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

Hidden in the photograph

The Alhambra is a sprawling architectural wonder. It’s beautiful, the buildings and the grounds. Full of little spots like this that are tucked away from view:

ISO 1600 10mm f/13 1/250sec

Wait, that photo doesn’t sell it? It was a tricky place to photograph. This particular courtyard was dark. The hazy overcast light of a rainy day wasn’t really doing me any favors either.  I took the photo anyway.  I had a feeling that I could create something that I liked.  Fast forward to this week, and here is what I have created:

ISO 1600 10mm f/13 1/250sec

When I originally looked at the file, I thought I would be sticking with the warm tones of the building. As it unfolded though, I ended up liking the cooler green tones. Another edit that I hadn’t originally considered was to take the already overexposed sky and overexpose it more, which lent an almost glow to the trees that I really liked.

I won’t mislead you, it took me a while and three editing software programs to get here. I started and ended in Lightroom. The first step in Lightroom was just to identify which file I liked the most in terms of composition. The winner got exported to Photoshop. When it comes to removing people, Photoshop healing tools remain my favorite over the ones that are in Lightroom. There were about six people in this photo that needed to go. From there, I have a Nik Analog Efex Pro* plug-in that I sometimes use when I want to get a film effect on my photographs. It was a good starting point in terms of getting the color cast and grain look that I wanted.  The file was then re-imported back to Lightroom for a few finishing touches, including a crop.

Whew, long journey. Totally worth it.

But what do you think? Do you like the edit? Have you ever edited something you really liked from a file that just seemed so-so? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to Travel with Intent, Hidden and Live Laugh RV, Architecture.

*So for a while, Nik Analog Pro had an older version that was available as a free download and that is the version I am using. The software has now been re-vamped and re-packaged and is available here. I do not own this version, so consider this link for your information only and not necessarily as a recommendation.



22 thoughts on “Hidden in the photograph

  1. Willow says:

    That’s some pretty good editing. I didn’t even see the people in the first photo, it’s so dark. I haven’t tried Lightroom, but since I’m a hobbyist, I don’t want to spend a lot of editing software. Even the bit I spend on Photoshop is pushing it.

    Still, I like what you did with the photograph. Except, if you’ll take a small criticism… there’s something wrong with the shadows, as in there aren’t any to speak of. If there’s that much light, there should be shadows around the bottom of the bushes. It makes the light you added seem artificial. Just a thought.


  2. Hi Amy! I always enjoy reading about your artistic process. Great work!

    I am investigating text-on-photo software (to use on Instagram, actually) – and I’m overwhelmed. Can I ask what you use to put your signature on photos? Thanks!


  3. marlene frankel says:

    I will sometimes take a so so pic and try to dramatically change it. I usually start in LR CC. A new software plugin I am using is Luminar 2018. Sometimes I will use some Topaz plugins.


    • So, I am thinking of purchasing Luminar, what do you think of it? I am also wondering if you are thinking of switching to their library system when it releases in December or are you thinking of sticking with using it as a plug-in and keeping Lightroom? Thanks!


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