Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, iPhone, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Set Tongues Wagging

I walk past this display at the grocery store all the time.  All the gossip I could possibly need to know prominently on display:

ISO 64 4.15mm f/2.2 1/35 sec

Is any of it true? Is it simpler in black and white?:

ISO 64 4.15mm f/2.2 1/35 sec

I took this photo for a variety of reasons, but one was that the Luminar software I am using has a filter called “Orton Effect” that its description says will make a photo “sharp and blurry at the same time”. That’s a bit hard to wrap my brain around, but I thought that it might work as an interesting filter on this black and white version of the tabloid.  I’ll be honest, I like what it did here. I’ve also cropped the image a bit and added a vignette. What do you think of the filter and the edit? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

This photo was inspired by Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge, Tongues and Tales and also by a conversation with Yvette on her blog about tabloids.

 

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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.

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Instagram, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

There are a lot of flowers in the house right now.  I enjoy all of them and love photographing them, but there is something about the rose that seems to embody grace:

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/20

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/20

There is also something inherently graceful about a black and white photograph. I find that limiting the color palette is a form of simplicity even if it is not simple to do.  In this case, I started with this original photo:

The original

The original

Before converting it to black and white, I edited it to this version using Lightroom:

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/20

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/20

I have increased the saturation, vibrance, and clarity.  I like the original version better than this edited version, but it has been my experience that a crisp and vibrant color photo often transforms into a more interesting black and white version than a softer color photo does.

Having created the more dynamic color version, I then edited it using the Silver Efex Pro plug in within Lightroom.  As I usually do, I began with choosing a filter that looked closest to what I wanted to achieve and then edited from there.  It is rare that I apply a filter and then don’t edit it further.  In this case this filter was a bit too dark for my liking, I increased the light by using the sliders for both the highlights and the shadows.  Back in Lightroom, I added a vignette.

This photo was shot using my Canon 50D with a 50mm lens and a magnifier.  This allows me to get more of a macro photo.  The difficulty in using this set up though is getting adequate light.  In this case I went with f/5.6 and 1/20 shutter speed.  That’s a slow shutter speed, I got a lot of blurry images.  Using the tripod would have made this easier.

The beautiful thing about flowers is that they are always changing.  Here’s another photo, this time using my iPhone, taken this morning:

View this post on Instagram

Roses in the morning light. #photography #goodmorning #flowers

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

Lovely, but it is still the black and white version that says graceful to me.  What do you think? Do you have a favorite version? Is there a flower that you think is more graceful than the rose? Do you have a favorite way to convert images to black and white?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Outer Layers

When you are online, perhaps you have noticed that there is a lot written about how we present ourselves online.  Articles that discuss the ways in which we distort the reality of our lives, particularly on social media, to appear more of something, be that richer, smarter, thinner, happier.  It’s an interesting thought, but not a new one. Don’t we always put on outer layers before heading into the world? It’s the clothes we wear, car we drive, place we live.  While things I’ve read online tend to be disparaging of this sort of behavior, I just come away with the feeling that it’s not all that bad and it’s reality.  I was thinking about the way I present myself in person and how I dress and what that might say about me.  I came up with this photo:

ISO 2000 50mm f/6.3 1/50

ISO 2000 50mm f/6.3 1/50

These are my wedding rings. It’s rare that you would see me without at least one of these on.  The bottom ring is an anniversary band that I usually wear stacked with my original engagement ring and wedding band.  I love those rings, but I spend a lot of time outdoors. That is where the other ring, a silicone Qalo ring, comes in. I wear it for all the times I’m concerned about damaging my other rings. Sometimes, I’m out doing something cool like hiking, other times I’m cleaning the house.  The thing is though, these rings are my outer layer, I’m saying to the world that I am married.

