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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, Instagram, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: How to Lose My Work

I think I am going to file this too: never do this again.

It all started out well enough, I was looking at this file, taken at Hadrian’s Wall:

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It’s nice but needs a bit of work. So, from that I created this version:

ISO 800 22mm f/14 1/800sec

Before dealing with the exposure, I applied a crop. I’ve used the rule of thirds overlay for this because, as I suspected, there was a stronger composition lurking within the original file. Then I considered the exposure; this image was created using the shadows slider to lighten the shadows, then I moved the black and white sliders around until the image looked good to me. I sharpened the photo by increasing the details sliders just a bit.

Then I created this black and white version:

ISO 800 22mm f/14 1/800sec

That is now lost for all time. I state in a very dramatic fashion.  Here’s what I did wrong. After making this version and saving off a blog-sized copy, I went back in the history to the color version and did the steps to add a watermark. I saved off my blog-sized copy of that. Then when I dropped the history tab again to go back to the black and white version, all that history was gone.

Two things, somehow that seems like that shouldn’t have happened and at the same time, I feel like I should have known that would happen. So yes, I should have saved a full-size version of that black and white prior to mucking about in the history. In Luminar, the way I am doing that (when I am doing things properly) is to export it to my hard drive labeled as a version. In my formatting on my drive, this version would have been: file number + Lum + BW.

Instead, I have just a smaller, blog version. So, I am writing this cautionary blog post to remind myself to do it differently next time.

What do you think of my color version versus the black and white? I have to say that I personally prefer the color, in my opinion, there is a bit of something that just didn’t translate into the black and white. Feel free to leave a comment below.

My Instagram version is here:

Cheers!

Color version is on Picfair.

Added to Cee’s Black and White Challenge, Fences and Gates.

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18-55mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Ruins of St. Gilles

This photo was taken in Caen, France:

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We had spent the day looking at many of the sites in the city, Caen has a lot to look at, and it was a beautiful day to be out and about. The photo above is the ruins of St. Gilles. Here is my edit of this photo:

ISO 200 14mm f/16 1/200sec

I used a wide angle lens to take the original photo. I did start with a crop for my edit because there were a few buildings on the right side of the frame that I found distracting. I also took out the piece of red trash. My other edits were just boosts, a bit of tinkering for things like the white balance and detail enhancer. I find that in Luminar 3, I am using the details enhancer slider in place of the clarity slider. Why? the details are broken into three sliders, small, medium, and large details, I find this allows for a bit more nuance in the sharpening of the image.

Small edits, but I do like the result. What do you think? feel free to comment below.

I often have conversations through this blog about workflow, including management of files. The photo in this post is on my “slow but steady” track. I keep all my files in folders that are arranged chronologically by date. The folder will also have the name of the place where the photos were taken, in this case, Caen. When it comes time for that folder to be edited it is often months later. In this case, the photo was taken last May. It’s at this stage of editing that a lot of files end up in the trash bin.  It’s also at this point where I often refer to the photos I have taken of the scene on my phone as they have the GPS location data and I find that helpful for things like pulling up the name of this church. I fall into the camp of people who frequently move photo files off of my phone and on to my hard drive, so those iPhone files were in the same folder, that just makes things easier in my opinion.

Cheers!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Architecture.

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

What I Am Working On: Creating A Custom Workspace

Part of what I enjoy about photography is the editing process. These days there are a lot of editing software choices on the market. Then once you are settled on one that you like, the edit options within that software are usually extensive. That’s great. Except when it is so much that it becomes a distraction.  The reality is that I shoot a lot of photos like this:

ISO 200 70mm f/16 1/250sec

When I then open this photo in the edit tab of Luminar 3 I have a lot of filter options, but there are a few that I almost always use. The rest are helpful sometimes but are just clutter to my process at other times. A way to clear that clutter is to create a custom workspace with just select filters. I did just that and here is what it looks like:

To create this, I did the following. First, where the dropdown now says “Amy 1”, I clicked the down arrow, and selected “clear workspace”. Then from the filters I picked the ones I almost always use and in the order I use them, opened them, that added them to the list you see there. Then I clicked again on that down arrow and one of the options is “save custom workspace” it then prompted me for a name, that’s when I added “Amy 1”. Now anytime I open a new image, I can click that down arrow and my saved workspace is there. Or, even better, I also clicked to have that show as the default. Here are those filters applied to my original image:

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From there I could have added more filters and done some other editing. Sometimes I will, but in this case, I wasn’t really looking to do anything else with this image.

I spend quite a bit of time thinking about my photography workflow. My hope is that this workspace will make the process a bit smoother. Do you use a custom workspace in your editing process? I never have before so this is just something I’m giving a try. Feel free to comment on that or on my edit below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Round.

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18-55mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 80D, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Listening to the Experts

Like most weeks, I was working on several things, but one of those things was this image:

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I shot it in St. Stephen’s Park in Dublin. It was one of those moments that I didn’t have time to think too much, I had to just take the shot. Someone had just dumped the remains of a bread bag and this was the resulting frenzy. I took the photo knowing it would need some work.

Here is the result of my various edits:

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I would say that the first thing I thought about was the crop. I tinkered with this a bit, should I leave some people in or not?  Ultimately I went with no. It does mean that the final version is a bit top-heavy, with all the birds congregating there. I tried a black and white variation, but it didn’t really sit right.

It is also my habit to read or research about photography and as I was working on this image, I also came across a webinar about bird photography by Scott Bourne.

Here is the webinar I was listening to. Scott has a lot of experience with birds, so what he had to offer on that front is worth considering. I also found it interesting that he spoke a bit about really knowing your gear. I think that is a really important part of photography, you can get better results if you understand the tools you are using. In the case of the photo above, I see me getting some practice, and also demonstrating that I do need some work on getting to know my camera a bit better.

There’s always room for improvement, at least in my case. While this photo isn’t one of the best I’ve ever taken, I like it as a reminder of that moment in the park. Your thoughts on getting to know your gear better or on this particular edit are welcome below.

Cheers!

Added to One Word Sunday, Movement.

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

Grave Marker Close-Up

From my walk around Cambridge American Cemetery last week I had this file:

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I took several shots in a row because the light was changing rapidly, but it was the one above that was my favorite. My first edit was a crop, as the marker on the right side of the frame that was half out of the frame bothered me. I’ve used a few filters here but a few smaller edits that I applied I’d like to point out. The first is the vignette, that is a filter that will darken the edges of a photo. Its default setting is to the middle of the photo, but that point can be changed. In Luminar 3 it’s as simple as clicking the button marked “place center” then clicking the point you would like in the photo. In this case, it is the small stones. I’ve also used the dodge and burn tool to lighten the rocks just a bit. Here is the outcome of those edits:

ISO 400 50mm f/11 1/400sec

What do you think of this framing and this edit? It’s different than a straight shot of just the grave markers, does it appeal to you? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section.

Below I am including another photo, a similar grave that I posted on Instagram. This one shows more of what a full marker looks like:

View this post on Instagram

Beautiful #gravemarker edited in #hipstamatic #wwii

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

Cheers!

Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Close-Up.

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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:

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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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