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

What I Am Working On: Mixing it Up

Sometimes it is fun to try a different approach to your photo editing. It can be a way to create a unique image of a familiar place. This was one of my photos of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Athens:

ISO 800 10mm f/22 1/200 sec

It’s a very imposing structure and a popular photo spot. For frequent readers of this blog, you may notice the little church tucked away on the right-hand side? That’s the church you saw in my recent post about creating a vintage photo look.

When I took this particular photo I was interested in two things. First, the story that I see of the man walking past and looking up at the cathedral. Second, what I think he is looking at, the mosaic in the facade. These are the things I want to emphasise in my final photo.

This is the outcome of my edit:

ISO 800 10mm f/22 1/200 sec

My first edits were done while the file was still in full color. I cropped the image and got rid of the security camera on the left.  I boosted the details and also the luminosity of the image. Then on a second layer, I converted the image to black and white. I added a mask and used the brush tool to reveal the color of the mosaic.  Luminar 3 has a filter called “top/bottom lighting” and that is what I used next instead of a vignette. The filter allows you to pick a focus point. I put that point on the man who is looking up. You can also change the axis of the filter, I tilted it on an angle; then pulled the top portion up towards the mosaic. From there I made the top darker and the bottom lighter using the sliders provided. I think this helps the image tell the story I was after, but what do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Unique.



50mm Lens, 70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Editing, Picfair, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Creating a Watermark

Spoiler alert: There’s a bit of a curveball in this post that makes the ending a bit of a cliffhanger.

The directions for making a watermark in Luminar 3 are in the instruction manual under the heading, Working with Layers. I’m starting with that declarative statement because I didn’t find that on my own, I e-mailed the folks at Luminar, and they sent me a link.

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/100sec

This is actually my second attempt at making a watermark. The first was a bit of a cheat in that I used Photoshop to help me make it. Not that there is something inherently wrong with that, it’s just that if my objective is to no longer have an Adobe subscription, I need to stop using those programs. This time around, I hand wrote “Maranto Photography” and then scanned that as a jpeg to use as my watermark layer.  The instructions Luminar provided are fairly straightforward, although I think that in some places they assume a bit of working knowledge about photo-editing. That’s fine for me, but maybe a bit of stretch for others who don’t have prior experience. Given that not having editing experience is a bit of a selling point for Luminar, I think this is a bit of a potential frustration for users.

Here I am again, a day later, giving it another try:

ISO 200 95mm f/16 1/160sec

This second one worked a bit better in my opinion.  If you are taking a look at the watermark directions from the link above, the step I am fooling with here is the curves.

Here’s the promised curveball, it involves the curves functionality in Luminar, or rather the lack thereof. You may have noticed that the photo in my last post did not have a watermark. That’s not from lack of trying, it’s because I couldn’t get the sliders in curves to function properly, which is a pretty important step in the creation of my watermark.

Here’s the promised cliffhanger, I’ve reported the problem to Luminar. I posted in their community forum and they responded asking me to basically recreate and file the problem. I sat down and did that on Saturday morning. They have received my files, and I am waiting on a response. I’ll be writing up a follow-up blog post.

The photos used for this post were taken on the same day in Normandy France. The first is from Monet’s garden at Giverny, and the second is a view of the lovely town of Les Andelys. The first photo is a work in progress, I’m not crazy about the current edit. The town shot I am happy with and have a version on Picfair. You bet I have added this post to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Curves.

Know of an easier way to create a watermark in Luminar 3? leave a link in the comments below.  At this point, Lightroom is leaps and bounds ahead of Luminar in terms of watermarking. Feel free to comment below on any of the edits or watermarking in general.


50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Picfair, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Single Bloom

What first attracted me to this scene was color. I loved the contrast of the deep pink and green, so I took the photo:

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/50sec

I was using my 50mm lens and centered the flower in the frame. I saw the various other elements, the fence and the rest of the flower and figured that when I was editing, I would probably decide on a crop that would take the flower out of the center. When I was reviewing my files, I made the choice that I found the fence more interesting than the rest of the flower, so I went with this crop:

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/50sec

A few other edits have been applied here, but not many and none of them too heavy. This gentle, rather delicate looking bloom called for a light touch when it came to editing.

What do you think, do you like this crop? A natural and a man-made object in the same frame can lead to a bit of tension, do you like it here? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Gentle.

Picfair version here.

50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Well that was Fun

There were a few things I had in mind when I sat down yesterday to work on an editing project in Luminar.  The first was that it was Halloween, so I had to pick an appropriate file to work on:

ISO 800 50mm f/16 1/100sec

The second was that it was Halloween (sounds a bit like the first thing) but that meant picking an appropriate filter:

ISO 800 50mm f/16 1/100sec

Luminar had released some free Halloween presets, so I used “Darklord” for this photo. But what I really wanted to work on was creating a watermark that I could use in Luminar. Up until now I have been exporting my files to this blog from Lightroom and applying the watermark at that point. Luminar is promising to release a library feature soon and I am hoping that will mean I can ditch Lightroom, but I do like to have a watermark. I e-mailed Luminar and they sent me a link to a page that contains directions for making a watermark; scroll down on that page, the directions are there I promise. The results are on the second photo, the first photo has my Lightroom watermark on it.

It was a fun little project that didn’t take too long to complete. I’m thinking it’s fine as a starting point, but I may go back and tweak it a bit. What do you think of it? I’m open to suggestions in the comments below. How do you like the Halloween look to the edit of the photo? How was your Halloween? Feel free to comment below.


Added to Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge, Just for Fun.

50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Luminar, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Six Word Saturday

Daffodil Variation from Color to Monochrome

The daffodil is my favorite flower:

ISO 2500 50mm f/11 1/100sec

Here devoid of color not texture:

ISO 2500 50mm f/11 1/100sec

Tell me your favorite, comment below.


Picfair version is here in black and white and here in color.

Added to One Word Sunday, Monochrome, Cee’s Flower of the Day, and Six-Word Saturday.

50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: From Monet’s Garden

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/60sec

Added to Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Colorful and Cee’s Flower of the Day.

50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, Flowers, Photo Challenges, Photography

Roses on a Grid

This could have been taken in a lot of gardens since I often see roses trained to grow up or through artificial objects, but this was taken at Giverny in Claude Monet’s gardens. I couldn’t help but think while I was visiting that there were a lot of plants you could see anywhere in this garden, yet the way they are assembled makes them unique to this particular garden. Here are some roses growing on a fence:

ISO 800 50mm f/13 1/60

It’s a nice image as shot, but I wanted to edit it in a few small ways. First was the crop.  This eliminated two things. First is the petals that are partially in the top center of the photo and the leaves in the middle right-hand side. It also makes the branch less prominent. In addition to the crops, a few adjustments to the tone curve makes the grid of the fence more obvious as compared to this original shot:

ISO 800 50mm f/13 1/60

This slight accent on the geometry of man and nature seemingly in harmony and the slightly cooler tones of the image, do a lot to settle this photo. To me it is calmer, but what do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Geometry.