The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory and Book at the Door Winner

The winner of this month’s Book at the Door and two prints of mine has been announced, pop over to take a look!

Behind the Willows

And the winner is…

Rosie Amber!

Rosie is none other than the wonderful Rosie of Rosie’s Book Review Team, of which I’m proud to be a member. Her blog (rosieamber.wordpress.com) is full of book reviews from all genres and you should certainly stop by if you are looking for your next book to read.

Rosie will need to be on the lookout for a package in the mail with a copy of The White Queen by Philippa Gregory as well as these beautiful prints by Amy Maranto!

Now that you have seen these photos again I’m sure you would like to go visit Amy on her blog Photography Journal Blog  (https://marantophotography.wordpress.com/) where she shares her thoughts on her photography and photo editing journey!

Rosie she says she hasn’t read any Philippa Gregory books yet, which is a terrible problem to have and I am so happy to…

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What I Saw

Maybe this happens to you. You are looking at something and you see what is actually there, but in your mind you see something else. This happens to me a lot. When it comes to my photography it can create a bit of tension; part of me likes to record just the facts while another part is off imagining.  This image is from that imagining side:

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/640

This photograph is a panorama and the original files looked like this one:

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/640

The original files are kind of just ho-hum, but what I liked was the green and also the texture of the brick.  I was also just intrigued by the fact that the building was there.  It’s part of an old sewage farm and was first constructed in 1887.

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/640

The building now is in pretty good shape but does have an abandoned look about it. When I created the panorama, I knew I wanted to bring out that aspect of it.  A quick sketch of how I created this image looks like this.  I selected the original files that I wanted to use in Lightroom. Then Lightroom-Photo-Edit In-Merge to Panorama in Photoshop.  From there I cropped and straightened the image. Then I sharpened it and saved it back to Lightroom.  From Lightroom-Photo-Edit In-Analog Efex Pro.  I ended up using a wet plate camera setting but then changed the settings within that filter and saved it back to Lightroom.  In Lightroom I made a few more adjustments, mostly to get the green colors to a point where I liked.

In addition to posting this in the Weekly Photo Challenge, I am also posting it in an interesting challenge called Thursday Doors.

How about you, do you often look at something and imagine something completely different? Is the green of Spring emerging where you are or are you on the opposite side of the world, springing into another season altogether?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Atop

If I’m headed into Cambridge from the park and ride, I always head to the front seat at the top of the bus.  This week, I was joined by a fellow passenger who stood for the whole ride in making “vroom-vroom” noises.  I just settled for making a photo:

ISO 64 4.15mm f/2.2 1/1000 sec

I shot this panorama on my iPhone and from Lightroom edited it using the Google Efex Pro plug in. Once I created a version that I liked I brought it back into Lightroom.  I then made some further edits. In this case, I warmed it up a bit, brought a bit of clarity to it and added a vignette.  I like the plug in as a starting point for editing.  One thing that I do when I am adding filters is to wait, even if it is just for a moment, before deciding I am done.  In my opinion, it is rare that a preset filter has exactly what you had in mind.  I give it a bit of time, look at the photo again and then usually edit again.  Filters can be a good place to start, but rarely are they your final vision.

I was in a bit of an experimental mood when I was writing this post, so I am adding in what should be a link to a slightly larger version of the photo in Flickr.

Panorama in Cambridge

Directions on how to do that are here.

I’ve also added it to my Instagram feed, using the work around I came up with last week.  In this particular case, I am also experimenting with adding the panorama format and not the traditional Instagram square format.

A #panorama from the top of the bus #bestseat #cambridge

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

 

If you are on either of those platforms, you can stop by and let me know what you think.  Do you use the panorama function on your cell phone? When you are editing do you wait and come back later to your edits? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wish

I love technology, but only sometimes.  I think it would be accurate to call me a fair weather technology fan. This is especially true when it comes to social media.  I had been wondering for sometime, like ever since I signed up for an account, how to get my photos from Lightroom to Instagram. The most obvious solution to me was to create a folder in Lightroom and then have that folder on Lightroom mobile on my phone. I think the trendy phrase, “epic fail” is fair to use here. Lightroom mobile did not load properly on my phone. Wow, I have a newish phone and everything and it was a meltdown.  I grumbled many things as I reset my phone.  Mostly about how I hate Adobe, creator of Lightroom and all Photoshop products.  And honestly, I could write a very long post about my gripes over Adobe. I’ll spare you.

