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

What I Am Working On: Cropping

One edit that I do to almost every photo is a crop. I don’t have a set in stone way to approach it but often it’s the first edit I do. I’m usually thinking something like, what do I really want to say in this photograph?:

ISO 800 14mm f/11 1/320sec

In this case I knew I wanted it to be about the boulders, their imposing and larger than life presence in the landscape.  To do this I was thinking about having them seem to almost spill out of the bottom of the frame. While a good rule of thumb with photography is often to have something all the way in the frame and not running into the edges, in this case I was going to deliberately choose the opposite.

In Luminar, two cropping overlays are available for use. They are the rule of thirds and the perhaps less known golden ratio. While I don’t always crop using these guidelines, I usually at least give it a thought. They both provide a helpful guide to making a stronger composition. If you are interested in a comparison and explanation of the two methods, this is a good place to start.  Here are two screen shots showing how the lines look within the editing software.

Cropped using the rule of thirds:

Screen shot showing the rule of thirds overlay.

Cropped using the golden ratio:

Screen shot showing the golden ratio overlay.

I went with the golden ratio for this crop. It fit well not only with my overflowing boulders, but with the path in the middle of the photograph:

ISO 800 14mm f/11 1/320sec

From there I warmed up the ground quite a bit, it helped throw the sky into a more dramatic contrast. I have also sharpened the photo, which particularly brought out some of the interesting detail in the boulders.

What do you think of the edits? Do you have a preferred way to crop your photos? Your comments are welcome below.

Cheers!

Added to A Photo A Week: Vanishing Point.

Picfair Version is here.

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

In the early morning, I sometimes take my camera out to my hedgerow. We have a lot of wildlife living there.  But on the morning a few weeks ago that I got this photo, I went out because from my kitchen window I could see this robin fledgling:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/100

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/100

Since it is learning to fly, there is still the opportunity to get fairly close them.  I will show the original photo at the bottom of the post, so you will see that by cropping the photo I made it seem like I was even closer.  I also mention the cropping because when I saw this through the view finder I knew that I would crop it.  First because some of the surrounding detail was distracting and secondly because this robin is pretty much exactly on a point for the rule of thirds.  The rule of thirds is a photography rule that I don’t always follow, but I almost always consider.

The weekly photo challenge this week is the golden hour. This photo was taken in the early morning of an overcast day.  The challenge was to get the robin at such an angle, so that it was lit enough to show the detail in the feathers.  I also like to be able to see at least one eye, preferably with a catch light in it.  This photo was the one where that came together.  I have several other versions that went into the trash bin.  Because it was still a bit dark, I used an ISO of 800.  I think that my camera can handle that with almost no noise in the final image.  I set my shutter speed to 1/100 with the thought of freezing any motion in the bird.  I have my f-stop at f/5, because I thought I would get enough detail in the bird, and as I had said before, I knew I was going to do some cropping.

Here is the original image:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/100

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/100

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I like to follow the robins that live in my area.  While our nest by the kitchen this year had a bittersweet end to it, I have been glad to see that we do have several robin fledglings that seem to be doing well in the hedgerow.

Thoughts or questions about how I got the photo? Feel free to leave them below.

Cheers!

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Animals, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Another day, Another bee

I wrote yesterday about a bee that I had photographed and then edited into a sepia image.  The post is here if you would like to take a look.  Today I was looking at another series of bee shots and here is what one of the final images looks like:

ISO 800 135mm 0.67ev f/22 1/125

ISO 800 135mm 0.67ev f/22 1/125

I think it was the bright yellow of the flower that made me decide to keep this a color image.  I managed to get a pretty sharp photo, even with the movement of the bee and the flower.  I had used my tripod earlier in the shoot, but did not for this particular image.  I think the most challenging thing about this image is the background.  There is just a lot going on.  So, the original image I cropped to try and get some of the background out but still leave enough to convey the scene I was shooting.  In Aperture I corrected this photo a bit using curves, I just wanted to darken the image a little bit.  I have also sharpened the image.

Cheers!

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Animals, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Sepia in Spring

It has been cold here and while that is fine since it is winter, I do find myself looking forward to warmer weather and longer sunlit days.  A few days ago I was looking back through some photos from the spring and I found one I hadn’t yet edited.

ISO 800 100mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

ISO 800 100mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

I have a series of pictures of this bee and I have been trying to edit them in different ways.  Here is one edited version:

ISO 800 100mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

ISO 800 100mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

This version I edited in Aperture.  I cropped it, put it in a sepia tone, and sharpened it.  I like this version, not really sure if I love it.  I think this photo shows one of the downsides to not having a macro lens.  With a macro lens, this picture would be sharper, even before editing.  My kit lens did a decent job though.  I think the 50mm lens I have wouldn’t have worked because I was having trouble getting any closer to the bee.

So, what do you think? do you like sepia for this particular subject matter? Your comments are welcome in the comments section.

Cheers!

 

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

Another Frosty Morning Photo

I was out a few days ago taking frost pictures. Today’s picture I decided to edit in black and white.  Yesterday’s photo was in color, but I thought black and white would be a better choice for this spent dandelion stem:

ISO 100 50mm -1ev f/5.6 1/200

 

Since there was a lot of frost on the ground and I really wanted to draw attention to the stem, I cropped this photo pretty severely, making it more of a panorama style image.

The original image was shot using a bracketed exposure.  In this case -1, 0, and 1.  I combined the three images into one using Photomatix.  Photomatix gave me several black and white options, but I chose this one because I thought it gave the image enough sparkle without being over done.  Then I did my cropping and sharpening in Aperture.

So what do you think?  I welcome your comments below!

Cheers!

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Canon 50D, Photo Editing, Photography

Photography at Night

Something I don’t do a whole lot of.  I took my camera along to a carnival that was being held in my local area and I got this shot:

ISO 2000 28mm f/14 0.5s

To those of you that do night photography, check my settings, what might you have done differently?  There is a lot of light coming off the ride and it was moving pretty quickly.  The only editing I have done on this version is some cropping and straightening.

Cheers!

 

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

A Chicken for Competition

I have entered this photo in a competition that has “macro or close up” as a theme:

ISO 200 50mm f/4 1/250

I titled it, “In the Blink of an Eye”.  It was taken with a 50mm lens and then cropped. I did some sharpening, but didn’t mess with the color because I liked the way the color came out in the camera.

Wish me luck, but feel free to leave constructive comments.

Cheers!

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