52 Week Smartphone Challenge, iPhone, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photography

52 Week Smartphone Challenge: Week 3

For this week the topic is Black and White. I started with this scene:

ISO 25 f/2.2 4.2mm 1/272 sec

I liked this as a color image but thought it might make a nice black and white as well.  The edits are done in Luminar. In addition to the black and white filter, I’ve also added the Orton effect, matte look, and a vignette. The edited version is this:

ISO 25 f/2.2 4.2mm 1/272 sec

Your comments are welcome below.

Added to the 52 Week Smartphone Challenge.

Cheers!

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18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, made with Luminar, Monochrome Monday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Made with Luminar: Geroldsau Waterfall

Located in the Black Forest region of Germany, the Geroldsau Waterfall is charming:

ISO 320 f/11 55mm 1/25 sec

I was interested in creating a black and white version of this image:

ISO 320 f/11 55mm 1/25 sec

It has the Luminar Look, Dreamy Landscape, applied with additional adjustments to the shadows, soft glow, and vignette sliders.

The Made with Luminar Series

This image is part of a project I am calling Made with Luminar. What the images in this series have in common is the software used to edit them, Luminar 3. As with my usual blog posts particulars of the camera settings can be found in the caption below the image. I’ll then explain what other filters and edits have been applied, often mentioning what layer and therefore order that they were applied. The text of these posts includes any Luminar “Looks” that have been applied to the photo. Each look is a series of presets that are applied to the photo. Where applicable I will mention what changes I have made to any of the looks. A full explanation of looks is available here on their website, https://skylum.com/luminar/user-guides/chapter-14-working-with-luminar-looks

You can assume basic edits have been applied. My most common edits are cropping, detail enhancement, and vignette. Specific questions or thoughts on the image are welcome in the comment section below.

Added to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge, Moving Water. Its square companion post is here.

Cheers!

 

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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, Instagram, iPhone, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Light Burst

It was a beautiful day here yesterday and I was at the Cambridge American Cemetery. I took a lot of photos in part because the light was so interesting. In particular, I took several frames of this grave, from all different angles.  When I got home and took a look at all the variations, I decided that this one interested me the most:

ISO 400 18mm f/11 1/800sec

In my edit, I cropped it a bit first. There were some elements on the right-hand side of the frame that was a bit distracting. I also tried a crop that straightened the photo a bit but for this interpretation, I decided that I liked it a bit off kilter. I knew I wanted to create a black and white version and thought that the tilted view would work with that treatment. Here is the outcome of that:

ISO 400 18mm f/11 1/800sec

When I am out shooting, I often take photos with my iPhone as well. Here is another black and white version of the scene that I created on my phone with the help of Hipstamatic:

Three of the servicemen who are buried here were honored in a flypast that took place in Sheffield yesterday. A brief story and video on that are here. The story is quite moving, it is worth a few moments of your time if you are interested.

What do you think of my edit? Can you believe that bright sun, right here in England? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Added to A Photo A Week, Black & White.

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Instagram, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

There are a lot of flowers in the house right now.  I enjoy all of them and love photographing them, but there is something about the rose that seems to embody grace:

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/20

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/20

There is also something inherently graceful about a black and white photograph. I find that limiting the color palette is a form of simplicity even if it is not simple to do.  In this case, I started with this original photo:

The original

The original

Before converting it to black and white, I edited it to this version using Lightroom:

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/20

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/20

I have increased the saturation, vibrance, and clarity.  I like the original version better than this edited version, but it has been my experience that a crisp and vibrant color photo often transforms into a more interesting black and white version than a softer color photo does.

Having created the more dynamic color version, I then edited it using the Silver Efex Pro plug in within Lightroom.  As I usually do, I began with choosing a filter that looked closest to what I wanted to achieve and then edited from there.  It is rare that I apply a filter and then don’t edit it further.  In this case this filter was a bit too dark for my liking, I increased the light by using the sliders for both the highlights and the shadows.  Back in Lightroom, I added a vignette.