So, I put to the side the idea of getting photos from Lightroom to Instagram, but not really; there is nothing I love to chew on more in the back of mind than things that don’t really matter.  Then within the last week I read a few blog posts that made me think about my little problem again. Instead of just googling for the answer, why don’t I try asking some bloggers who are also on Instagram how they do it? I’d like to thank Otto von Munchow, Cardinal Guzman, and Jeff Golenski for responding to the question I posed on their blogs. To you reading this post, I’ve linked their first name to their blog and their surname to their Instagram.

As to their answers, they were all different. However, reading their answers did make me realize my work around. It is super basic and you may wonder why I didn’t think of it first. Why did I even have to spend all this time researching apps and other things?  But there you have it, I don’t always think of the easiest answer first.  Here is my Instagram photo from Lightroom:

Spotted in #Oxford #latergram #canon50d

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

How’d I do it? Exported the photo in question from Lightroom to my desktop and used Airdrop to transfer it to my camera roll and added it to Instagram from there.  Pretty simple.

I wish I had asked my fellow bloggers sooner.

Here’s the part where I ask you what you think, how much do you love or not love technology? Where do you go to get your technology questions answered? feel free to leave a comment below. If you have gotten this far and would like another link, I have one for you.  Jessie is giving away a book along with a print of mine that I donated for her Book at the Door giveaway this month. Check out her post for a chance to win.

Cheers!

Countryside

I was out on a walk on Sunday which usually means I would have my Canon 50D with me. But the weather report and a look outside advised against it, so I left it at home.  However, at our starting point the weather took an unexpected turn for the better. I took my phone out of its waterproof case (Ziploc bag) and took this photo while we were out:

ISO25 4.15mm f/2.2 1/1400

This house was beautiful, but I really felt that it would make for an interesting image in black and white.  Here is the final version:

ISO25 4.15mm f/2.2 1/1400

One of the reasons I chose to convert to black and white is that I felt that the photo had a lot of details in it, details that would be easier to see and compete with each other less in black and white.  The photo also needed cropping, there was a bit too much hedge and grass, elements that were not really adding anything to the photo.  In between taking the photo and doing the editing, I was also inspired by this black and white photo challenge. In her image, Paula has made the countryside beautiful in black and white, and has captured a reflection of her subject in the water. It’s a beautiful image and worth your time to check it out.

What do you think of my edits? Do you like the fact that it is black and white? Do you check the weather to make a camera decision?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Book at the Door Giveaway with Maranto Photography

Source: Book at the Door Giveaway with Maranto Photography

Check out this post at Behind the Willows for a chance to win a book and a print of mine. Thanks to Jessie for allowing me to participate in this fun monthly giveaway!

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Road Taken

I love exploring new places. Regular readers of this blog will know that the natural world holds a special place in my heart. Sometimes though the road I take leads me to photos like this one:

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/250

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/250

I spotted this window last week as I was walking down the street in a new town.  It’s not the kind of photo I usually take, but it made laugh out loud, so I took that to mean I should take the photo.  Here is the original:

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/250

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/250

I really felt that this photo needed a bit of editing, but that it would be important not to go overboard.  I stuck with Lightroom to do the edits.  I have cropped it because I thought the brick was a distraction.  I increased the clarity and saturation.  I then added a vignette to the edges.  All of my edits were done with the thought of making the photo pop a little more, but not scream “I’ve been edited!”

Do you think the edits are successful? Would you have edited it differently? and here’s a question, would you have taken the photo in the first place?  Your thoughts are welcome below.

Cheers!