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.

Cheers!

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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:

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.

Cheers!

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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.

Cheers!

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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,

Cheers!

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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.

Cheers!

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70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Technology

Weekly Photo Challenge: Careful

When it comes to photo editing, sometimes you have to be careful. While I do mean that you have to take care with your work, I also am talking about your time. Once you have started working on an image, when is it finished?  That is something that I find myself thinking about a lot.  I spent sometime outside this week taking advantage of the beautiful weather, and looking for nice outdoor images.  When I came across this scene I thought it would look nice with some editing:

ISO 800 70mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

ISO 800 70mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

When I got to the editing process even though the first thing that struck me was that the image would need straightened, that was actually close to my last step.

I had bracketed this image because of the shadows, with the thought that I would make an HDR version in Photomatix.  In this case I made a color and black and white image.  Then in Photoshop I combined the two images using the the color version as the base layer and masking in the black and white where I wanted it. Then I cropped the image and sharpened it:

ISO 800 70mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

ISO 800 70mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

Combining color and black and white is not something I do a whole lot of but I have fun with occasionally.  A few days later, I was doing some research on a graphic design project and I came across this article on using the apply image function in Photoshop.  While it didn’t help what I was working on at that moment, it did make me think again about trying that as a basis for editing the scene I had been working on earlier in the week.  So I gave it a try:

ISO 800 70mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

ISO 800 70mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

As the tutorial I linked to suggests, the apply image feature actually has a lot to offer once you start exploring the dialogue box that opens up.  This version above ended up being the my favorite of the edited versions, so far that is…

What do you think, is there a version that you prefer? Do you find yourself getting lost in the process of photo editing? It can be both fabulous and maddening, don’t you think?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Editing, Photography, Technology

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning

Are you a robot nerd? I’m not, but I do have one living in my house so I am by extension.  If you read this blog regularly you have probably noticed that I have children.  One of them is on a FIRST Robotics team at the local high school.  Yesterday was kick-off for the build season.  Build Season is the six weeks that the teams have to build their robots to compete in this year’s competition.  This year’s game is called Aerial Assist.

Last semester my robot child took a vinyl cutting machine that the school had but was broken, fixed it, and then used it to cut out her robotics team logo and put it on the exterior door of the robotics classroom.  The logo is a variation on the school’s mascot, which is a ram. Because I am a proud mom, I took a bunch of pictures:

ISO 160 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

ISO 160 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

In this case I have a fast shutter speed because I knew I was going to bracket these photos and process them into HDR images using Photomatix.  I also created a black and white version:

ISO 160 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

ISO 160 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

In both versions I decided to stick with trying to create photos that kept all the detail and stayed true to what you would see if you were up at the high school taking a look for yourself.

So, yesterday was the beginning of a very busy time in this household.  I’m excited for my robot child, because she is excited about the start of the season.  It’s a bit sad though, because a lot of my communication with her over the next six weeks will be via text.

If you’ve never heard of FIRST Robotics, maybe check out my links above, it is a really great program and they have all different age levels as well.

What do you think of the Ram logo that my robot child created? I think it is pretty cool.  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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