18-55mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 80D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Editing, Photography, travel

St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin

This seagull seemed to be waiting for something:

ISO 800 f/11 1/125sec 18mm

I thought it was a nice scene, so I snapped the photo. In order to tell the story though, a crop was the much needed first edit. I’ve applied other edits as well, boosting shadows and luminance, but this is just a simple image, my memory of a walk in the park, so I’ve kept the edits simple as well:

ISO 800 f/11 1/125sec 18mm

Your thoughts on the scene are welcome below.

Cheers!

Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Waiting.

 

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18-55mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 80D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Walking on Water

If you spend enough time outside, you will see some pretty magical things. Ducks walking on water for example:

ISO 400 f/8 1/125sec 55mm

You are not surprised to hear it was a cold morning when I took a walk past this local lake. The morning was also very still and quiet. I looked to bring those elements into my edit:

ISO 400 f/8 1/125sec 55mm

My edits here include a crop and a bit of fog added with the help of a filter.  I also added a mask to the lead duck’s face and increased the exposure just a bit, a subtle way to make him stand out. The vignette was added with him set as the center point.

Just a bit of a reminder to look around when I’m outside there are some pretty amazing things to be noticed, that is what this photo means to me.  Feel free to leave comments or questions below.

Cheers!

Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Magical.

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18-55mm IS lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 80D, Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Using a Brush

Among my files that I am working on this week is this one:

ISO 1000 f/11 1/25sec 55mm

This qualifies as a snapshot. I had just a moment to catch the “who me?” expression on the bird’s face just as he was standing near the warning sign. What I wanted to do was make the story more front and center. A crop was an obvious choice. I thought also I might like this in black and white.  The edit is here:

ISO 1000 f/11 1/25sec 55mm

I’ll call this a black and white with a cheat. I did a layer with my initial edits like the crop and some clarity. Then I did another layer with a the black and white edits. This particular black and white is done with a yellow filter, that ended up being the interpretation that I prefered. Then I added a final layer. I took a brush to that layer, made it the size of the bird’s eye and set the opacity to 35%. I was erasing just a bit off the black and white layer, just on the eye. So the final edit has a hint of color to the bird’s eye. I use the brush fairly regularly in my editing process. I don’t always think about setting its opacity, but that is a small but impactful way to make use of the tool. My final edit was a vignette that is centered on the eye, further accenting the look the bird was giving me.

What do you think of the final image, does the story pop more? Do you like the touch of color? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge, Signs.

 

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18-55mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 80D, Instagram, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Morning Stretch

Fall has officially arrived. Feel free to disagree with me, but in my house, fall happens when school re-starts. One thing that fall brings for me is a shift back to a routine that accommodates school and related activities. It can does compete with my photography related pursuits. Call it creative tension. It happens that I do my best creative thinking early in the morning. So, I capitalize on that the best I can. Most mornings you will find me first thing in front of my photo files. Yesterday it was these two files:

This is a Bengal eagle-owl. The brown and golden tones on this bird are really beautiful. So, my first file I edited just to showcase that and kept the edits to a minimum. Here is how that turned out:

ISO 2500 f/11 1/15sec 55mm

I’ve cropped the image, increased clarity with the small details slider in Luminar 3, and added a vignette which I centered on the eagle’s eye. I was happy with the edit, but for the other file, I wanted to be a bit more creative while still keeping the eagle looking as it did in real life.  Here is what I came up with:

ISO 2500 f/11 1/15sec 55mm

For this edit, I added another layer that has what Luminar 3 calls a “look” basically each look is a grouping of various presets that you can apply and then modify if you like. In this case, I applied the look, then added a mask and erased the look off of the eagle.

I was pretty happy with the outcome of these two edits. Then the rest of my day started, early morning photography time was over. What happens next with these photos? Well, probably not a whole lot.  The second one did make an appearance on my Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

Needing a weekend like… #friyay #weekend #owl #bengaleagleowl

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

I’ll keep these files in part because I just think this is a pretty bird. To me, that’s a good enough reason. I also enjoy working with files like this to experiment with new editing ideas.

What do you think of the edits? is there a time of day where you feel like you are more creative? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Fall.

 

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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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18-55mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 80D, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Listening to the Experts

Like most weeks, I was working on several things, but one of those things was this image:

ISO 800 50mm f/11 1/200sec

I shot it in St. Stephen’s Park in Dublin. It was one of those moments that I didn’t have time to think too much, I had to just take the shot. Someone had just dumped the remains of a bread bag and this was the resulting frenzy. I took the photo knowing it would need some work.

Here is the result of my various edits:

ISO 800 50mm f/11 1/200sec

I would say that the first thing I thought about was the crop. I tinkered with this a bit, should I leave some people in or not?  Ultimately I went with no. It does mean that the final version is a bit top-heavy, with all the birds congregating there. I tried a black and white variation, but it didn’t really sit right.

It is also my habit to read or research about photography and as I was working on this image, I also came across a webinar about bird photography by Scott Bourne.

Here is the webinar I was listening to. Scott has a lot of experience with birds, so what he had to offer on that front is worth considering. I also found it interesting that he spoke a bit about really knowing your gear. I think that is a really important part of photography, you can get better results if you understand the tools you are using. In the case of the photo above, I see me getting some practice, and also demonstrating that I do need some work on getting to know my camera a bit better.

There’s always room for improvement, at least in my case. While this photo isn’t one of the best I’ve ever taken, I like it as a reminder of that moment in the park. Your thoughts on getting to know your gear better or on this particular edit are welcome below.

Cheers!

Added to One Word Sunday, Movement.

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