50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, Flowers, Photo Challenges, Photography

Roses on a Grid

This could have been taken in a lot of gardens since I often see roses trained to grow up or through artificial objects, but this was taken at Giverny in Claude Monet’s gardens. I couldn’t help but think while I was visiting that there were a lot of plants you could see anywhere in this garden, yet the way they are assembled makes them unique to this particular garden. Here are some roses growing on a fence:

ISO 800 50mm f/13 1/60

It’s a nice image as shot, but I wanted to edit it in a few small ways. First was the crop.  This eliminated two things. First is the petals that are partially in the top center of the photo and the leaves in the middle right-hand side. It also makes the branch less prominent. In addition to the crops, a few adjustments to the tone curve makes the grid of the fence more obvious as compared to this original shot:

ISO 800 50mm f/13 1/60

This slight accent on the geometry of man and nature seemingly in harmony and the slightly cooler tones of the image, do a lot to settle this photo. To me it is calmer, but what do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Geometry.

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Birds, iPhone, Nature, Photography, Silent Sunday, Wandering Wednesday

Silent Sunday: Swans at Sunset

 

ISO 25 4.15mm f2.2 1/450

Inspired by Wandering Wednesday: Sunsets.

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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Tuesday Photo Challenge

And then there I was

I knew it was going to be beautiful even before I went. A driving tour along the Normandy coast? I was truly looking forward to it. As a bonus, the day we were scheduled to go was a beautiful one. This is the lighthouse in Saint-Valery-en-Caux:

ISO 200 12mm f/16 1/400sec

That’s an unedited, as shot, version of the lighthouse. I feel like everything I saw that day was photography ready. The day included a stop in Etretat, which I have already written about, and several other stops that I suspect will make their way onto the blog in the future.

When I came upon this scene, after “wow” and “how lucky am I?” my next thought was, what would I want from a photograph of this lighthouse?  My answer was to keep the image simple in terms of the story.  So the decision I made was to shoot in such a way that the fisherman was out of the scene but that his gear stayed. The story here: yes, there are people around but also a great expanse of the natural world.

The first edit was a simple one, that is cropping. In this first edit I have used the tone curves to boost the blues and bring down the white tones a bit:

ISO 200 12mm f/16 1/400sec

This first edit I think speaks well to the vibrancy of the day. The photo itself though, is such a delightful treat, that I knew I wanted to try at least two more takes on it. I wanted to do a more vintage edit and a black and white. First my vintage:

ISO 200 12mm f/16 1/400sec

I’ve kept the warm tones and desaturated the blues for this one. One of the things I like about this particular edit is the way the rust on the lighthouse now looks.

The black and white edit was a bit more problematic:

ISO 200 12mm f/16 1/400sec

I ended up with a cream tone instead of true black and white. As much as I think a brilliant, saturated color photo often translates to a nice black and white image, in this case, it ended up not appealing to me. I think what the cream tone allows for is the warmth of the original scene to still be there.

This is a photo that I suspect I will be coming back to. I would like to have another shot at the black and white. I’m also thinking of trying to crop the photo in a different way. Of these, do you have a favorite? is there a way that you would approach editing it in a creative way?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge: Treat and Lens Artists Photo Challenge: Wonder.

Picfair version is here.

 

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70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Photo Editing, Photography, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Lake Manyara Landscape

Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania. Giraffes with flamingos in the distance.

ISO 800 150mm f/11 1/1250

Picfair version here.

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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Giant

One of the fun things about having a wide angle lens is that I can create photos that make an object seem like it dominates the landscape:

ISO 500 13mm f/16 1/800sec

I’ve done several things to make the windmill feel larger than it is, but before I get to that, here is the original file:

ISO 500 13mm f/16 1/800sec

Since there are several edits here, I’m going to write about them in the order that I applied them. I started with a crop. Cropping is one of those edits that photographers like to argue about a lot discuss.  Should you crop first thing or leave it till the end? As with many points of contention regarding photography, the answer is yes, you should do one of those things. I tend to consider it on a photo by photo basis. In this case, the crop came first. There were too many people if this image was to be one that was just about the windmill. The crop would be an easy way to remove some of them. I applied the rule of thirds to my crop, placing the center of the mill blades on the upper right meeting point of the grid. The rest of the people were dispatched with the healing brush in Photoshop. Because the sky was fairly evenly blue, the dust spots I have on my camera sensor were also obvious. The healing brush took care of those as well.

