70-200mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Telling A Different Story

Often when I am shooting nature images, I take a lot of photos, with the thought of later editing mostly for clarity, retaining the story as is. And then there are the times when I chose to edit the story itself:

ISO 640 85mm f/16 1/500sec

In this original file, I think the story includes the protective nature of both the adult swans. My edit includes just one:

ISO 640 85mm f/16 1/500sec

I’ve taken a lot of liberties with color as well. The result is a completely different story. In this new image, the row of cygnets is much more important. From that, the lines and textures in the water and on the birds become elements that are more dominant than they were in the original file.

If you are wondering about the backstory of this photo, it was taken in June 2018 at a small lake near where I live. The cygnets who were born in this clutch did not make it to maturity. The adults are still on the lake and within the last week, I am fairly certain have constructed a new nest.

What do you think of the liberties I have taken with this story? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to A Photo a Week Challenge: Getting Your Ducks in a Row.

Picfair version is here.

 

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Instagram, iPhone, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photography

Walking through London

This post is going to be a bit of a departure from my usual style. I was off on a walk yesterday and I am inviting you along on a bit of a recap of the day.  I was in London for the day. Friends were passing through London and this was the day that our schedules intersected. They would be available in the afternoon, but I decided to make a full day of it. I am the kind of person that makes lists. For everything. One of my lists is “Things to do in England”. When something catches my eye, it goes on the list. Since I had a morning in London, I decided to do two things that were on the London section of the list. I’m also a bit of a history nerd buff, so on the list were a rare King Edward VIII postbox and St. Etheldreda’s Church.  I took the train to King’s Cross and then headed here:

ISO 200 4.22mm f/2.2 1/17sec

The iconic London Underground. I happened to be standing with my back to this wall and then thought, that would be a fun photo. It was shot on my iPhone. The underground deposited me near to this:

ISO 125 4.3mm f/2.7 1/160sec

It’s a King Edward VIII postbox I tell you rather excitedly! and if you are anything like the rest of my family you chuckle, nod politely, and wait for me to take the photo. This one was taken with my point and shoot. Postboxes with a King Edward VIII cypher are rare because he was King for less than a year and then a lot of his postboxes were either modified or replaced. It took me a fair amount of digging to locate this one that I could visit, ultimately I tracked it down on Instagram, so it seemed only right to post this version, shot with my iPhone and edited in Hipstamatic, there:

From there I went to find St. Etheldreda’s Church. It is one of the oldest Catholic Churches in England and the structure itself is one of two in London that dates from the reign of King Edward I. It has a rather interesting history but it was built sometime between 1250-1290 and it was set to its current form and function in 1878. I was told of existence about a year ago and assured that it was well worth my time to track down if I had the opportunity. Wow, was it ever:

ISO 500 4.3mm f/2.7 1/30sec

This first shot, taken shortly after a Mass, shows the beautiful interior as well as the haze from incense used in the Mass.

Then there was the stained glass:

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/30sec

Both of these shots were taken with my point and shoot. Set back from the main road and tucked in between more modern buildings this church was a beautiful highlight of my day.

If you are wondering why I didn’t take one of my larger cameras on this outing there were two reasons. First, I was concerned about the potential crowds, headed into London for St. Patrick’s Day. The second was the weather. That turned out to be the bigger of the two issues, as I was hailed on a few times over the course of the day.

Thanks for coming along as I am busy ticking things off my list. Do you make lists like this? What do you think of the photos, do you have a favorite? Your thoughts are welcome below.

Cheers!

As this walk was all over London, so this post is all over my different blogging places.  Added to:

Len-Artists Photo Challenge: History.

A Photo A Week Challenge: Cityscape/Townscape.

Jo’s Monday Walk.

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18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Instagram, iPhone, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Light Burst

It was a beautiful day here yesterday and I was at the Cambridge American Cemetery. I took a lot of photos in part because the light was so interesting. In particular, I took several frames of this grave, from all different angles.  When I got home and took a look at all the variations, I decided that this one interested me the most:

ISO 400 18mm f/11 1/800sec

In my edit, I cropped it a bit first. There were some elements on the right-hand side of the frame that was a bit distracting. I also tried a crop that straightened the photo a bit but for this interpretation, I decided that I liked it a bit off kilter. I knew I wanted to create a black and white version and thought that the tilted view would work with that treatment. Here is the outcome of that:

ISO 400 18mm f/11 1/800sec

When I am out shooting, I often take photos with my iPhone as well. Here is another black and white version of the scene that I created on my phone with the help of Hipstamatic:

Three of the servicemen who are buried here were honored in a flypast that took place in Sheffield yesterday. A brief story and video on that are here. The story is quite moving, it is worth a few moments of your time if you are interested.

