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

Athens, as seen from Areopagus Hill

Part of the appeal of visiting Athens is its history. These two photo were taken from Areopagus Hill, the spot where St. Paul is said to have preached to the Athenians of his time. From one vantage point, there are excellent views of the Acropolis.

ISO 500 22mm f/22 1/160sec

Another view shows the Ancient Agora and the sprawl of the modern city.

ISO 500 22mm f/22 1/200sec

I liked both views, but was interested in editing them in different ways. The view of the Acropolis, I wanted to keep in color and retain the vivid feel of that late afternoon.  I added a split tone filter that I thought maintained the interesting contrast of colors and accentuated the layers of rock, trees, rock, sky.

For the modern city, I was interested in black and white to distill the image a bit, and I have purposely made the whites in the image hazy and glowing a bit to represent the bustle of the modern city.

What a view, if you visit Athens I would recommend taking the time to climb this spot. Watch your step though, the rocks are well worn and quite slippery. As for my two interpretations, do you have a favorite? feel free to comment below.


Added to Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: Cityscapes.

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.


70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, travel

See the World, Take a Nap

I traveled pretty far to get this shot:

ISO 1,000 190mm f/14 1/400sec

Shot while on safari in Serengeti  National Park, I could tell you some dramatic tail (see what I did there?) of how we snuck up on this guy, but it would be a lie.  We drove as near as we could get while still staying on the road and then I took this photo, he didn’t even stir.  When I went to edit this photo this week, I wanted to express a dream-like feel in the image. I started with a crop, but made sure to keep the little lizard in the frame. It’s a small, easy to miss detail, but I liked it. One of the edits I did was to add a LUT called Beijing to this photo. It is basically a pre-set series of edits, and it helped create this look:

ISO 1,000 190mm f/14 1/400sec

LUTs are something I don’t know a whole lot about, so in the future I will be researching them a bit more.  First I might take a nap though…

Your thoughts on the photo and its edit are welcome below.


Added to Lens Artists Photo Challenge, My Travels.

Picfair version is here.


50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Well that was Fun

There were a few things I had in mind when I sat down yesterday to work on an editing project in Luminar.  The first was that it was Halloween, so I had to pick an appropriate file to work on:

ISO 800 50mm f/16 1/100sec

The second was that it was Halloween (sounds a bit like the first thing) but that meant picking an appropriate filter:

ISO 800 50mm f/16 1/100sec

Luminar had released some free Halloween presets, so I used “Darklord” for this photo. But what I really wanted to work on was creating a watermark that I could use in Luminar. Up until now I have been exporting my files to this blog from Lightroom and applying the watermark at that point. Luminar is promising to release a library feature soon and I am hoping that will mean I can ditch Lightroom, but I do like to have a watermark. I e-mailed Luminar and they sent me a link to a page that contains directions for making a watermark; scroll down on that page, the directions are there I promise. The results are on the second photo, the first photo has my Lightroom watermark on it.

It was a fun little project that didn’t take too long to complete. I’m thinking it’s fine as a starting point, but I may go back and tweak it a bit. What do you think of it? I’m open to suggestions in the comments below. How do you like the Halloween look to the edit of the photo? How was your Halloween? Feel free to comment below.


Added to Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge, Just for Fun.

Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Cambridge Morning

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:

ISO 200 4.3mm f/2.7 1/320sec

That original file was taken with my point and shoot. My first edit is below:

ISO 200 4.3mm f/2.7 1/320sec

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:

ISO 200 4.3mm f/2.7 1/320sec

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.

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Reflection, Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Places People Visit and Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Changeable.


iPhone, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Six Word Saturday

Haddon Hall, Oh What A View

Princess Bride was filmed here too:

ISO 25 4.15mm f/2.2 1/900sec


Added to Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Windows and Travel With Intent, Six Word Saturday.


Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges

Look it Up

Photos like this one can be fun:

ISO 200 4.3mm f/2.7 1/1000

This photo was shot here on what is sometimes referred to as the Backs of Cambridge. It’s called that because the river flows behind several of the colleges that make up the University. If I was to cross the road here and look off the other side, I would have a view of the Mathematical Bridge.

At this particular moment though I was on a walk that went through Cambridge. With me was a history enthusiast, he had done research on the area we would walk through and then looked up these photos online. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the older photos with the modern scene as a backdrop.  I had done something similar for Instagram when we were at Omaha Beach:

View this post on Instagram

#omahabeach yesterday and today #dday #wwii #lestweforget

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on


What these two photos have in common is that they were taken with smaller cameras. The one in Cambridge was taken with my point and shoot. In my opinion, my smaller camera is fine as it has sufficient technology on board to take the photo I want. In this case, I set the focus on the older photos and let the background fall slightly out of focus. I thought this would make for a more interesting storytelling image.  The only edit I did post-process was a slight crop.

Do you ever take images like this one? Do they appeal to you at all as a way of telling a history?  Do you like my take on the history of the Backs? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Look Up and A Photo A Week, From the Back.