This photo was shot using my Canon 50D with a 50mm lens and a magnifier.  This allows me to get more of a macro photo.  The difficulty in using this set up though is getting adequate light.  In this case I went with f/5.6 and 1/20 shutter speed.  That’s a slow shutter speed, I got a lot of blurry images.  Using the tripod would have made this easier.

The beautiful thing about flowers is that they are always changing.  Here’s another photo, this time using my iPhone, taken this morning:

View this post on Instagram

Roses in the morning light. #photography #goodmorning #flowers

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

Lovely, but it is still the black and white version that says graceful to me.  What do you think? Do you have a favorite version? Is there a flower that you think is more graceful than the rose? Do you have a favorite way to convert images to black and white?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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

Outer Layers

When you are online, perhaps you have noticed that there is a lot written about how we present ourselves online.  Articles that discuss the ways in which we distort the reality of our lives, particularly on social media, to appear more of something, be that richer, smarter, thinner, happier.  It’s an interesting thought, but not a new one. Don’t we always put on outer layers before heading into the world? It’s the clothes we wear, car we drive, place we live.  While things I’ve read online tend to be disparaging of this sort of behavior, I just come away with the feeling that it’s not all that bad and it’s reality.  I was thinking about the way I present myself in person and how I dress and what that might say about me.  I came up with this photo:

ISO 2000 50mm f/6.3 1/50

ISO 2000 50mm f/6.3 1/50

These are my wedding rings. It’s rare that you would see me without at least one of these on.  The bottom ring is an anniversary band that I usually wear stacked with my original engagement ring and wedding band.  I love those rings, but I spend a lot of time outdoors. That is where the other ring, a silicone Qalo ring, comes in. I wear it for all the times I’m concerned about damaging my other rings. Sometimes, I’m out doing something cool like hiking, other times I’m cleaning the house.  The thing is though, these rings are my outer layer, I’m saying to the world that I am married.

When I was setting up the rings for this photo shoot, I knew that I was going to covert the image to black and white. I usually do my black and white conversions in Photoshop, but this week I had watched an online tutorial about using Lightroom instead.  I decided to edit this image in Lightroom only. I used the basic panel to increase the exposure in the shadows and the blacks. Then I used the sliders within the black and white panel to come up with the tones in the photo.  I find when I am converting images to black and white I don’t have a go to way of adjusting the image, I just start experimenting and see what I can come up with. I then used the split-toning feature to make the highlights a bit blue and the shadows golden. I have also added a vignette and grain.

What do you think of the photo? Do you think a lot about the way you present yourself in person or online? The internet would suggest that maybe you do! Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Optimistic

This is a photo I created this week:

ISO 800 185mm 0ev f/11 1/250

ISO 800 185mm 0ev f/11 1/250

It took quite a few steps to get there.  First was, of course, to pick up the camera and take a picture.  I was thinking this was a serene looking moment as the rest of my busy life swirled around.  I bracketed the photo as I was shooting and created an HDR image out of it:

ISO 800 185mm 0ev f/11 1/250

ISO 800 185mm 0ev f/11 1/250

Then in Photoshop I created a sepia version:

ISO 800 185mm 0ev f/11 1/250

ISO 800 185mm 0ev f/11 1/250

I liked that version, but in the back of my mind I was really thinking about black and white photography.  I spend a lot of time looking at images and other people’s creative work.  I had recently been at Hammer Home, a street photography blog, and looked at and commented on this image.  If you look at that image you might think there is no connection to the black and white that I created, and on the surface you would be right.  It’s just that I was thinking when I looked at my final image, that I had been influenced by what I had seen and thought about earlier. To get my final version, I have actually applied four things in Photoshop.  I started with a black and white layer, added a photo filter with an underwater tint, added noise, and then added a Iris blur.

That’s a lot of small, but easy, steps to get to my final version.  At this point you might be wondering why I am calling this post “Optimistic”? It is because of a feeling I have every time I set out to create something.  It is the, slightly intoxicating, optimism of creation.  I feel this way every time I set out to create an image; I get a similar feeling when I set out to write this blog.

Do you experience this optimism in your creative endeavors?  Feel free to comment about it below, if you’ve blogged about it, feel free to leave a link to your post. Feel free to leave comments on my editing or photo processing below as well.

Cheers!

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