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

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

In some ways the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a universal thing. I’ve seen several in different countries and I think they are interesting to visit because they each reflect a bit of the history of the country the represent. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens was sculpted between 1930-32 and is watched over by members of the Presidential Guard in traditional uniforms. Despite it’s location in the busy city, it has a sense of space, quiet, and reflection:

ISO 800 10mm f/22 1/125sec

This is one of the original exposures that I have from my visit. When I went to edit it, I knew I wanted to retain both the soldiers and the birds which are reminders of life but also I wanted to emphasize the stillness and solemness of death.

ISO 800 10mm f/22 1/125sec

With my crop I’ve kept things lightly off kilter and I chose a filter in Luminar, called Dark Moon, that I found rather somber. Once I had the filter on I edited it’s settings a bit. Changing the center point of the vignette and also making it a bit lighter. I wanted to leave a still image that has the hint of chaos, a reminder that the path of a country is often littered with sacrifice.

Do you think this edit suggests that? Do you like the image or its edit? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to A Photo A Week Challenge, Reflection and Photo for the Week-15-Paths.

 

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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Computer Software, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Go Big, Or Go Home

I’ve made a big decision this week. Well, photographically speaking anyway. I’ve bought a new editing software, Luminar 2018. For its first real trial run I pulled out a photo of the Alhambra:

ISO 1000 19mm f/13 1/1250sec

The Alhambra is a huge complex. I had walked it the day before and was interested in getting a shot that would show how it fits into the local landscape.  The file below is my edited version:

ISO 1000 19mm f/13 1/1250sec

As with anything new, it is obvious to me that I will be watching a lot of tutorials on how to use Luminar more effectively.  As far as advanced tools go, one that I really want to work well in my editing software is the eraser tool. In the original file, mid-ground, on the right side, there is a crane. I removed it for the bottom file. The edit was pretty easy to make, once I’d watched a video explaining the steps. I was happy with the result as well.

If you like to read about editing, I’ll talk a bit here about why I made this purchase. I have been using Lightroom and Photoshop as my main editing tools. My two most serious complaints about them are the subscription model and the need for an internet connection to use them. Buying a stand-alone piece of software requires a one-time purchase, I’m never obligated to buy an upgrade. To be honest, because I do a lot of editing, I probably will buy an upgrade at some point. With this software, no internet is needed to make my edits. In the coming years, I do see myself as potentially being in places with less internet.

Why did I buy now? A couple of factors. Luminar 2018 is coming out with a library feature that will potentially boost the cost of this software. I purchased it now and will have access to that update at no additional cost. Another important factor is that in March my Adobe subscription will be due for renewal. Buying now gives me time to learn this software and see if it will actually work for my needs. If it doesn’t, Luminar does actually work as a plug-in with Photoshop and Lightroom. That’s what my research indicated anyway. At this point, I have not installed it as such, because I would like to use Luminar as much as possible on its own, in order to make a better decision for myself come March.

What can you expect as a reader of this blog? Me, experimenting. Because I already write a lot about my editing process my posts will be very similar I expect. Making this switch has already been several months of research in the making. As a reader, you will see the results unfold. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Go Big!

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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge

In Someone’s World

This structure, complete with water wheel!, is part of what is known as the Queen’s Hamlet at Versailles.

ISO 640 14mm f/13 1/160sec

Walking around the hamlet, it seems no surprise that many accused Marie-Antoinette of living in her own world, far removed from that of her subjects. The grounds and gardens of Versailles are very beautiful though, even on a less than perfect weather day.  The original file that my black and white is based on is this one:

ISO 640 14mm f/13 1/160sec

The sky and the light, as you can see, were overcast and drab, so I decided to try this image as a black and white. As I was experimenting with the different filters in Lightroom, it was the infrared one that I ended up liking the best. I mention that in part because I don’t often use that filter. The other edit that was important here was a graduated filter which I ran from the top to the bottom of the frame, that had the effect of darkening the sky the most and the snow the least. I used the healing tool as well to remove the wire in the lower right hand of the photo and the people who are in the original but not the monochrome version.

Can you imagine building a village in your backyard? The tree fort I built as a kid did not include a water wheel I can assure you, but maybe you thought on a grander scale than I did? Your comments on this pretend world at Versailles or the “real” one you built as a child are welcome below!

Cheers!

Add to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Our World and Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge, Circles and Curves.

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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.

Cheers!

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.

 

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

Where the path splits

This photo was taken at Derwent Edge in the Peak District.

ISO 800 12mm f/20 1/400sec

I have applied very little in the way of post-processing to this photo because it was a beautiful scene that didn’t really need enhancement in my opinion.  This walk, that we did over the summer, was a riot of blooming heather contrasted with the rocky terrain and the blue of the sky. I chose to take a photo at this particular spot because I found the split in the trail to be visually interesting. It was one of those walks where I had to purposely put my camera away, to that I would also just enjoy the moment. I’m grateful to have this shot though.

Does this photo appeal to you? Can you name a place you’ve visited where you had to put your camera away in order to enjoy the moment? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Picfair version here.

Added to Lens-Artists photo challenge, Path.

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

Wordless Wednesday: Vltava River

ISO 1250 20mm f/11 1/160sec

Added to A Photo a Week Challenge: Water.

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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Touch of Red

When I sit down to edit an image it’s true to say that I’m not always sure what I will do with my final version.  Here is the original file of such an image:

ISO 1250 15mm f/11 1/40sec

Editing this image started with a crop. Since it was the little red ribbons that caught my attention on site, my next edit was to give them a saturation boost. I’ve desaturated some of the colors in this image. I then put a radial filter around the angel and sheep and made the rest of the image softer by moving the dehaze slider into negative numbers in the area outside of the filter. Here is the final image:

ISO 1250 15mm f/11 1/40sec

Like several images from my time in Prague, I don’t have a real use for it so to speak. However, I really like many of my images. They are a reminder of how much I enjoyed looking around the city. Prague is beautiful in my opinion. I will keep this image, as I have kept others, just because they make me happy. Sometimes, it’s the little things, like little red ribbons, that catch my eye. It appeared that someone had taken the time to hand tie them in, and that lovely small detail really what made this display beautiful.  Do you often keep images for no other reason than they make you happy? Do you like the edits I have done here?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Red, and Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Small is Beautiful.

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