Instagram, Photography, Technology

When Something Has To Give

I’m writing this post to let all my readers know that I will be taking a break from my blog. There’s a lot brewing in my life, and maintaining this blog to the standard that I like is not possible right now. One of the reasons is this:

You’re strong, so hand over some money.

I have a free Flickr account. They are migrating to a paid model. I am allowed to keep 1,000 photos free there as of January 2019.  On the date of their announcement to focus on paid accounts I had about 33,000. Honestly, I was never super impressed with Flickr. But it was free, and sometimes when things are free, you don’t worry too much about their imperfections. So, I am attempting to get my files back from Flickr and it’s a mess. Not to mention a major time suck as I am trying to make my retreat from Flickr an organized one. Given that I could reasonably expect to live another 30 years, I would have to hand over $1,500 minimum to keep my files on Flickr. Given the number of error messages I have gotten over the last few days as I attempt to handle my files, there is no way I would even consider it.

Another has to do with my camera. Sadly my 50D is coming to end of its useful life. I’ve had it for about a decade, and I’ve been really happy with it. I narrowed down my new body to the Fuji XT-3 or the Canon 80D. I’ve decided to stick with a Canon.  I’d like to thank all the bloggers who shot with Fuji who I’ve peppered with questions over the last few months, your input and advice was really helpful. I’m also getting started with Luminar, a new to me editing software. They will be rolling out a cataloging system in December and by March I am hoping to decide if I want to continue with my Lightroom/Photoshop subscription, or just move forward with Luminar. I’ll be needing a bit of time to work these things out.

The last is a bit of a catch-all reason. My life is just a bit full right now and both requires and deserves my attention over this blog. I do love this blog though, so I am hoping to be back in this space in mid-January. I’ll hope to see you here then. I’ll still be on Instagram during this blog break, so feel free to visit me there.

All the best and many thanks to everyone who reads this blog.


70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Technology

Swan Stretch

It took a while to get to the point of writing this post. The original version of this swan:

ISO 640 95mm f/11 1/500sec

Now transformed into black and white:

ISO 640 95mm f/11 1/500sec

The easy part was the edits to the photo. In Luminar I have used the eraser tool to get rid of some of the dark patches on the swan’s breast and clean up a few spots in the water. I have also cropped this image. When I applied a black and white filter, I went with a green filter.  Lastly, I applied a vignette.  All pretty basic edits. It was getting the photo back into Lightroom in its edited format that proved to be the problem. Instead of black and white, it showed as a sepia image. The most frustrating part? I still can’t figure out why, after two days of messing with it, I have a finished version that I like but still not a clue as to what was wrong with the earlier edit.

Have you ever had something go wrong with files where the root problem remains elusive? so annoying. I do like this image in black and white though, feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below.


Added to Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge, In Flight.

Picfair version here.

50mm Lens, Canon 50D, iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Technology, Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors: Stone Doorway

Having visited Plymouth Rock as a child, I was curious about visiting the town of Plymouth where the pilgrims departed from. Overall, it was less of a tourist trap than its American counterpart. One of the more charming parts of town was an Elizabethan Garden that was tucked off the main drag.  This first shot shows the stone detail work:

ISO 250 50mm 1/30 f/7.1

of this doorway:

ISO 25 4.15mm 1/50 f/2.2

This is one of those times when I was glad to have two cameras at my disposal.  The top photo was taken with my Canon 50D.  I shot it as a bracketed image and then created the HDR version you see above. The second photo is shown as shot with my iPhone.  Having the two cameras allowed me to document the scene in two different ways.  In this case, the iPhone gets the opportunity to show the “big picture”. When I take photos like this I am also asking the iPhone to perform another duty, that of keeping track of the location of the photo. I find the GPS feature on the phone helpful later if I have a question about exactly where the photo was taken. I use this most often when a photo has been taken while on holiday.

How do you keep track of the location of all the photos you shoot? Your thoughts on the topic are welcome below. Do you like this stone doorway? the gardens themselves were formal and I felt the stone was a good choice.  Feel free to comment below.


50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Instagram, iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Technology

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wish

I love technology, but only sometimes.  I think it would be accurate to call me a fair weather technology fan. This is especially true when it comes to social media.  I had been wondering for sometime, like ever since I signed up for an account, how to get my photos from Lightroom to Instagram. The most obvious solution to me was to create a folder in Lightroom and then have that folder on Lightroom mobile on my phone. I think the trendy phrase, “epic fail” is fair to use here. Lightroom mobile did not load properly on my phone. Wow, I have a newish phone and everything and it was a meltdown.  I grumbled many things as I reset my phone.  Mostly about how I hate Adobe, creator of Lightroom and all Photoshop products.  And honestly, I could write a very long post about my gripes over Adobe. I’ll spare you.

So, I put to the side the idea of getting photos from Lightroom to Instagram, but not really; there is nothing I love to chew on more in the back of mind than things that don’t really matter.  Then within the last week I read a few blog posts that made me think about my little problem again. Instead of just googling for the answer, why don’t I try asking some bloggers who are also on Instagram how they do it? I’d like to thank Otto von Munchow, Cardinal Guzman, and Jeff Golenski for responding to the question I posed on their blogs. To you reading this post, I’ve linked their first name to their blog and their surname to their Instagram.