When I was setting up the rings for this photo shoot, I knew that I was going to covert the image to black and white. I usually do my black and white conversions in Photoshop, but this week I had watched an online tutorial about using Lightroom instead.  I decided to edit this image in Lightroom only. I used the basic panel to increase the exposure in the shadows and the blacks. Then I used the sliders within the black and white panel to come up with the tones in the photo.  I find when I am converting images to black and white I don’t have a go to way of adjusting the image, I just start experimenting and see what I can come up with. I then used the split-toning feature to make the highlights a bit blue and the shadows golden. I have also added a vignette and grain.

What do you think of the photo? Do you think a lot about the way you present yourself in person or online? The internet would suggest that maybe you do! Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic

I’ve been doing some work in the yard, weeding and the like.  The butterfly bush is beginning to lose it’s blooms, but they aren’t completely gone yet, so one morning I put aside my gardening tools and took out my camera instead.  When I got the photos on my computer I decided to give HDR processing a try with them, to bring out the detail in the flowers.  I was pleasantly surprised to end up liking this monochromatic version best:

ISO 1250 50mm 0ev f/8 1/125

ISO 1250 50mm 0ev f/8 1/125

For this particular photo I was using my 50mm lens with a magnifying lens attached.  I used a high ISO in part to deal with the low light and in part to be able to use a high shutter speed.

Here is the original middle exposure of the bracketed photos:

ISO 1250 50mm 0ev f/8 1/125

ISO 1250 50mm 0ev f/8 1/125

In the monochromatic version, I liked the way the purple blooms were transformed to very white.  Most times, I use HDR for what it brings out in the detail, this time, what I liked most was it did for the tone of the image. For me, this was and interesting case of using a technique for one result and ending up with something unexpected. How about you, when was the last time your photo editing turned out an unexpected result?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

A Window in the Ceiling

I know you would usually call a window in the ceiling a skylight, but it really just seemed like a window to me:

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/8 1/500

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/8 1/500

This was a difficult shot for me to get and the first constraint was time.  I was on a tour of the Minnesota State Capitol, so I only had a few minutes and I hadn’t really expected to stumble across this window either.  You may be wondering why I used such a high shutter speed.  I had been thinking of creating an HDR image, but as it turned out, I did not get a set of exposures that were perfect, so I decided against using HDR.   Also, in order for this to be a successful HRD image, the lines in the glass would have to be perfectly lined up in the exposures and they just weren’t; I would have needed a tripod to get the shot I needed for HDR editing.

When I was taking the shot, composition was a challenge.  I couldn’t fit the whole window in so I had to go for just part of it.  You will see the original shot  and note that I cropped it when I edited it and I also straightened it.  All my editing I did in Photoshop.  I converted the original color image to black and white using a blue filter setting.  My last step in editing was to sharpen it.

Here is the original:

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/8 1/500

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/8 1/500

Despite the fact that this color version really only has a hint of color, it really does have a different feel than the black and white version, don’t you think?

This post was written for the weekly black and white photography challenge at Sonel’s Corner.  This week’s theme is windows and doors.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Coneflower in Black and White

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/2.8 1/125

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/2.8 1/125

This coneflower has had my attention for the last few days. Today I decided to shoot it in black and white.  Actually the original image is in color.  I used my Canon 50D with a 50mm lens to get this shot.  I also used my tripod.  There was a slight breeze, so I thought the tripod would help with any movement. When taking a picture like this I am often thinking about depth of field.  What should be in focus and what would I like to see blurred.  I settled on an f-stop of 2.8 because I decided I liked the petals in focus but not the stem.  I tried f/1.8 but the petals were to out of focus for my liking.  At f/7.1 the stem and some of the ground were in focus which ended up not being a very pretty picture.

I edited this photo in Photoshop.  I converted it to black and white using a red filter setting.  In addition to cropping, I also changed the contrast.

From there, I cropped it a bit differently to create a 5×7 card to put on my website.

This post was written in response to a black and white photo challenge that is hosted by Sonel, and I would like to thank her for the inspiration for creating this photo.

Thoughts? Comments? feel free to leave them below.

Cheers!

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