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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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