What do you think of my edit? Can you believe that bright sun, right here in England? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Added to A Photo A Week, Black & White.

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18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Flowers, Nature, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photography

When Light Suggests the Framing

This past weekend I went for a walk at Anglesey Abbey. I was looking for snowdrops and they are in season at the Abbey, which boasts that they have 300 varieties. The grounds at Anglesey are fairly extensive and the snowdrops were indeed out pretty much everywhere. I spent some time looking for the images I wanted to capture. Really what I was looking for was light. Then I came across this scene:

ISO 400 55mm f/11 1/200sec

This moment of light, an unexpected window; I only got a few shots before it was gone.  But it was enough for me to then go home and create this image:

ISO 400 55mm f/11 1/200sec

Framing is something that photographers think about, where to place their subject in an image. In this case, the light suggests the frame, literally illuminating the subject and throwing everything else into darkness. The edits I have done are minimal. The crop to accentuate the lit snowdrops, and a bit of sharpening.

What do you think of the edit? I feel like I am often looking for and chasing light, do you identify with that statement? Your thoughts are welcome below.

Cheers!

Added to A Photo A Week, Unexpected Windows.

Also, City Sonnet, Starts with the letter G.

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

What I Am Working On: Cropping

One edit that I do to almost every photo is a crop. I don’t have a set in stone way to approach it but often it’s the first edit I do. I’m usually thinking something like, what do I really want to say in this photograph?:

ISO 800 14mm f/11 1/320sec

In this case I knew I wanted it to be about the boulders, their imposing and larger than life presence in the landscape.  To do this I was thinking about having them seem to almost spill out of the bottom of the frame. While a good rule of thumb with photography is often to have something all the way in the frame and not running into the edges, in this case I was going to deliberately choose the opposite.

In Luminar, two cropping overlays are available for use. They are the rule of thirds and the perhaps less known golden ratio. While I don’t always crop using these guidelines, I usually at least give it a thought. They both provide a helpful guide to making a stronger composition. If you are interested in a comparison and explanation of the two methods, this is a good place to start.  Here are two screen shots showing how the lines look within the editing software.

Cropped using the rule of thirds:

Screen shot showing the rule of thirds overlay.

Cropped using the golden ratio:

Screen shot showing the golden ratio overlay.

I went with the golden ratio for this crop. It fit well not only with my overflowing boulders, but with the path in the middle of the photograph:

ISO 800 14mm f/11 1/320sec

From there I warmed up the ground quite a bit, it helped throw the sky into a more dramatic contrast. I have also sharpened the photo, which particularly brought out some of the interesting detail in the boulders.

What do you think of the edits? Do you have a preferred way to crop your photos? Your comments are welcome below.

Cheers!

Added to A Photo A Week: Vanishing Point.

Picfair Version is here.

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70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Creating a Watermark, Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my journey into the world of creating a watermark in Luminar 3. Part 1 is here. The shot I am using for this post was taken at Château-Gaillard and that is the River Seine that is snaking through the photograph:

ISO 200 f/16 1/160 70mm

As you can see, I have managed to add a watermark. I reported in my last post that I was having trouble getting the curves slider in Luminar to work. When I contacted Luminar about the problem, they requested that I send a video of what steps I was taking. Turns out I was attempting to manipulate the curves slider in the wrong way.

Curves looks like this:

Screen shot of Curves

I was attempting to move the orange dots, so that it would look like this:

Screen shot of what I wanted.

This step is what makes the lettering that says “Maranto Photography” white.  I was attempting to pull the orange dots from left to right when instead they needed to go up and down. Luminar was pretty fast about getting back to me once I submitted the files, less than a day. So I was happy with their customer service.

Here is the original, unedited, file:

ISO 200 f/16 1/160 70mm

Nice that the fix was that easy. Wish it had occurred to me to try it this slightly different way, but oh well! Your thoughts on the photo, its edits or the watermark are welcome below.

Cheers!

A Photo a Week, The Great Outdoors.

Picfair version here.

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

On the Horizon

I took this photograph in Normandy, France:

ISO 200 22mm f/16 1/400sec

What attracted me to the scene was the colors.  Also the various lines in the scene, the shoreline, the pier, and the horizon.  So when I went to edit, the first thing I did was to crop and straighten the photo, to accentuate some of those lines:

ISO 200 22mm f/16 1/400sec

The next step was to remove some dust spots that were visible and also the two people that were on the pier. These small edits helped to distill the image down to what I wanted. My next edits were to boost and clarify the colors. I kept these edits to a minimum because in my opinion the scene was beautiful as it was.

What do you think, do the edits stay close enough to the original? do the lines in this image appeal to you? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to A Photo A Week: On the Horizon.

Picfair Version is Here.

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