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

New Neighbors

There are some photos that I’m not sure are going to happen.  This is one of them:

ISO 1600 70mm f/16 1/2000sec

And another:

ISO 1600 70mm f/16 1/2000sec

These are our new cygnets. I thought there was a nest this year, but I wasn’t certain. The weather was a bit different from last year, and the vegetation around the lake has grown up in a different way. Last year’s next I could clearly see from the shore.  This year I was only guessing. Last year’s clutch was very successful, six healthy offspring, this year I have spotted four.

Generally, when I set out to photograph these swans, I take my 70-200mm lens. You will see that for these photos, the lens is at 70mm, the swans are incredibly close, particularly when you consider that this lake is on a path that is frequented by a lot of people and dogs. I chose these two images to edit in part because, despite the fact they were taken at the same time, the color of the water appears different.  As far as edits go, for this round I have chosen to stay very close to the original exposures, the images have been cropped and sharpened.

Was I excited to see them? You bet! Here is a photo from the day I first spotted them:

Do you like my true to life edits? Do you have new neighbors this Spring? Feel free to comment below.


Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge: New

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Wandering Wednesday

The Beautiful Normandy Coast

This photo was taken in Etretat:

ISO 200 10mm f/16 1/250sec

Perhaps it looks familiar? Its scenic white cliffs were subject matter for Impressionist painters including Claude Monet. It’s beautiful, you’ll be surprised to learn I took a lot of photos. When it came to looking through them and deciding what to edit first, I chose this photo, taken with a wide-angle lens that gives a good overall idea of what the area looks like.  Here is the photo as shot:

ISO 200 10mm f/16 1/250sec

I cropped the photo a bit and boosted some of the luminance sliders.  I’ve also sharpened it a bit. For this particular edit, I wanted to maintain a pretty realistic vision of the scene.  The one thing that didn’t come through in this photo was how windy it was.  There is a slight hint in the grasses in the lower left corner, but the water looks pretty calm.

What do you think of the edits? Do you think I have maintained a good feel of the original scene? Feel free to comment below.


Added to both A Photo a Week Challenge and Wandering Wednesday.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Making an Impression

This is the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola:

ISO 640 14mm f/9.0 1/1000sec

Like many things in Rome, it is both beautiful and imposing.  It was evening time when we were walking past it, so the light was lovely.  Here is the original photo:

ISO 640 14mm f/9.0 1/1000sec

Nice, but it needed a bit of a punch. But first things first, this isn’t the only shot I took of the fountain. In fact, when I was shooting I managed to get a few shots that didn’t have any people in them. I thought that one of those images would be the one I like the best. Nope, as I looked through my photos this one became my favorite, in part because there were people in it. They give a good sense of the scale of this fountain. So in my edit, I made sure that the man’s white shirt had a bit of pop.

I used my wide angle lens to get this shot, and in Lightroom, I used the Lens Correction feature to take care of some of the distortion.  I also cropped the image a bit using the straighten tool within the crop tool.

I like the tones and light in the original photo, but I did want to boost and clarify them, it was my thought that this should be a bit of an aggressive color image, and it was a bit tame as shot. I put a neutral density filter on the image and then boosted the luminance of the various blue tones to get what I was after. I then sharpened the image a bit, but honestly, the other edits had already made the image appear sharper, so I didn’t go nuts with that.

So do you like the edits? Did this image pop out to you and was that a good thing?  Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Columns and Vertical Lines.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography, Thursday Special


I was lucky enough recently to be able to make a visit to Monet’s house and garden.

ISO 800 22mm f/13 1/640sec

This shot is of the water garden, there is a more formal style garden closer to the house. It’s a popular place even first thing in the morning still in the off-season. Walking in the garden it stuck me how versatile it was designed to be. Lots of different plants would mean that it would look different over the course of the year. Also, it’s an obviously planned space where the angle of light and time of day would make a big difference.

It’s a popular attraction, so my shots showing the overall gardens have a lot of people in them. It would be lovely to have the place to yourself. I walked this part of the garden twice. Once with my 50mm lens and once with my 11-22mm lens.  The photo in this post was taken with the wider angle lens.

For this particular interpretation of the scene, I wanted to create a vintage look, toning down some of the brightness of the original shot while still maintaining the reflections in the water. I have posted the original shot below. One of the first things I did was crop the photo. I then left a few bright spots in the photo, both in the sky and in the water, to attract attention to the trees and their reflection below.

ISO 800 22mm f/13 1/640sec

What do you think of this particular interpretation? Feel free to leave a comment below.

This post has been added to Thursday’s Special, Pick a Word in June.


70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Zebras

Zebras in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania:

ISO 800 73mm f/9.0 1/320sec

Picfair version here.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Instagram, iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

A Study in Light

You won’t have been a photographer for very long before you hear of the term the golden hour. It’s a great time to shoot outside as the light is usually really nice then. I appreciate that light, but honestly, sometimes I take photographs in whatever the conditions are because that’s when I could be there.

I was visiting Omaha Beach nowhere near the golden hour. The light was flat and hazy, usually a bad thing, but in this case a bit magical:

ISO 640 16mm f/16 1/640sec

I love that the light was illuminating just one part of this Les Braves Memorial.  The version you see above is an HDR image.  It was created using three exposures, here is one of the original exposures:

ISO 640 16mm f/16 1/640sec

One of the things combining the exposures did was combine the waves, which I like. You can also see that while I was editing I removed the fence.  I used the spot healing brush tool in Photoshop to do that.

Further along the beach, I took this photo with my iPhone that I then posted to Instagram:

#omahabeach yesterday and today #dday #wwii #lestweforget

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

That photo is not edited, I think the natural light in it was perfect and skipped putting a filter on. My husband had brought along photos of the landing at Omaha and we lined up that classic image shot by Robert Capa with the approximate place on the beach. My husband had brought along several resources for us to look at while we exploring the beaches, which made our visit that much more moving.

Have you ever been out shooting in “bad” light only to find out that it was perfect? Do you like the HDR version or does the original memorial shot appeal to you more? Feel free to leave a comment below.


This post was added to Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge.

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.