The next step was to work with the tone curve in Lightroom. I actually wanted to move the point curve within the tone curve, because I knew I could create a more matte look to the photo by doing that. I just wasn’t sure where the button was for that in Lightroom, so I found this short article with the answer, it’s one of those simple but powerful things that Lightroom is capable of, once you find the right button!

From there I opened the split-toning panel and began to experiment. I have warmed the highlights of the image using that panel. I think that gives the final photo the bit of pop that it needed. I thought to use split-toning because over the weekend I read this article about it. The article is a good starting point I think, for understanding how split-toning works.  Thanks to Lisa over at One Ocean at a Time for sending me the article last week as part of a discussion we were having about photo editing. If you are in the market for a blog that is full of the beauty of the world, hers is a good place to find that.

The last steps in my edits included adding some grain and a vignette. While I often sharpen my images near the end of the editing process, in this case, I chose to leave that step off.

What do you think of my edits? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Travel with Intent: Giant.

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70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Nature, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Thursday Special

Seals

Although my 70-200mm lens in a bit heavy, there are several reasons why I love it. One is the opportunity to get a close shot of nature with minimum disruption to my wild subjects, in this case, the seals near Blakeney Point. There are two types of seals in the area, this first photo is of a Grey Seal:

ISO 1250 195mm f/16 1/500 sec

Here is the original shot.

ISO 1250 195mm f/16 1/500 sec

This next photo is of the Common Seal:

ISO 1250 170mm f/16 1/640sec

Here is the original of that shot:

ISO 1250 170mm f/16 1/640sec

These photos were taken from a boat and my lens was set at 195mm and 170mm for the photos. In addition to having a long lens another trick to making the seals look closer than they were is to crop the images.  In the case of the first photo, the crop is fairly small. I didn’t want to lose the shore or too much of the water as I thought they were important parts of the photo. I was more aggressive with the second photo in a couple of ways. The first is the crop, I’ve removed the blood-streaked seal completely. Secondly, I have changed the tone of the photo completely. While I warmed the first photo a bit, for this second one I wanted to change it completely, make it look like I had taken the shot in completely different light conditions. It’s a different look, but you still can tell how well these seals blend with their surroundings.

What do you think of my photos and their edits? Do you have a favorite? Feel free to leave a comment below.

A variation of that first image made it into my Instagram feed:

Picfair: Grey Seal and Common Seal

Added to Travel With Intent: Afar and Thursday Special: Marine.

Cheers!

 

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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Looking Up

The original photo for this post I took almost a year ago, and have been tinkering with off and on ever since. It was taken with my wide angle lens which is an 11-22mm lens. The lens was purchased for two reasons, one is for landscape purposes. Wide angle lenses can deliver sweeping landscape shots.  The other reason was for shots like this one below. The lens made it possible for me stand inside Holyrood Abbey and get a lot of the interior in one shot:

ISO 800 10mm f/13 1/500sec

In this case, it almost looks like I’m shooting from below the Abbey. The first edit I chose to convert to black and white, but I kept a lot of the blue tones in.  It was a beautiful, almost blindingly blue day. So painfully blue, that for my first color version I toned the blues down by dropping the vibrancy:

ISO 800 10mm f/13 1/500sec

When I revisited the edit later, I added some warmth by increasing the yellow tones:

ISO 800 10mm f/13 1/500sec

I’m still not sure here, there are things I like about each of the edits and things I don’t, so your opinion is welcome below in the comments.

A bit of an aside, but in case you are wondering the Queen is at Holyrood this week:

Cheers!

Added to A Photo A Week Challenge.

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