Photo-Development Challenge: Inspire Me and Others With Your Artistic Interpretation

A week ago I posed about a fantastic video of an experienced photographer giving a quick once-over to photographs submitted by strangers. The change from unprocessed original to processed result was often striking and of interest on its own, but the true value of the video was the running dialog of the what/why/how of his editing decisions. No right or wrong... just inspiration and ideas.

With that in mind, I think it could be quite interesting to see how different people interpret the same photo, so I'd like to offer a few unprocessed raw files from my own photo archives, with an invitation to all to process them in Adobe Lightroom, imbibing your own personal artistic senses on the photo, and then send the result to me to share here with everyone.

The result, I hope, will be more ideas and inspiration for all.

The Raw Files:
If I haven't posted results, I'm still accepting submissions for when I do post the results, so you can still send them in.

download raw file

download raw file

download raw file

download raw file

download raw file

see the results
(download raw file)

download raw file

see the results
(download raw file)

The Rules:

There are no rules... this is not a contest or anything like that. It's just some fun to see what direction different people take the same photo.

But here are the guidelines on how to get your result featured here on my blog:

  • Process the Image

    Download the raw file and import it into Adobe Lightroom (any version) and processes it as you like. Once the pixels and metadata (see below) are as you like, save the XMP file (Metadata > Save Metadata to File) and then mail that XMP file to me. You'll find the XMP file will be located next to the raw file, with an xmp extension.

    Be sure to mail only the XMP file; I don't need another copy of the original.

  • Your Name and Other Info

    In the Title and/or Caption metadata fields, enter anything you'd like to be presented on my blog along with your result... such as your name, your web site, and your thoughts on the photo and the approach you took in its processing. (This kind of description is where there can be real value-add for me and others, to see the thought process behind the result.)

    If you provide professional post-processing services, by all means feel free to mention that.

    The Large Caption metadata preset may be useful here.

  • Multiple Versions of the Same Image

    If you have different takes from the same original, make a Develop Snapshot of each one, being sure to give the snapshot a descriptive name when creating it.

    There's only one Caption for all snapshots, so if you indeed do include multiple versions, please describe them all in your one Caption.

    You can also just send multiple XMP files.

    Note: it might be convenient to use virtual copies while creating your different versions, but you still must save each version as its own Develop Snapshot prior to saving the XMP file. It's sometimes a source of confusion with Lightroom because snapshot saved in a virtual copy is actually saved in the master. To add to the confusion, metadata like Title and Caption of a virtual copy are not saved with the master, nor in the XMP file, so they must all be entered in the master's metadata fields.

  • Multiple Images

    You can participate with as many images as you'd like... the more the merrier! Feel free to zip up the XMP files to make mailing easier.

  • Other Ways To Share

    You can also feel free to process the image however you like, with whatever tools you like, and post the results on your own blog. Just please drop me a note via email or via comment on this blog post, so that your efforts can be shared with other readers here.

When it comes time to publish, I'll load your XMP into Lightroom and generate JPEG versions to be published on my blog, along with your Title and Caption info. Hopefully we'll have all kinds of different results from a variety of folks, with the differences among them to inspire creativity and new ideas with our own work.

All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

What a wonderful idea!! Thanks for sharing.

Looking forward to playing with these and seeing what others have to offer as well.


— comment by Mike Nelson Pedde on February 23rd, 2015 at 10:38am JST (9 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink


If I use the same NEF to extract multiple exposures from it, and blend them in photoshop HDR…
is that even allowed? :p

Of course… just please explain motivation and technique. I’d think you’d be able to get comparable results in Lightroom just from the raw, so this could be enlightening. —Jeffrey

— comment by nnkka on February 25th, 2015 at 8:42am JST (9 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink
Leave a comment...

All comments are invisible to others until Jeffrey approves them.

Please mention what part of the world you're writing from, if you don't mind. It's always interesting to see where people are visiting from.

IMPORTANT:I'm mostly retired, so I don't check comments often anymore, sorry.

You can use basic HTML; be sure to close tags properly.

Subscribe without commenting