Weekly Photo Challenge: Friend

It’s been a busy week. Today it’s back to England weather, but last week was gorgeous; my unprocessed photo folder overflows, a beautiful problem to have. This weekend included a walk with friends that went through a barley field:

ISO 25 4.15mm 1/1600 f/2.2

This panorama, taken on my iPhone, originally looked like this:

ISO 25 4.15mm 1/1600 f/2.2

The edited version was produced in Lightroom. In the crop tools there is an “angle” option which allows you to drag a line along what should be the straight horizon and then creates a crop from there.  As with many edits, I sometimes think that I am gaining and losing.  In this case, the edited photo is straighter. The original however, has a quirkiness to it that I kind of like.  I’ll point out also that this photo is breaking one of the rules of photography.  Generally it is considered bad form to include part of a person, you should either include the whole person or crop them out entirely.  It’s a good rule, but I think there is a carefree feeling to this photo that allows that rule to be broken.

From that same walk is an Instagram photo that reminds me that flowers and insects form important friendships as well:

#poppies and friend #thingsiseewhilewalking #england #summer

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

What is your thought on my panorama, is there a version you prefer? Can you believe that beautiful sky was in England this weekend?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Frame

While walking this weekend, I came across this ram:

ISO 400 50mm 1/80 f/22

ISO 400 50mm 1/80 f/22

Looks a bit forlorn don’t you think?  He perked up a few minutes later though:

ISO 400 50mm 1/80 f/22

ISO 400 50mm 1/80 f/22

Why? it wasn’t because I told him how perfectly I thought his horns framed his face. No, it was because there was a working dog who was starting the process of getting the rams rounded up.

When I took these photos I used an f-stop of 22 to capture a lot of detail.  I wanted to get the texture of the grassy and rocky ground as much as the ram.  When I went to edit though, the color was a bit washed out.  In this case, I used the levels adjustment in Photoshop to bring back the whites in the photo.  It was a fairly easy fix, just a question of moving a slider.  Once I had done that, in Lightroom I added a vignette.  In this case, I used the sider to darken the corners of the image a bit.  While a vignette can be used to create a very dramatic effect, in this case I used just a little bit of darkening to subtly draw your eye into the photo.  It can be a unobtrusive way to frame a photo.

This ram caught my eye because I thought he was a beautiful creature. I think that happens a lot with photography, that some small editing tweaks are needed to bring out what I had originally caught my eye.  Do you agree? or do you edit in a more dramatic fashion or skip editing altogether?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Portrait

Who do you see when you look at this photograph?

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

I see a portrait of my youngest child.  I see that child has come back from a walk. Bringing evidence of the outdoors, flowers in this case.  The last few weeks it has been likely to be blackberries or an unripe apple fallen from the tree brought back to the house for further “research”.

I had been doing some research on photo editing at the time these flowers arrived and had just finished reading this short article on split toning.  I took some macro shots of the flowers so I could experiment a bit using the information I had just read.  I shot images with both my DSLR and my point and shoot, but ended up liking the point and shoot versions where I had used the macro setting better.  Here is the shot I decided I liked best:

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

I thought this version was a good candidate for my split toning experiment.  I did all the editing for the photo in Lightroom. The article I had read had suggested that when using split toning, you should pick the highlights or the shadows and just edit one of the two. That seemed like a logical starting point, but after making the highlights more yellow, I decided to go ahead and make the shadows more brown.  It transformed the photo from very cool to very warm.  I then boosted the color saturation of the purples a bit so they would stand out a bit more.  I added a bit of sharpening and then cropped the image.

How do you like the final version? I think I added in the warmth of color to reflect the warmth of the moment that I felt in receiving these flowers.  When I look at the original I think it would be possible to edit a colder tone version that would be very different but perhaps beautiful in its own way.  I tend to gravitate to warmer images, how about you?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Look Up

Walking around the Wimpole Estate this weekend, I’ll admit I was struck by the size and grandeur of the place, but I was more drawn to the details.  This clock was one of the many furnishings that caught my attention:

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/15

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/15

Conveniently placed on a mantelpiece that had a mirror behind it, the photo shows some of the detail of the ceiling of the room.  I edited the original photo first in Photoshop.  I cropped the image and then removed some of the imperfections of the mirror using the healing brush.  I also sharpened the image, even though I knew I would be adding some grain later when I switched to Lightroom.

Once back in Lightroom, I used the “Aged Photo” preset as a starting point for the feel I wanted.  I added a bit of grain and darkened the corners using a vignette.  Here is the original photo:

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/15

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/15

A few things occurred to me while I was editing this photo.  First was the the point and shoot camera I was using has a macro setting, and it would have been interesting to use that setting to shoot this photograph and see what turned out differently.  The second thing was that this could be edited into a completely different photo focusing on the blue colors and colder tones that are available.

What made me take the photo in the first place?  From across the room, I looked up and saw the light and the way it was interacting with the clock and the mirror behind it.  I could tell from there that I wanted to create and image with blown out light behind the trumpet blowing angel.  A bit of a cliche perhaps, but it appealed to me.

Does that happen to you, that you look and see the image you want to create instead of the photo you are going to take? Do you like my take on the photo or do you think and cooler, blue version might appeal to you more?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

Editing photos can be a fun way of interpreting the earth around you. This photo is an image I created in Photoshop:

ISO 400 4.3 f/2.7 1/250

ISO 400 4.3 f/2.7 1/250

The reality of what I saw was closer to this:

ISO 400 4.3 f/2.7 1/250

ISO 400 4.3 f/2.7 1/250

The larger story was that I had gone to the park bench these flowers were growing next too because I thought it would be a good photo.  It turns out it wasn’t.  Even the various edited versions could not match the beauty or serenity I saw in the moment.  That’s a bit frustrating.  But when I got home, this images above, that I didn’t think much of when I was taking it, ended up being the image that I liked best.   On this particular day, I had both of my cameras with me, but it was this image taken with my point and shoot that I liked best.  In Photoshop the image was cropped and sharpened.  I then applied a preset filter in Lightroom that gave it a different color and I also added a bit of grain.

Has that ever happened to you? You are sure a certain image is going to be a gem, only to find out the riches are hidden in another image?  Feel free to leave a comment below.  The edited image looks quite different from the original, what do you think of the change?

Cheers!