11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Embrace Your Situation

I really enjoy photography but I also have a life that has a lot of other moving parts which means photography can’t always be my main focus. It puts me in the category of “enthusiast” rather than “professional”. In my mind (and life) one of the differences between those two categories is that I have to take the picture when I have the opportunity instead of setting up to go at a certain time based on ideal shooting conditions. My trip to Berlin near Christmas time is an example of this. I’d never been, do you think I am going to pass up the opportunity to take photos of the Brandenburg Gate? I can assure you that I did not. However, my chance to be there was on an overcast day at 10 in the morning:

ISO 500 f/18 1/60sec 17mm

It was every bit the iconic spot I’d read about and seen photos of even if this particular file doesn’t really seem to express that. Now what? I could have a bit of a moan about not having the right opportunity or gear but to be honest, I had a really good time in Berlin and wouldn’t want to have messed up everyone else just for the chance to photograph this differently, I also do not need one more piece of kit.

So this is my file and my challenge. What would I like to bring to it? A first edit focused on the warm tones I saw in the stones. The edit was fine but not too interesting to me as it turned out. I let the file sit for a few months then came back to it this week. This time I really saw the couple in the foreground, they seemed to be contemplating the spot in a way that I felt I could relate to, so that became the focus of my edit:

ISO 500 f/18 1/60sec 17mm

I’ve used a crop, mostly because the file had too much around the edges that wasn’t necessary. I went black and white and slightly grainy and not too crazy with any kind of sharpening. I feel like these edits made it more universal, more of a story than a news article. I’ve used a vignette to help focus on the couple. The center of the vignette is set right on them. In Luminar there is a slider within the vignette that is marked “inner brightness” this helped them stand out even more.

The end result is an image that I am happy with. Your thoughts on the edits or your approach to mixing photography and the rest of your life are welcome below.


Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, City.



51 thoughts on “What I Am Working On: Embrace Your Situation

  1. I am often visiting places at the wrong time of day for photography. What can you do? Just go with the flow and register the moment as well as it is possible. I like you edited version in black and white. It is an iconic place.


  2. The word professional simply means “engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.” It has nothing to do with ability. When it comes to photography, the vast majority of us, including myself, are amateurs. Some of us have more talent than others.


  3. With my photography, I am usually looking for the story. Why am I at this location? Why did I take this photograph? My post-processing varies. When I want more dynamic range because the scene has areas of high contrast between light and shadow, I’ll auto-bracket the exposures for HDR. If I’m shooing water, I’ll use a neutral density filter. With the exception of street photography, the majority of my photography outings are planned – location, time of day, time of year, lens choice, tripod, etc. I walk around a location looking … looking.


  4. I think the edit is far superior to the original. It’s got soul. My travel photography mentors are always encouraging me to plan my photoshoots in advance of my arrival but I still prefer showing up when it suits. You’ve shown me once again that magic can be created at any time


  5. You should definitely be happy with the end result. You made a strong image out of something that could have ended up being quite drab, because of – as you point out – the rather dull weather. The way you processed the photo really brings the two people at the front in focus.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Takes one to know one, Amy. As a fellow ‘enthusiast’, I’ve learnt to grab the, often fleeting, moment. It requires great patience to wait for a coach load of tourists, all trying for the “money shot” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Because it’s such a historic spot, I think the black and white effect adds a lot to the photo, giving it authenticity. The graininess and other edits you added, also give an element of drama to the photograph, that is not present in the colour shot, which, when I look at it again, looks more like a standard tourist photograph.
    Great ideas for adding edits to historic locations.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! that’s one hell of an edit – that really makes it stand out, nicely done.

    I know what you mean about photography having to fit in around everything else – I’m exactly the same. When I go travelling, I just have to make the what’s in front me – regardless of weather, time of day or how busy it is. We had quite a hard time in Wales when we were photographing the castles – I got quite good at taking shots without bystanders in the frame, either by timing or careful cropping in the viewfinder (it’s amazing what you can hide behind a wall.

    Yes it would be great having the time to shoot a location in great light etc. – But I’d argue that having to make do probably improves your skills as a photographer.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Tuesday Photo Challenge – Round Up 175 – Dutch goes the Photo!

  10. H, Amy. I’m in the same boat. It is a difficult situation when you have limited time to shoot. I’m often relying on post processing to optimize less than ideal shooting circumstances!


    • So, I think you left the comment in the correct spot, but you had left something similar previously. I published the comment because I think the point you are making about word choice is an important one. If you do not want the comments up, I’m happy to take them down
      I hope that your recovery is going well. All the best to you, Amy


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