18-55mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 80D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Walking on Water

If you spend enough time outside, you will see some pretty magical things. Ducks walking on water for example:

ISO 400 f/8 1/125sec 55mm

You are not surprised to hear it was a cold morning when I took a walk past this local lake. The morning was also very still and quiet. I looked to bring those elements into my edit:

ISO 400 f/8 1/125sec 55mm

My edits here include a crop and a bit of fog added with the help of a filter.  I also added a mask to the lead duck’s face and increased the exposure just a bit, a subtle way to make him stand out. The vignette was added with him set as the center point.

Just a bit of a reminder to look around when I’m outside there are some pretty amazing things to be noticed, that is what this photo means to me.  Feel free to leave comments or questions below.

Cheers!

Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Magical.

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18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

In the Light and in the Dark

Recently in Munich, I had the opportunity to visit the Residence Museum. The oldest room in the residence is the Antiquarium, built between 1568-71.  You know you have a lot of antique sculptures when you commission a 66-meter long hall to house them. Might sound like a bit of an over the top extravagance, but Duke Albrecht V did it with style in my opinion. This was a favorite stop of mine on the tour of the museum:

ISO 800 f/11 1/250sec 21mm

This room was filled with many beautiful things, but what I enjoyed photographing was the play between the light and dark spaces. There was a lot of interesting potential in this room in addition to the beautiful objects. Here is my interpretation of the file above:

ISO 800 f/11 1/250sec 21mm

I started with a crop that would maintain some of the arches and some of the darker spaces. I brought the shadows up a bit, particularly in the wall detail. I added filters that would increase the warmth and dreamy feel of the light in the room. For me, this edit was a lot of back and forth with the various sliders, until I came up with a combination that I liked.

What do you think of the edit? Can you imagine owning so much art that you would have to build entire rooms to display it? I have a hard time wrapping my head around that idea, I suspect I would loan items like that to museums or something.  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Silhouettes.

 

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18-55mm IS lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 80D, Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Using a Brush

Among my files that I am working on this week is this one:

ISO 1000 f/11 1/25sec 55mm

This qualifies as a snapshot. I had just a moment to catch the “who me?” expression on the bird’s face just as he was standing near the warning sign. What I wanted to do was make the story more front and center. A crop was an obvious choice. I thought also I might like this in black and white.  The edit is here:

ISO 1000 f/11 1/25sec 55mm

I’ll call this a black and white with a cheat. I did a layer with my initial edits like the crop and some clarity. Then I did another layer with a the black and white edits. This particular black and white is done with a yellow filter, that ended up being the interpretation that I prefered. Then I added a final layer. I took a brush to that layer, made it the size of the bird’s eye and set the opacity to 35%. I was erasing just a bit off the black and white layer, just on the eye. So the final edit has a hint of color to the bird’s eye. I use the brush fairly regularly in my editing process. I don’t always think about setting its opacity, but that is a small but impactful way to make use of the tool. My final edit was a vignette that is centered on the eye, further accenting the look the bird was giving me.

What do you think of the final image, does the story pop more? Do you like the touch of color? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge, Signs.

 

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18-55mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 80D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography, Six Word Saturday

Six-Word Saturday, Black Forest Mouse

ISO 2500 f/11 1/15sec 55mm

Movement on the Black Forest floor

reveals a mouse and his house.

Quick a photo before he’s gone,

woodland forager, not quite a pet.

 

Cheers!

Added to Six-Word Saturday and Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Precious Pets.

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18-55mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 80D, Instagram, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Morning Stretch

Fall has officially arrived. Feel free to disagree with me, but in my house, fall happens when school re-starts. One thing that fall brings for me is a shift back to a routine that accommodates school and related activities. It can does compete with my photography related pursuits. Call it creative tension. It happens that I do my best creative thinking early in the morning. So, I capitalize on that the best I can. Most mornings you will find me first thing in front of my photo files. Yesterday it was these two files:

This is a Bengal eagle-owl. The brown and golden tones on this bird are really beautiful. So, my first file I edited just to showcase that and kept the edits to a minimum. Here is how that turned out:

ISO 2500 f/11 1/15sec 55mm

I’ve cropped the image, increased clarity with the small details slider in Luminar 3, and added a vignette which I centered on the eagle’s eye. I was happy with the edit, but for the other file, I wanted to be a bit more creative while still keeping the eagle looking as it did in real life.  Here is what I came up with:

ISO 2500 f/11 1/15sec 55mm

For this edit, I added another layer that has what Luminar 3 calls a “look” basically each look is a grouping of various presets that you can apply and then modify if you like. In this case, I applied the look, then added a mask and erased the look off of the eagle.

