Canon 50D, Flowers, Photo Challenges, Photography, Six Word Saturday

Summer’s Here with a Purple Pop

ISO 800 50mm f/13 1/25sec

Added to Six Word Saturday and Cee’s Flower of the Day.


70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Creating a Watermark, Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my journey into the world of creating a watermark in Luminar 3. Part 1 is here. The shot I am using for this post was taken at Château-Gaillard and that is the River Seine that is snaking through the photograph:

ISO 200 f/16 1/160 70mm

As you can see, I have managed to add a watermark. I reported in my last post that I was having trouble getting the curves slider in Luminar to work. When I contacted Luminar about the problem, they requested that I send a video of what steps I was taking. Turns out I was attempting to manipulate the curves slider in the wrong way.

Curves looks like this:

Screen shot of Curves

I was attempting to move the orange dots, so that it would look like this:

Screen shot of what I wanted.

This step is what makes the lettering that says “Maranto Photography” white.  I was attempting to pull the orange dots from left to right when instead they needed to go up and down. Luminar was pretty fast about getting back to me once I submitted the files, less than a day. So I was happy with their customer service.

Here is the original, unedited, file:

ISO 200 f/16 1/160 70mm

Nice that the fix was that easy. Wish it had occurred to me to try it this slightly different way, but oh well! Your thoughts on the photo, its edits or the watermark are welcome below.


A Photo a Week, The Great Outdoors.

Picfair version here.

50mm Lens, 70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Editing, Picfair, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Creating a Watermark

Spoiler alert: There’s a bit of a curveball in this post that makes the ending a bit of a cliffhanger.

The directions for making a watermark in Luminar 3 are in the instruction manual under the heading, Working with Layers. I’m starting with that declarative statement because I didn’t find that on my own, I e-mailed the folks at Luminar, and they sent me a link.

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/100sec

This is actually my second attempt at making a watermark. The first was a bit of a cheat in that I used Photoshop to help me make it. Not that there is something inherently wrong with that, it’s just that if my objective is to no longer have an Adobe subscription, I need to stop using those programs. This time around, I hand wrote “Maranto Photography” and then scanned that as a jpeg to use as my watermark layer.  The instructions Luminar provided are fairly straightforward, although I think that in some places they assume a bit of working knowledge about photo-editing. That’s fine for me, but maybe a bit of stretch for others who don’t have prior experience. Given that not having editing experience is a bit of a selling point for Luminar, I think this is a bit of a potential frustration for users.

Here I am again, a day later, giving it another try:

ISO 200 95mm f/16 1/160sec

This second one worked a bit better in my opinion.  If you are taking a look at the watermark directions from the link above, the step I am fooling with here is the curves.

Here’s the promised curveball, it involves the curves functionality in Luminar, or rather the lack thereof. You may have noticed that the photo in my last post did not have a watermark. That’s not from lack of trying, it’s because I couldn’t get the sliders in curves to function properly, which is a pretty important step in the creation of my watermark.

Here’s the promised cliffhanger, I’ve reported the problem to Luminar. I posted in their community forum and they responded asking me to basically recreate and file the problem. I sat down and did that on Saturday morning. They have received my files, and I am waiting on a response. I’ll be writing up a follow-up blog post.

The photos used for this post were taken on the same day in Normandy France. The first is from Monet’s garden at Giverny, and the second is a view of the lovely town of Les Andelys. The first photo is a work in progress, I’m not crazy about the current edit. The town shot I am happy with and have a version on Picfair. You bet I have added this post to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Curves.

Know of an easier way to create a watermark in Luminar 3? leave a link in the comments below.  At this point, Lightroom is leaps and bounds ahead of Luminar in terms of watermarking. Feel free to comment below on any of the edits or watermarking in general.


