and you have loads here to play with πŸ™‚

    If you have LR you might want to have a play with the ND Grad and see what that gets you …… πŸ™‚

    1. Whooo thank for the suggestion. I will try it for sure, I am not familiar with that tool/preset will do some research and see what happens. Thanks!!
      I agree, totally a sucker for cloud texture…I was so pleased to see it on this morning πŸ™‚

      1. It does amazing things to clouds when you play with contrast and shadows and highlights and clarity. Its a bit fiddly to use the first time so maybe search for a youtube video showing you how πŸ™‚

      2. Thank you! I found a video and was blown away…I will try it for sure. Could be fun to experiment with πŸ™‚ Great suggestion always ready to learn something new.

    1. Thank you, I really appreciate that you like this image πŸ™‚ It was such a beautiful place, I was really happy to be up and experiencing it that morning.

    1. I was thinking a similar thing, Ben. It is a little too dark there for me. Thank you for your comment, I am looking forward to working on this image. And, I must tell you I have used your small, yet mighty radial filter idea (moving your eye into the horizon) a number of times since seeing it on a post a week or so ago. It is so beautifully effective, thank you!

    1. Thanks Robyn! Yes, it is so great to receive comments like these. They are so helpful and encouraging. I am enjoying LR, it is blowing my mind!

    1. Thank you, Emilio. I can see a number of variations too…trouble is, I don’t quite know what direction to go in. I am learning a lot already with this image, trying the suggestions offered earlier this week. I am loving it and hope to come up with something interesting over this month of processing!

  3. Lovely image. I can’t wait to see what you do with it over the next few weeks. I’ve been thinking of joining in with this challenge but I barely know what I’m doing in Photoshop!

    1. Oh you should! I barely know what I am doing either. I just bought Lightroom last month, I am a total newbie! There are some very talented people in this challenge who offer great suggestions. I really like it because it makes me learn it and experiment where I never would have otherwise. Just jump in, you will be amazed how much fun it is πŸ™‚
      Thank you for your kind comment, I was having second thoughts about my selection yesterday, it is a BIG image, like a lot going on and every tweak changes the feel of it. But, I am trying some things I never have before and I love where it is taking me…so yay for that!

    1. Thank you, I didn’t realize how many things I could do with it until I started working on it. There are so many places for enhancement! Hopefully I won’t get overwhelmed. I have the next two weeks locked in I think πŸ™‚ It’s exciting!!

  4. I love the sky in this photo, and my eye goes right to the yellow part and I feel like I’m being pulled in. It has that quiet serene early morning feeling to it, lovely. As someone else suggested, I would also like to see the shadows brought out a bit more in the foreground.

    1. I agree Nic, I figured out how to bring out the foreground for next week and did a few other things too. Hopefully you and others will enjoy the new version. I learned a lot! Thank you for your comment πŸ™‚

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