iPhone, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Squares

April Squares: Top Shots: Montecassino Abbey

ISO 400 f/2.2 1/17sec 4.2mm

Day 10, find other responses here.

Date and Location of Photo: October 26, 2017. I visited the Montecassino Abbey both because it was founded by St. Benedict and its WWII historical connection. We visited for the day while on a trip to Rome. It was well worth the research and effort to get to the area. The fact that this post featuring my favorite saint is on Good Friday was not planned in advance by me, but is for me a meaningful coincidence.

Thoughts on the Edit: This edit has two different Luminar Looks applied, Enigma, set at 100%  and Mono, set at 28%. The combination, while toning down the photo, still retains the glow that this Altar has.

April Squares, an Explanation:

When Becky announced that the April Squares theme was going to be “top”, I thought it over and then sent her a message, then pitched my idea. She was open to my theme within the theme and the result is my response to the April Squares challenge.

I move a lot and I have a move pending. I’ve lived here in England for about four years and will be heading to the United States. Exact dates to be determined, given the current world situation, details have yet to be worked out. My April Squares is a “top shots” reflection on the last four years. Each square represents some moment or place that was meaningful to me. They are in chronological order moving forward in time. I’m attempting to post every day. All photos will be edited in Luminar 3. I hope you enjoy following along, I’ve enjoyed the process of creating. Your comments and thoughts are welcome below.


11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, travel, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: A Continuation

The file I chose to work on this past week was a continuation of and a revisit of work I have done in the past. The file under construction is this one:

ISO 250 F/9 22mm 1/500 sec

An older edit can be found here. Recently, I posted about using sliders that I don’t often use and this edit is a continuation of me working on using them. The resulting edit is this one:

ISO 250 F/9 22mm 1/500 sec

Prior to conversion to black and white, I used the custom white balance, luminance, dehaze, and polarize filters. It’s then converted to black and white with a red filter. The matte look and Orton effect filters have been applied and it has two vignettes applied to it.

A lot of filters but I am pleased with this edit, for now. The photo was taken a few years ago from the grounds of the Monte Cassino Polish war cemetery and is a shot of the nearby Monte Cassino Abbey  It was a day trip from Rome, and a memorable day from a fabulous holiday.

Your comments or questions are most welcome below. This post was inspired by the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge which has the theme Special Spots Shots for this week.


11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene

A recent trip to Rome gave me the opportunity to visit Montecassino Abbey.

ISO 250 22mm f/9.0 1/800

That’s it up on the hill. The Abbey was founded by St. Benedict and is beautiful with stunning views.  This image was taken at the nearby Polish War Cemetery. The calm, serene image that I have above makes the destruction of WWII and the fighting that took place here almost unimaginable. It was so quiet while I was here, peaceful.

I used a wide angle 11-22mm lens to capture this scene. I like that lens for landscape shots like this one, it helps bring a sense of expansiveness to the image. It was very bright that day, so I took a few exposures.  In Photoshop, I merged two of them into a single HDR image.  I find that HDR is sometimes a good way to create an image that has a good final exposure, meaning that I haven’t lost to much detail in either the dark or light spots in the image.  Other than that, I let the image stand on it’s own.  It was a bit hazy that day, and I haven’t attempted to take that out of the photo.

For me, this was a peaceful, quiet moment. You will have to tell me if that is the kind of feeling it evokes for you? Feel free to comment below.

While we are on the topic of serenity, I’ll tell you my life at the moment is anything but.  It’s a good thing though, just somewhat full to overflowing.  I have the opportunity to do several unique and exciting things over the next few weeks, so I have decided to take a break from blogging. I will be back mid to late January, so I’d like to take this moment to wish all of you a serene and peaceful holiday season and all my best to you for the coming year. Thank you for reading.