Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Postcard from Here

I enjoy being outside. I take my camera with me to help me think about what I am seeing, it helps me to really be wherever I am and not just plodding along.  A recent outing took me to St. Ives, and I have created these images from that day:

ISO 200 4.3mm f/2.7

ISO 160 11.1mm f/5.0 1/200sec

ISO 200 6.22mm f/2.5 1/200sec

I shot the images using my point and shoot, which I am sorry to say is having some trouble focusing these days. When I was walking I was thinking about creating a story or a postcard of everyday life. So when I went to edit the photos I settled on a series of edits and applied them identically to each of these photos. They have all been given a warm, vintage, slightly soft look. They were all taken on Sunday and are meant to conjure a sense of a walk with the purpose of just enjoying the walk.

Here is the postcard version:

The application of the same editing filters, I hope, helps the images hold together.

What do you think, does this look like an idyllic Sunday walk? Do you like the idea of having the photos all edited in the same manner?  Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to One Word Sunday: Routine and Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Everyday Moments.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography


One of the fun things about having a wide angle lens is that I can create photos that make an object seem like it dominates the landscape:

ISO 500 13mm f/16 1/800sec

I’ve done several things to make the windmill feel larger than it is, but before I get to that, here is the original file:

ISO 500 13mm f/16 1/800sec

Since there are several edits here, I’m going to write about them in the order that I applied them. I started with a crop. Cropping is one of those edits that photographers like to argue about a lot discuss.  Should you crop first thing or leave it till the end? As with many points of contention regarding photography, the answer is yes, you should do one of those things. I tend to consider it on a photo by photo basis. In this case, the crop came first. There were too many people if this image was to be one that was just about the windmill. The crop would be an easy way to remove some of them. I applied the rule of thirds to my crop, placing the center of the mill blades on the upper right meeting point of the grid. The rest of the people were dispatched with the healing brush in Photoshop. Because the sky was fairly evenly blue, the dust spots I have on my camera sensor were also obvious. The healing brush took care of those as well.

The next step was to work with the tone curve in Lightroom. I actually wanted to move the point curve within the tone curve, because I knew I could create a more matte look to the photo by doing that. I just wasn’t sure where the button was for that in Lightroom, so I found this short article with the answer, it’s one of those simple but powerful things that Lightroom is capable of, once you find the right button!

From there I opened the split-toning panel and began to experiment. I have warmed the highlights of the image using that panel. I think that gives the final photo the bit of pop that it needed. I thought to use split-toning because over the weekend I read this article about it. The article is a good starting point I think, for understanding how split-toning works.  Thanks to Lisa over at One Ocean at a Time for sending me the article last week as part of a discussion we were having about photo editing. If you are in the market for a blog that is full of the beauty of the world, hers is a good place to find that.

The last steps in my edits included adding some grain and a vignette. While I often sharpen my images near the end of the editing process, in this case, I chose to leave that step off.

What do you think of my edits? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to Travel with Intent: Giant.

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


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.



11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair

Giving New Presets a Try

Pointe du Hoc was part of the Allied invasion of the Normandy Coast on June 6, 1944. Today there is a memorial monument on the site that overlooks Omaha Beach. It is maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission and if you are planning a visit, I would highly recommend downloading the tour they have available on their website.

While I was visiting, I took this photograph:

ISO 640 14mm f/16 1/160sec

When I went to edit, I wanted to accentuate the barbed wire in the foreground and give the photo a bit more of a punch. Here is what I came up with:

ISO 640 14mm f/16 1/160sec

The barbed wire was a stark reminder of the German positions that were waiting for the American Rangers that scaled these cliffs.

I edited this photo in Lightroom. I had received an e-mail notification earlier in the week that there were new presets I could download that had been created by Max Muench, who has a pretty cool Instagram feed. So, I figured out how to import the presets and got to work experimenting. I like presets, I think they can be an interesting starting point for editing. After having applied the preset, I manipulated the settings until I came up with what I thought would work for this photo.

What do you think of my edit? Does it pack more of a punch than the original? Do you use presets in your photo editing? Feel free to leave a comment below.



Added to Travel With Intent: Stark.

Picfair version available here.