One Four Challenge: May Week One

By the skin of my teeth, I’m getting a post in for the first week of May in the One Four Challenge. Hosted by Robyn over at her blog, Captivate Me, this is all about processing an image in four different ways over 4 weeks.

For my first week, I have taken an image shot in Catania, Sicily, recently. I wanted to create an image that reflects how I saw the scene that day, on a rather dismal afternoon in the back streets of the city. I did the usual RAW file processing in Aperture, adjusting the exposure very slightly, tweaking vibrance and not much else. I then opened Nik HDR Efex and chose ‘Sinister’ preset to give a bit of a grungy look, adjusted some of the settings and added a vignette.

To me, this duplicates my emotional response to the scene.

Street Scene, catania: Week 1

Street Scene, catania: Week 1

And here is the original image, for comparison, far too ‘nice’.

Street Scene, Catania: original

Street Scene, Catania: original

Do let me know what you think! And see Robyn’s blog for more One Four entries.



  1. definitely very gritty compared to the original – I really like it!

  2. Hi Sue! I am indeed much more convinced by the HDR sinister picture 🙂 I like this atmosphere and I find not enough ‘atmosphere’ in the original photo.

  3. The ‘sinister’ effect works very well Sue, and suits the scene perfectly. Good to have the original for comparison as well.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. Very effective and much more atmospheric!

  5. I like the changes in this one very much…

  6. Love your edit, Sue. It makes the street look far more atmospheric and even more than a little seedy. 🙂

  7. Wonderful processing Sue – it definitely creates a dismal back street feel. Nicely done. Do hope you enjoyed your trip 😃

  8. Great processing Sue! The image does give a dismal backstreet feel now. Hope you enjoyed your trip 😃 ..and welcome back!!

  9. Nice Change, Sue. I’m normally not a fan of HDR, but this has worked really well. Funny enough it looks more ‘real’ than the squeaky clean original!

    • Sue

      Thanks, I agree! I too am not an HDR effects person, but occasionally it creates the mood, the atmosphere I’m looking for!

  10. poppytump

    Very successful changes with your vision in mind Sue !

  11. Your changes definitely add atmosphere and provide more information about the scene. Great changes.

  12. Pardon my ignorance but I’m not sure what you mean about the vignette, Sue? But yes, it has heaps more atmosphere. 🙂

    • Sue

      Lens vignette get is where there’s a reduction in brightness or saturation at the edges of an image. In software, you can create a darker (or lighter) edge to an image, the idea being to draw your eyes to the centre of the frame

      • So clever! I would never find time to live my life if I went down the photo editing road, and there’d be much frustration. Thanks for the patient explanation, Sue 🙂

      • Sue

        Jo, I do very little editing compared to many people…I have not the patience, the eyesight nor the time. But there are a few things I have picked up over the years that I try out, when I think they might create the effect I want!

      • I am a huge admirer of people who can, Sue. I really like Lignum Draco’s posts but he’s totally the other end of the scale from me. He reckons not editing is pure laziness whereas I use photos to tell my story. Live and let live 🙂 🙂

      • Sue

        We all have our different ways….

  13. Really like your edit!

  14. I love the grunged up version…the original photo, like you said is too nice!

  15. Oh I think I would be looking over my shoulder walking down that street Sue. As Sylvia said, very seedy…

  16. I like the grunge effect it works quite well with the image.

  17. Great edit. I love the grittiness of it. 🙂

  18. Smashing shot Sue and I like how you’ve processed it very much!

  19. Oh my…if you were going for ‘sinister’ then that’s what you achieved. You’d barely think it the same photo. You may have thought it a dismal afternoon in the back streets of the city, but have made it more than that with the almost spooky greyness you’ve introduced. Smashing conclusion.

    • Sue

      Well, hmm, I don’t think sinister was quite what I was after..mysterious or atmospheric was more the plan!! Thanks for your input, Polly!

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