One shell, three ways

I have been dreaming of warm weather and tropical beaches. A friend gave me this shell from Mexico and it inspired me to experiment with different processing techniques. If I can’t be in a sunny place, at least I can focus on something that was! (And just in case it’s difficult to distinguish: it is a cross-section of a spiral-shaped shell, containing little rocks lodged within the curves).

In the top image, I used a Lightroom 3 (LR3) preset called Warm Glow. Next, I added some contrast with a filter from Nik ColorEfex Pro called Pro Contrast. Finally, I added a frame action from the CoffeeShop blog. I like how the processing brought out the bright colors that were hiding in the image.

In the following image, below, I used a LR3 preset called Color Creative – Cold Tone. I was pleased with the soft, dreamy quality it gave the photo.


And, finally, I went for a sleeker, more minimalist look. In the photo, below, I applied a BW Creative – Look 1 preset in LR3 and then added a black/white filter from Nik Silver Efex Pro.

I am not sure which I enjoy more: taking the picture or processing it. I lose all sense of time in both activities. There is something wonderful to be said for both.

How about you? Which do you enjoy more? Taking photos or tweaking/processing them afterward?

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4 Responses to One shell, three ways

  1. Wonderful composition.

    I find that I often use B/W creative look preset 3 as a starting point and tweak from there. It is a bit more contrasty than 1,2 and 4 without blowing the highlights. Think it goes heavier on the blacks but I could be wrong. The Silver Efex filter works very well.

  2. Avatar christianna
    christianna says:

    Thanks for the tip, Steve, I’ll give preset 3 a try. I have much to learn with Lightroom, and the creative possibilities are seemingly endless.

    BTW, is there any chance you will write a book on LR3? (Hint, hint!)

    Christianna

  3. Thanks for the tip, Steve, I’ll give preset 3 a try. I have much to learn with Lightroom, and the creative possibilities are seemingly endless.

    BTW, is there any chance you will write a book on LR3? (Hint, hint!)

    Christianna

  4. A post is certainly a possibility but I don’t think that I’d have the patience for a whole book. I think version 4 is either out or due out anytime and I have absolutely no idea whether any major changes are planned.