50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, made with Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, travel, Tuesday Photo Challenge, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: LUT’s

Before I get into the steps and explanations I’ll say that I wanted to experiment a bit with this file:

ISO 800 f/13 1/2000 sec 50mm

It’s shot from Mt. Snowdon in Wales, a hike that is popular but needs to be treated with respect, so if you are thinking of doing it some planning and also checking the current weather conditions are necessary.

The final edit is this one:

ISO 800 f/13 1/2000 sec 50mm

I was thinking about two things in this edit. The first was that in person, the haze that shows in the photo file seemed less. The second was that the contrast between light and dark seemed more pronounced. I’ve reflected this in both the sky and the shadows on the mountain. The final edit is more like the hike that resides in my memory.

I started with editing the sky on its own layer. In this past post, I talk a bit more about that and include a link with video instructions. What I would point out here is that I think it is important to do sky specific edits on its own layer because this makes it possible to revisit the edit and make changes without having to effect other edits done on other layers.

The next phase of the editing process was more experimental. In this case, I am using LUTs to create a new look for the photo. LUT stands for lookup table and when you apply one it will change the color and tone of the image based on the instructions that are in the LUT. This explanation of LUTs and how they work I have chosen to link in because I think it provides a good explanation of what a LUT is and then directions of how to access them within Luminar which is the software I am using. The further step that I have taken is to use two LUTs on the photo. I have each of them on a separate layer. Having set the two layers in place, I could then use the sliders available on each to control the amount of LUT applied. When working with this type of preset, it is important to remember that once applied, you can make edits to the preset, you are not obligated to keep it as is.

Editing software comes with all sorts of presets and as you are learning to use it, I would advise experimenting. Making even small changes from a preset can help the photo you are working on look more like the vision you have for it rather than a set idea the software has added. Feel free to comment or ask a question below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Tourism.

Standard
Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge, What I Am Working On

What I am Working On: Flexing the Rules

When it comes to photography there are some rules worth thinking about. Rules tend to make a good starting point when you are photographing and editing. Whether you keep to the rules or not will hopefully vary. This is a post about almost keeping the rules and the technology that can help you refine your photographic vision. The photo I was editing was this one:

ISO 400 19mm f/16 1/250sec

Rules Broken: Shooting during the middle of the day and shooting in Jpeg format.

Verdict: Guilty and unrepentant. You only live once and go live your best life. You can tell them you read it here if you feel the need to pass the buck.

During the editing process, the first edit I did was a crop. I used the rule of thirds overlay within my crop tool, so this is what was on my screen:

This gives you an idea of how close to the Rule of Thirds this photo is.

You can see how I’ve taken some liberties with the rule of thirds here while keeping the spirit of the rule. I do this a lot, start with the overlay and then go from there. There is a simple reason for this “almost” rule of thirds image. It’s the other elements in the photo. There are some distracting yellow flowers at the top that are being cropped out and a few purple ones near the bottom. An element deliberately kept in was the white flowers that are a color match for the butterfly.

Rules Broken: Rule of Thirds.

Verdict: Just a bit out of bounds.

Next up is sharpening. I’ve approached this in a bit of a different way. Firstly, I did not want to sharpen the whole image. I was only interested in the butterfly and the blooming flowers. The rest of the image had enough detail for my liking. In Luminar, instead of using the clarity slider, I’ve used the details enhancer. I prefer this slider because it breaks it down into three separate sliders, small, medium, and large. I’ve boosted the small and medium details.  I also used a mask to apply the filter to only the area I wanted the change. I use to hate masks, but over the years the technology behind them has improved making them much easier to use:

This shows what area the details have been given a boost.

Rule Broken: Always sharpen your image.

Verdict: Managed to both keep and break this rule, how annoyingly clever is that?

The last edit was the vignette. The default in editing software is the center of the image. If your editing software allows you to change that, I would encourage you to give that a try, it’s a way of highlighting your main subject which may not be in the center of the image. In this case, I put the vignette center on the eye of the butterfly.

Rule Broken: Vignette is centered in the middle of the image.

Verdict: Guilty and also guilty of encouraging others.

Here is the final image with all the mentioned edits:

ISO 400 19mm f/16 1/250sec

What is your verdict? Do these edits work, with the rules flexed and even broken in places? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Added to A Photo A Week Challenge, Rule of Thirds and Tuesday Photo Challenge, Technology.

Standard
iPhone, travel, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Luminar

New to my blog for this year will be a series of posts called “What I am Working On”. These post will include images that are in the process of being edited and notes on the editing process.

This photo is a window shot on a recent flight from Berlin:

ISO 25 f/2.2 1/2262 sec 4.22mm

The first step in my process was actually to update my Luminar software to Luminar 3 that includes a library feature. I am happy to say that Luminar had no problem linking to my library that I keep on an external drive.

For editing, I was using this photo, shot on my iPhone, because it has GPS data in it. I’m disappointed that the GPS data does not show in Luminar. Research on-line suggests that it may be a feature added this year. The work around for now is to open the file in the Inspector on my Mac, and the information shows there. This is important to me since I often refer to iPhone photos for the GPS information when I am looking at photos that I took several months ago and want an exact location.

Luminar does seem to save edits automatically. I also verified that the catalog, which holds the data for the edits, is saving to the folder I set up for it.

Next steps for another work session: 1) Sort out how to backup my catalog to a second, separate drive. 2) Figure out how to export a file that has edits without the edits.

Posts like these will sometimes be added into photo challenges but often will not. Readers of this blog know that I welcome thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below.

Cheers and Happy 2019!

Standard
50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Luminar, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Six Word Saturday

Daffodil Variation from Color to Monochrome

The daffodil is my favorite flower:

ISO 2500 50mm f/11 1/100sec

Here devoid of color not texture:

ISO 2500 50mm f/11 1/100sec

Tell me your favorite, comment below.

Cheers!

Picfair version is here in black and white and here in color.

Added to One Word Sunday, Monochrome, Cee’s Flower of the Day, and Six-Word Saturday.

Standard
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.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Go Big!

Standard