70-200mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Telling A Different Story

Often when I am shooting nature images, I take a lot of photos, with the thought of later editing mostly for clarity, retaining the story as is. And then there are the times when I chose to edit the story itself:

ISO 640 85mm f/16 1/500sec

In this original file, I think the story includes the protective nature of both the adult swans. My edit includes just one:

ISO 640 85mm f/16 1/500sec

I’ve taken a lot of liberties with color as well. The result is a completely different story. In this new image, the row of cygnets is much more important. From that, the lines and textures in the water and on the birds become elements that are more dominant than they were in the original file.

If you are wondering about the backstory of this photo, it was taken in June 2018 at a small lake near where I live. The cygnets who were born in this clutch did not make it to maturity. The adults are still on the lake and within the last week, I am fairly certain have constructed a new nest.

What do you think of the liberties I have taken with this story? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to A Photo a Week Challenge: Getting Your Ducks in a Row.

Picfair version is here.

 

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70-200mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 50D, Photography, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Those Neighbors from Last Summer

ISO 640 180mm f/16 1/400sec

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70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Creating A Custom Workspace

Part of what I enjoy about photography is the editing process. These days there are a lot of editing software choices on the market. Then once you are settled on one that you like, the edit options within that software are usually extensive. That’s great. Except when it is so much that it becomes a distraction.  The reality is that I shoot a lot of photos like this:

ISO 200 70mm f/16 1/250sec

When I then open this photo in the edit tab of Luminar 3 I have a lot of filter options, but there are a few that I almost always use. The rest are helpful sometimes but are just clutter to my process at other times. A way to clear that clutter is to create a custom workspace with just select filters. I did just that and here is what it looks like:

To create this, I did the following. First, where the dropdown now says “Amy 1”, I clicked the down arrow, and selected “clear workspace”. Then from the filters I picked the ones I almost always use and in the order I use them, opened them, that added them to the list you see there. Then I clicked again on that down arrow and one of the options is “save custom workspace” it then prompted me for a name, that’s when I added “Amy 1”. Now anytime I open a new image, I can click that down arrow and my saved workspace is there. Or, even better, I also clicked to have that show as the default. Here are those filters applied to my original image:

ISO 200 70mm f/16 1/250sec

From there I could have added more filters and done some other editing. Sometimes I will, but in this case, I wasn’t really looking to do anything else with this image.

I spend quite a bit of time thinking about my photography workflow. My hope is that this workspace will make the process a bit smoother. Do you use a custom workspace in your editing process? I never have before so this is just something I’m giving a try. Feel free to comment on that or on my edit below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Round.

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70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, travel, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: In the Distance

ISO 640 90mm f/16 1/250sec

 

ISO 640 90mm f/16 1/250sec

Normandy American Cemetery

Cheers!

Added to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge, In the Distance.

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70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Creating a Watermark, Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my journey into the world of creating a watermark in Luminar 3. Part 1 is here. The shot I am using for this post was taken at Château-Gaillard and that is the River Seine that is snaking through the photograph:

ISO 200 f/16 1/160 70mm

As you can see, I have managed to add a watermark. I reported in my last post that I was having trouble getting the curves slider in Luminar to work. When I contacted Luminar about the problem, they requested that I send a video of what steps I was taking. Turns out I was attempting to manipulate the curves slider in the wrong way.

Curves looks like this:

Screen shot of Curves

I was attempting to move the orange dots, so that it would look like this:

Screen shot of what I wanted.

This step is what makes the lettering that says “Maranto Photography” white.  I was attempting to pull the orange dots from left to right when instead they needed to go up and down. Luminar was pretty fast about getting back to me once I submitted the files, less than a day. So I was happy with their customer service.

Here is the original, unedited, file:

ISO 200 f/16 1/160 70mm

Nice that the fix was that easy. Wish it had occurred to me to try it this slightly different way, but oh well! Your thoughts on the photo, its edits or the watermark are welcome below.

Cheers!

A Photo a Week, The Great Outdoors.

Picfair version here.

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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.

Cheers!

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70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, travel

See the World, Take a Nap

I traveled pretty far to get this shot:

ISO 1,000 190mm f/14 1/400sec

Shot while on safari in Serengeti  National Park, I could tell you some dramatic tail (see what I did there?) of how we snuck up on this guy, but it would be a lie.  We drove as near as we could get while still staying on the road and then I took this photo, he didn’t even stir.  When I went to edit this photo this week, I wanted to express a dream-like feel in the image. I started with a crop, but made sure to keep the little lizard in the frame. It’s a small, easy to miss detail, but I liked it. One of the edits I did was to add a LUT called Beijing to this photo. It is basically a pre-set series of edits, and it helped create this look:

ISO 1,000 190mm f/14 1/400sec

LUTs are something I don’t know a whole lot about, so in the future I will be researching them a bit more.  First I might take a nap though…

Your thoughts on the photo and its edit are welcome below.

Cheers!

Added to Lens Artists Photo Challenge, My Travels.

Picfair version is here.

 

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