Royal Albert Hall, quite a sight,
bathed in the winter golden glow,
of London lit up at night.
My photography workflow tends to go something like this:
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.
Inspired by and a last-minute contribution to A Photo A Week Challenge, Three of a Kind.
I love taking a walk. I love the simplicity of views like this one near the Derwent Dam in the Peak District:
When I go to edit a scene like this one, I’m often not interested in making dramatic edits. I’d like to show the scene as it lives in my mind:
I’ve stuck with the basics here. For starters, a crop that included straightening the horizon line a bit. From there, I’ve boosted the colors using the blacks/whites slider. I’ve also used the sky enhancer slider and a foliage enhancer. Lastly, I used the Orton filter, this sharpens the image a bit while at the same time giving the photo a bit of a dreamy feel.
This was approximately a ten-minute edit for me. I looked at the original file, thought about what I wanted my final file to look like, pulled out the appropriate filters, and then applied them without over thinking it too much. What do you think? do you like the final version? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Inspired by and written for the Len-Artists Photo Challenge, Less is More.
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:
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:
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:
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:
What is your verdict? Do these edits work, with the rules flexed and even broken in places? Feel free to comment below.
St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall is a beautiful place. It’s location, just off the mainland makes getting there part of the experience:
This photo, my original file, shows two ways you can go about it. In this photo, the tide is in, enough that you can take a small boat. That’s how we arrived in the morning. On the right-hand side, the pathway you can use is visible but still submerged, that’s how you can get there and back with the tide is out. A few hours after this photo was taken that is how we got back. My final edit for this photo is this one:
The first edit I did on this photo was to crop and straighten it. It was a bright and hazy day, so I needed some edits to boost the colors a bit and add some clarity. The scene itself though I wanted to preserve close to the way I saw it, so I didn’t apply any more creative edits in this case. A more creative version of this site, I published here.
What do you think of these edits? Feel free to leave a comment below. This was a really interesting place to visit, so I’d recommend it if you are ever in the area.
Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Connections.
A lot of my photography is outdoors with the natural world as subject matter. As a result, a lot of my photos are color images. In my mind, color is really the default. When I took this image, I was thinking in color:
This recent shot was taken on a beautiful morning along the South West Coast Path. It was a color and light filled morning, but when I went to edit this photo, I was only partially happy with the results. So, I wandered off and did some other things, kind of thinking over this edit in the back of my mind. A bit later, the back of my mind suggested I try a black and white edit. So I did:
This is the result, which I am much happier with. When I edit a photo into black and white, the first step is usually to bump up the contrast and saturation. It makes for a terrible color image, but it usually then makes for a more interesting black and white image. Having done that, I then made my black and white edits. This has a yellow filter applied. I then applied a filter to soften the image a bit but removed it as I think the texture in the image is an interesting component, and one that I wanted to leave in.
Nature images are most often presented in color, what do you think of this in black and white? your comments are welcome below.
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:
In this original file, I think the story includes the protective nature of both the adult swans. My edit includes just one:
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.
Added to A Photo a Week Challenge: Getting Your Ducks in a Row.
Picfair version is here.