One Photo Focus Challenge

Once a month, Stacy at Visual Venturing has this One Photo Focus challenge. She would pick a photo, and everyone would edit and submit it back to her, and then she would post all the editing results on her blog. I have been reading Stacy’s blog for a while and found this challenge quite educational. Since I am not good at post processing, only familiar with 5 simple commands, I had never dreamed of participating.

But this month is different. The photo Stacy has chosen is one of Cee’s photos. I know Cee well enough to know that she wouldn’t mind if I messed up her photo, so I signed up.

Cee's Photo

Cee’s Photo

The first night I received this photo, I played with it the whole night: cropping, sharpening, converting it to black and white… etc. I created 5 variations of it, but I didn’t like any. Next day, I played the whole day, created more variations. Still, I didn’t like any.

A week or two later, I didn’t make any progress. Time to surrender, I thought. I emailed Stacy telling her it was harder than I thought and letting her know that I officially gave up. Stacy encouraged me to go back to look at previous One Photo Focus posts. “Remember, you CAN crop anyway you want. You can change it in any way you want. It’s all up to your creative eye”, she said.

It just happened that Ben at Aperture64 posted a couple of basic Photoshop tutorials during this time frame. With the new knowledge I have gained from reading Ben’s post, I went back to work on Cee’s photo again. And I submitted.

HelenC One Photo Focus April

It’s not an impressive one, I know. But I am ok with it. The real reason that I’m writing this post is that I want to share with you what I have learned in this experience.

• It’s harder to edit someone else’s photo. Knowingly or not, when I took a photo, I, actually, connected to whatever in the photo. Working on someone else’s photo, I need to be patient and take time to connect to it. (Maybe this is just me, but here I am sharing my experience with you.)

• Stacy has created a friendly environment for us to experiment. I should take advantage of it (for my own sake). 😉

• Like I said, I have looked at photos for this challenge for several times and learned a lot from it. But this time because I have tried it myself, I am able to learn deeper and absorb more. I was surprised about this, but very happy!

• A little encouragement goes a long way. I shall never hesitate to encourage anyone in the future.

I want to thank Stacy. And… I am looking forward to next month’s challenge. 😉

About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
This entry was posted in One Photo Focus, photo, photo and thoughts. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to One Photo Focus Challenge

  1. loisajay says:

    Can I tell you how much I learn from you, Helen? I think you are so amazing. You say something and a light bulb goes off in my head. Thank you so much for all your wonderful posts. XO

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Lois. You are very kind. I am glad what I wrote helped you. I always believe that what goes around comes around. Many people have taught me a lot. And I want to pass it on. Take care. e-Hug.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Amy says:

    i like your editing. I thought this one was very challenging, didn’t know where to start. Though I tried, I wasn’t ok with it. Thank you for sharing your experience, Helen! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Amy. It is very challenge for me too. I think my major problem was that I kept thinking I was editing Cee’s photo and there were so many great photographers doing the same thing. And that created a lot of unnecessary stress for me. When I finally realized that I was doing it for myself and I don’t compete with anyone, I was ok with what I did.
      I have told someone about this recently… one good thing about aging is that I am more free to be me, not worrying about what others think. 😉 Good night.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Amy says:

        Goo morning, Helen. It’s a great feeling to be free . It took so much to get here, a long journey for me. That is probably why we so appreciate our adult age. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, Helen.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Helen, both photos are great! I think in yours the focus is on the tree and the house is only a background, and in Cee’s both house and tree have the same weight. First time I see this challenge, I liked it! I’ll check Stacy’s blog! Have a great night!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth. Stacy has a wonderful blog. Other than this challenge, every Friday she has a before-after challenge, which I haven’t participated. In that challenge, everyone would pick her own photo to edit it and send before and after photo to Stacy. It’s fun to see and good way to learn. 😉 Good night.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sue says:

    So true, Helen. Sometimes you just have to jump in. I’m glad you did and I’m looking forward to see your take on next months challenge too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Sue. You re right. Come to think of it, I had done this several times before… coming up with a reason (excuse) and back up at the last minute 😉 I am so glad that Stacy didn’t give up on me when I clearly had given up on myself 😉 Good night.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Cee Neuner says:

    I’m thrilled you participated in this challenge Helen. I like what you did to it. You kept it simple and really cleaned it up. It looks sharper and you can see the texture on the house better. I always adore how you describe what you went through doing this edit. I’m glad you decided to play along with Stacy’s challenge, I really like it a lot. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Cee. I was happy when I found out that Stacy was going to use your photo this month. I’m often hesitated to try something new. Somehow, knowing we were editing one of my friends’ photo made it a little easier to overcome the fear. Ha. Thanks.


  6. Helen, I liked Cee’s photo from the very beginning. But don’t sell yourself short. Your edit has added a different dimension and it’s fabulous. I don’t know the first thing about Photo Shop. I would love to learn but wouldn’t know where to start. You are killing this photography business. Move forward and take pride. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Gemma. Ben’s tutorial is very god for me. A lot of times I have problem to follow instructions, but I could follow Ben’s instruction well. 😉 I do gain some confidence after reading his tutorial. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Helen, I really am so glad you stuck in there and decided to give 1PF a go! You say your edited version is not so impressive, but it is, in so very many ways, and not just because you chose a wonderful new composition and better clarity as to what you wanted us to focus on. It’s impressive because you chose to move outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself, and because you did, you came away learning not only some new technical skills, but learning about yourself as well! I am honored that you felt “safe” in contributing to the challenge, humbled by your kind comments, and delighted that you plan on returning next month! Well done, Helen!!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: ABFriday Week 43: April One Photo Focus | Visual Venturing

  9. treerabold says:

    I like your choice of editing for this photo. I seem to be saying this a lot lately…but we all see the same thing differently. That’s what makes creativity such an individualized activity!
    Thank you for sharing what you learned….I have also been hesitant to join some of these edit challenges because I lack knowledge. But now I might (I said might) give one a try.


  10. It is nice to hear you didn’t give up. I came upon many obstacles in this post-processing world, but refused to give up. I like your edit, you made it so much clearer. Keep experimenting, soon you will realize your fears and hesitations were unfounded.

    Liked by 1 person

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