11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, travel

Athens, as seen from Areopagus Hill

Part of the appeal of visiting Athens is its history. These two photo were taken from Areopagus Hill, the spot where St. Paul is said to have preached to the Athenians of his time. From one vantage point, there are excellent views of the Acropolis.

ISO 500 22mm f/22 1/160sec

Another view shows the Ancient Agora and the sprawl of the modern city.

ISO 500 22mm f/22 1/200sec

I liked both views, but was interested in editing them in different ways. The view of the Acropolis, I wanted to keep in color and retain the vivid feel of that late afternoon.  I added a split tone filter that I thought maintained the interesting contrast of colors and accentuated the layers of rock, trees, rock, sky.

For the modern city, I was interested in black and white to distill the image a bit, and I have purposely made the whites in the image hazy and glowing a bit to represent the bustle of the modern city.

What a view, if you visit Athens I would recommend taking the time to climb this spot. Watch your step though, the rocks are well worn and quite slippery. As for my two interpretations, do you have a favorite? feel free to comment below.


Added to Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: Cityscapes.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 80D, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photography, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Stand Up Straight

ISO 400 46mm f/8 1/160sec

Added to One Word Sunday, List.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, travel

On the Horizon

I took this photograph in Normandy, France:

ISO 200 22mm f/16 1/400sec

What attracted me to the scene was the colors.  Also the various lines in the scene, the shoreline, the pier, and the horizon.  So when I went to edit, the first thing I did was to crop and straighten the photo, to accentuate some of those lines:

ISO 200 22mm f/16 1/400sec

The next step was to remove some dust spots that were visible and also the two people that were on the pier. These small edits helped to distill the image down to what I wanted. My next edits were to boost and clarify the colors. I kept these edits to a minimum because in my opinion the scene was beautiful as it was.

What do you think, do the edits stay close enough to the original? do the lines in this image appeal to you? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to A Photo A Week: On the Horizon.

Picfair Version is Here.

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

What I Am Working On: File Handling

One of the things I like to do on this blog is show two versions of an image, one the original as shot file and the other once I have finished editing. Here is an unedited file from Monet’s Giverny gardens:

ISO 200 f/10 1/250sec 19mm

When I am working in Lightroom I use virtual copies.  It’s a nice feature that allows me that have more than one version without taking up a lot of space. Virtual copies are not yet a thing in Luminar 3.  So once I had this edit done:

ISO 200 f/10 1/250sec 19mm

I wanted a copy also of the original.  A search into how to get back to the original without losing my edits revealed nothing. So I signed into a community page for Luminar and asked my question there.  I got a workable answer pretty quickly. Basically, it is possible to go to the history panel, click back to the original, export the file, then reapply the edits. That’s what I’ll be using, at least until virtual copies become available on Luminar.

The edits I have applied include the sky filter, which I am thinking I may have applied a bit too strong, but what do you think? I’ve also used the crop, vignette, and eraser tools. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Added to January Colors and Letters, With the letter G.

Link to the software I am using, Luminar 3.

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.


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


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.


Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Go Big!

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!


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