18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, iPhone, Luminar, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Veterans Day

In July I was working on a photography project at Cambridge American Cemetery. My shooting week was documented in this post. I was photographing the grave marker of Finis E. Harris Jr. His family lives in the United States, but right now I am living not far from the cemetery, so I made these images for them:

When it came to editing, these photos have had very minimal edits applied. The idea was to show the marker as it is. The cemetery here is a really nice one, beautiful and peaceful. The American Battle Monuments Commission manages this and several other overseas military burial sites. I’ve had the opportunity to visit a few of them. They are all really well run. If you happen to have a family member buried or memorialized at one of these sites, know that they do have a lovely final resting spot.

I was back at the Cambridge site this morning for a Veterans Day service:

Added to A Photo a Week Photo Challenge, In the Neighborhood.

Cheers!

Standard
18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, iPhone, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Walls of the Missing

I am planning to visit the Cambridge American Cemetery again soon and as part of that, I was looking through some photo files that I shot this past winter. One of the features in the cemetery is its Walls of the Missing that have 5,127 names on it. It’s an interesting structure in that there are places where you can walk through and it operates as both a barrier to the outside, but also an entrance and exit between the cemetery and it’s exterior. So it’s both a wall and a door. It’s imposing, yet delicate; Both personal and impersonal. During this particular photo editing session, I was working with images that included the Wall:

These first images are ones that I shot on my iPhone using the app Hipstamatic. One of the features of that app is “randomize” which means you shake your phone, take your photo, and the app applies a random selection of filters. I created a series of those over the course of my visit.

I also brought my Canon 80D:

ISO 400 24mm f/11 1/250sec

 

ISO 400 24mm f/11 1/640

These two photos I edited in Luminar 3 with an eye to accentuating the warm but quickly fading light of a February afternoon.

It was an interesting work session, and I was giving some thought to how different the lighting conditions will be since my next visit will be in July. In that vein, I think it is nice as a photographer to have the experience of shooting the same place at different times of the year. It’s a good exercise in thinking through things like light. It’s also interesting to then have the time of year be part of the narrative of the image.

Do you have a place like this, that you visit regularly over the year in part just to see the changes? What do you think of my various photos, is there a particular one that speaks to you? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Wall and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, 5+ Items.

 

Standard
18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Instagram, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Grave Marker Close-Up

From my walk around Cambridge American Cemetery last week I had this file:

ISO 400 50mm f/11 1/400sec

I took several shots in a row because the light was changing rapidly, but it was the one above that was my favorite. My first edit was a crop, as the marker on the right side of the frame that was half out of the frame bothered me. I’ve used a few filters here but a few smaller edits that I applied I’d like to point out. The first is the vignette, that is a filter that will darken the edges of a photo. Its default setting is to the middle of the photo, but that point can be changed. In Luminar 3 it’s as simple as clicking the button marked “place center” then clicking the point you would like in the photo. In this case, it is the small stones. I’ve also used the dodge and burn tool to lighten the rocks just a bit. Here is the outcome of those edits:

ISO 400 50mm f/11 1/400sec

What do you think of this framing and this edit? It’s different than a straight shot of just the grave markers, does it appeal to you? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section.

Below I am including another photo, a similar grave that I posted on Instagram. This one shows more of what a full marker looks like:

View this post on Instagram

Beautiful #gravemarker edited in #hipstamatic #wwii

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

Cheers!

Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Close-Up.

Standard
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.

Standard
Instagram, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Order

I find that military cemeteries and memorials are an attempt to bring order to the chaos of human conflict. The neat rows of uniform grave markers, the minimalist and tidy green space, they stand in contrast to what I perceive as the disruption and disorder of conflict.  On Memorial Day this year, the staff at Cambridge American Cemetery put out pictures in front of the grave markers and along the borders of the Tablets of the Missing:

ISO 25 4.15mm 1/750sec f/2.2

Seemingly a small detail when viewed from a distance, but amazingly personal when examined at close range.

ISO 25 4.15mm 1/540 f/ 2.2

The cemetery is a sobering reminder of the human cost of war, and the display puts a face on it and makes it more personal:

Most blog posts I write are about the editing process I go through.  This post is about the importance of sometimes letting an image stay in its “as taken” state.  The first two images are shown as shot and I would argue tell their story without the need for editing. The last image is in the standard Instagram format with the filter I chose for it accenting the light that illuminates the name on the grave marker.

