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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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photo for the Week, Photography

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

In some ways the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a universal thing. I’ve seen several in different countries and I think they are interesting to visit because they each reflect a bit of the history of the country the represent. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens was sculpted between 1930-32 and is watched over by members of the Presidential Guard in traditional uniforms. Despite it’s location in the busy city, it has a sense of space, quiet, and reflection:

ISO 800 10mm f/22 1/125sec

This is one of the original exposures that I have from my visit. When I went to edit it, I knew I wanted to retain both the soldiers and the birds which are reminders of life but also I wanted to emphasize the stillness and solemness of death.

ISO 800 10mm f/22 1/125sec

With my crop I’ve kept things lightly off kilter and I chose a filter in Luminar, called Dark Moon, that I found rather somber. Once I had the filter on I edited it’s settings a bit. Changing the center point of the vignette and also making it a bit lighter. I wanted to leave a still image that has the hint of chaos, a reminder that the path of a country is often littered with sacrifice.

Do you think this edit suggests that? Do you like the image or its edit? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to A Photo A Week Challenge, Reflection and Photo for the Week-15-Paths.

 

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Flowers, iPhone, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Through Glass

I enjoy walking through churches. I’m a bit of a sucker for stained glass. Usually, such windows tell a biblical story, but sometimes it’s just a gem like this:

ISO 25 4.15mm f/2.2 1/110sec

This window functions more as a decorative way to let in light and create a welcoming environment. From that original file I created this version:

ISO 25 4.15mm f/2.2 1/110sec

The first edit here was to change the white balance. I used the eyedropper in the Develop filter of Luminar to pick a spot that was a warm grey-blue.  This warmed the image nicely. I brought the whites down and boosted the blacks a bit. Then I added some clarity. I’ve also added a vignette here. One of the things that I like about the vignette filter is that it is really easy to customize the center from which the vignette will be added.

What do you think of my edit? The biggest change I think is really the warmth of the image. Do you prefer the cooler tone of the original? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to A Photo A Week Challenge, Through Glass.

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

Look it Up

Photos like this one can be fun:

ISO 200 4.3mm f/2.7 1/1000

This photo was shot here on what is sometimes referred to as the Backs of Cambridge. It’s called that because the river flows behind several of the colleges that make up the University. If I was to cross the road here and look off the other side, I would have a view of the Mathematical Bridge.

At this particular moment though I was on a walk that went through Cambridge. With me was a history enthusiast, he had done research on the area we would walk through and then looked up these photos online. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the older photos with the modern scene as a backdrop.  I had done something similar for Instagram when we were at Omaha Beach:

View this post on Instagram

#omahabeach yesterday and today #dday #wwii #lestweforget

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

 

What these two photos have in common is that they were taken with smaller cameras. The one in Cambridge was taken with my point and shoot. In my opinion, my smaller camera is fine as it has sufficient technology on board to take the photo I want. In this case, I set the focus on the older photos and let the background fall slightly out of focus. I thought this would make for a more interesting storytelling image.  The only edit I did post-process was a slight crop.

Do you ever take images like this one? Do they appeal to you at all as a way of telling a history?  Do you like my take on the history of the Backs? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Look Up and A Photo A Week, From the Back.

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