Thursday Doors: Secret Garden, Secret Door

I was enjoying a day out at Buckland Abbey and came across this lovely door:

ISO 250 50mm 1/200 f/8.0

It’s an entrance to a secret garden that is on the grounds.  Beautiful, but not really easy to photograph, lots of dark shadows.  Here is one of the original shots:

ISO 250 50mm 1/200 f/8.0

The color of the flowers in the original is lovely but a bit overpowering. As for the dark shadows, I decided to go ahead and make friends with that element of the photo.  I was working in Photoshop here, but used the add-on Analog Efex Pro as a starting point.  I ended up liking a filter that had a bit a blue tone to it.  I also straightened the photo.

I posted an Instagram version here:

From the beautiful #gardens at #bucklandabbey @nationaltrust

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

and have the full-size original in my Picfair portfolio.

While I often edit to make a photo look more like the actual scene, in this case I liked the darker tones. I think it makes the photo a bit more mellow and serene.  Has this ever happened to you, an element of an original photo that you find bothersome ends up being its strength?  Do you like the darker tones of this image? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Cheers!

 

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Local

If you follow this blog you know that I moved over the summer. Again. I move a lot. So I wouldn’t say that I really have experienced being a local. What I like about moving though is the chance to act like a local in a lot of different places. And it’s this faking being a local that brought me to this kitchen:

ISO 800 4.3mm f/2.7 1/800

ISO 800 4.3mm f/2.7 1/800

This nice little kitchen set-up was at Anglesey Abbey which is a National Trust property.  We joined National Trust when we arrived here in England with the thought that we would spend a lot of the next year visiting different sites then the next year we would join English Heritage and base our travels on their properties. A quick look at the two websites will tell you that I’m in trouble, and may have to stay in England a bit longer than anticipated to get through visiting all the places I would like to see.  I’m also thinking I may have to have a membership at both.

But that’s not what I was thinking when I took the original photo of this kitchen:

ISO 800 4.3mm f/2.7 1/800

ISO 800 4.3mm f/2.7 1/800

I was thinking, you could visit England and easily not visit this particular place.  You’d be missing something, but honestly, there are so many more well knowns spots that you’d probably visit instead.  To me a place like this is what you visit when you are a local.

When I walked into the kitchen and saw this set up I immediately thought of the film filter I was going to use. I had an idea of what I wanted the final Picfair version to look like. I knew what color cast I wanted and the grain and vignette I was going to add.  Those things I did in Lightroom.  I also removed a few spots on the wall, counter, and teacup.  I used the spot healing brush in Photoshop to do that.  I know Lightroom has healing brushes, but I just prefer the result when I use the ones in Photoshop.

What do you think of the edit? it does change the feel of the photo quite a bit I think. Are there places in your local area that you feel like might be missed by tourists?  Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Edge

I was walking the grounds at Wimpole Estate this past weekend and took this photo of the gardens that are behind the house:

ISO 25 4.15mm f/2.2 1/1700

ISO 25 4.15mm f/2.2 1/1700

While I think it is pretty, the word that comes to mind for this scene is ostentatious.  I can’t help feeling that part of the reason for the estate was to show off wealth.  The edges in this garden though, were perfect.  You might notice that there was no one walking in the gardens.  That is actually a result of editing.  Here is the original:

ISO 25 4.15mm f/2.2 1/1700

ISO 25 4.15mm f/2.2 1/1700

There are two children running around there.  I removed them using a combination of the spot healing brush, the healing brush and the clone stamp.  Why did I bother you might ask? The answer would be because I could.  I don’t usually remove people from my photos and I thought this would be an excellent chance to practice.  I also made some slight adjustments to the overall photo, the original just felt a little too bright and had a little too much contrast. Those edits I made in Lightroom. I increased the tone is the shadows, desaturated the yellows, and bumped up the hue of the greens.  One edit that I tried and then discarded was putting a graduated filter on the photo.  I ended up not liking what that filter did to the tone of this particular photo.

How do you feel about removing items or people from photos?  Let me know what you think of my attempt. I have to admit it makes me a bit uneasy.  Feel free to leave your thoughts on this type of editing below.  If you have a favorite technique for removal and have blogged about it, or have written about why you do or do not do this type of editing, feel free to leave a link to your post.

Cheers!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mirror

When I sit down to edit photos, the actual editing is usually not the first step.  Chances are that I have been thinking about the photo for awhile. It is my habit to flip through my photos after I have downloaded them and then go and do something else before starting the process.  I find it helpful to be thinking about the photos before the actual editing starts:

ISO 400 50mm f/18 1/200

ISO 400 50mm f/18 1/200

I find that the first thing I think about is if I want the photo to mirror what I saw or if it will be some other interpretation of the scene.  In this case because what drew me to take the photo in the first place was the way that this insect was similar to the flower, I decided to edit keeping the photo true to the original. I cropped the photo, sharpened it, and put a vignette on it to darken the edges.  For comparison here is the original version:

ISO 400 50mm f/18 1/200

ISO 400 50mm f/18 1/200

In my mind, this type of editing is for clarity.  It is my hope to bring out the details of what I saw in the scene, a reflection of the reality of that moment.  The steps I described above are the steps I usually take when clarity is my intent.

Do you have a set way of editing for a certain effect?  Do you think the steps I took helped clarify the image? Do they make the image more appealing to you?  Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare

This summer has been a busy one. I’ve missed out on several weeks of blogging due to a move. But this past week week, I missed out because I was on holiday.  I was in Wales for the week.  I don’t know about you, but when I think of Wales, I don’t usually think of sun soaked images like this one:

ISO 25 4.15mm f/2.2 1/1000

ISO 25 4.15mm f/2.2 1/1000

It’s a rare day when lens flare is visible in a photograph from this part of the world. This particular hike led us to Dinas Emrys, the legendary birthplace of the red dragon seen on the Welsh flag. I had my Canon 50D and my iPhone with me.  I shot this panorama on the iPhone and then took a bunch of photos with my bigger camera.  As with most times I go on holiday, there are a lot of photos to edit now that I am home.  For this photo though, not much was needed.  I did end up cropping it a bit and sharpening it.  Other than that, I let it be, including the bit of lens flare that you can see in the top center of the photo. I left that in as a visual reminder of the intensity of the sun in that moment.

Have you ever done that with your editing, purposefully left something in that is considered an imperfection? Do you also bring home a lot of photos to edit? I will be busy for a while!  Feel free to leave a comment below.

I also posted this photo to my Flickr account, if you would like to see a larger version.

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!