11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, travel

On the Horizon

I took this photograph in Normandy, France:

ISO 200 22mm f/16 1/400sec

What attracted me to the scene was the colors.  Also the various lines in the scene, the shoreline, the pier, and the horizon.  So when I went to edit, the first thing I did was to crop and straighten the photo, to accentuate some of those lines:

ISO 200 22mm f/16 1/400sec

The next step was to remove some dust spots that were visible and also the two people that were on the pier. These small edits helped to distill the image down to what I wanted. My next edits were to boost and clarify the colors. I kept these edits to a minimum because in my opinion the scene was beautiful as it was.

What do you think, do the edits stay close enough to the original? do the lines in this image appeal to you? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to A Photo A Week: On the Horizon.

Picfair Version is Here.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo A Day, Photo Editing, Photography, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: File Handling

One of the things I like to do on this blog is show two versions of an image, one the original as shot file and the other once I have finished editing. Here is an unedited file from Monet’s Giverny gardens:

ISO 200 f/10 1/250sec 19mm

When I am working in Lightroom I use virtual copies.  It’s a nice feature that allows me that have more than one version without taking up a lot of space. Virtual copies are not yet a thing in Luminar 3.  So once I had this edit done:

ISO 200 f/10 1/250sec 19mm

I wanted a copy also of the original.  A search into how to get back to the original without losing my edits revealed nothing. So I signed into a community page for Luminar and asked my question there.  I got a workable answer pretty quickly. Basically, it is possible to go to the history panel, click back to the original, export the file, then reapply the edits. That’s what I’ll be using, at least until virtual copies become available on Luminar.

The edits I have applied include the sky filter, which I am thinking I may have applied a bit too strong, but what do you think? I’ve also used the crop, vignette, and eraser tools. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Added to January Colors and Letters, With the letter G.

Link to the software I am using, Luminar 3.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge

In Someone’s World

This structure, complete with water wheel!, is part of what is known as the Queen’s Hamlet at Versailles.

ISO 640 14mm f/13 1/160sec

Walking around the hamlet, it seems no surprise that many accused Marie-Antoinette of living in her own world, far removed from that of her subjects. The grounds and gardens of Versailles are very beautiful though, even on a less than perfect weather day.  The original file that my black and white is based on is this one:

ISO 640 14mm f/13 1/160sec

The sky and the light, as you can see, were overcast and drab, so I decided to try this image as a black and white. As I was experimenting with the different filters in Lightroom, it was the infrared one that I ended up liking the best. I mention that in part because I don’t often use that filter. The other edit that was important here was a graduated filter which I ran from the top to the bottom of the frame, that had the effect of darkening the sky the most and the snow the least. I used the healing tool as well to remove the wire in the lower right hand of the photo and the people who are in the original but not the monochrome version.

Can you imagine building a village in your backyard? The tree fort I built as a kid did not include a water wheel I can assure you, but maybe you thought on a grander scale than I did? Your comments on this pretend world at Versailles or the “real” one you built as a child are welcome below!


Add to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Our World and Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge, Circles and Curves.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, Instagram, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair

Fenced In

I enjoy walking through cemeteries, and this one had several graves with metal fences:

ISO 2000 13mm f/16 1/160sec

The biggest challenge of shooting on this particular day was the light. It was what sometimes is referred to as “harsh”. Where the sun was making it through the trees, it was strong and bright. But even on a day like this, there were areas that were dark. For this particular shot, I waited for a sunbeam and shot into the sun. Against the photography “rules”? sure, but it lit up the spiderweb and I thought that was an important element in this photo.  I created two versions from the original file, the color above and the black and white below.

ISO 2000 13mm f/16 1/160sec

When it came to editing, I made the color image smoother, highlighting the warm tones of the sunny image. The black and white I created a more stark version, contrasting the light in the image with its darker subject matter.

This is the original file, taken at Cimetière des Quatre-Nations in Caen, France:

ISO 2000 13mm f/16 1/160sec

You can see that the other choice I made here was to crop the image. Another version of this image went in my Instagram feed so it has a square crop.


View this post on Instagram

#graveyard shot Four Nations Cemetery #caen #travel

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

I chose to put the black and white version in my Picfair portfolio. These various versions are different from one another, but do you have a favorite? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Fences and Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge, Open.