Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, iPhone, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Photo Challenges

I Went for a Walk

Ah, the stereotypical English countryside, how I love walking through it! What do I love about it? churches and graveyards, livestock, fun signage, postboxes, and bonus points for a pub stop at the end. Ramble with me? The first stop was a church, of which there were three on this walk, but this particular grave marker caught my eye:

ISO 200 f/2.7 1/25sec 4.3mm

Then we kept going and came to a gate. An aside to my fellow Americans, you can walk through private property such as fields here, there are a set of expectations, but it is a completely different system than the US. So, yes we went through the gate and closed it behind us. What is it with cows? I feel like I have the following conversation every time I walk through a pasture:

~Yes, hi, just passing through.

~Because this is where the path is.

~Yes, really, it’s marked.

~No, I do not have any snacks.

ISO 100 f/5.6 1/200sec 17.8mm

And just to reinforce the whole English weather stereotype, I’ll tell you that the weather was threatening rain so I took the photos in this post with a small point and shoot and my iPhone:

And yes, I did finish up at the pub with a pint. Cheers and Sláinte!

Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Countryside and/or Small Towns.

Cheers!

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18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Instagram, iPhone, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photography, travel

From England, With Love

Just for fun, this post is a bit different from my usual posts where I talk about photo editing. This post is about a day trip in the country where I am currently living, England. Somewhat ironically, July 4th was a day off and therefore an ideal day for a short road trip. So this is how I spent July 4th in England.

I have a lot of favorite things about England, but one of them is English Heritage, which cares for more than 400 sites of historic significance. You can visit and pay for site visits individually, but for a history nerd enthusiast, really a membership is the way to go. We have about one year before our next country move, and our English Heritage membership will run out in the Spring, so the clock is ticking…

Our first stop of the day was to the Eleanor Cross in Geddingon.

ISO 500 35mm f/11 1/1250sec

It’s in the middle of the road in the middle of town, so hard to miss, but pay attention if you are trying to take photos! This cross is a memorial to Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I, who died in 1290.

Also nearby:

ISO 25 4.2mm f/2.2 1/124sec

This is a George V postbox. Not part of English Heritage, but if I am out and about and there is a postbox, I’m taking a photo.

From there we were on to Kirby Hall:

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Originally built during the reign of Elizabeth I, a visit here includes an interesting audio guide about the history and architecture of the house. Also on site:

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You won’t be able to miss these guys and girls, particularly if you are having a picnic lunch. While they would love for you to feed them, staff on site would ask that you not do that.

From there it was on to Lyddington Bede House:

ISO 32 4.2mm f/2.2 1/100sec

This shot from the interior eludes to the religious history of the site. The house has had several functions over the years, and signs around the property fill in the story for visitors. Here is a shot from the front of the house:

ISO 500 18mm f/11 1/320sec

The church in the background is St. Andrew’s Church and here is a shot of the graveyard:

ISO 500 18mm f/11 1/640sec

The church is not English Heritage, it is an operational, and very lovely, Church of England Church. Like postboxes, if there is a churchyard nearby, I am there taking a photo.

Our last stop of the day was to Rushton Triangular Lodge:

ISO 500 18mm f/11 1/320sec

A really interesting folly built in 1593. It has its own blog post here.

I hope you have enjoyed this little detour road trip style post. My cameras for this outing were my Canon 80D and my iPhone. All the photos have had at least minor edits feel free to leave a comment or any questions below.

Photos of my travels are likely to turn up in my Instagram feed, as that peacock did, so feel free to follow me there:

Cheers!

Written in response to Lens-Artists Challenge, A Country that is Special to You.

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday in Black and White

ISO 200 4.3mm f/2.7 1/250sec

Added to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Signs of Any Kind.

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Instagram, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors: Secret Garden, Secret Door

I was enjoying a day out at Buckland Abbey and came across this lovely door:

ISO 250 50mm 1/200 f/8.0

It’s an entrance to a secret garden that is on the grounds.  Beautiful, but not really easy to photograph, lots of dark shadows.  Here is one of the original shots:

ISO 250 50mm 1/200 f/8.0

The color of the flowers in the original is lovely but a bit overpowering. As for the dark shadows, I decided to go ahead and make friends with that element of the photo.  I was working in Photoshop here, but used the add-on Analog Efex Pro as a starting point.  I ended up liking a filter that had a bit a blue tone to it.  I also straightened the photo.

I posted an Instagram version here:

View this post on Instagram

From the beautiful #gardens at #bucklandabbey @nationaltrust

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

and have the full-size original in my Picfair portfolio.

While I often edit to make a photo look more like the actual scene, in this case I liked the darker tones. I think it makes the photo a bit more mellow and serene.  Has this ever happened to you, an element of an original photo that you find bothersome ends up being its strength?  Do you like the darker tones of this image? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Cheers!

 

 

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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!

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Instagram, iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Friend

It’s been a busy week. Today it’s back to England weather, but last week was gorgeous; my unprocessed photo folder overflows, a beautiful problem to have. This weekend included a walk with friends that went through a barley field:

ISO 25 4.15mm 1/1600 f/2.2

This panorama, taken on my iPhone, originally looked like this:

ISO 25 4.15mm 1/1600 f/2.2

The edited version was produced in Lightroom. In the crop tools there is an “angle” option which allows you to drag a line along what should be the straight horizon and then creates a crop from there.  As with many edits, I sometimes think that I am gaining and losing.  In this case, the edited photo is straighter. The original however, has a quirkiness to it that I kind of like.  I’ll point out also that this photo is breaking one of the rules of photography.  Generally it is considered bad form to include part of a person, you should either include the whole person or crop them out entirely.  It’s a good rule, but I think there is a carefree feeling to this photo that allows that rule to be broken.

From that same walk is an Instagram photo that reminds me that flowers and insects form important friendships as well:

View this post on Instagram

#poppies and friend #thingsiseewhilewalking #england #summer

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

What is your thought on my panorama, is there a version you prefer? Can you believe that beautiful sky was in England this weekend?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflecting

A few weeks ago I was visiting Salisbury Cathedral. The font they have is also a beautiful reflecting pool.  I created this image from the photos that I took:

ISO 160 4.15mm f/2.2 1/35 sec

The font was created by William Pye and installed in the Cathedral in 2008. This link will take you to the website of the Cathedral which has a photo that shows how the font is situated in the Cathedral. It’s a beautiful work of art that I think has an interesting way of interacting with its surroundings, something that the link will give you a feel for. The image I created is more of a close up and so is missing that perspective.

My take is more on the font as reflecting pool.  For a few moments, there was sun and the reflections of the nearby windows in the font were beautiful.  The original photo was taken on my iPhone.  There were a lot of people around that through cropping and Photoshop have been removed.  I removed the people for two reasons. One was that I was trying to still the image a bit, there is a lot going on and I wanted to remove some of the “busyness”. The other was that some of those people were children.  I am not a huge fan of images posted online of children where they or their guardians have not been informed.

But back to the scene itself.  I created a black and white version, but was not completely happy with it because ultimately I thought the color of the windows was an important part of the image.  This final image gave me a muted color, but one that left enough in it to show the beauty of the reflection.

I’ll be honest, I love religious art, how do you feel about it? if you are not religious, do you still appreciate it for the sake of art, or is that too off-putting for you? How do you feel about removing people from a photo? It can change the story of a photo pretty dramatically, what is your take on that?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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