18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, travel, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Little Used Sliders

Over this summer I had the opportunity to hike up to Kehlsteinhaus, or Eagle’s Nest, a Nazi-era building associated with Adolf Hitler, although apparently he was afraid of heights and hated the place.  Today it is a building you can tour and a restaurant. There are a couple different ways you can visit. We went early in the day and walked up. It’s tough if you decide to do it that way, wear hiking boots, monitor the weather, dress in layers, and bring food and water. I didn’t go into the building itself, I was there for the views:

ISO 250 f/11 18mm 1/320sec

I’ve edited this in Luminar.  The edits I will discuss below are a few that I don’t often do as part of my workflow:

ISO 250 f/11 18mm 1/320sec

The first was a custom white balance. I used the little eyedropper to find a neutral grey and clicked. I struggle with white balance sometimes, mostly because I don’t work with it a lot. I think that my camera does a pretty decent job most of the time. The other two filters that I used here were the dehaze and the polarizing filters. A lot of times, if a scene is hazy, I let it stay that way. I think that is just a matter of personal preference, haze either bothers you or it doesn’t and generally speaking, I fall into that second category.

Even though I am posting this, I don’t really feel like I am finished with this photo. I’m not completely satisfied with the edit and think I may prefer the original to the edit.  I’m going to let this sit, probably for months, then I’ll take another look and re-evaluate. That’s the beauty of digital, another version is always possible.

Feel free to leave a comment or question below.

Cheers!

Added to A Photo A Week Challenge, Opposite Weather, because man, is this photo the exact opposite of today’s very grey day!

Standard
Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, made with Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photography, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Copenhagen

ISO 200 f/2.7 1/500sec 4.3mm

Added to A Photo a Week Challenge, Sun & Water.

Cheers!

Standard
Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Instagram, iPhone, Photo a week Challenge, Photography

Change of Seasons

When I was out on a walk this past Sunday, I thought I would look for photos that spoke to the change of season. Autumn is asserting itself in a beautiful way my part of the world right now:

ISO 800 f/2.7 1/20sec 4.3mm

Even just looking on the ground you can see it. But sometimes it helps to look up as well:

Added to A Photo a Week Challenge, Changing Seasons.

Cheers!

Standard
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.

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

What I Am Working On: Vintage Photo Look

I shoot using a digital camera and have now for years. Recently I inherited a film camera and have got it up and running, my first roll of film partially shot. I’m enjoying it, but doubt I would ever fully make the transition back to film.  I love the look of film photography though, so it is something that I edit my digital files for frequently. I often use presets as a point of starting to create a film look, but don’t have a particular one that’s a favorite. So, I decided to try my hand at making my own preset. First I found some instructions on what filters to use to create the look. The detailed instructions I used are in this video. I didn’t follow all the settings exactly, but I think that video is a really good starting point, including some basic explanations, that make it easy to follow. I experimented using this file:

ISO 500 10mm f/22 1/125 sec

This is the Odeon of Athens, part of the Acropolis complex, it is in active use today. My final vintage look file turned out like this:

ISO 500 10mm f/22 1/125 sec

I was really pleased with the settings that I used, so I saved them as a preset. The video gives instructions for Luminar, but really it would apply to most photo editing software. Settings you are changing to create this look include things like saturation and curves, standard things found in most software.

Do you like vintage photo looks? Have a favorite technique? feel free to share your thoughts below. If you are interested in film photography, I would recommend Down the Road, it’s a combination of camera reviews, film photography related discussion, and personal essays. Extensive film photography knowledge is not necessary to enjoy the blog and Jim is good about responding to comments.

Cheers!

Added to A Photo A Week Challenge, Urban.

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

Siege Bell and War Memorial in Malta

My photography workflow tends to go something like this:

  1. Take lots of photos
  2. Backup all my files
  3. Delete photos that are obvious duds
  4. Process one or two photos that grab my immediate attention
  5. Allow files to age
  6. Delete photos that are duds
  7. Edit the rest
  8. Backup all my files

Step 5 is an important step for me. It gives me a chance to step back and then re-evaluate the files before I decide what I want to keep. Files I decide to keep generally fall into two categories, photos to sell and memory photos.  The photos in this post fall into the second category. I’ve edited them to keep for my personal collection, but won’t post them for sale:

How long do I let my files sit at step 5? At least a year. In this case, I am writing this is early May 2019 and the photos were taken in July 2018. I’m not in a huge hurry to delete files, but it is something that I continually work on, and a year is usually sufficient time to wait and come back with a more critical eye.

These photographs were taken of the Siege Bell and War Memorial in Malta. It dominates the landscape of the harbor of Valetta, although I think these photos don’t quite tell that part of the story. Two of the photos were taken on a boat trip, hence the faster shutter speed, the landscape wasn’t moving but I was!

Do you like these snapshots? Do you allow your photo files to age before deleting them? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Inspired by and a last-minute contribution to A Photo A Week Challenge, Three of a Kind.

Standard
Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge, What I Am Working On

What I am Working On: Flexing the Rules

When it comes to photography there are some rules worth thinking about. Rules tend to make a good starting point when you are photographing and editing. Whether you keep to the rules or not will hopefully vary. This is a post about almost keeping the rules and the technology that can help you refine your photographic vision. The photo I was editing was this one:

ISO 400 19mm f/16 1/250sec

Rules Broken: Shooting during the middle of the day and shooting in Jpeg format.

Verdict: Guilty and unrepentant. You only live once and go live your best life. You can tell them you read it here if you feel the need to pass the buck.

During the editing process, the first edit I did was a crop. I used the rule of thirds overlay within my crop tool, so this is what was on my screen:

This gives you an idea of how close to the Rule of Thirds this photo is.

You can see how I’ve taken some liberties with the rule of thirds here while keeping the spirit of the rule. I do this a lot, start with the overlay and then go from there. There is a simple reason for this “almost” rule of thirds image. It’s the other elements in the photo. There are some distracting yellow flowers at the top that are being cropped out and a few purple ones near the bottom. An element deliberately kept in was the white flowers that are a color match for the butterfly.

Rules Broken: Rule of Thirds.

Verdict: Just a bit out of bounds.

Next up is sharpening. I’ve approached this in a bit of a different way. Firstly, I did not want to sharpen the whole image. I was only interested in the butterfly and the blooming flowers. The rest of the image had enough detail for my liking. In Luminar, instead of using the clarity slider, I’ve used the details enhancer. I prefer this slider because it breaks it down into three separate sliders, small, medium, and large. I’ve boosted the small and medium details.  I also used a mask to apply the filter to only the area I wanted the change. I use to hate masks, but over the years the technology behind them has improved making them much easier to use:

This shows what area the details have been given a boost.

Rule Broken: Always sharpen your image.

Verdict: Managed to both keep and break this rule, how annoyingly clever is that?

The last edit was the vignette. The default in editing software is the center of the image. If your editing software allows you to change that, I would encourage you to give that a try, it’s a way of highlighting your main subject which may not be in the center of the image. In this case, I put the vignette center on the eye of the butterfly.

Rule Broken: Vignette is centered in the middle of the image.

Verdict: Guilty and also guilty of encouraging others.

Here is the final image with all the mentioned edits:

ISO 400 19mm f/16 1/250sec

What is your verdict? Do these edits work, with the rules flexed and even broken in places? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Added to A Photo A Week Challenge, Rule of Thirds and Tuesday Photo Challenge, Technology.

Standard