iPhone, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photography, Squares

April Squares: Top Shots, Ely Cathedral

ISO 250 f/2.2 1/17sec 4.2mm

Day 4, find other responses here.

Date and Location of Photo: April 1, 2017. Ely Cathedral Octagon Tower tour. Ely Cathedral is a place I’ve visited several times in my four years of living here in England. They have two separate tower tours and a floor tour. They also host a lot of events.

Thoughts on the Edit: I had a couple of versions of this before settling on the one above.  I thought a black and white might be nice, but somehow I couldn’t quite bring myself to leave the color behind.

April Squares, an Explanation:

When Becky announced that the April Squares theme was going to be “top”, I thought it over and then sent her a message, then pitched my idea. She was open to my theme within the theme and the result is my response to the April Squares challenge.

I move a lot and I have a move pending. I’ve lived here in England for about four years and will be heading to the United States. Exact dates to be determined, given the current world situation, details have yet to be worked out. My April Squares is a “top shots” reflection on the last four years. Each square represents some moment or place that was meaningful to me. They are in chronological order moving forward in time. I’m attempting to post every day. All photos will be edited in Luminar 3. I hope you enjoy following along, I’ve enjoyed the process of creating. Your comments and thoughts are welcome below.


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.


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

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Look Up

Walking around the Wimpole Estate this weekend, I’ll admit I was struck by the size and grandeur of the place, but I was more drawn to the details.  This clock was one of the many furnishings that caught my attention:

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/15

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/15

Conveniently placed on a mantelpiece that had a mirror behind it, the photo shows some of the detail of the ceiling of the room.  I edited the original photo first in Photoshop.  I cropped the image and then removed some of the imperfections of the mirror using the healing brush.  I also sharpened the image, even though I knew I would be adding some grain later when I switched to Lightroom.

Once back in Lightroom, I used the “Aged Photo” preset as a starting point for the feel I wanted.  I added a bit of grain and darkened the corners using a vignette.  Here is the original photo:

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/15

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/15

A few things occurred to me while I was editing this photo.  First was the the point and shoot camera I was using has a macro setting, and it would have been interesting to use that setting to shoot this photograph and see what turned out differently.  The second thing was that this could be edited into a completely different photo focusing on the blue colors and colder tones that are available.

What made me take the photo in the first place?  From across the room, I looked up and saw the light and the way it was interacting with the clock and the mirror behind it.  I could tell from there that I wanted to create and image with blown out light behind the trumpet blowing angel.  A bit of a cliche perhaps, but it appealed to me.

Does that happen to you, that you look and see the image you want to create instead of the photo you are going to take? Do you like my take on the photo or do you think and cooler, blue version might appeal to you more?  Feel free to leave a comment below.