18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, made with Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Picfair, Six Word Saturday, travel

Detail in Dublin


ISO 800 f/11 1/100sec 18mm

Think they mind my circling path?

If they did, they didn’t say.

Snap and continue on my way.

ISO 800 f/11 1/250sec 39mm

Picfair version here.

Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Candid and Six-Word Saturday.


50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Instagram, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, made with Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photography, Picfair

Wordless Wednesday, One photo, Three interpretations

ISO 500 f/4.5 1/125sec 50mm

Picfair version here.

ISO 500 f/4.5 1/125sec 50mm

Picfair version here.


Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Filling the Frame and Cee’s Flower of the Day.


70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, made with Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photography, Picfair

Made with Luminar: A Place in my Heart

It’s been almost two years since I was in Tanzania and I still find it difficult to exactly express why this trip was so important to me. Even harder is to distil that thought into a single image. I have many files from that trip that I have chosen to keep but have not been through the editing process yet. The lens artist photo challenge for this week prompted me to go through them and this is the image that floated to the top of my imagination:

ISO 400 f/18 1/200sec 73mm

The vast landscape that was teeming with life. The humor of being caught in a wildlife traffic jam. The color of the landscape itself. These are all things that appeal to me in this image. For this particular image though, it is the inquisitive zebra that is the story. My edits reflect this. The crop and placement of the vignette are the most simplistic edits I have applied to accomplish this. The other technique I used was after applying a filter that gave this photo a bit of a vintage memory look, I used a brush at 20% to remove the filter a bit on the zebras in the foreground.  The final edit is this:

ISO 400 f/18 1/200sec 73mm

What do you think of this edit? Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section. Because this was also a part of my Made with Luminar series, the next part of this post will spell out some of the details of the edit.

This photo was created for and added in response to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Pick a Place. The Picfair version is here.

The Made with Luminar Series

This image is part of a project I am calling Made with Luminar. What the images in this series have in common is the software used to edit them, Luminar 3. As with my usual blog posts particulars of the camera settings can be found in the caption below the image. The text of these posts include the Luminar “Looks” that have been applied to the photo. Each look is a series of presets that are applied to the photo. Where applicable I will mention what changes I have made to any of the looks. A full explanation of looks is available here on their website, https://skylum.com/luminar/user-guides/chapter-14-working-with-luminar-looks

You can assume other edits have been applied. My most common edits are cropping, detail enhancement, and vignette. Specific questions or thoughts on the image are welcome in the comment section below.

Luminar Look applied: Past Days. The texture within the look was reduced and the filter is set to 74% application. A mask was added and the filter was brushed out with a 20% opacity brush over the zebras in the foreground. A few more spots of the texture in the sky were erased.


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.


18-55mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 80D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Walking on Water

If you spend enough time outside, you will see some pretty magical things. Ducks walking on water for example:

ISO 400 f/8 1/125sec 55mm

You are not surprised to hear it was a cold morning when I took a walk past this local lake. The morning was also very still and quiet. I looked to bring those elements into my edit:

ISO 400 f/8 1/125sec 55mm

My edits here include a crop and a bit of fog added with the help of a filter.  I also added a mask to the lead duck’s face and increased the exposure just a bit, a subtle way to make him stand out. The vignette was added with him set as the center point.

Just a bit of a reminder to look around when I’m outside there are some pretty amazing things to be noticed, that is what this photo means to me.  Feel free to leave comments or questions below.


Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Magical.

18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

In the Light and in the Dark

Recently in Munich, I had the opportunity to visit the Residence Museum. The oldest room in the residence is the Antiquarium, built between 1568-71.  You know you have a lot of antique sculptures when you commission a 66-meter long hall to house them. Might sound like a bit of an over the top extravagance, but Duke Albrecht V did it with style in my opinion. This was a favorite stop of mine on the tour of the museum:

ISO 800 f/11 1/250sec 21mm

This room was filled with many beautiful things, but what I enjoyed photographing was the play between the light and dark spaces. There was a lot of interesting potential in this room in addition to the beautiful objects. Here is my interpretation of the file above:

ISO 800 f/11 1/250sec 21mm

I started with a crop that would maintain some of the arches and some of the darker spaces. I brought the shadows up a bit, particularly in the wall detail. I added filters that would increase the warmth and dreamy feel of the light in the room. For me, this edit was a lot of back and forth with the various sliders, until I came up with a combination that I liked.

What do you think of the edit? Can you imagine owning so much art that you would have to build entire rooms to display it? I have a hard time wrapping my head around that idea, I suspect I would loan items like that to museums or something.  Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Silhouettes.


18-55mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 80D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography, Six Word Saturday

Six-Word Saturday, Black Forest Mouse

ISO 2500 f/11 1/15sec 55mm

Movement on the Black Forest floor

reveals a mouse and his house.

Quick a photo before he’s gone,

woodland forager, not quite a pet.



Added to Six-Word Saturday and Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Precious Pets.

18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Telling A Story

To tell a story effectively with a photo, a useful tool can be framing. It’s a way of drawing the viewer’s eye towards the tale you would like to tell. On a recent edit I started with this file:

ISO 250 f/11 1/100 sec 28mm

It was a beautiful scene, but even as I shot it, I knew editing would help me get to what I really wanted to show, which is this:

ISO 250 f/11 1/100 sec 28mm

I am currently using a Canon 80D as my main body. I’m happy with it but I have noticed that it is better to shoot an image underexposed rather than perfectly exposed or overexposed. Now, in general, that was true of my 50D as well, but I feel like it is more pronounced with this camera. I shoot in RAW, so even though the original file is dark, there is a lot of detail there.

Since this is really a post about framing, I will stick with talking about how I approached this shot. While shooting this file, I went ahead and took in as much of the scene as possible. My first edit, in this case, was a crop. I’ve left plenty of water and vegetation around the waterfall for context. I then used the vignette to help with the framing. I set the center at the closest visible water convergence. This should lead your eye to the most dynamic part of the image and allow the rocks and vegetation play their supporting role. So a crop and a vignette, two of the more basic edits, but an effective way to create a frame. Do you agree? Feel free to leave a comment below about this approach or its outcome below.

Regular readers will know I fell out of the blogosphere about a month ago. While it wasn’t an entirely planned break, I’m grateful to say it was a happy one. It included a two-week road trip in Europe. The photo above was taken during this time and is part of the Edelfrauengrab Waterfall in Germany’s Black Forest region. I’m happy to be back and look forward to catching up with my fellow bloggers.


Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Framing the Shot.


Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, iPhone, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, One Word Sunday, Photo Editing, Photography, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday, Berlin Wall

ISO 40 4.2mm f/2.2 1/33


Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Detail, Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge, Shadows, and One Word Sunday, Change.

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:

ISO 500 22mm f/11 1/800sec

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:

ISO 500 35mm f/11 1/30sec

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:


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