11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Instagram, iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

A Study in Light

You won’t have been a photographer for very long before you hear of the term the golden hour. It’s a great time to shoot outside as the light is usually really nice then. I appreciate that light, but honestly, sometimes I take photographs in whatever the conditions are because that’s when I could be there.

I was visiting Omaha Beach nowhere near the golden hour. The light was flat and hazy, usually a bad thing, but in this case a bit magical:

ISO 640 16mm f/16 1/640sec

I love that the light was illuminating just one part of this Les Braves Memorial. ย The version you see above is an HDR image. ย It was created using three exposures, here is one of the original exposures:

ISO 640 16mm f/16 1/640sec

One of the things combining the exposures did was combine the waves, which I like. You can also see that while I was editing I removed the fence. ย I used the spot healing brush tool in Photoshop to do that.

Further along the beach, I took this photo with my iPhone that I then posted to Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

#omahabeach yesterday and today #dday #wwii #lestweforget

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

That photo is not edited, I think the natural light in it was perfect and skipped putting a filter on. My husband had brought along photos of the landing at Omaha and we lined up that classic image shot by Robert Capa with the approximate place on the beach. My husband had brought along several resources for us to look at while we exploring the beaches, which made our visit that much more moving.

Have you ever been out shooting in “bad” light only to find out that it was perfect? Do you like the HDR version or does the original memorial shot appeal to you more? Feel free to leave a comment below.


This post was added to Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge.


32 thoughts on “A Study in Light

  1. Amy the lighting is magical. Like you often I am at a location at the only time I can be so I do my best to make due with the conditions. Your husband bringing along the photo is extremely powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you removed the fence, Amy. If it is there to protect the sculptures, it would offer only token resistance! What a fascinating memorial, and your light seems just right but the original you shared is very interesting too.


  3. Wonderful, atmospheric photo Amy. I definitely approve the removal of the fence but I did like the natural light every bit as well as the HDR. Happily the HDR is not overdone which is the downside of most users of the technology. Well done!


  4. I love how dramatic the clouds are in the HDR version, but the original is also beautiful. Next to golden hour, I love shooting in cloudy conditions. They do a great job in defusing the light and taking care of harsh shadows. Including the photo your husband brought was inspired. Wonderful post. Thanks for joining the challenge!


  5. Thank you Amy, for sharing your editing process! Your final product is so very magical (much less so with the fence in there).

    My favourite from this series of photos is your final one, though, with the old photo – it is so clever and gives the longness of time & history.


  6. I really enjoyed the edited photo of Les Braves w o the fence, that was a gift, Amy! And the very poignant photo-in-a-photo of Omaha Beach was good, as well.

    About the light, I’ve been reading a book called “A Sideways Look at Clouds,” in which she talks about the types of clouds and she mentioned that when you have Stratus clouds it gives you good light for photography, and of course here in Seattle we have lots of Stratus clouds. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!


      • Yes, in the “Clouds” book she talks about how clouds form, what the different types are, the science of water vapor and what makes clouds visible or not, plus it’s also a memoir about her learning about the clouds. Kind of an unusual hybrid, but I’m enjoying it – more the science part than the memoir part. The author lived in Olympia while she wrote it, so it’s got a lot of local place references. But you could read it without knowing Olympia or the Seattle area and still get good cloud knowledge out of it. Now that I’ve started the book I find myself looking at clouds all the time!


      • Sounds a bit like the book H for Hawk, which was a bit about training and flying hawks and a bit memoir. It wasn’t my favorite book ever, but it was a strong book. It was also set in the local Cambridge area, so I know some of the areas she is writing about.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I was overwhelmed with emotion when I stood and viewed this Memorial.

    Sometimes the lighting makes for a certain mood in a capture.

    The fence was not there when we went. I like the picture without the fence.

    I liked your HDR version!


    • For some reason this (and your other comment) ended up in my spam bin. I have rescued it ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for your kind comment and visit. I appreciate you stopping by my Instagram as well. I was happy that I was able to remove the fence without too much difficulty.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have had several peopleโ€™s comments go into Spam before. Itโ€™s a folder we need to look at frequently.

        I so enjoyed your photos. Sweet memories for me.


      • I get e-mail notifications of comments as well, which is how I knew to look for yours, generally speaking, that is good enough. Also, this last week for some reason I have been hit with a lot of spam, your legitimate comments were literally buried in a huge pile of actual spam, not sure if you have also noticed that this week or if it’s just a bad week for me on that front.
        Thanks again for taking a look at my photos, it make me happy that you enjoyed them.


  8. As so ably done here, both fence removal and HDR illustrate an important aspect of good photo editing.  Instead of trying to wow the viewer with artsy gimmicks (or to deceive the viewer, which is even worse), they tweak what the camera recorded to convey a clearer sense of how it felt to be at that place at that time.


  9. Pingback: What I Am Working On: Erase Vs. Clone and Stamp | Photography Journal Blog

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