One Four Challenge – Feb Week 1

Time for Week 1 of the February One Four Challenge.. One Four Challenge is set by Robyn (of Captivate Me), and is all about processing an image 4 different ways over 4 weeks.

I have chosen my scanned image (from a colour transparency) of the ruined Brighton Pier in the early 1980s for this month’s subject. Here is the original scan:

Brighton West Pier 1980s (oriinal image)

Brighton West Pier 1980s (oriinal image)

For this week, I have done a bit of processing to improve the image, give it a bit of punch. Basically, a small crop to get us a little bit closer, improve the colours (which appeared a bit dull, muddy when first scanned), and up the dynamic contrast in Nik ColorEfex to pep up those clouds!

And that’s it for this week, folks! But I have plenty of ideas for this one.

Week 1

Week 1

Do see what others have been posting here.


  1. It is considerably different Sue, and looks as if it was taken on a different day, or at least a different time of day, with the better light. I still feel a little uncomfortable about photo manipulation as a concept, just a personal thing.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Oh, I would tend to agree with you re some image manipulation…but ponder this – a digital image is usually not as vibrant as the image our eye sees, or for that matter the image we would have got with a colour transparency. My ‘after’ image is much closer to the original transparency than the scan was…..

  2. I agree that little can match the vibrancy of slide film. I am not against the use of software to sharpen, or recover highlights that were all there, but lost by the recording onto the memory card. It is mainly its use to enhance something incorrectly, or to suggest something that was never there in the first place.
    I think we are on the same page…Best wishes, Pete.

  3. Ahh that thorny question, photo manipulation. The fact is of course that a photo is manipulated from start to finish whether it’s a film sent off for processing and printing or processed and printed by one’s own fair hand. The exact same is true of a digital image. We shoot in jpeg on full auto and let the computer software in our cameras work out all the many permeatations of colour, contrast, brightness, exposure etc etc or we shoot in RAW and choose to do it ourselves. I feel that to say one is uncomfortable with photo manipulation is to say one is uncomfortable with photography. The degree to which this is done of course is often more to the point but where would one like to draw a line? All our realities are different. Who are we to judge another artist or photographer’s vision? It’s their picture, isn’t it? Should we dictate how they arrive at it? We can choose not to like it of course, because we feel it’s been ‘manipulated’ but of course the best ‘photo manipulation’ is invisible and you will never know anyway.
    I love what you’ve done with your image Sue and the points you raise on this subject are very salient. As photographers, we have to try and recreate what we see and we’re so lucky in the digital era to be able to do this with relative ease. That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of skill involved in making a manipulated photo appear unmanipulated and I think you’ve done an excellent job. I’m looking forward to seeing your ideas and how this one develops. 🙂

    • Thanks, Adrian….you have, of course, hit the proverbial nail on its head by pointing out that all photographs are manipulated to some degree.
      All our realities are different, as you say, and only the photographer themselves knows their own vision. I know that mine, thus far, is usually not too far divorced from reality….but later?

    • I’ve argued this same point with a friend who who has made similar comments about digital photo manipulation. I spent many an hour in a darkroom breathing toxic chemical fumes in the old days manipulating images!

      • Digital manipulation is certainly a lot cleaner! But I guess the downside is the time spent in front of a screen….I know my eyes don’t like too long spent that way….

  4. I’ve just written a long comment and it’s disappeared into the ether Sue. Perhaps this one will too..
    Maybe it was for the best.. 🙂

  5. Oops no there it is, perhaps you’ll use your judgement in modertion Sue.. 🙂

  6. Just that small cropping makes quite a difference and i can see that ‘punching’ up of the colors as well. Looking forward to the next version.:)

  7. Tighter and brighter, I look forward to seeing where this one goes… and to enter the manipulation discussion, I think it all depends on the context. Sometimes I edit my images to improve them, but leave them more or less what I saw, and then there are those I play around with (colour manipulation, focus, blur, art effects) that I consider to be more of an ‘art form’ rather than a true representation of what I saw. Some photos are totally over processed and become a bit of a mess, but as Adrian pointed out, it is all subjective.

    • Thanks, Jude. Like you, I do have some images that I play around with, but I prefer to get it right in camera… Even to the point of effects. After all, you can slow water, clouds with an ND filter, blur motion with slow shutter speeds, remove a distracting background by selecting a wide aperture…etc, etc

      • We now know that Monet’s deteriorating eyesight meant that he saw colours differently to the rest of us. Was he wrong to keep painting the ‘wrong’ colours. They were not wrong to him so who has the right to tell him he’s getting it all wrong, the paintings are beautiful.
        It’s the same for photographer’s who take in a scene, interpret it, set their camera and take the picture and then use all the tools at their disposal to take that photograph, run with it to create art as opposed to a snap or a fascimile. Neither is wrong, they’re just different approaches.
        It’s the assumed superiority and judgementalism in these phrases – ‘I don’t agree with post processing’ etc etc that I have the real problem with I suppose.
        But then, there are those that think vinyl is better than CD… This, and many other such arguments will rumble on and on I guess. Why people can’t just accept different I don’t know. It’d be a much more harmonious world if that were the case..

      • I think your last paragraph sums things up, Adrian!

  8. Hi Sue, good image with lots of possibilities. I’m of the school of practice that fully embraces manipulation post-capture. It’s all part of the creative process. I’m eager to see more of what you do with this.

  9. Very subtle changes with a very natural result. It’s so hard to work with scans of old slides; they just don’t have all the digital information of newer photos…

  10. The improvements give an authentic feel. I remember how flat negs looked when scanned, I miss and don’t miss scanning negs.

  11. Oh good 😃 Im so glad you’re doing the old pier!
    A great start Sue! It does look natural and very appealing to me.

  12. I really like your improvements, Sue. 🙂

  13. Nice little perk-up, Sue. I agree with Adrian’s comments.

  14. Nice start, Sue. The old pier looks a little brighter and the slight crop works well.

  15. A palace at the harbor.. looks amazing 🙂

  16. Great image. I love the hazy look.

  17. lensaddiction

    What a lovely sight to see it as it was in its glory – I have seen recent pix and all there is left now is the bits of pier embedded in the sand. Subtle but appropriate tweaking to bring some life back into the image was nicely done.

  18. Interesting discussion threads through these comments Sue, that is the beauty and connectedness of blogging communities I agree with the views and comments from chillbrook. Scans are different to todays digital photos and I think you have done a great job with these tweaks they have enhanced the original scan and if you hadn’t shown us the original scan for comparison the tweaks would not be evident, and isn’t that what enhancing is all about. Then of course from that level you can then move into creating an artistic image and that is a whole new category and how interesting it is to play around with these options.


    I most certainly agree with Adrian. I do not usually read comments but his was so long it stopped me. It is subjective and if taken and changed by the original photographer , still within the body of the artists scope.

    BTW…I just read your disclaimer below while typing. I have saved a couple of your decayed series as you know, for future inspiration…does this mean I have disseminated ( I don’t think I have ever been accused of that one before ) just checking…..never to publish but to paint one day and give you all the credit!

  20. Brighton Pier Ruins looks like a really interesting place! I think you’ve brought more life into the original with your improvements. It doesn’t feel as faded and is sort of renewed. Good work. 🙂

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