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.
Every once in a while I take photos of a subject that I’m a bit conflicted about. This post is about the enemy. The photos in this post were taken at La Cambe German War Cemetery. It’s near Omaha Beach in Normandy France. There are 21,222 German war dead here, ranging in age from 16-72. Most died between 6 June and 20 August 1944. They were the enemy but as the sign on the front of the cemetery stated, “With its melancholy rigour, it is a graveyard for soldiers not all of whom had chosen either the cause or the fight. They too have found rest in our soil of France.” I found the place to be very somber and sad:
This first shot gives a bit of an overview of how the markers are laid out in rows. This second shot it a bit more of a close-up:
It is the square markers and not the crosses that are grave markers. I’d also like to note that some of the markers indicated that the graves are sometimes stacked.
This statue was at the top of the resting place for the unknown soldiers. I have versions of each of these on my Picfair site, if you would like to see them at higher resolution: photo 1, photo 2, photo 3.
When it came to editing, the first two were just edited for clarity. The third is a bit more creative, but I wanted to stick with the somber and ethereal feel of the cemetery itself.
Tough topic, but what do you think? To me, it was a reminder to never lose sight of anyone’s humanity, even those who would stand against you. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Sometimes a little bit of curiosity can be a good thing. When it comes to photo editing this translates into: just push that button or slide that slider and see what happens. It’s usually pretty easy to back up if you end up with a result that you don’t like. All you need is curiosity and a little bit of time. This image below was taken at Pointe du Hoc.
My first edit was this one:
It features a lot of the edits you would expect from me. I’m hoping you think this edit pops a bit and is a bit more clear. I’m hoping that you don’t think that it varies too much from the original. With this type of edit, I’m looking to represent the scene as it was.
As per my recent blog post, I saved a version of it. Then I continued to edit. I was looking to create something a bit different:
When I am in this more creative mode, my layer panel starts to look like this:
If you have no interest in using layers or already know all about them, feel free to skip the rest of this post, leave a comment or like below if you that appeals to you. The rest of this post is a bit about layers and how to use them.
In the screenshot, the original file and then the layer above it is what led to the natural version of the photo. The layer marked, “silver lining” and the two above that are part of the more creative version. I’d like to mention a few things that I think are important to consider when making a creative edit. The first is that I think it is really helpful to have additional edits on separate layers. This makes it easy to see what you have done and remove or further work on any particular edit. Making a new layer is easy and pretty universal in photo editing applications. In this particular case, I clicked on the “+” to the right of “Layers” and a drop-down option was “add adjustment layer”. Let’s say on Adjustment Layer 1 I wanted to adjust the exposure. I do that and then add Adjustment Layer 2 and edit for clarity on that layer. I could then click on the eyeball from Adjustment Layer 1 and that would turn off the exposure adjustment if I wanted to see what the photo would look like with just the clarity adjustment. That gives me the flexibility of having several edits that can easily be adjusted or even deleted independently of one another. Also, It is possible to rename layers, for example, the layer that is called silver lining, that is the name of the filter I put on that layer. In this case that not only makes it easier to know what adjustment is there but also functions as a reminder to myself as to what filter I have used. Changing the name of a layer is done by clicking over the text, and changing the text when the text box appears.
Your thoughts on my edits and the use of layers are all welcome below.
Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Wonder.
Picfair version here.
When it comes to editing, there is always a bit of deciding what to leave in and what to take out. Here is a file I was working on last week:
In my edit, I decided to take out the people. In this case, the eraser tool was sufficient for this:
I’ve cropped the image, but just slightly. I wanted to leave in the shadow of the tree. The tree itself I wanted to leave in the center of the frame, despite this being against the “rules” of photography. I wanted to leave in the feel of a sunny day, but I did decide to add a vintage film filter to this file.
All the edits here are pretty basic, but they do change the image. What do you think of these changes? feel free to comment below.
Picfair version is here.
Add to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Shadow.
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:
It’s nice but needs a bit of work. So, from that I created this version:
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:
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:
Color version is on Picfair.
Added to Cee’s Black and White Challenge, Fences and Gates.