Picfair version is here.
The viaduct in the photo is now a bridge for bikers and pedestrians on the Monsal Trail in the Peak District. We had been biking it earlier in the day. When we were on the viaduct we could see a lookout point, so off we went to find this spot so that I could take this photo:
Have you spotted the huge photography rule I have broken with this photo? It’s on the lower right side of the frame. A sign leading to a trail. The sign is neither fully in or out of the photo. That was my first edit, a crop that got rid of that little detail. Next, I applied a graduated filter to the sky. Bringing the exposure down in just that area brought back some detail in the sky. I then used the tone curve to darken both the dark and light tones just a little. They didn’t need much, just a bit to make the color in the photo a bit richer. Here is my edited version:
Like many of my photos, with the edits, I have attempted to keep the scene looking realistic but give it a little pop. Do you think it works in this case? Have you ever been somewhere, realized the view was probably better several miles away and then trooped over there just to get a photo? Feel free to leave a comment below and happy trekking all over the place in the name of photography!
Added to Photo for the Week-8-Bridges.
Picfair version is here.
I enjoy walking through cemeteries, and this one had several graves with metal fences:
The biggest challenge of shooting on this particular day was the light. It was what sometimes is referred to as “harsh”. Where the sun was making it through the trees, it was strong and bright. But even on a day like this, there were areas that were dark. For this particular shot, I waited for a sunbeam and shot into the sun. Against the photography “rules”? sure, but it lit up the spiderweb and I thought that was an important element in this photo. I created two versions from the original file, the color above and the black and white below.
When it came to editing, I made the color image smoother, highlighting the warm tones of the sunny image. The black and white I created a more stark version, contrasting the light in the image with its darker subject matter.
This is the original file, taken at Cimetière des Quatre-Nations in Caen, France:
You can see that the other choice I made here was to crop the image. Another version of this image went in my Instagram feed so it has a square crop.
I chose to put the black and white version in my Picfair portfolio. These various versions are different from one another, but do you have a favorite? Feel free to leave a comment below.
When I got back from Tanzania, I was faced with a wonderful problem, a lot of photos. I have been through them several times, but there are not many files that I have completely thrown away at this point. I just want to be sure I’m not getting rid of something that I actually could edit in the future. Usually, I discard absolutely awful photos right away. Then I wait at least two months before throwing anything else out. I find this time helps me look more critically and objectively at the files I have. From this trip I have a lot of files with potential, like this one:
It wasn’t good enough to make the cut for the book I had made of the trip. But I liked it. When I went to edit it this past week, the first thing I wanted to accentuate was the elephant that was looking at our vehicle. The crop helps with that. Then I applied a filter to help make the color and textures in the image pop a bit. At that point the one element that was bothering me still was the tusks, they were completely blown out and appeared smooth and almost white. In Lightroom, I applied the adjustment brush to just the tusks. Then on just those areas, I dropped the exposure. The image was a RAW file, so there was some detail information there and the tusks now appear more as they did in real life, textured and dusty. My final edit is below:
This edit is, to me, a quintessential safari image. What do you think, do you like the edits? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Added to: A Photo A Week, Quintessential.
Picfair version is here.
I knew it was going to be beautiful even before I went. A driving tour along the Normandy coast? I was truly looking forward to it. As a bonus, the day we were scheduled to go was a beautiful one. This is the lighthouse in Saint-Valery-en-Caux:
That’s an unedited, as shot, version of the lighthouse. I feel like everything I saw that day was photography ready. The day included a stop in Etretat, which I have already written about, and several other stops that I suspect will make their way onto the blog in the future.
When I came upon this scene, after “wow” and “how lucky am I?” my next thought was, what would I want from a photograph of this lighthouse? My answer was to keep the image simple in terms of the story. So the decision I made was to shoot in such a way that the fisherman was out of the scene but that his gear stayed. The story here: yes, there are people around but also a great expanse of the natural world.
The first edit was a simple one, that is cropping. In this first edit I have used the tone curves to boost the blues and bring down the white tones a bit:
This first edit I think speaks well to the vibrancy of the day. The photo itself though, is such a delightful treat, that I knew I wanted to try at least two more takes on it. I wanted to do a more vintage edit and a black and white. First my vintage:
I’ve kept the warm tones and desaturated the blues for this one. One of the things I like about this particular edit is the way the rust on the lighthouse now looks.
The black and white edit was a bit more problematic:
I ended up with a cream tone instead of true black and white. As much as I think a brilliant, saturated color photo often translates to a nice black and white image, in this case, it ended up not appealing to me. I think what the cream tone allows for is the warmth of the original scene to still be there.
This is a photo that I suspect I will be coming back to. I would like to have another shot at the black and white. I’m also thinking of trying to crop the photo in a different way. Of these, do you have a favorite? is there a way that you would approach editing it in a creative way? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Picfair version is here.
Although my 70-200mm lens in a bit heavy, there are several reasons why I love it. One is the opportunity to get a close shot of nature with minimum disruption to my wild subjects, in this case, the seals near Blakeney Point. There are two types of seals in the area, this first photo is of a Grey Seal:
Here is the original shot.
This next photo is of the Common Seal:
Here is the original of that shot:
These photos were taken from a boat and my lens was set at 195mm and 170mm for the photos. In addition to having a long lens another trick to making the seals look closer than they were is to crop the images. In the case of the first photo, the crop is fairly small. I didn’t want to lose the shore or too much of the water as I thought they were important parts of the photo. I was more aggressive with the second photo in a couple of ways. The first is the crop, I’ve removed the blood-streaked seal completely. Secondly, I have changed the tone of the photo completely. While I warmed the first photo a bit, for this second one I wanted to change it completely, make it look like I had taken the shot in completely different light conditions. It’s a different look, but you still can tell how well these seals blend with their surroundings.
What do you think of my photos and their edits? Do you have a favorite? Feel free to leave a comment below.
A variation of that first image made it into my Instagram feed:
I live near several small lakes, one of which has a swan family:
This image is one of the first I captured of the whole family. I first posted about this family last week and my aim there was to keep the images as true to the original scene as possible. For this post, I am wandering out to a bit more creative territory. First a black and white edit:
The first thing I did with this edit was to crop it. I wanted to really bring the swan in the foreground to an almost uncomfortable closeness. This swan was acting in a very protective manner and I think the crop helps tell that part of the story. I then brought the highlights in the image down and the shadows up. I wanted this black and white version to be a bit smoother than its original as shot exposure. I then added a vignette, darkening the corners.
I like this image and the crop, so I decided to create another color version:
For this version, I started with a preset that was suggestive of a film camera. I kept the brightness of the original exposure though. It has a completely different color cast to it than the original. The luminance sliders for yellow, green, aqua and blue have all been boosted, and the color temp of the overall photo was also increased.
I’m sorry to say that one of the swans went missing shortly after these photos were taken. I posted the sad news on my Instagram:
How do you like the edits? Do you have a favorite? Feel free to comment below.
Added to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge.