11-22mm Lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

In a way, this week’s photo challenge, should have been easy, favorite place? outside. Then I over-thought it and ended up with a muddle of ideas. But this morning, as I sat down to work on some more of my photos from Tanzania, the muddle cleared a bit:

ISO 800 185mm f/18 1/125 sec

These two male lions, probably brothers, were sitting on the side of the road. For this version of the photo, I made some simple adjustments, cropping, a bit of sharpening, and I moved the temperature slider slightly warmer. Really though, I wanted to keep the composition simple and the photo close to what I really saw. I couldn’t resist though, as it turns out, messing around some more. I was just curious about making a black and white version:

ISO 800 185mm f/18 1/125 sec

I used this tutorial to create a custom vignette in Lightroom. There are lots of ways to create your own vignettes and it’s something that I could use some more practice with. I left the lion’s eyes in color by creating two layers in Photoshop, the color layer is the version that is the first photo in this post. The black and white layer was on top, and I just added a mask and painted in the eyes of the lower layer. It took less time to do than to type out this paragraph since it was such a small area.

What do you think of my black and white version? Do you like the eyes in color like that? Does the color version appeal to you more? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Standard
11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors: Jour et Nuit

Day and Night, that’s the translation of the little sign next to these doors in Paris. They are the doors you can’t park in front of, something I thought Norm who runs the Thursday Doors community would appreciate, so I took the photo:

ISO 200 22mm f/13 1/30sec

When I was looking at the scene, I was also thinking about an upcoming selective color challenge. The blue sky reflected in the windows, I thought that would be fun to accentuate by desaturating the image but leaving the blue:

ISO 200 22mm f/13 1/30sec

It turns out that I didn’t want to leave the red out either. This edited version which leaves in the red and blue gives the photo a bit of a jewel-toned feel that appeals to me.  When the original image was sitting waiting to be edited, I also thought I would crop it using the straighten feature. I gave that a try and was surprised at how much I did not like the straightened version. So, my final edit is cropped but not straightened.

Have you had that happen to you, an edit you think is going to be straightforward and an obvious choice backfires on you? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

 

 

Standard
iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Forsaken

When should you stand for your beliefs? Thomas Abel (or Abell) may have thought about this as he was in the Tower of London awaiting execution for being a heretic:

ISO 25 4.15mm f/2.2 1/390

I took this shot for a number of reasons. One is that I knew this week’s challenge was forsaken, certainly, the Tower of London would provide a photo that would match that idea. A second reason is that I had read about this piece of graffiti in the book The Burning Time by Virginia Rounding. I’m about halfway through reading the book, but it does make a pretty good case for keeping your religious views to yourself in England, July 1540.  Abel was executed along with two other Catholics and three Protestants. Charges against Abel stemmed from his public support of Katherine of Aragon.

I used my iPhone because it was hard to get a photo in this part of the Tower. It was crowded and the light wasn’t great.  I chose this angle because even the shadow seems determined to blot out Thomas Abel, which I felt tied well to the theme of forsaken. I then cropped the photo. Doing this removed the edges of the plastic cover that is over the graffiti and also a number which corresponds to some information about Mr. Abel on a nearby display. I did boost the clarity, I also warmed the tone of the picture a bit to make the shadows more pronounced.

Having visited the place where he was kept prisoner, seen his rebus, and read about him, I still am left to wonder what motivated him to make such a stand.  As the book, The Burning Time points out, plenty of people did not speak about their religious beliefs, they simply moved with the times. Considering that Abel was executed with people who didn’t share his religious convictions, it’s pretty clear how dangerous it was to speak of any religious matter publicly at this time.

For me, it was interesting to be reading about this time in history when I was also able to see it on display. Do you ever line up photography and reading in this way? Do you think this photo is a good representation of forsaken? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Standard
11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

All Aboard

There are times when it becomes necessary to attempt a workaround. This particular photo was one of those times:

ISO 1250 10mm f/13 0.6sec

The challenge before me was to create interesting leading lines within a photo by doing what is called a zoom burst. You do this by changing the focal length while you are taking a photo. There are also various motion filters you can use to create the look afterword, Photoshop has a number of filters for that which you can read about here. In this case, though, I was simply turning the focus ring of the lens while taking the photo. Or at least, that’s what I was trying to do.  Here is what my best, unedited, version was:

 

ISO 1250 10mm f/13 0.6sec

What wasn’t working was the dial, it wasn’t in focus enough, you can’t read it at all. I could tell this even on the small screen of my camera. I took a bunch of shots but knew I did not have what I wanted. I was at the same time, blocking the way of people who were trying to get through and slowing down my family.  So, I took this shot with my iPhone.

Close up on the iPhone

I was pretty sure that if I got a close up of the dial, I could create something later. So, that’s what I did.  I opened these last two photos as layers in Photoshop.  From there I scaled down the phone shot to fit the Canon shot: In Photoshop: Edit-transform-scale, hold the shift key to keep the proportions of the original photo. Then I added a mask to the phone layer (which was the top layer) and masked out all but the dial. I also dropped the opacity of that layer a bit so that it wouldn’t be completely in focus since the layer below is showing through slightly. And there you have it, that first photo is my final version of this editing process.

My take on zoom burst with a little help from Photoshop.  What do you think? Do you like using blur with photography? I’ll be honest, I don’t use it all that often. It can be an imaginative interpretation of a scene though, do you think it works with this subject? Your thoughts are welcome below.

These photos were taken aboard the HMS Belfast which is docked in London and functions as a museum.  An audio guide takes you all over the ship. It’s an excellent glimpse into what life on a ship would be like.

Cheers!

 

Standard
50mm Lens, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair

Fill the Frame

The challenge to fill the frame gave me an excuse to pull out the close-up filter I have that fits onto my 50mm lens. That and a little editing gave me this photo:

ISO 2500 50mm f/11 1/100sec

The original photo is below so that you can see that I saturated the color, and applied a vignette to darken the edges. What I was wanting to do with these edits was really make the flowers pop and the background fade away.  I was happy with this version so I added it to my Picfair portfolio.

ISO 2500 50mm f/11 1/100sec

What do you think of my edits? Are you ready for Spring? feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Standard
50mm Lens, 70-200mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 50D, Instagram, iPhone, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Tour Guide on Patrol with the Ducks

A few days ago I went looking for these guys:

ISO 800 95mm f/9.0 1/3200 sec

Only in real life, they looked like this:

ISO 800 95mm f/9.0 1/3200 sec

I was looking for them because week six on the Dogwood 52-week challenge is alternating rhythm, or to practice using light and dark to create depth and rhythm. Sunlight on the lake often creates harsh shadows which adds a sense of depth.  As for these four birds, they always seem to be hanging out and patrolling the lake as a unit, the rhythm of their lives in step with each other regardless of the other activity on the water. It’s a honking loud rhythm too, in case you were wondering.

For this challenge, I was out to push the depth and rhythm ideas a bit. I added a motion filter and tin-like cast to the photo, I think it makes the light and dark contrast stand out, pushing it to a bit of an extreme for a nature image. Lightroom is a good editing tool for pushing ideas, sometimes you can go a bit too far though. Do you think this edit pushed the boundary of the challenge, or did it hurl it off the cliff? Your thoughts are welcome below.

It’s no wonder I went to my local lake, you will find me there a lot, it’s one of my favorite places to photograph:

Just a few shots from the last year or so. And one more from this morning:

View this post on Instagram

#rainbow #thingsiseeonmyrun

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

I may not make a good tour guide since I spend a lot of time chasing photos and listening to ducks, but it is beautiful and a good place to practice photography.

Cheers!

Standard