Photography, Photo Challenges, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, iPhone, Photo Editing, One Word Sunday, Luminar, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Using Masks

Sometimes it takes me a while to get to a final version of a photograph. This shot below was taken on my iPhone and then in Luminar had a “look” (that is what they call a set of predetermined filters) applied to it. This one was called Victorian Postcard:

ISO 25 4.2mm f/2.2 1/725sec

I don’t particularly like it, but I like some of the elements that are in it. I like the idea of a vintage feel for this scene. I’m interested in contrasting that with the red in the postbox. I thought about those ideas, and when I went to edit again, I started with this version:

ISO 320 4.3mm f/2.7 1/500sec

This was taken on my point and shoot, which has better jpeg quality than my phone, but doesn’t shoot in RAW. The day I was taking this photo was rainy and grey. Rainy enough that I had opted to leave my DSLR camera at home.

I still liked this scene, but you will see in the next version a crop has been applied. There are a lot of things in this image and a crop eliminated some of them. The eraser tool got rid of some of the others like the cones.

But this edit you will see below was really going to be about masking. I’ve applied the Vintage Postcard look to it and then used a mask, to edit back in the postbox. I used this video to get the basics of how masking works in Luminar:

ISO 320 4.3mm f/2.7 1/500sec

Ok, a few things:

  1. Wow, that’s terrible. The postbox looks like it isn’t even actually there, more like it’s one from some other photo that has just been plopped into this one.
  2. The video I used was a really good starting point, but really you have to be willing to experiment and fail, and then try again.

Here is my final version:

ISO 320 4.3mm f/2.7 1/500sec

Ok, so that’s much better. The main difference is that when I went to mask in the postbox, I used a paintbrush setting with a lower opacity. That helps the postbox blend a bit but still pop out a bit.

In terms of method, I’ll point out that the middle version I saved as a separate file before going back several steps in the edit history and starting off in another direction. I did this because, while I wasn’t crazy about that version, there were several steps like the crop and the erase that I was happy with.  I don’t always do this, but I think it is a good practice.

It was a lot of trial and error to get to this point. I think it was worth it. I like the final image. I also think masking, while a powerful editing tool, can be tough to master, and practice like this will make me better at it. Your comments about my edits or questions about my methods are welcome below.

Are you interested in postboxes in the UK? I am it turns out. So far in my travels here I have a photo of one of all the monarchs except for King Edward VIII. Is there one near you? I’d love to know where you have seen one. Thanks!

Cheers!

Added to One Word Sunday, Red.

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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, One Word Sunday, Photo Editing, Picfair, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Erase Vs. Clone and Stamp

Sometimes, there are certain photographs that I work on more than once. This is one of them:

ISO 640 16mm f/16 1/400sec

I wrote a few months ago about editing it, that time it was a color version, this time a black and white:

ISO 640 16mm f/16 1/400sec

I started with a crop, then devoted some attention to remove the fence in front of the sculpture.  I made use of the erase feature of Luminar, but I also used the clone and stamp tool. In some places, clone and stamp gave a better result because it was up to me what to replace the fence with. The eraser makes an educated guess, and it is pretty smart, but sometimes it gets it wrong. In this case, the areas where the fence was in front of both the sculpture and the water, were a bit too much for the eraser. It’s within the black and white edits though, that I really took some liberties. I used the “Orton effect” filter to make the scene more dreamlike.

I am happy with both my color version from a few months ago and this black and white version as well. This sculpture is called, ‘Les Braves’ and there is a bit about it here. Your thoughts on my edits are welcome below.

Cheers!

For some strictly visual reasons, I have added this to One Word Sunday, Voyage. Click the link to see why.

Picfair version here.

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Instagram, iPhone, One Word Sunday, Photography, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Read the Sign and it will be Fine

ISO 160 4.15mm f/2.2 1/35sec

 

 

A part of Wordless Wednesday and One Word Sunday, Humour.

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Luminar, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photography

Wordless Wednesday: St Mary the Virgin, Fen Ditton

ISO 160 4.3mm f/8.0 1/200sec

St. Mary the Virgin in Fen Ditton.

A part of Wordless Wednesday and One Word Sunday, Blue.

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Luminar, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Happy Birthday St. Louis Missouri!

This photo was taken on June 6, 2014.

ISO 100 4.3 f/8.0 1/160sec

That year St. Louis was turning 250 years old. 256 cakes like this one were put out all over the city and surrounding area. Some of them are still on display, a current listing is here.  I’ll be honest, when I first heard this was going to be a thing, my reaction was something like…oh. Then I started seeing them around town. They really were works of art. I ended up with quite a little gallery of them. The one above was one of my favorites because of where and how it was placed. The St. Louis Art Museum is free and located in Forest Park. It’s a gem and well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.  Here is my Luminar edited version of the original file:

ISO 100 4.3 f/8.0 1/160sec

The original photo was intended as a realistic snapshot. It was shot in the bright light of a St. Louis afternoon.  The edit has been given a bit of a bronze tone that I thought made the shadows look more interesting. I cropped it because I thought the original had a lot of not very interesting sky. I also removed the working crane.  I did try a crop that would straighten the photo but to my surprise, I thought it made the photo less interesting, so the tilt stayed.

I like this edit, but other than making an appearance here it will pretty much stay in my photo files as a memory of the fun little cakes that dotted St. Louis in 2014.  Do you like this edit? Has your town done something like this? I know there are several US cities that have done similar things. Your comments on the edit and community art projects are welcome below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Birthday and in a bit of a cheeky way to One Word Sunday, Fire.

 

 

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Luminar, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Six Word Saturday

Daffodil Variation from Color to Monochrome

The daffodil is my favorite flower:

ISO 2500 50mm f/11 1/100sec

Here devoid of color not texture:

ISO 2500 50mm f/11 1/100sec

Tell me your favorite, comment below.

Cheers!

Picfair version is here in black and white and here in color.

Added to One Word Sunday, Monochrome, Cee’s Flower of the Day, and Six-Word Saturday.

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