One Four Challenge- December wk 2


Here we are, week 2 of this month’s challenge. I really appreciated the feedback I received from last week. One comment offered the idea of using the ND Filter tool in Lightroom and another suggested bringing out the reeds and grasses in the foreground. As most of you are aware, I am totally new to Lightroom and its tools. So, while I understood what the suggestions where (after some web research) I had no idea how to make them happen.

I was eagerly set on learning both types of edits. Lucky for me, the youtube video I found offering suggestions and tips for how to use the ND Filter tool also gave a tutorial on the Adjustment Brush tool. I have never used either of these features in Lightroom, but I really like the results.

The moment I unleashed the ND Filter tool I thought to myself, oh this is dangerous. I love dynamic skies, and this tool really opens up a whole new world for me. Especially since I feel limited by my camera’s capabilities.

Week 2 attempt

Photo By: Carrie

Mackerricher State Park, Fort Bragg CA

The adjustment brush tool was more challenging, this was a rather time-consuming project this week. Once I started working on this image I realized how challenging this image is. There are so many factors playing into the image, you alter one aspect of it and have to bring everything else in the image along too. I guess, it is better to go into a challenge like this blindly, then there is no turning back. I hope I don’t sound like I am complaining, I am far from complaining. This week was mind-blowing for me, and very creatively satisfying.


  • Adjustment brush, brushed the foreground and adjusted settings to keep things looking realistic
  • ND filter, turned diagonal and adjusted settings. I ended up with another one directly in the middle helping bring out the trees details, especially the lower grasses at the base of the trees.
  • One radial filter on the water helping reflecting the sunrise.
  • Overall tweaking and settling of image. There was a lot of this!

I am being short with the details so as not to overwhelm you. There was a lot of tweaking involved and the adjustment brush went a little wild at one point. I tried to fix it and then decided to start over. So, my edits are not very clear to me. I do know that I learned so much and I am really grateful for the suggestions from last week. It has really jump started me into a direction I am really excited about. Looking forward to sharing next weeks version already.

So, now it’s your turn, please let me know what you think. I am looking forward to seeing what others have done with their images as well. Thanks again to Robyn and the participants in this challenge for the extra push, I am having a lot of fun.

**You can find everyone’s entries HERE, they are always listed in the comments section. Or you can search “One Four Challenge” in the tags of WordPress too.



    1. Thank you, Chris. Yep, those were to major shifts to this image. I had so many versions of this week’s image. Trying to get the colors right, especially on the grasses was quite a challenge for me.

  1. Great tweaks! So glad you discovered the ND-Filter tool! I love it and use it regularly. I am still struggling to get the hang of the adjystment brush… I am curious what you have for next week!

    1. Hi Sari, next week is something a bit out of the box but was so fun! That adjustment brush is a unwieldy, at least so far. I did see a tutorial this past week (I was doing some research on how to keep one object in color in an image for MMC 43 coming up soon) and they talked about using the brush on the first go-through with it feathered to 100 but when you are doing detailed work to bring the feathering down to 0, that helped a lot, in feeling like I had some more control with what was happening. It is a powerful tool for sure. I had to figure out how to get a realistic coloring for the grass though, the presets of the brush made it GLOW πŸ™‚

  2. You go girl!!! You are so running with this!
    I can hear the excitement and Im thrilled that you are enjoying the challenges this challenge… 😜 brings.
    Like you I have lots of leftovers from this week.
    Love the details in the sky, foreground and the reflections.
    Im so enjoying the help and encouragement that is happening too.
    A great step ahead this week Carrie!!

    1. Thank you, Robyn. Your encouragement is so wonderful! I am enjoying the challenge of this challenge πŸ™‚ I love learning and experimenting and needed a push to do that. YAY!!!

      1. Actually I sometimes think having a reason to do these things is good.
        Working towards a goal is always good, whether it be for an exhibition, a birthday gift or a challenge 😜
        Fun Carrie and all of the people here, make it so πŸ˜ƒ

  3. Carrie, the ND filter tool is not dangerous. All of Lightroom is dangerous! I purchased it because, like you, I was not happy with my camera’s capabilities (Canon EOS Rebel T2i). I couldn’t wait till I had saved enough money to trade up. Now, having discovered the merits of Lightroom, I can wait for that new camera. Having said that, I love this week’s image. That sky is a real beauty. And, not that I know that much, but if I can ever help in any way, just let me know! πŸ™‚

    1. Emilio, thanks so much. And, you are right πŸ™‚ LR as a whole is dangerous! I am spending so much time tinkering and having so much fun. Yes, I am happy to have some ways to postpone needing a new camera although, mine is just limping along, or so it feels. I have started to save and can’t wait until the “jar”is full πŸ™‚ I will take you up on your offer, I am sure. Thank you for your kind comments, the sky was the whole reason I took the image, love those painted clouds!

      1. I had enough money saved, then had major car problems. Isn’t that the way it always happens. So it will probably be 6 months to a year before I can upgrade to what I want.

      2. Oh man, yes..that is how it happens! I am sure it will be the right time when you do finally get it. You will enjoy it so much. Who knows what kind of time frame I have. At the moment I have a 3 yr old sony cybershot. The lens recently was scratched 😦 So, I am getting good at adding “something” into the corner of my image to hide the scratch. It is such a bummer. I will probably stick with a point and shoot again for my next camera, although one with RAW capability and manual functions too. I have one in mind…just waiting and learning a lot as I wait πŸ™‚

  4. Yes, this is really coming together nicely. The color on the water we didn’t see before, and the shadows brought up on the foreground. Great job!

    1. Thanks so much, Nic! I felt like a preschooler painting with grown-up tools for a while there. But, I am happy with how it came together. I have learned so much this week, I love that! It is amazing all the highlights and details hiding in an image…if you just know how to find them, which of course I didn’t until this challenge.

    1. I totally agree, Pike. It is so interesting to see how people come to the final photograph. This challenge in particular is remarkably interesting because you get to see the same image transform over a month. There is a lot of growth for the image and the tinkerer πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much for your comment, I really appreciate your feedback.

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