Thought that I'd make my first Blog post using parts of a recent forum thread where I displayed some dramatic images taken recently at a local fair - and was asked how I came to the vibrant colours of one of the images in particular.

This is my final Display Image - which will make a great framed print. The shot was taken with my handlheld Olympus E-3, with 12-60 SWD mounted. Exposure was f3.7 @ 1/80'th second : 250 ISO

For comparison sakes . . .

. . . here is the ORIGINAL Jpeg - straight out of camera without any adjustments of any kind. It's nice on it's own, but not spectacular enough for my taste:

Here are the 3 primary steps that I used to get this image. The Gradient was a little easier to accomplish being that I used Nik Software Color Efex Pro for that part. In the past I have used standard PS tools to create my gradients however, so if that is all that is available it may just take a little more work to get the results. For post processing I use Photoshop CS4 and the Nik software is a Photoshop plugin.

1 ) Contrast adjustment using "Levels" - where I transformed the shadowareas into more solid blacks:

2 ) Color Gradient using Color Efex:

3 ) Vibrance and Saturation adjustment: