Video Demonstration: Processing a Faroe Island Image

I’ve been home from the Faroe Island for several months now and I am still working on my new images. I was there for a month and took 1600 images. So far, on my first pass through the images, I have about 80 keepers. Once I go through those a second time, I expect to lose about two thirds of those. If I end up with 25 solid images, I will be very happy.

The last time I demonstrated the processing of an image, I duct-taped my iphone to a tripod and simply recorded my computer screen. Well, I’ve gotten a little more sophisticated and have now purchased a screen recording program. It was easy to use and the quality is good. 

For this demonstration I’ve chosen a fairly simple image, No. 71 above with a before and after.

As always, I follow my “Photoshop and Six Tools” processing format. You can read about this approach here: Photoshop and Six Tools (it’s a very short read and it will help the video demonstration make more sense).

Each time someone watches me process, it becomes quickly apparent that I am not Photoshop expert. Invariably people will tell me either what I’m doing wrong or how I could do it differently.

I know that I am not an expert and the thing is, I don’t want to be! I have found a very simple method of post-processing that allows me to translate my Vision into an image. That’s all I care about, and the simpler the better.

So here is the video, I hope it gives you some ideas for your post-processing.


17 Responses to “Video Demonstration: Processing a Faroe Island Image”

  • Tim Says:

    So, I have been watching and waiting for the Faroe images. I just looked last night again. Anyway, good to know they are coming.

    Thanks for the video. My process is not as refined as yours and yet bears resemblance. I just came back from Canada’s west coast. I am now going to process an image using my process and then using your process. See what kind of difference it makes. I can see we set the black/white points at different stages – I do it earlier – so I wonder what that might mean.

    Spots can be so little fun. I was shooting by a windy sea so end up with water spots and then bits of salt remain. so, I ended up with some spots on every image. It always seems to happen that the image you select to keep is the one farthest from when you last cleaned the front of the lens! Must be one of Murphy’s laws!

  • Cole Thompson Says:

    Thanks for watching for them Tim! I am working on them and hope to have a newsletter out in November with them. I did finish one and used it in an ad for Adore Noir magazine and B&W, so you can get a sneak peak there!

    Where in BC? I lived there in the 70’s; Nanaimo, Kamloops and Cranbrook.

    I got so tired of spotting my Mk III after the Mk IV died, that I sent it to Canon to clean and inspect.

    Thanks for saying Hello Tim!

  • Tim Says:

    I was in Nanaimo but just visiting friends and family. We had an ocean front condo in Ucluelet while I was trying to do some photography. I want to try your style once – go by myself for a period with only the camera to think about. Oh, and eating seafood and walking and …. people go for the winter storms but this fall transition season has maybe more interest – more sky variation etc.

    Don’t know if you watch Netflix. Look for the series Shetland. A well done detective series and you will be transported back to Faroe with all the landscape scenes they show.

    Take care and I will look for your images.

  • Cole Thompson Says:

    Shetland is what got me interested in the Faroes! After watching the show, I started looking at the Shetlands. Then I saw the Faroes out there and I went!

  • Lisa Says:

    Hi Cole,

    Thanks so much for sharing your process. Do the images you share with us online include the contrast that you add for the final print, or do you make two different images (one for online, without added contrast; and one for print, with added contrast).

  • Cole Thompson Says:

    You’re welcome Lisa!

    I do not create two copies. I use the increased contrast image for the web and for printing.

    A bit of extra contrast on the screen is not very noticeable, but too little contrast on the print is very noticeable.

    Good question!

  • Annie Says:

    This has really given me something to work with Cole, thanks so very much!

  • Greg Derda Says:

    Very nice Cole, thank you! From an earlier description of your process, you save the image as a TIFF – when do you first do that?


  • Roger Says:

    Cole (and Tim),

    Thanks so much for another six step video – reinforces what I have seen in this regard from you previously on your DVDs. Coincidentally, have been to Nanaimo for, of course, Nanaimo Bars (we have Victoria, B.C. relatives). Spent a week with them several years ago in the Tofino to Ucluelet area – spectacular with every bay/beach area being different.

  • Cole Thompson Says:

    Greg, when I save the file at the end, is when I specify it as a tiff file. I think it wants to default to a PSD?

    One other thing I didn’t highlight was that in the first step, the RAW conversion, I specify the image as 360 ppi and 16 bit (VERY important!)

  • Cole Thompson Says:

    Thank you Annie! Are you working in black-and-white?

  • Sam Blair Says:

    Greetings, Cole,
    Nice to catch up with you. Congrats on your continuing wandering ways. I always thought your “before’s and after’s” were great inspirations, including this one. Thanks for sharing. I’m looking forward to seeing those elite 25 out of 1600, which is also very impressive. Ansel Adams said 12 significant images in a year was a good crop. 25 from a single journey sounds like a fantastic trip.

  • Patrick Says:

    Nice demo. And it’s nice to see someone who keeps the processing simple.

    I didn’t really know where the Faroe Islands were, I had to look them up on Wikipedia, which has quite an extensive entry on them for such a small place. If you felt like working up a post on this, it would be interesting to hear your impressions of the islands and the people and what attracted you to the place and even how you get there.

  • Cole Thompson Says:

    Thanks Patrick, good idea! I will offer some observations about the Faroe’s after I get these images processed.

  • Mark Says:

    I appreciate the simplicity in your approach Cole. Too often we can get so absorbed in the processes vs. just creating.

  • Cole Thompson Says:

    Mark, you speak the truth! I tend to be technical and OCD, a bad combo! So a few years ago I embarked on a program I call “Simplify.”


    Exceptional work my friend! Simply an efficient fast way to post process a fine art black and white creation. Thank you for sharing, master artist.

    Best & be well,

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