One Four Challenge- January wk 2

The Smith River, Gasquet CA

Okay, time for week 2’s version of this image. I started playing in FotoSketcher, I love that program by the way, and quickly found that there were many directions I could go. For some reason, this image lends itself well to the virtual art textures.

I saved a number of options and shared them with my husband. He liked them, a lot, but made the point that he felt it was dishonest or going to far, to make it look so much like a painting. In other words, FotoSketcher was doing too good of a job! I could see his point. The incredible dedication it takes to bring a watercolor to life, is well beyond my talents. And, to push a “draw” button and instantly have what looks to me like a masterpiece, feels a little off.

A few hours past, and I went back to the drawing board. In Lightroom I started experimenting and decided I would try to replicate a painted/watercolor effect as best I could, while “painting” with the slidebars. And, I was instantly amazed at what started taking shape on my screen. Click on the image to get the full, painted, effect.

Photo By: Carrie


  • I started with where I left off from last week.
  • In Lightroom I knocked the exposure way down (-1.55) and brought the contrast up to (81) also I brought the shadows up too
  • I moved the clarity down from (-31) to (-81) and added the vignette preset 1
  • Then I played individually with Aqua, Blue, Yellow and Orange luminescence/hue/saturation until I was satisfied with the color blends
  • Finally, I added a radial filter to the sandy area giving some light moving towards the river

Don’t worry, I didn’t delete my FotoSketch creations. And, I know this is the right challenge to showcase such processing, as some of us have discussed in my comments from last month. They will come into play in the next couple weeks. I just wanted to try my hand at doing it without FotoSketch and see what happened. That is what this weeks attempt is.

Of course, I always appreciate your opinion and encourage you to let me know what you are thinking. Don’t forget to check out the other participants work this week. You can find them at Robyn’s blog, Captivate me, in the comments or search for the tag “One Four Challenge”.



  1. Its amazing what neat effect you can get from pushing the sliders past your normal limit, I love the softer effect from the reverse clarity πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Stacey,
      Yes, it is so incredible how much room there is to change the look of an image based on just a few sliders. The clarity bar is one of my favorites, I love its effect in both directions! Thank you.

  2. Hi Carrie πŸ™‚
    I love the richness of those beautiful tones this week…and the softness.
    I do understand your husband’s pov and personally have always felt that way myself knowing the work and thought that goes into creating a painting. My personal opinion only.
    So happy that you went into LR to try and create your own effect.
    Looking forward to seeing the next ones always.

    1. Yes, I agree Robyn. I totally understand where you are both coming from. And, I am happy I tried my hand at creating something on my own, well at least with my own eyes instead of just pushing a button to have the program do the main amount of the work.
      I will say, FotoSketcher is amazing and fun to see the outcomes it brings forward.
      I was happy to see the color tones deepen and the overall feel of the image settle in more, for me. Thank you for your feedback and comments πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Priceless Joy. Fairies could definitely be lurking there πŸ™‚ I really appreciate your feedback. The magic is in the clarity shift, so effective in this case.

  3. I can fully understand your point. I was at the same stage when I was working on my November picture. But I didn’t got a satisfactory look in LR so I decided to go with the PhotoSketcher version. While looking into the topic I found some LR presets where they were working with a jpg version of your picture and the recovery slide. Just to give you some ideas πŸ˜‰ I like what you did with the picture so far!

  4. I actually prefer the first edit the best. You can see and appreciate the depth of field which is lost in the second edit. regarding the apps vs “the truth”…I don’t give a hoot. It’s photography and the joys of what we can do with it now! I also love painting because of all the aspects inherent in that process. Two different animals. Don’t fret about it.

    1. Thank you for your feedback, I really appreciate it. And, you are right about the DOF getting lost a bit with the second edit.
      I am super new to all this, learning as I go and trying to take risks and challenge myself beyond what I think I can do. It is great fun.

  5. I love the softness in this version. And you’re right, it’s a lot of fun to figure out these details instead of just clicking a button. (I’ve been trying for a painting effect too, but it’s turning out very different from yours. It’s nice to see how different processes can result in varying results.)

    1. Thank you for all that great feedback and thought, Anita. I totally hear what you are saying and agree. I think image processing is like putting your fingerprint on your image. And, it is amazing to see, if you gave an image to 10 people they would all see different details to highlight.
      I find looking at so many photographs from all these great bloggers is so interesting. I am looking forward to seeing where your “painting” ends up πŸ™‚

      1. “Putting your fingerprint on your image” is a wonderful way of putting it, Carrie. And like you said, as I’ve wandered around seeing more and more edits, I see how everyone’s different and unique. I’ve learned so much from the processes and comments… πŸ™‚

        And about my try, heh, I’m not even sure if it’ll make it here, but you’ll know if it does. πŸ™‚

  6. Love this second edit and the depth of colour with the highlighted areas. Love, love, love that Clarity slider!

  7. Wow. This week shows a lush, more saturated version. These colour sing to my heart and ironically, I use such colours IN my paintings. Very eye appealing. Great job. You have inspired me to play with Lightroom. Thanks so much

    1. Oh that is great! I hope you do play in LR, it really is incredibly fun. I just went to YouTube and found a couple “beginning” tutorials and I was on my way.
      Thank you for your kind response to my edits, I love these colors too, happy to hear you use them in your paintings, I am sure they are stunning. This next week is a total 180 from this, hope it works too πŸ™‚

      1. Yes! The part I really love about it is you can do a lot or a little and make a huge improvement to what you started with. Each month my mind has been blown by it’s capabilities. First, just the slider bars and all that is possible with them and the presets. Second, the tools! The ND Filter tool is incredible don’t be afraid of it, find a tutorial and you will be on your way, same with the radial filter and adjustment brush, HUGE potential. Third, the ability to edit individual colors!! What a cool thing, it is so effective and fun to see those instant results. Today I was blown away at the understanding of the tonal curve feature, didn’t know anything about that until now, it is super effective with B & W images, really amazing results I have been searching for. Who knows what I will learn next, I am so happy I bought it! Enjoy!!
        **One warning, make sure you do your moving of files in LR, if you move a file from it’s location outside of LR it can’t find the original and you can’t export your changes…So, either get yourself set where everything you work on there is in its permanent home or do all your moving of files to their resting place in LR…easier said than done!

      2. Nothing gets “Lost” per say, just in a state of no-man’s-land where you have to reconnect the original file with the edits. Just some extra steps that can be cumbersome if you keep doing it. πŸ™‚

  8. Gorgeous greens, I just love the colors. I am a big fan of FotoSketcher, there are so many great things you can do there, and I think this is the best challenge to try it. The point of it is to step outside the box and look at things from another perspective.

    1. Yes, I totally agree and to be honest, this edit was stepping outside the box for me. I had no idea how to create an effect like this without using a tool like FotoSketcher. I have incorporated FotoSketch effects in my week 3 edit and will again for week 4. I really do love that program too. So many possibilities.
      Thank you very much for your kind words about the colors, I had fun playing with this image and trying to figure it out. Thank you!

Please take a moment, comments encouraged.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s