AB Friday Week 29 of the After and Before Challenge


Over at Visual Venturing it is AB Friday Week 29 and I thought I would have another go at doing an image for it.  I do images all the time, but I don’t always think to show the before and after, but sometimes it is really good to do that.  I liked what I did with this image, and I like how much it changed from the before, so I really wanted to participate this week.

The Block Arcade Closed


The after image.  I like the silence of it, and the peek into a world that we don’t get to see very often, when things are shut, especially in an arcade.


The before image, it looks as it usually does, well with the exception of the people.

When I went to the Block Arcade on this particular evening I was so surprised to find it with no one in it.  For about 2 or 3 minutes I was there taking these photos no one entered, it was like a dream come true for me.  So I quickly took some images.

Most didn’t work because my ISO was too low, but I just had to go for it, I knew if I stopped to muck around with settings or put my tripod up, the moment would be gone.  The only downside to the whole thing was that the shop right at the end was still open and there were people in it.  So my challenge for this image was to remove the trace of people and close the shop and try to make the arcade look like it was closed, or had been closed for some time, like it was stuck in time.

I don’t know that I quite achieved that, but I am still fairly happy with what I got.  I do need to get more textures though, ones that are more suitable for this sort of image.

Don’t forget to go to Stacy’s blog and see all the other entries for AB Friday Week 29.

I just need to remind people that you can comment on this post, and while it doesn’t look like anything happens when you do, but it does.  I get all the comments, though it can take me some time to approve and respond to them yet.  I don’t know why this blog is so weird to leave comments on.  I will have to get onto the developers and see what they can work out.

Here is a gallery, so you can see the images individually.


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  1. Leanne, it’s truly amazing what you’ve done here. I know it’s minor but what sticks out in my mind- and what I first noticed- is that you even turned the lights off in those first three chandeliers. HOW? I’m always adding lights to lamps and you’ve found a way to turn them off. And you don’t stop there. When I add a light to a lamp I also add a highlight to a wall or to the floor or ground as if the light were shining off these objects. You do the opposite- turn off the lights and create shadows and darkness. You are amazing!

    1. I don’t really remember what I did, probably highlighted them and turn the exposure down in some way, probably with curves. I love making things that are open look as though they are closed, I find it a challenge. I don’t know about amazing, but it is something I like doing, thank you Emilio.

  2. Hi Leanne, lovely work. I have been reading different tutorials on turning day into night, but haven’t given it a try, your results are perfect, as you said, understanding the light and shadows is key. thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Hey Janice, wow there are tutorials on it, I didn’t know. It is the key, some image you just can’t do it, but it is always fun trying. You’re welcome, and thanks for the compliment.

  3. I like how you made the far store look shuttered. I’m not sure what you call it… but it looks like the gate across the opening is halfway shut. Very neat. The whole place looks closed up, great job. 🙂

    1. Thanks Nic, I copied a door from another store and added it to that one, glad you can see that it is closed up, that is what I was going for, so that is brilliant. Thanks Nic. 😀

  4. Very nice editing, I must agree with Robin and Stacy. I thought the before was after, then noticed people and went back to realize it was the other way around. So unexpected, with a beautiful result.

    1. Oh yes, I closed the arcade down, or attempted to. I love making things look abandoned, would have liked to make it look like it had been abandoned for a long time. Thank you Lore.

  5. Leanne, I echo what Robin has said – you’ve flipped my typical post-processing workflow on its head with this wonderful study of “emptiness.” Such creativity in “closing” the store – it reminds me of how you removed the air conditioning units in one of your photos of office building in Melbourne 🙂 And I feel as if I can hear the echoes of footsteps in the dimly lit hallways.

    I spent a night in a mall once, waiting on line for my daughter for tickets to a meet and greet with one of her favorite band performers. Because the event took place at the opening of a local Microsoft store and the workers were still readying the storefront, the area we were in was busy with activity throughout the night, the mall music played all night long, and of course, all the lights were on. Sleep?? Not a wink 😉 I anticipated the scene from your photo. What we moms do for our daughters …

    1. Closing the store was a bit harder than I anticipated, but it brought back a lot of my drawing skills and more importantly observation skills, remember about shadows and how they fall and that sort of thing. Thank you. 😀

      We do do some amazing things for our kids, what a shame the mall wasn’t more closed and quiet, that would have been amazing, would love to wander around a closed mall when the lights are out. did you wonder if they ever turned the music off?

  6. A very interesting twist, Leanne. The usual sequence is a dark image illuminated through post-processing. But here you have created a mood. One feels they have broken a completely deserted space well after closing. Very nicely done.

    1. Thanks Robin, I think I tend to work this way though, start of with good lighting and then make it darker. It sounds like you got the meaning of it all, that’s wonderful.

    2. I hadn’t really thought about it either Stacy, it is usually the way I do things, I think, it is so hard to get access to places when they are closed, so I am learning how to close them.

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