70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair

Safari Photo

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:

ISO 400 78mm f/18 1/125sec

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:

ISO 400 78mm f/18 1/125sec

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.

Cheers!

Added to: A Photo A Week, Quintessential.

Picfair version is here.

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Birds, iPhone, Nature, Photography, Silent Sunday, Wandering Wednesday

Silent Sunday: Swans at Sunset

 

ISO 25 4.15mm f2.2 1/450

Inspired by Wandering Wednesday: Sunsets.

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70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Nature, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Thursday Special

Seals

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:

ISO 1250 195mm f/16 1/500 sec

Here is the original shot.

ISO 1250 195mm f/16 1/500 sec

This next photo is of the Common Seal:

ISO 1250 170mm f/16 1/640sec

Here is the original of that shot:

ISO 1250 170mm f/16 1/640sec

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:

Picfair: Grey Seal and Common Seal

Added to Travel With Intent: Afar and Thursday Special: Marine.

Cheers!

 

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Tuesday Photo Challenge, Wandering Wednesday

Flower Power

I love taking nature photos. This one was a bit of an unexpected find:

ISO 800 50mm f/16 1/250sec

Unexpected for two reasons. The first is that it was taken in a cemetery, though you’d never know it from this photo. The second is that it was taken with my 50mm lens. I was able to get that close without the butterfly flying away.

The original file is this one:

ISO 800 50mm f/16 1/250sec

I chose this file to work with because I thought the exposure was pretty much perfect. I liked the amount of detail in both the butterfly and the flower it is sitting on. I also loved the summery colors in this image, what can I say, this winter just seemed to drag its feet on the way out this year. I cropped the photo and then the biggest edit was to remove the blade of grass that was just to the left of the flower, I found it pretty distracting. I used the healing tool in Lightroom for the removal.  I have also boosted the luminance and clarity and added a vignette.

What do you think of the edit? Have you ever come across a nature image in an unexpected place? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Wandering Wednesday and Tuesday Photo Challenge.

Picfair version is here.

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70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, Monochrome Monday, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Monochrome Monday: Zebra Portrait

ISO 800 200mm f/18 1/400sec

For this particular edit, I thought I would attempt to make a black and white portrait of an animal that was already black and white. The challenge here was that the color version was a pretty bright exposure and the greens in the foliage really competed with the zebra. So, I have chosen a black and white edit that wanders pretty close to a sepia. I’ve done this by bringing down the exposure and vibrance sliders.

Do you like this edit? Do you like animal portraits like this one that don’t include the whole animal or do you prefer images where you can see the whole animal? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge.

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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.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge: New

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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.

Cheers!

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

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