50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, made with Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, travel, Tuesday Photo Challenge, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: LUT’s

Before I get into the steps and explanations I’ll say that I wanted to experiment a bit with this file:

ISO 800 f/13 1/2000 sec 50mm

It’s shot from Mt. Snowdon in Wales, a hike that is popular but needs to be treated with respect, so if you are thinking of doing it some planning and also checking the current weather conditions are necessary.

The final edit is this one:

ISO 800 f/13 1/2000 sec 50mm

I was thinking about two things in this edit. The first was that in person, the haze that shows in the photo file seemed less. The second was that the contrast between light and dark seemed more pronounced. I’ve reflected this in both the sky and the shadows on the mountain. The final edit is more like the hike that resides in my memory.

I started with editing the sky on its own layer. In this past post, I talk a bit more about that and include a link with video instructions. What I would point out here is that I think it is important to do sky specific edits on its own layer because this makes it possible to revisit the edit and make changes without having to effect other edits done on other layers.

The next phase of the editing process was more experimental. In this case, I am using LUTs to create a new look for the photo. LUT stands for lookup table and when you apply one it will change the color and tone of the image based on the instructions that are in the LUT. This explanation of LUTs and how they work I have chosen to link in because I think it provides a good explanation of what a LUT is and then directions of how to access them within Luminar which is the software I am using. The further step that I have taken is to use two LUTs on the photo. I have each of them on a separate layer. Having set the two layers in place, I could then use the sliders available on each to control the amount of LUT applied. When working with this type of preset, it is important to remember that once applied, you can make edits to the preset, you are not obligated to keep it as is.

Editing software comes with all sorts of presets and as you are learning to use it, I would advise experimenting. Making even small changes from a preset can help the photo you are working on look more like the vision you have for it rather than a set idea the software has added. Feel free to comment or ask a question below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Tourism.

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Instagram, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, made with Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photography, Picfair

Wordless Wednesday, One photo, Three interpretations

ISO 500 f/4.5 1/125sec 50mm

Picfair version here.

ISO 500 f/4.5 1/125sec 50mm

Picfair version here.

 

Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Filling the Frame and Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Cheers!

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70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, made with Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photography, Picfair

Made with Luminar: A Place in my Heart

It’s been almost two years since I was in Tanzania and I still find it difficult to exactly express why this trip was so important to me. Even harder is to distil that thought into a single image. I have many files from that trip that I have chosen to keep but have not been through the editing process yet. The lens artist photo challenge for this week prompted me to go through them and this is the image that floated to the top of my imagination:

ISO 400 f/18 1/200sec 73mm

The vast landscape that was teeming with life. The humor of being caught in a wildlife traffic jam. The color of the landscape itself. These are all things that appeal to me in this image. For this particular image though, it is the inquisitive zebra that is the story. My edits reflect this. The crop and placement of the vignette are the most simplistic edits I have applied to accomplish this. The other technique I used was after applying a filter that gave this photo a bit of a vintage memory look, I used a brush at 20% to remove the filter a bit on the zebras in the foreground.  The final edit is this:

ISO 400 f/18 1/200sec 73mm

What do you think of this edit? Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section. Because this was also a part of my Made with Luminar series, the next part of this post will spell out some of the details of the edit.

This photo was created for and added in response to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Pick a Place. The Picfair version is here.

The Made with Luminar Series

This image is part of a project I am calling Made with Luminar. What the images in this series have in common is the software used to edit them, Luminar 3. As with my usual blog posts particulars of the camera settings can be found in the caption below the image. The text of these posts include the Luminar “Looks” that have been applied to the photo. Each look is a series of presets that are applied to the photo. Where applicable I will mention what changes I have made to any of the looks. A full explanation of looks is available here on their website, https://skylum.com/luminar/user-guides/chapter-14-working-with-luminar-looks

You can assume other edits have been applied. My most common edits are cropping, detail enhancement, and vignette. Specific questions or thoughts on the image are welcome in the comment section below.

Luminar Look applied: Past Days. The texture within the look was reduced and the filter is set to 74% application. A mask was added and the filter was brushed out with a 20% opacity brush over the zebras in the foreground. A few more spots of the texture in the sky were erased.

Cheers!

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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Embrace Your Situation

I really enjoy photography but I also have a life that has a lot of other moving parts which means photography can’t always be my main focus. It puts me in the category of “enthusiast” rather than “professional”. In my mind (and life) one of the differences between those two categories is that I have to take the picture when I have the opportunity instead of setting up to go at a certain time based on ideal shooting conditions. My trip to Berlin near Christmas time is an example of this. I’d never been, do you think I am going to pass up the opportunity to take photos of the Brandenburg Gate? I can assure you that I did not. However, my chance to be there was on an overcast day at 10 in the morning:

ISO 500 f/18 1/60sec 17mm

It was every bit the iconic spot I’d read about and seen photos of even if this particular file doesn’t really seem to express that. Now what? I could have a bit of a moan about not having the right opportunity or gear but to be honest, I had a really good time in Berlin and wouldn’t want to have messed up everyone else just for the chance to photograph this differently, I also do not need one more piece of kit.

