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.

50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Tuesday Photo Challenge, Wandering Wednesday

Flower Power

I love taking nature photos. This one was a bit of an unexpected find:

ISO 800 50mm f/16 1/250sec

Unexpected for two reasons. The first is that it was taken in a cemetery, though you’d never know it from this photo. The second is that it was taken with my 50mm lens. I was able to get that close without the butterfly flying away.

The original file is this one:

ISO 800 50mm f/16 1/250sec

I chose this file to work with because I thought the exposure was pretty much perfect. I liked the amount of detail in both the butterfly and the flower it is sitting on. I also loved the summery colors in this image, what can I say, this winter just seemed to drag its feet on the way out this year. I cropped the photo and then the biggest edit was to remove the blade of grass that was just to the left of the flower, I found it pretty distracting. I used the healing tool in Lightroom for the removal.  I have also boosted the luminance and clarity and added a vignette.

What do you think of the edit? Have you ever come across a nature image in an unexpected place? Feel free to comment below.


Added to Wandering Wednesday and Tuesday Photo Challenge.

Picfair version is here.

50mm Lens, 70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: All-Time Favorites

I was sorry to hear that the weekly photo challenge I have been participating in for years is being discontinued as of this week. As a final challenge, they have set the theme as all-time favorites. I went through my archives and found three photos.  I start with this one:

ISO 800 195mm f/6.3 1/250

This was originally published in 2015, it’s one of a series of images that tell the story of a robin’s nest we had outside of our home. The theme for that week’s challenge was intricate, and my post was featured on Freshly Pressed.

The next photo I chose was this one:

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/4 1/100

This photo was part of a project for a Photoshop class I was taking at the time. The journey of how the photo came to be was the subject of several blog posts but perspective which was published in 2014 was the post that wrapped the story up and included the image above.

The third photo was taken in late 2017 and published here in March under the challenge theme of favorite place:

ISO 800 185mm f/18 1/125sec

I was incredibly lucky to have stumbled across this scene. It was also part of a trip of a lifetime for me to Tanzania.

While I am disappointed that this particular weekly photo challenge is at an end, I’ll take it as a challenge and opportunity to try new things on this blog. While I am not sure exactly what this will mean, I do intend to continue to generally write in a format that includes notes on how photos were taken and processed. For all my readers, I would like to thank you for visiting my blog and a special thank you to folks who have taken the time to comment.



50mm Lens, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair

Fill the Frame

The challenge to fill the frame gave me an excuse to pull out the close-up filter I have that fits onto my 50mm lens. That and a little editing gave me this photo:

ISO 2500 50mm f/11 1/100sec

The original photo is below so that you can see that I saturated the color, and applied a vignette to darken the edges. What I was wanting to do with these edits was really make the flowers pop and the background fade away.  I was happy with this version so I added it to my Picfair portfolio.

ISO 2500 50mm f/11 1/100sec

What do you think of my edits? Are you ready for Spring? feel free to comment below.


50mm Lens, 70-200mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 50D, Instagram, iPhone, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Tour Guide on Patrol with the Ducks

A few days ago I went looking for these guys:

ISO 800 95mm f/9.0 1/3200 sec

Only in real life, they looked like this:

ISO 800 95mm f/9.0 1/3200 sec

I was looking for them because week six on the Dogwood 52-week challenge is alternating rhythm, or to practice using light and dark to create depth and rhythm. Sunlight on the lake often creates harsh shadows which adds a sense of depth.  As for these four birds, they always seem to be hanging out and patrolling the lake as a unit, the rhythm of their lives in step with each other regardless of the other activity on the water. It’s a honking loud rhythm too, in case you were wondering.

For this challenge, I was out to push the depth and rhythm ideas a bit. I added a motion filter and tin-like cast to the photo, I think it makes the light and dark contrast stand out, pushing it to a bit of an extreme for a nature image. Lightroom is a good editing tool for pushing ideas, sometimes you can go a bit too far though. Do you think this edit pushed the boundary of the challenge, or did it hurl it off the cliff? Your thoughts are welcome below.

It’s no wonder I went to my local lake, you will find me there a lot, it’s one of my favorite places to photograph:

Just a few shots from the last year or so. And one more from this morning:

View this post on Instagram

#rainbow #thingsiseeonmyrun

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

I may not make a good tour guide since I spend a lot of time chasing photos and listening to ducks, but it is beautiful and a good place to practice photography.


50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme

One of my favorite things about photo editing is that is fairly easy to create many variations on a single photograph. When processing my photos I create many versions, saving various edits along the way. For example, I started with this photograph:

ISO 320 50mm f/16 1/320sec

Created many including these below:

Before settling on this one:

ISO 320 50mm f/16 1/320sec

This final version perhaps sums up the title of the post, Variations on a Theme. I’ve created a combined color and black and white version. I then boosted the overall warmth of the whole image to unify the piece a bit, as the starkness of combining the two seemed a bit jarring.

It was an interesting experiment, but I like the original color version better than any of the other versions. What do you think of the various takes, do you have a favorite? For the purpose of this post, I kept all of my variations, but eventually, I will go back and delete the ones I don’t care for. I may even make another one.  This ability to create and destroy is a very liberating advantage to editing digital photography, do you agree? Feel free to leave a comment below.