Friday, January 18, 2013


I don't often do human subjects, and I generally don't do B&W.  So this is something way different for me today.

About the photo:

This photo was taken in at the Afghan War Memorial in Kiev, Ukraine on the 23rd anniversary of the end of the Soviet - Afghan war.  Temperature that day at 9AM was +7F/-14C.

About the processing:

This is one of the few photos that I have not run through my HDR+ process.  Pictures where a human subject is the main focus often doesn't respond well to any HDR process.

My Fine Art America website

Click the link below the photo to see full processing details!

Software used:

Photoshop, Color Efex Pro, Topaz Adjust

The Workflow:

1.  Import into Photoshop.
2.  Duplicate the layer.  Layer 1 should appear on top, Background on the bottom.
3.  Select the Background Layer.  Rename it to "blur."
4.  Go to Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur.  Set the Radius to 15, then click OK.
5.  Add an Exposure adjustment layer to the blur layer, and set the exposure to -.3.
6.  Merge the adjustment layer and the blur layer.
7.  Select Layer 1.  Add a layer mask.
8.  Select the brush tool.  Select a soft round brush.  Select a size you feel comfortable working with.
9.  Make sure your Foreground color is black.
10. Start painting the area around the man.  This will blur and darken the background, making the man stand out.
11. Zoom in and examine the area around the man.  Paint more if necessary.
12. If you paint too much, set the Foreground color to white to reverse the error.
13. Select Nik Software > Color Efex Pro from the Filter Menu.
14. Select B/W Conversion on the left menu and use the sliders on the right to adjust the effect until you arrive at something you like.  Click OK.
15. Select Topaz Labs > Topaz Adjust from the Filters Menu.
16. Select Creative Detail Accent from the Presets Menu.  No need to do any adjustments using the menus on the right.  Click OK.
17. Back in Photoshop, go to Edit > Fade Topaz Adjust.
18. Adjust the opacity to 50%.  Click OK.
19. Flatten Image,
20. Adjust exposure of image up .33.

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