So this is my file and my challenge. What would I like to bring to it? A first edit focused on the warm tones I saw in the stones. The edit was fine but not too interesting to me as it turned out. I let the file sit for a few months then came back to it this week. This time I really saw the couple in the foreground, they seemed to be contemplating the spot in a way that I felt I could relate to, so that became the focus of my edit:

ISO 500 f/18 1/60sec 17mm

I’ve used a crop, mostly because the file had too much around the edges that wasn’t necessary. I went black and white and slightly grainy and not too crazy with any kind of sharpening. I feel like these edits made it more universal, more of a story than a news article. I’ve used a vignette to help focus on the couple. The center of the vignette is set right on them. In Luminar there is a slider within the vignette that is marked “inner brightness” this helped them stand out even more.

The end result is an image that I am happy with. Your thoughts on the edits or your approach to mixing photography and the rest of your life are welcome below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, City.

 

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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, One Word Sunday, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Editing, Photography

It’s the View, Sort-Of

I enjoy touring churches. I find their history to be interesting and often a reflection of the people that interact with it. And then there is the view that they offer:

ISO 1600 10mm f/11 1/640sec

This photo was taken from Lincoln Cathedral in December. They offer several types of tours including the opportunity to go up and see the inner workings of the building. I have a fear of heights, but I love these types of tours. This tour and resulting photos are where I am this week in terms of editing my files. We had a lovely weekend in Lincoln, but it was December, so it was a bit grey and a bit cold. Not too bad by English standards though. The sky that day was kind of a fascinating grey. For my edit, I decided to step out of my usual “as shot” edit and try something a bit different. Here is the result:

ISO 1600 10mm f/11 1/640sec

What I’ve done here is to warm the color by using the luminance sliders. I then created another layer and converted it to black and white. Then using a brush and a mask, I erased the black and white out of the Cathedral building. Then I dropped the opacity level of the black and white layer just a bit, that’s what is causing the hint of color in the surrounding buildings.

This photo is more interpretation than fact, what do you think of it? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Added to A Photo A Week, View and One Word Sunday, Climb.

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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, iPhone, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge

And the Number of the Cameras Shall be Three

Do any looking online about photography and you are going to run into all kinds of information about the kind of gear you have to have. Welcome to my version of that. It goes something like this, what do you have? what are you willing to haul along? good, great, let’s go! Today it’s to the Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea, said to be the oldest Greek Orthodox Church in Athens:

ISO 800 10mm f/22 1/80sec

That’s the photo I took using my Canon 50D.

ISO 200 4.3mm f/2.7 1/125 sec

That’s the photo I took using my Canon PowerShot.

ISO 25 4.2mm f/22 1/337 sec

That’s the photo I took using my iPhone.

That’s right, I was willing to haul three cameras around Athens, and you bet I used all three. The Canon 50D I took with a wide-angle lens. It’s good at getting a full building shot in a city. That particular shot was taken in the RAW format which meant plenty of data for later editing. For that edit, I went with a warm vintage look in homage to the color of the stones and the age of the building.

The second photo was taken with my Canon PowerShot which is a point and shoot camera that does not have RAW capability. What it does do nicely is handle color well, even in low light situations, so I often use it when I am capturing the detail of something. In this case, it’s the radiance of that mosaic.

The third shot was taken using my iPhone. Often when I am in a new place and taking photos, I  get a shot using my iPhone because I keep GPS data on and I use these types of photos later to confirm the exact location of where I was which helps with things like figuring out how to spell the name of this church.

Have you spotted the no photography sign on the church door? While I find that disappointing, I’m ok with that, so I stowed all three cameras and went inside to take a look. Sometimes just having the memory of an experience is sufficient, regardless of how many cameras you are carrying.

How do you decide what gear to haul? do you have a go-to set up for shooting in the city? Feel free to leave a comment about that or the edits I chose in the comment section below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Radiant and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Three.

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11-22mm Lens, 50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Mixing it Up

Sometimes it is fun to try a different approach to your photo editing. It can be a way to create a unique image of a familiar place. This was one of my photos of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Athens:

ISO 800 10mm f/22 1/200 sec

It’s a very imposing structure and a popular photo spot. For frequent readers of this blog, you may notice the little church tucked away on the right-hand side? That’s the church you saw in my recent post about creating a vintage photo look.

When I took this particular photo I was interested in two things. First, the story that I see of the man walking past and looking up at the cathedral. Second, what I think he is looking at, the mosaic in the facade. These are the things I want to emphasise in my final photo.

This is the outcome of my edit:

ISO 800 10mm f/22 1/200 sec

My first edits were done while the file was still in full color. I cropped the image and got rid of the security camera on the left.  I boosted the details and also the luminosity of the image. Then on a second layer, I converted the image to black and white. I added a mask and used the brush tool to reveal the color of the mosaic.  Luminar 3 has a filter called “top/bottom lighting” and that is what I used next instead of a vignette. The filter allows you to pick a focus point. I put that point on the man who is looking up. You can also change the axis of the filter, I tilted it on an angle; then pulled the top portion up towards the mosaic. From there I made the top darker and the bottom lighter using the sliders provided. I think this helps the image tell the story I was after, but what do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Unique.

 

 

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