One Four Challenge- January wk 1

Photo By: Carrie

The Smith River, Gasquet CA

Time to get back to the routine and the One Four Challenge, I am looking forward to doing both. In case you are not familiar with this challenge or have forgotten how it works, here are a few details. I chose one image that I want to work on for four weeks. Each week, I will offer a new edited version of the same image. At the end of the four weeks, you get an opportunity to vote on your favorite version.

I don’t know if I am kidding myself with this image, but I love the waters color, this is true to its natural color. As we were driving here I kept noticing the deep winter look to the trees, which I think is also captured in this image. So, there are aspects to this photograph that make me want to work on it, for a month.

My husband was checking out future field trip stops for one of his classes in the spring, we all needed a day trip out of the house, so the family joined him. This was quite the adventure, it was cold, there was frost covering the trees and rocks on the other side of the river. Our boys made this most of this stop, throwing many river rocks into the swift river and wanting to do exactly what their dad was, studying the rocks. I love watching them emulate him.


  • Loaded image into lightroom and looked through the presets to find the best color fit that was true to the natural setting. I chose preset Cross Process #1
  • I raised the temperature of the image and lowered all highlights and halved the shadows
  • Then I messed with the clarity, I loved what it did for the trees and overall feel of the image, but I didn’t like what it did to the river so I fixed it.
  • I used a radial filter in the direct middle of the image and adjusted the clarity and sharpness for mainly the river
  • Then I halved just the green luminescence adding some green highlights in the grasses and other areas of the image
  • Finally, I added a graduated filter in the upper corner, diagonally, and adjusted settings so that the tops of the tree on the left side wasn’t blown out.

So, this is my first attempt at this image. I know I have my work cut out for me. Hopefully, this month will be as exciting and eye-opening as last month. I will share the original at week 4’s post. If you find yourself thinking, oh I know what I would do next…, please share in the comments below. I am all ears and appreciate your opinion and creative direction. Thank you.

Please make sure and visit Robyn’s blog, Captivate Me, HERE, where you will find all the details for how this challenge works as well as links in the comments to participants posts. You can also go to your tags search and type in, One Four Challenge, to find other entries too.



    1. Well, I think it is pretty too πŸ™‚ There is a lot going on in this image, which is where I paused when hosing it. But, I went ahead with it…so here we go! I am looking forward to getting to know this photograph over this month. Thank you Priceless Joy.

  1. Hey Carrie, this feels like those photos taken in the 60s or 70s where they have that pervasive green toning as they age. I like the detail and texture in the foreground trees, esp the mosses πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Stacey, yes, I agree. I used to go fishing with my dad when I was young, the photographs from then look like this, a bit. I think the winter colors with that insane river color bring out those old time hues too.
      I am happy to hear you enjoyed the extra detailed saturation I added, It brought the image to life, for me anyway. Unsure where I am going with this image for the next few weeks, but that is where the learning begins, right? Have a great week and thank you for all your wonderful feedback.

      1. My dad did a lot of slides of native bush areas here in NZ – he used to be a guide on the very famous Milford Track – its a 5 day hike. His slides look just like your image πŸ™‚

  2. Hello Carrie and Happy New Year!
    What a beautiful place and such a fun family trip. The colour of the water is beautiful and I like the green tinge to the image. Almost feels like afternoon or morning light without the deep shadows.
    I’ve so enjoyed seeing how far you’ve come with LR in less than 2 months.. and always enjoy your commentary and images πŸ˜ƒ Keep doing it! πŸ˜ƒ

    1. Thank you, Robyn. Good to hear from you. I wasn’t too sure about this image, but it is all the things you described. Thanks for cheering me along, I really appreciate it.
      I gained a huge level of respect for those who photograph rivers like these. You are either in direct light and your image is washed out or you are in the shadows, challenging for sure.
      Looking forward to learning even more this month!!

      1. Good to hear from you too πŸ˜€
        I know exactly what you mean about the light and shadows. It can be very tricky.
        Was reading through the rest of the comments and yes – you did create Vintage! 😜 I remember those photos withe green or blue tinge to them.

    1. What a nice memory, Chris. The river was very swift, it made me unsettled. Probably because my young boys were climbing everywhere and oblivious to the danger it posed.
      Thank you for you thoughts, here we go again!

    1. Thank you Katie, yes I can see the vintage look everyone is speaking of. Funny, I usually intentionally set that vintage look, in this case, I didn’t, it just comes out in the natural setting I guess.
      I am interested to see where I go with this particular image too. Time to get to work πŸ™‚

    1. Ahh yes, Cybele, I am sure it does. It reminded me of many of the rivers I grew up watching my dad fish on in Washington State. The water was much louder and swiftly moving along, not great fishing but beautiful to look at πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I can’t keep my finger off the clarity bar πŸ™‚ That soft touch adds something little else can, I think. Now, what to do for next week, wheels turning haven’t found much solid ground yet πŸ™‚

      1. Just about to post mine and already wondering which way to go with the image for next week! Love this challenge πŸ™‚ Reducing clarity can often work so perfectly for a soft landscape πŸ™‚ I mix it up a bit for wildlife and portraits!

  3. Yes, I can see the many possibilities here. The hues are sweet and the softness does read as vintage here. The original image has captured an evocative timelessness. I wonder what an exploration of depth of field would do here…there seems to be so much “stuff” here: interesting detail, varied texture…looking forward to seeing how you play with it!

    1. Yes, there is a lot of “stuff”! I totally agree. I was afraid a bit, to play with it. Nothing I was doing was working. But, I have had a couple of breakthroughs this week. So, I am feeling better about it.
      Thank you for all the great feedback and a hint in the DOF direction, I may play with that too!

    1. Oh, well thank you! It was a really fun adventure. And I am with you, the water color was simply mesmerizing. I am loving getting to play with it and this image this week πŸ™‚

  4. Late in the week to comment but it is such an interesting photo to work with, love that you were able to keep that water colour by using the radial filter. There is a lot going on in this photo I can see many different interesting crops that make stand alone images. Just a thought πŸ™‚

    1. Never too late to comment πŸ™‚ Yes, there is a lot going on. For some reason, lately, I am drawn to busy images. Not busy like on a city street, but making your eye bounce from here to there and back again. My eyes may be playing tricks on me!
      I saw a couple crops too, I haven’t found one yet that I really like yet, still searching. I have to like it better than what I started with, if that makes sense.
      I am looking forward to all the possibilities this month, thanks for taking time to comment. I really appreciate it πŸ™‚

      1. I like your comment on cropping – that you have to like it better than what you started with. I think that says what cropping should be about in a nutshell.

    1. Thank you, I love the water color. It took my breath away when I walked up and saw it. Ahh yes, the next version…well, you get to see it tomorrow πŸ™‚ Excited to share it!

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