11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Squares

April Squares: Top Shots, Alhambra

ISO 1600 f/13 1/500sec 15mm

Day 15, find other responses here.

Date and Location of Photo: April 7, 2018. The Alhambra in Granada, Spain. A beautiful cultural site. The Alhambra is sprawling and there are a few different ways you could approach your visit. We chose the audio guide, which was probably best considering how many photos I wanted to take. I have many lovely landscape images but for this challenge I chose a detail shot instead.

Thoughts on the Edit: After applying the square crop, I bumped up the details slider. I have added the Luminar Look, Authentic Randy, and a vignette.

April Squares, an Explanation:

When Becky announced that the April Squares theme was going to be “top”, I thought it over and then sent her a message, then pitched my idea. She was open to my theme within the theme and the result is my response to the April Squares challenge.

I move a lot and I have a move pending. I’ve lived here in England for about four years and will be heading to the United States. Exact dates to be determined, given the current world situation, details have yet to be worked out. My April Squares is a “top shots” reflection on the last four years. Each square represents some moment or place that was meaningful to me. They are in chronological order moving forward in time. I’m attempting to post every day. All photos will be edited in Luminar 3. I hope you enjoy following along, I’ve enjoyed the process of creating. Your comments and thoughts are welcome below.


11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Computer Software, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Go Big, Or Go Home

I’ve made a big decision this week. Well, photographically speaking anyway. I’ve bought a new editing software, Luminar 2018. For its first real trial run I pulled out a photo of the Alhambra:

ISO 1000 19mm f/13 1/1250sec

The Alhambra is a huge complex. I had walked it the day before and was interested in getting a shot that would show how it fits into the local landscape.  The file below is my edited version:

ISO 1000 19mm f/13 1/1250sec

As with anything new, it is obvious to me that I will be watching a lot of tutorials on how to use Luminar more effectively.  As far as advanced tools go, one that I really want to work well in my editing software is the eraser tool. In the original file, mid-ground, on the right side, there is a crane. I removed it for the bottom file. The edit was pretty easy to make, once I’d watched a video explaining the steps. I was happy with the result as well.

If you like to read about editing, I’ll talk a bit here about why I made this purchase. I have been using Lightroom and Photoshop as my main editing tools. My two most serious complaints about them are the subscription model and the need for an internet connection to use them. Buying a stand-alone piece of software requires a one-time purchase, I’m never obligated to buy an upgrade. To be honest, because I do a lot of editing, I probably will buy an upgrade at some point. With this software, no internet is needed to make my edits. In the coming years, I do see myself as potentially being in places with less internet.

Why did I buy now? A couple of factors. Luminar 2018 is coming out with a library feature that will potentially boost the cost of this software. I purchased it now and will have access to that update at no additional cost. Another important factor is that in March my Adobe subscription will be due for renewal. Buying now gives me time to learn this software and see if it will actually work for my needs. If it doesn’t, Luminar does actually work as a plug-in with Photoshop and Lightroom. That’s what my research indicated anyway. At this point, I have not installed it as such, because I would like to use Luminar as much as possible on its own, in order to make a better decision for myself come March.

What can you expect as a reader of this blog? Me, experimenting. Because I already write a lot about my editing process my posts will be very similar I expect. Making this switch has already been several months of research in the making. As a reader, you will see the results unfold. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question below.


Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Go Big!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid

Water features are an important part of the gardens at the Alhambra. Ironically, as I was trying to get a shot of this pool, I was also attempting to protect my camera from the off and on rain:

ISO1600 18mm f/13 1/1000sec

It was a beautiful scene, and as I was shooting it, I was thinking about the liquid reflections in the pool, that is what really caught my attention. I shot this scene as a bracketed exposure, thinking to create an HDR version.  I did that but wasn’t crazy about the outcome of the sky. So, I went back to my original files.  The exposure above was the one that appealed the most, so I started there and created this version:

ISO1600 18mm f/13 1/1000sec

This version has been created in Lightroom. I started with the sky. I have used a graduated filter. In this case, I dragged the filter from the top of the photo to just below the lowest part of the sky. From there I used the slider that allowed me to drop the temperature of the photo, which brought out the blue tone. I also used the slider that removed some of the noise in that part of the photo.

Other overall adjustments I have made include, adjusting the tone curve a slight amount and increasing the luminance of the red, orange, yellow, and green tones. I also sharpened the image a bit but then also moved the dehaze slider into negative territory. This is a bit contradictory, but I wanted the image to be both sharp and smooth at the same time.

What do you think of my final edit? Do you like it overall? are there elements that appeal to you or not? Feel free to leave a comment below.