When I am taking photographs, I often am thinking about what I would like the final image to look like.  In this case, I knew that I was going to want the final images to have very little editing done to them.  While my usual minimum edits are white balance, cropping, and sharpening, for the first two photos skip even those steps. What do you think of my unedited photos? are there times when you skip editing in favor of an “as-is” final photo? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Standard
iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair

When It All Adds Up

A while back I blogged about this photo:

ISO 800 50mm f/13 1/160

ISO 800 50mm f/13 1/160

Based on what I could find online, a few things like his name and date of birth didn’t seem to add up when you looked at this grave marker.  So I went back to the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial. The staff member who helped me was a bit surprised that I wasn’t researching a relative,but was more than happy to give me a hand in my research.  It ended up being pretty simple.  The Carlisle H. Reville whose grave I photographed, was Carlisle H. Reville Jr.  My search had been further complicated by the fact that the 1930 Census record was handwritten, and the later data entry spelled his first name wrong.

It's easy to see why a mistake was made.

It’s easy to see why a mistake was made.

So, on the data entry portion of this page, he is listed as “Caulislo”, easy to see why.

In the course of my research I found out that Reville Sr. had served in WWI.  I also found out that Reville Jr. had first been buried at another cemetery but was moved here when this cemetery was established.  What I can’t find is a decent lead on the family, other than they were living in Pennsylvania in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  If you happen to know this family, I am more than happy to have them contact me if they would like a digital copy of the photo I have taken of their relative’s grave.

Since I was back at the cemetery, you know that I took some more pictures.  Here is one from that day:

The edited black and white version

The edited black and white version

I’ve edited this in Lightroom and using a black and white plug-in.  I’ll post the original below, but one of the first things I did while it was still a color version was to bring out detail in the shadows and increase the saturation in the blues and the greens.  It looks horrible in that state, but once it is converted to black and white it looks good again. Here is the original file:

The original

The original

The subject is well suited to black and white I think.  I’ve included it in my portfolio at Picfair. Somehow the color version just seems to vivid for the subject matter.  What do you think?  Feel free to comment on my new photo or on the follow up from my older post.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

Sometimes a blog post is a few weeks in the making. This is one of those posts.  It started a few weeks ago with a visit to the Cambridge American Cemetery, the final resting place for almost 4,000 American war dead from WWII.  On the grounds there is also a very well done visitors center.  I spent some time looking around the cemetery and took this photo:

ISO 800 50mm f/13 1/160

ISO 800 50mm f/13 1/160

Actually, it is a very edited version of this photo:

ISO 800 50mm f/13 1/160

ISO 800 50mm f/13 1/160

I cleaned the marker a bit and patched up the grass around it.  I did both of those things using the healing and cloning tools in Photoshop.  I also cropped the image and put an iris blur filter on it.  The filter was mostly to blur the trees in the background just a bit more than they were in the original photo.  I then switched to Lightroom and converted it to black and white, applied a graduated filter, added grain, and a split tone effect.

That’s more effects and editing than I typically do.  As I was working with this photograph I couldn’t help but think of this particular person and was just curious to know a bit about him.  My first thought actually was to wonder if his family in the US has a photo of his grave marker, and if not would they want one?  I went online to see if I could find any information on him. A search of Carlisle H. Reville returned a synopsis of his death. I then found copies of the 1930 and 1940 US Census records that list him.  The 1940 census gives his name as “Carl H. Reville”, but based on the other family members listed, I believe it to be him.  If this is correct, this is where I think the story gets odd. Carlisle would have been 48 if he died in 1943.  His record at the cemetery indicates he was a pilot and 1st Lieutenant.  Census records indicate he was a salesman.  To complicate matters, his son Caulislo H. Reville, is listed as 13 years old in the 1930 census.  I can’t find him in the 1940 census, but he would have been 26 in 1943, a much closer fit for a 1st Lieutenant in WWII.  It just has got me thinking, I’m wondering if it’s possible the names are wrong?  I can’t even tell you exactly why this bothers me, but now I’m on a bit of a quest.  My next stop will be back to the cemetery, to see if I can find out how old Carlisle was at the time of his death.  If he was indeed 48, I’ll think he was a bit of an outlier for his rank, but that does happen.  If the cemetery doesn’t have the information, I’ll be back online to try an find out more.  An interesting note, US Census records from 1950 will not be made public until April 1, 2022.

If you are still reading, what do you think? do you agree Carlisle’s age seems a bit off for the situation?  Have you ever taken a photograph and then found out you had a lot more on your hands than you realized? Do you like the edits?

Cheers!

Standard