Added to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge, In the Distance.
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:
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:
I was attempting to move the orange dots, so that it would look like this:
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:
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.
A Photo a Week, The Great Outdoors.
Picfair version here.
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.
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:
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.
I traveled pretty far to get this shot:
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:
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.
Added to Lens Artists Photo Challenge, My Travels.
Picfair version is here.
It took a while to get to the point of writing this post. The original version of this swan:
Now transformed into black and white:
The easy part was the edits to the photo. In Luminar I have used the eraser tool to get rid of some of the dark patches on the swan’s breast and clean up a few spots in the water. I have also cropped this image. When I applied a black and white filter, I went with a green filter. Lastly, I applied a vignette. All pretty basic edits. It was getting the photo back into Lightroom in its edited format that proved to be the problem. Instead of black and white, it showed as a sepia image. The most frustrating part? I still can’t figure out why, after two days of messing with it, I have a finished version that I like but still not a clue as to what was wrong with the earlier edit.
Have you ever had something go wrong with files where the root problem remains elusive? so annoying. I do like this image in black and white though, feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below.
Added to Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge, In Flight.
Picfair version here.
When I got back from Tanzania, I was faced with a wonderful problem, a lot of photos. I have been through them several times, but there are not many files that I have completely thrown away at this point. I just want to be sure I’m not getting rid of something that I actually could edit in the future. Usually, I discard absolutely awful photos right away. Then I wait at least two months before throwing anything else out. I find this time helps me look more critically and objectively at the files I have. From this trip I have a lot of files with potential, like this one:
It wasn’t good enough to make the cut for the book I had made of the trip. But I liked it. When I went to edit it this past week, the first thing I wanted to accentuate was the elephant that was looking at our vehicle. The crop helps with that. Then I applied a filter to help make the color and textures in the image pop a bit. At that point the one element that was bothering me still was the tusks, they were completely blown out and appeared smooth and almost white. In Lightroom, I applied the adjustment brush to just the tusks. Then on just those areas, I dropped the exposure. The image was a RAW file, so there was some detail information there and the tusks now appear more as they did in real life, textured and dusty. My final edit is below:
This edit is, to me, a quintessential safari image. What do you think, do you like the edits? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Added to: A Photo A Week, Quintessential.
Picfair version is here.
Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania. Giraffes with flamingos in the distance.
Picfair version here.
Although my 70-200mm lens in a bit heavy, there are several reasons why I love it. One is the opportunity to get a close shot of nature with minimum disruption to my wild subjects, in this case, the seals near Blakeney Point. There are two types of seals in the area, this first photo is of a Grey Seal:
Here is the original shot.
This next photo is of the Common Seal:
Here is the original of that shot:
These photos were taken from a boat and my lens was set at 195mm and 170mm for the photos. In addition to having a long lens another trick to making the seals look closer than they were is to crop the images. In the case of the first photo, the crop is fairly small. I didn’t want to lose the shore or too much of the water as I thought they were important parts of the photo. I was more aggressive with the second photo in a couple of ways. The first is the crop, I’ve removed the blood-streaked seal completely. Secondly, I have changed the tone of the photo completely. While I warmed the first photo a bit, for this second one I wanted to change it completely, make it look like I had taken the shot in completely different light conditions. It’s a different look, but you still can tell how well these seals blend with their surroundings.
What do you think of my photos and their edits? Do you have a favorite? Feel free to leave a comment below.
A variation of that first image made it into my Instagram feed:
I live near several small lakes, one of which has a swan family:
This image is one of the first I captured of the whole family. I first posted about this family last week and my aim there was to keep the images as true to the original scene as possible. For this post, I am wandering out to a bit more creative territory. First a black and white edit:
The first thing I did with this edit was to crop it. I wanted to really bring the swan in the foreground to an almost uncomfortable closeness. This swan was acting in a very protective manner and I think the crop helps tell that part of the story. I then brought the highlights in the image down and the shadows up. I wanted this black and white version to be a bit smoother than its original as shot exposure. I then added a vignette, darkening the corners.
I like this image and the crop, so I decided to create another color version:
For this version, I started with a preset that was suggestive of a film camera. I kept the brightness of the original exposure though. It has a completely different color cast to it than the original. The luminance sliders for yellow, green, aqua and blue have all been boosted, and the color temp of the overall photo was also increased.
I’m sorry to say that one of the swans went missing shortly after these photos were taken. I posted the sad news on my Instagram:
How do you like the edits? Do you have a favorite? Feel free to comment below.
Added to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge.