70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, travel, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Method and Madness

I write a lot about how I edit my photos. I also write quite a bit about how I have a method for discarding files. Today’s post is about the exception to my usual approach.  At the time I am writing this, I have sorted through, edited, and discarded files through early July 2018. The exception is my trip to Tanzania. I was there in December 2017 and I still have almost all of my files from that trip. That trip was one I wasn’t sure if I would ever really have the opportunity to make and it meant a lot to me to be able to go. I have a lot of files that are still not edited, but this week I picked this one to work on:

ISO 1000 75mm f/16 1/640 sec

These young elephants were just off the road, seemingly content to munch away and ignore us. When it came to the edit, I wanted to express the serenity of this moment. Here is the edit:

ISO 1000 75mm f/16 1/640 sec

I started with a crop. From there, I created another layer to work on just the sky, as that was probably the element I was least pleased with in the original file. I recently posted about a new method I have been using to create a sky, so the details for that can be found here. My other edit was to use the Orton filter within Luminar to create the slight jewel-like glow in the final edit, to replace the harsher tones of the original file.

What do you think of these edits? Does this edit have a serene feel to it? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Wild.

Picfair version is here.

 

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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, travel, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Editing the Sky

When you live in England, chances are you are going to want to edit the sky in your images. I was working on some images shot in the Peak District including this file:

ISO 800 10mm f/20 1/200sec

There is a lot about this landscape image that appeals to me. It’s going to need some help to pop a bit though. About a week prior I had watched a video that included a bit about sky enhancements in Luminar. The technique is explained starting at 15:41. I liked the tip as a starting point, and so I modified it a bit to suit me. First, I edited the photo in general, I’ve boosted its luminance, boosted the details, and adjusted the white balance. Then I watched the video bit again. Here is my final edit:

ISO 800 10mm f/20 1/200sec

I liked the sky tips from this video enough to create a workspace for it in Luminar, here is a screenshot of what that looks like:

The filters applied to the sky

The video does not mention making the sky edit its own separate layer, but that is what I have done here. By creating this set of filters as a workspace, I can add a new layer and then set this workspace for this layer. This allows for the flexibility of just modifying these edits, instead of trying to manipulate the whole image.

Do you like the final result? Have questions about what I chose to do? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Final edit added to my Picfair portfolio here.

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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Creating Simplicity

Among the files in my edit pile this week was this image:

ISO 640 22mm f/18 1/320sec

There is quite a bit going on in this image, but for this particular edit, I wanted to create an image that was still but deceptively so.  I started my edits with a crop, the further stilled the water by cloning out some of the roots that were visible underwater. I’ve boosted the luminance as well. Then I applied a vignette, placing the center on the larger of the two blooms. Here is the final version:

ISO 640 22mm f/18 1/320sec

Because I chose to have the crop and vignette in areas that are not typical for a photo, and there are so many lily pads, there is a lot vying for your attention in this image. To me, that’s an interesting tension. Maybe it works for you and maybe it doesn’t, feel free to leave your thoughts on the edit in the comments below.

Cheers!

Added to One Word Sunday, Simplicity.

Picfair version is here.

 

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

What I Am Working On: Telling A Different Story

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:

ISO 640 85mm f/16 1/500sec

In this original file, I think the story includes the protective nature of both the adult swans. My edit includes just one:

ISO 640 85mm f/16 1/500sec

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.

Cheers!

Added to A Photo a Week Challenge: Getting Your Ducks in a Row.

Picfair version is here.

 

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

Tough Topic

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:

ISO 640 22mm f/16 1/160sec

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:

ISO 640 19mm f/16 1/320sec

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.

ISO 640 10mm f/16 1/160sec

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.

Cheers!

Added to Lens Artists, Weather or Worn and One Word Sunday, Row.

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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, Luminar, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: What to Leave In, What to Take Out

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:

ISO 800 11mm F/13 1/500sec

In my edit, I decided to take out the people. In this case, the eraser tool was sufficient for this:

ISO 800 11mm F/13 1/500sec

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.

Cheers!

Picfair version is here.

Add to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Shadow.

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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:

ISO 800 22mm f/14 1/800sec

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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11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Instagram, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Hadrian’s Wall

ISO 800 16mm f/13 1/640 sec

Instagram version:

 

Picfair version here.

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