I was pretty happy with the outcome of these two edits. Then the rest of my day started, early morning photography time was over. What happens next with these photos? Well, probably not a whole lot.  The second one did make an appearance on my Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

Needing a weekend like… #friyay #weekend #owl #bengaleagleowl

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

I’ll keep these files in part because I just think this is a pretty bird. To me, that’s a good enough reason. I also enjoy working with files like this to experiment with new editing ideas.

What do you think of the edits? is there a time of day where you feel like you are more creative? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Fall.

 

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18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Telling A Story

To tell a story effectively with a photo, a useful tool can be framing. It’s a way of drawing the viewer’s eye towards the tale you would like to tell. On a recent edit I started with this file:

ISO 250 f/11 1/100 sec 28mm

It was a beautiful scene, but even as I shot it, I knew editing would help me get to what I really wanted to show, which is this:

ISO 250 f/11 1/100 sec 28mm

I am currently using a Canon 80D as my main body. I’m happy with it but I have noticed that it is better to shoot an image underexposed rather than perfectly exposed or overexposed. Now, in general, that was true of my 50D as well, but I feel like it is more pronounced with this camera. I shoot in RAW, so even though the original file is dark, there is a lot of detail there.

Since this is really a post about framing, I will stick with talking about how I approached this shot. While shooting this file, I went ahead and took in as much of the scene as possible. My first edit, in this case, was a crop. I’ve left plenty of water and vegetation around the waterfall for context. I then used the vignette to help with the framing. I set the center at the closest visible water convergence. This should lead your eye to the most dynamic part of the image and allow the rocks and vegetation play their supporting role. So a crop and a vignette, two of the more basic edits, but an effective way to create a frame. Do you agree? Feel free to leave a comment below about this approach or its outcome below.

Regular readers will know I fell out of the blogosphere about a month ago. While it wasn’t an entirely planned break, I’m grateful to say it was a happy one. It included a two-week road trip in Europe. The photo above was taken during this time and is part of the Edelfrauengrab Waterfall in Germany’s Black Forest region. I’m happy to be back and look forward to catching up with my fellow bloggers.

Cheers!

Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Framing the Shot.

 

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18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, iPhone, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Walls of the Missing

I am planning to visit the Cambridge American Cemetery again soon and as part of that, I was looking through some photo files that I shot this past winter. One of the features in the cemetery is its Walls of the Missing that have 5,127 names on it. It’s an interesting structure in that there are places where you can walk through and it operates as both a barrier to the outside, but also an entrance and exit between the cemetery and it’s exterior. So it’s both a wall and a door. It’s imposing, yet delicate; Both personal and impersonal. During this particular photo editing session, I was working with images that included the Wall:

These first images are ones that I shot on my iPhone using the app Hipstamatic. One of the features of that app is “randomize” which means you shake your phone, take your photo, and the app applies a random selection of filters. I created a series of those over the course of my visit.

I also brought my Canon 80D:

ISO 400 24mm f/11 1/250sec

 

ISO 400 24mm f/11 1/640

These two photos I edited in Luminar 3 with an eye to accentuating the warm but quickly fading light of a February afternoon.

It was an interesting work session, and I was giving some thought to how different the lighting conditions will be since my next visit will be in July. In that vein, I think it is nice as a photographer to have the experience of shooting the same place at different times of the year. It’s a good exercise in thinking through things like light. It’s also interesting to then have the time of year be part of the narrative of the image.

Do you have a place like this, that you visit regularly over the year in part just to see the changes? What do you think of my various photos, is there a particular one that speaks to you? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Wall and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, 5+ Items.

 

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