Fun With One Iceberg Image – Many Looks

Playing Around With One Image

The Original
This i what I started with

Like you, I am in lockdown in my home. Lucky for me, I am healthy and I have a lot of toys at my disposal. So, before I go on, I want to extend a heartfelt wish that you are healthy and safe. Together we will get through the COVID-19 crisis.

In the meantime, I am working on a number of different projects. Having just returned from Antarctica, I have thousands of images to edit and process. I am pretty much done with this project now, and this will allow us to do our live Antarctica presentation. Now I am working on the images that will go into three different articles.

Over a glass of wine and some adult ADD, I got sidetracked and decided to play with one image, running it through a number of different third-party software applications. Why not? There doesn’t seem to be a lot of urgency in doing things these days while we are all under lockdown. Isn’t it fun to just stop and play sometimes?

I have a lot of third-party applications. Typically, I adjust my RAW files in Capture One and then output them to TIFF files. These open up in Photoshop for fill inspection. If needed, I usually make some minor adjustments, like using dust spotting or content-aware. Most of the time, there is nothing that needs to be done. I am not one to use a lot of special effects filters, as I am pretty satisfied with the images the way they come out of Capture One.

Capture One allows me to straighten horizons, correct perspective, do spotting, revere highlight and shadow details, as well as perform luminosity masking to correct areas in a photograph to my liking. As a matter of record, my output to what I call my Master File is a 16bit TIFF file in ProPhoto RGB at 360ppi 100% sizing.

I have a storefront site,, that I have been working on the last month or so and add to it regularly. That site needs a full-size image in Adobe RGB at 300ppi. I have been taking the images that I like from my Master File and resizing them in Photoshop. These are then uploaded to the storefront site.

Let Play Time Begin

One evening as I was working on my Antarctica trip photos, I got distracted and started to play around with the third-party apps I have. Most of these, once installed, can be found under the File > Automate or under the Filters menu at the bottom of the pull-down menu. I had an iceberg image open and wondered what the different Nik filters would do to it. And that is how it began; I started playing with the full arsenal of programs.

The Automate selection on the File menu has a number of third party programs you can access

These programs consisted of Nik filters, Skylum Luminar, Skylum Aurora, Topaz, and eventually a few on my iPad. Each time I opened an image in one of these programs, I found new and interesting results. I got addicted and I continued on, finding the journey a lot of fun.

Filter menu
The Filter menu is where many 3rd party programs put access through plugins to their apps

I would usually use these programs to perform certain aspects of image improvement, such as adding a texture or fixing a problem. However, I found these programs could add a lot to making an image look different and in many cases dramatic. I am not advocating the use of these filters all the time. Sometimes they are a little too much, as I am sure you’ll agree when you look at the images below.


After a few hours, I ended up with quite a collection of different looks. I also became more familiar with these different programs and what to expect. I now know that there is a lot of power in these programs, and they can do some cool things for different needs for my photography.

My recommendation is if you have these programs give them a try by modifying one image. If you don’t have these programs, you can download trial versions and then give them a try. You’ll have fun, you’ll come up with some different-looking images, and more than anything else, you’ll entertain yourself while being in lockdown.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll look at each of these programs and do some demos so you can see what power they have.

The Many Faces Of An Iceberg

The following images were created from one file.  I opened this file in a number of different apps and then made decisions based on presets in the app or started my own variations from scratch.  No matter what you do you can always save the variations as your own presets.  Makes doing something on similar images repeatable.

The Master Image

This is the master image from which everything else shown below was created from


This was edited on the iPad.

This image was imported into the iPad through the photos app.  I then used Snapseed to HDR the image as well as male other adjustments.  Then I opened the saved image in FX Distressed and added the texture overlay and the birds.  I love adding birds.

NIK Color Efex Pro 4 – Midnight

I opened the image up in NIK ColorEfex Pro 4 and modified it a bit to my taste.  This effect completely changes the look and mood of the image.  Cold, dark and foreboding.   Then I took the image into Topaz studio and put a mat and frame around it in the digital Frame selection.  This fram is a prest I made.I like this one, it works for me.


Replaced Sky with an augmented moon

The image above was made with Luminar 4.2.  This is the newest version and it does sky replacement and now augmented sky.  Essentially you select Sky AI which means Artificial Intelligence.  In the blink of an eye, the program masks your image and replaces the sky with one of the dozens that come with the program or hundreds that can be bought separately.  You can also add objects like moons, planets, planes, etc.  It is addicting to play.  I foresee a lot of pictures coming our way with replaced skies and things added to the sky.

Sky replacement
Sky replacement
Another version with sky replacement

The images above were made using Luminar 4.2 and I replaced the sky with the Milky Way. I was also able to control the light on the iceberg to match the effect.  Hard to believe these were shot in the middle of the day.


Nik Color effects with detail enhanced
Nik Color effects with detail enhanced
This was made with Topaz
Framed image using Topaz Studio

How About Some Black and White Versions

Nik Silver efex BW Natural
Nik Silver efex BW Natural
Nik Silver Efex Version 2
Nik Silver Efex Version 2
Nik Silver Efex Pop
Silver Efex Fil Noir
Silver Efex Fil Noir

Some Other Fun Images

This one was fun using Luminar 4.2
This one was fun using Luminar 4.2 and Augmented feature
PhotoArtista app on the iPad
PhotoArtista app on the iPad
A more subdued version made in PhtoArtista on the iPad
A more subdued version made in PhtoArtista on the iPad
This was done with Afterlight on the iPad
Now a little fun with the Mac Circular Studio
Circular Studio on the Mac
Playing around with the Zoom feature in Circular Studio
Playing around with the Zoom feature in Circular Studio
Nik Color Efex
Silver Efex a more subtle look
A bit of drama from Snapseed on the iPad

Final Thoughts

While we are battling the Covid-19 lockdowns and isolation, we need to look for new ways that we can stay occupied and creative.  I don’t know about you but I have plenty to do.  I am working on old images, reprocessing them in Capture One 20 and using the new tools to make these images even better.  I have started three books and I am in the midst of designing and finding images.  These books will be Icebergs, Doors Of Valparaiso, and Punta Arenas Cemetary.  I have articles coming on Making Prints At Home,  Software To Make Prints, and we are setting up to do small on-screen tutorials.  There always seems to be something to do.

I miss going out to dinner and meeting up with friends but I can sacrifice that for a while to do my part to keep others safe and us safe.  I hope you are safe and healthy.  While at home make a list of things that need fixing, things that you want to do and find ways to have fun with your photography.

Kevin Raber
March 2020
Kevin Raber
Indianapolis, IN

Photography is my passion and has been for 50 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of picture taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can, hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through, this site, as well as Rockhopper Workshops, and other projects, as well as teaching as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.

Article Type: Tutorials, Columns, MISC

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