As to their answers, they were all different. However, reading their answers did make me realize my work around. It is super basic and you may wonder why I didn’t think of it first. Why did I even have to spend all this time researching apps and other things?  But there you have it, I don’t always think of the easiest answer first.  Here is my Instagram photo from Lightroom:

View this post on Instagram

Spotted in #Oxford #latergram #canon50d

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

How’d I do it? Exported the photo in question from Lightroom to my desktop and used Airdrop to transfer it to my camera roll and added it to Instagram from there.  Pretty simple.

I wish I had asked my fellow bloggers sooner.

Here’s the part where I ask you what you think, how much do you love or not love technology? Where do you go to get your technology questions answered? feel free to leave a comment below. If you have gotten this far and would like another link, I have one for you.  Jessie is giving away a book along with a print of mine that I donated for her Book at the Door giveaway this month. Check out her post for a chance to win.


Photo Challenges, Photography, Technology

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dinnertime

I went to an exhibit a few weeks ago that has then been lurking in my brain ever since. I will say upfront that I tend to shy away from contemporary art, but still, there I was in the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, wandering through the galleries.  I had not taken my camera, it was a conscious choice; to go and visit with the art, but not bring along my full kit of art supplies.  I did however bring what I consider sometimes to be my sketch pencil, that is my phone.  I’ll take snapshots of things that interest me so that I can come back to them later.

When I saw the theme for this week’s photo challenge, this display floated back to the front of my brain.  The exhibit was called “Not Human” by artist Arcangelo Sassolino.  This particular piece was not working the day I was there so I found this video on Youtube of what it is supposed to look like.

Figurante, 2010 Steel, bone, and hydraulic system

Figurante, 2010
Steel, bone, and hydraulic system

I will tell you that what this photo doesn’t show is blood that was dripping down the jaws and onto the floor.  Overall, the exhibit was noisy and messy for an art exhibit.  All but one of the pieces moved in someway.  A certain amount of housekeeping is required daily for this exhibit.

Speaking of housekeeping,  I’d just like to let my readers know that I am in the process of a pretty big move and so will not be posting as regularly over the next few months. I’m hoping to still post and visit other blogs, but overall my “blogging time” will be less than usual in the short term.

So what do you think of the work of art? I found the display different and the most thought provoking exhibit I saw that day.  Feel free to leave a comment below, let me know too, if you watched the video of the art in action.


Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Technology

Weekly Photo Challenge: Life Imitates Art

When I saw the theme for this week’s photo challenge I thought, my life did not imitate art this week.  Instead, this is what my life looked like:

ISO 500 4.3mm f/2.7 1/60

ISO 500 4.3mm f/2.7 1/60

That’s me in my office, where I create my work, only work this week consisted of hours worth of attempting to get my new laptop set up and my photo files transferred so that I could “do” my art.  It was incredibly frustrating.  It involved a lot of moving parts and thinking through what my new workflow is going to look like. I had trouble sleeping.  But when I created the image above in Lightroom and then Photoshop, the worst was behind me, I hope.

So then I was thinking again about the challenge, and thought that I saw my past week reflected in this painting:

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper 1942

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper 1942

I’m there at the counter, my back is to you.  It’s a busy world around me somewhere and it’s busy inside my own head, yet somehow there is such a desolate stillness to what I am doing.  That’s what I see in this painting this week and in my photograph above.

But if you are feeling a bit down for me, don’t, through this process I found a few new things this week.  First, the photographer Gail Albert Halaban, who has a whole series based on Edward Hopper. I also took a break and went to see an art exhibit by Judith Shaw called Body of Work.  I found it very moving.  It was also nice to know that all her work and hours put toward this exhibit had yielded something so beautiful, it was encouraging to me as I went back to my own work.

And that’s the thing about art, that life is reflected in it, your life, whatever is in your mind at that moment will be reflected in the art you are looking at or creating.  It’s an interesting process don’t you think?  Do you have a favorite work of art that looks a bit different to you depending on the day?  Feel free to leave your thoughts on the matter or your take on my week in the comments below.

Happy Creating,


Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Technology

Weekly Photo Challenge: Now

I was taking some photos of our Christmas tree and processing them in Aperture just for fun so:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/20

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/20

to you and yours!  This photo was taken with my point and shoot on the macro setting and then in Aperture I applied the vintage setting.  But that was yesterday, this week’s photo challenge is all about now.  So this is me this morning:

ISO 80 4mm f/2.8 1/24

ISO 80 4mm f/2.8 1/24

There I am reflected in the screen on my computer as I take a photo with my phone.  This photo was edited in Aperture and a sepia low tone effect added.  How is this now? It’s me sitting at my desk thinking about the technical issues I am having with my technology and wondering how I am going to fix it all in the coming weeks.  It’s a work in progress and what I am working on right now.  It’s a lot to sort out but since it is important to me, I’m sure I will come up with something.

A very Merry Christmas, happy holidays to all of you.  Thanks for stopping by, feel free to leave a comment below, maybe even a line about what big projects are on your plate right now.