11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, travel, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: A Continuation

The file I chose to work on this past week was a continuation of and a revisit of work I have done in the past. The file under construction is this one:

ISO 250 F/9 22mm 1/500 sec

An older edit can be found here. Recently, I posted about using sliders that I don’t often use and this edit is a continuation of me working on using them. The resulting edit is this one:

ISO 250 F/9 22mm 1/500 sec

Prior to conversion to black and white, I used the custom white balance, luminance, dehaze, and polarize filters. It’s then converted to black and white with a red filter. The matte look and Orton effect filters have been applied and it has two vignettes applied to it.

A lot of filters but I am pleased with this edit, for now. The photo was taken a few years ago from the grounds of the Monte Cassino Polish war cemetery and is a shot of the nearby Monte Cassino Abbey  It was a day trip from Rome, and a memorable day from a fabulous holiday.

Your comments or questions are most welcome below. This post was inspired by the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge which has the theme Special Spots Shots for this week.

Cheers!

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18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, travel, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Little Used Sliders

Over this summer I had the opportunity to hike up to Kehlsteinhaus, or Eagle’s Nest, a Nazi-era building associated with Adolf Hitler, although apparently he was afraid of heights and hated the place.  Today it is a building you can tour and a restaurant. There are a couple different ways you can visit. We went early in the day and walked up. It’s tough if you decide to do it that way, wear hiking boots, monitor the weather, dress in layers, and bring food and water. I didn’t go into the building itself, I was there for the views:

ISO 250 f/11 18mm 1/320sec

I’ve edited this in Luminar.  The edits I will discuss below are a few that I don’t often do as part of my workflow:

ISO 250 f/11 18mm 1/320sec

The first was a custom white balance. I used the little eyedropper to find a neutral grey and clicked. I struggle with white balance sometimes, mostly because I don’t work with it a lot. I think that my camera does a pretty decent job most of the time. The other two filters that I used here were the dehaze and the polarizing filters. A lot of times, if a scene is hazy, I let it stay that way. I think that is just a matter of personal preference, haze either bothers you or it doesn’t and generally speaking, I fall into that second category.

Even though I am posting this, I don’t really feel like I am finished with this photo. I’m not completely satisfied with the edit and think I may prefer the original to the edit.  I’m going to let this sit, probably for months, then I’ll take another look and re-evaluate. That’s the beauty of digital, another version is always possible.

Feel free to leave a comment or question below.

Cheers!

Added to A Photo A Week Challenge, Opposite Weather, because man, is this photo the exact opposite of today’s very grey day!

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Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, iPhone, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Working With Color

When it comes to working with color within an image, there are a lot of ways you can approach it. This week I was editing this image, shot at Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin:

ISO 400 f/2.2 1/17sec 4.2mm

Shot with my iPhone, this is an image I like a lot and think that there would be many potential editing possibilities. For this particular editing session, my interest was in the red tones in the image, which have a warm almost salmon tone to them. Here is my edit:

ISO 400 f/2.2 1/17sec 4.2mm

To get this look, I dropped all the saturation sliders except for red, that I left at 0. Then I moved the red luminance slider to 60. It’s a matter of personal preference, but I often find I prefer working with luminance rather than saturation when giving a particular color a boost. This edit has been cropped slightly to straighten it. I’ve increased the small details slightly, in place of sharpening, and added a “soft glow” filter set to 18.

So, that is what I am calling my red edit. What do you think of the result? feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Red and Cee’s Black & White Challenge, Starting with the Letters K or L.

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18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, made with Luminar, Photo Editing, Photography, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By

Sometimes photo editing is really difficult and I’m not even talking about the actual editing, I’m talking about the editing software itself. I’ve crashed out a few times on a few different software applications, but this time, it’s Luminar 3. I’m back in business again. I’ve learned a few things and had a few things I already knew reinforced. The most important thing that I already knew is to backup your work. Please do this. Because I do this, my Luminar 3 crash was not utterly devastating. When considering how to approach your backup, I would advise you whatever software you are using, to make a high-quality jpeg version of your final edit. This is in addition to the backup of your drives that you are already doing.

What I learned is that Luminar 3 is not currently capable of handling a large library. In my subsequent research on how to rethink my approach, I found this Matt Suess video to be a really good starting point. In the video, he offers a few options of how to work around this library issue. I would recommend watching it and then considering which variation you might want to apply or modify for your library set-up.

This crash was a complete drain on my creative energy and time in general. I keep track of the time I spend on photography and this past week, this crash took 11 hours of work time to fix. This does not include the backups I ran of my drives. Hopefully, the fix will hold. As of the writing of this post, it seems solid.

