70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair

Safari Photo

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:

ISO 400 78mm f/18 1/125sec

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:

ISO 400 78mm f/18 1/125sec

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.

Cheers!

Added to: A Photo A Week, Quintessential.

Picfair version is here.

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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Tuesday Photo Challenge

And then there I was

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:

ISO 200 12mm f/16 1/400sec

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:

ISO 200 12mm f/16 1/400sec

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:

ISO 200 12mm f/16 1/400sec

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:

ISO 200 12mm f/16 1/400sec

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.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge: Treat and Lens Artists Photo Challenge: Wonder.

Picfair version is here.

 

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70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Nature, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Thursday Special

Seals

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:

ISO 1250 195mm f/16 1/500 sec

Here is the original shot.

ISO 1250 195mm f/16 1/500 sec

This next photo is of the Common Seal:

ISO 1250 170mm f/16 1/640sec

Here is the original of that shot:

ISO 1250 170mm f/16 1/640sec

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:

Picfair: Grey Seal and Common Seal

Added to Travel With Intent: Afar and Thursday Special: Marine.

Cheers!

 

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70-200mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 50D, Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, Instagram, Monochrome Monday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair

The Swans

I live near several small lakes, one of which has a swan family:

ISO 640 78mm f/16 1/500sec

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:

ISO 640 78mm f/16 1/500sec

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:

ISO 640 78mm f/16 1/500sec

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:

And then there were just two #cygnets #thingsiseewhilewalking #nofilter

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

 

How do you like the edits? Do you have a favorite? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge.

Picfair versions: Black & White and Color.

 

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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair

Giving New Presets a Try

Pointe du Hoc was part of the Allied invasion of the Normandy Coast on June 6, 1944. Today there is a memorial monument on the site that overlooks Omaha Beach. It is maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission and if you are planning a visit, I would highly recommend downloading the tour they have available on their website.

While I was visiting, I took this photograph:

ISO 640 14mm f/16 1/160sec

When I went to edit, I wanted to accentuate the barbed wire in the foreground and give the photo a bit more of a punch. Here is what I came up with:

ISO 640 14mm f/16 1/160sec

The barbed wire was a stark reminder of the German positions that were waiting for the American Rangers that scaled these cliffs.

I edited this photo in Lightroom. I had received an e-mail notification earlier in the week that there were new presets I could download that had been created by Max Muench, who has a pretty cool Instagram feed. So, I figured out how to import the presets and got to work experimenting. I like presets, I think they can be an interesting starting point for editing. After having applied the preset, I manipulated the settings until I came up with what I thought would work for this photo.

What do you think of my edit? Does it pack more of a punch than the original? Do you use presets in your photo editing? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

 

Added to Travel With Intent: Stark.

Picfair version available here.

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Tuesday Photo Challenge, Wandering Wednesday

Flower Power

I love taking nature photos. This one was a bit of an unexpected find:

ISO 800 50mm f/16 1/250sec

Unexpected for two reasons. The first is that it was taken in a cemetery, though you’d never know it from this photo. The second is that it was taken with my 50mm lens. I was able to get that close without the butterfly flying away.

The original file is this one:

ISO 800 50mm f/16 1/250sec

I chose this file to work with because I thought the exposure was pretty much perfect. I liked the amount of detail in both the butterfly and the flower it is sitting on. I also loved the summery colors in this image, what can I say, this winter just seemed to drag its feet on the way out this year. I cropped the photo and then the biggest edit was to remove the blade of grass that was just to the left of the flower, I found it pretty distracting. I used the healing tool in Lightroom for the removal.  I have also boosted the luminance and clarity and added a vignette.

What do you think of the edit? Have you ever come across a nature image in an unexpected place? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Wandering Wednesday and Tuesday Photo Challenge.

Picfair version is here.

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50mm Lens, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair

Fill the Frame

The challenge to fill the frame gave me an excuse to pull out the close-up filter I have that fits onto my 50mm lens. That and a little editing gave me this photo:

ISO 2500 50mm f/11 1/100sec

The original photo is below so that you can see that I saturated the color, and applied a vignette to darken the edges. What I was wanting to do with these edits was really make the flowers pop and the background fade away.  I was happy with this version so I added it to my Picfair portfolio.

ISO 2500 50mm f/11 1/100sec

What do you think of my edits? Are you ready for Spring? feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

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