White rocky shore,
Water vividly blue.
Sometimes a little bit of curiosity can be a good thing. When it comes to photo editing this translates into: just push that button or slide that slider and see what happens. It’s usually pretty easy to back up if you end up with a result that you don’t like. All you need is curiosity and a little bit of time. This image below was taken at Pointe du Hoc.
My first edit was this one:
It features a lot of the edits you would expect from me. I’m hoping you think this edit pops a bit and is a bit more clear. I’m hoping that you don’t think that it varies too much from the original. With this type of edit, I’m looking to represent the scene as it was.
As per my recent blog post, I saved a version of it. Then I continued to edit. I was looking to create something a bit different:
When I am in this more creative mode, my layer panel starts to look like this:
If you have no interest in using layers or already know all about them, feel free to skip the rest of this post, leave a comment or like below if you that appeals to you. The rest of this post is a bit about layers and how to use them.
In the screenshot, the original file and then the layer above it is what led to the natural version of the photo. The layer marked, “silver lining” and the two above that are part of the more creative version. I’d like to mention a few things that I think are important to consider when making a creative edit. The first is that I think it is really helpful to have additional edits on separate layers. This makes it easy to see what you have done and remove or further work on any particular edit. Making a new layer is easy and pretty universal in photo editing applications. In this particular case, I clicked on the “+” to the right of “Layers” and a drop-down option was “add adjustment layer”. Let’s say on Adjustment Layer 1 I wanted to adjust the exposure. I do that and then add Adjustment Layer 2 and edit for clarity on that layer. I could then click on the eyeball from Adjustment Layer 1 and that would turn off the exposure adjustment if I wanted to see what the photo would look like with just the clarity adjustment. That gives me the flexibility of having several edits that can easily be adjusted or even deleted independently of one another. Also, It is possible to rename layers, for example, the layer that is called silver lining, that is the name of the filter I put on that layer. In this case that not only makes it easier to know what adjustment is there but also functions as a reminder to myself as to what filter I have used. Changing the name of a layer is done by clicking over the text, and changing the text when the text box appears.
Your thoughts on my edits and the use of layers are all welcome below.
Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Wonder.
Picfair version here.
Part of what I enjoy about photography is the editing process. These days there are a lot of editing software choices on the market. Then once you are settled on one that you like, the edit options within that software are usually extensive. That’s great. Except when it is so much that it becomes a distraction. The reality is that I shoot a lot of photos like this:
When I then open this photo in the edit tab of Luminar 3 I have a lot of filter options, but there are a few that I almost always use. The rest are helpful sometimes but are just clutter to my process at other times. A way to clear that clutter is to create a custom workspace with just select filters. I did just that and here is what it looks like:
To create this, I did the following. First, where the dropdown now says “Amy 1”, I clicked the down arrow, and selected “clear workspace”. Then from the filters I picked the ones I almost always use and in the order I use them, opened them, that added them to the list you see there. Then I clicked again on that down arrow and one of the options is “save custom workspace” it then prompted me for a name, that’s when I added “Amy 1”. Now anytime I open a new image, I can click that down arrow and my saved workspace is there. Or, even better, I also clicked to have that show as the default. Here are those filters applied to my original image:
From there I could have added more filters and done some other editing. Sometimes I will, but in this case, I wasn’t really looking to do anything else with this image.
I spend quite a bit of time thinking about my photography workflow. My hope is that this workspace will make the process a bit smoother. Do you use a custom workspace in your editing process? I never have before so this is just something I’m giving a try. Feel free to comment on that or on my edit below.
Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Round.
This week I was working on learning something new.
I began with this file:
And a webinar that I was watching which is now archived here. The webinar is about creating a black and white image in Luminar.
Here is my black and white edit:
No need to adjust your screen. No, I am not kidding about what I wrote above but yes, I am aware that is a color version of my photo.
I’ll take a couple of steps back. The first thing I did was crop the image a bit. Then I used the eraser tool to get rid of whatever that is in the lower left side of the image and a few of the people that were on the beach. I wanted to create a nice expansive space in the foreground of the photo.
Then, I was watching the webinar on creating a black and white image. Often times in black and white edits, you will have the option of putting a color filter on the image, it keeps the image black and white, but depending on the filter, different elements of the photo are accentuated. In this case, I kept it set at just a plain black and white, which makes the photo pretty flat. Here is a screenshot of what that looked like:
This next screenshot shows that plus my next step which was to drag the luminance sliders around. Making the blue low and the yellow high created the deep blue tones while leaving the stones nice and monochrome:
I was pleased with the way this experiment turned out, but what do you think of the results? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Growth.
Picfair version here.
This post started with a visit to Chateau Gaillard, which is a castle that was built by Richard the Lionheart and sits on the bank of the River Seine in Normandy, France. As you can see from this original shot, it was a beautiful day:
My first edit was this one:
I was initially happy with it, but decided last week to take another shot at it and here is the second edit:
The first change, was a minor one to the cropping. The second was to change the tones just a bit before applying other boosting edits like changes to the sky and sharpening. None of these second edits were massively different than the first, but overall I like the second version better.
What do you think, do you prefer one version over the other or are these similar enough that you don’t have a particular preference? Your thoughts and comments are welcome below.
Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Bank.
What first attracted me to this scene was color. I loved the contrast of the deep pink and green, so I took the photo:
I was using my 50mm lens and centered the flower in the frame. I saw the various other elements, the fence and the rest of the flower and figured that when I was editing, I would probably decide on a crop that would take the flower out of the center. When I was reviewing my files, I made the choice that I found the fence more interesting than the rest of the flower, so I went with this crop:
A few other edits have been applied here, but not many and none of them too heavy. This gentle, rather delicate looking bloom called for a light touch when it came to editing.
What do you think, do you like this crop? A natural and a man-made object in the same frame can lead to a bit of tension, do you like it here? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Gentle.
Picfair version here.
While autumn can often be rainy and overcast here in England, it can also be brilliant like it was recently on a morning while I was walking in Cambridge:
That original file was taken with my point and shoot. My first edit is below:
The image has been cropped a bit and I’ve used a foliage enhancer slider to give the colors a bit of a boost. I liked but didn’t love the result. One of the problems is that part of the sky has been blown out completely. There is no information there, so “fixing” it becomes a bit tricky. The two options that came to mind were sky replacement or a more radical crop. I went with the latter:
I went that direction for compositional reasons. The photo is now much more about the boats, which looked beautiful in the morning light. I also really liked the various reflections in the water and this crop accentuates them. From there I boosted the various golden tones in the image, giving it a bit of a jeweled looked.
While it took a few edits and some time and thought to get to the final edit, I was happy with the edit. What do you think of the final version? Do you like the final composition or do you prefer the original? The crop really does change the image quite a bit. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Picfair version here.