This photo is my first edit under my newly revamped set-up:

ISO 200 f/11 1/200sec 55mm

This photo has a total of four layers. The first was some basic edits, a crop and details enhancer. The second was a Luminar Look applied called Camden Fade. It is an analogue film style look. The third was my black and white conversion layer. I applied a blue filter within the black and white conversion and then increased the yellow luminance. The fourth layer includes a filter called the Orton effect and a vignette.

The original file is this one:

ISO 200 f/11 1/200sec 55mm

This is a file that I very possibly will be revisiting. I like the black and white edit, but I also think the color edit alternatives here are interesting.

Do you like this particular interpretation? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge, Bricks or Stone and Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Monochrome.

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, made with Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, travel, Tuesday Photo Challenge, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Editing the Landscape

I do a lot of photo editing and it is easy to get into the habit of using the same filters every time.  In order to encourage myself to try different things, I watch a lot of tutorial videos on Youtube. I feel free to adopt some suggestions and leave others, but I think it is important to understand that most photo editing software has lots of options and so knowing what is even available is important.  One of the files I was working on the week was this photo, taken at Mt. Snowdon in Wales in 2016:

ISO 800 f/13 1/800sec 50mm

It was a fabulous view, even if this particular file doesn’t really seem to suggest that. I was also watching this tutorial on Youtube. It’s specific to editing a landscape in Luminar which is the software I am using, but I would say that the suggestions made can be applied in other editing software as well. One of the first suggestions was to use the dehaze slider. Now that happens to be a slider I almost never use but for this file, it seemed like a really good starting place. For this edit below, I then went on to use the sky filter, the foliage enhancer, the HSL panel for luminance, and the small details slider for sharpening. The final edit was this one:

ISO 800 f/13 1/800sec 50mm

I think this edit is a pretty close representation of what I saw that day. From there I decided to do a more creative edit. This particular edit has two additional layers, the first was the Luminar look, Overlook, added with modifications and the second layer is an AI filter and vignette. Here is that version:

ISO 800 f/13 1/800sec 50mm

I like it also but will readily admit it is not what I saw. The Picfair version of it is here.

So which version is better? which do you prefer? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Back Catalog.

 

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, made with Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, travel, Tuesday Photo Challenge, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: LUT’s

Before I get into the steps and explanations I’ll say that I wanted to experiment a bit with this file:

ISO 800 f/13 1/2000 sec 50mm

It’s shot from Mt. Snowdon in Wales, a hike that is popular but needs to be treated with respect, so if you are thinking of doing it some planning and also checking the current weather conditions are necessary.

The final edit is this one:

ISO 800 f/13 1/2000 sec 50mm

I was thinking about two things in this edit. The first was that in person, the haze that shows in the photo file seemed less. The second was that the contrast between light and dark seemed more pronounced. I’ve reflected this in both the sky and the shadows on the mountain. The final edit is more like the hike that resides in my memory.

I started with editing the sky on its own layer. In this past post, I talk a bit more about that and include a link with video instructions. What I would point out here is that I think it is important to do sky specific edits on its own layer because this makes it possible to revisit the edit and make changes without having to effect other edits done on other layers.

The next phase of the editing process was more experimental. In this case, I am using LUTs to create a new look for the photo. LUT stands for lookup table and when you apply one it will change the color and tone of the image based on the instructions that are in the LUT. This explanation of LUTs and how they work I have chosen to link in because I think it provides a good explanation of what a LUT is and then directions of how to access them within Luminar which is the software I am using. The further step that I have taken is to use two LUTs on the photo. I have each of them on a separate layer. Having set the two layers in place, I could then use the sliders available on each to control the amount of LUT applied. When working with this type of preset, it is important to remember that once applied, you can make edits to the preset, you are not obligated to keep it as is.

Editing software comes with all sorts of presets and as you are learning to use it, I would advise experimenting. Making even small changes from a preset can help the photo you are working on look more like the vision you have for it rather than a set idea the software has added. Feel free to comment or ask a question below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Tourism.

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photography, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Old Files

From time to time I go through photographs that I shot several years ago to see if I would like to try a new interpretation of them. That’s how I came to be working on this file:

ISO 250 f/2.7 1/60sec 4.3mm

This photo was taken at St. Michael’s Church in Betws-y-Coed, Wales, in 2016. So, some things haven’t changed since then, like the fact that I enjoy visiting churches and graveyards. This photo was taken with my point and shoot that only has jpeg file capability.  That means there is a limit to how much detail I am going to get out of the sky. To work around that one of the filters that I used was “dark fog”. I paired it with a filter called “Old Timer” that I have in a collection of Halloween “looks”. I felt that a Halloween filter was appropriate with it being October and the photo being an old graveyard. My final edit was something much darker than the original:

ISO 250 f/2.7 1/60sec 4.3mm

Do you like the edit? That tree was really something else! and I feel like it adds a lot of character to the photo. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Circles, Curves, and Arches.

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