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

Even At A Distance

It was almost two years ago that I took this photo:

ISO 200 f/16 1/250sec 21mm

Taken on a drive along the Normandy Coast, this landscape still resides in my mind as one of the more beautiful places I have ever been. I pulled out this file yesterday and this morning created an interpretation of it:

ISO 200 f/16 1/250sec 21mm

I started with some basic edits that included straightening it a bit while I was cropping. I removed some dust spots with a combination of the erase and clone and stamp tools. I added the Luminar Look, Soft and Dreamy Faded. Within that look, which is applied at 100%, I made some adjustments to the filters. On a separate layer I then applied the Orton Effect filter and a vignette.

Your thoughts or questions about the edit are welcome below.


Added to the Lens-Artists Challenge, Distance.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Instagram, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Picfair

Favorite Photos of 2019

It’s fun to go back through the year’s blog posts and look at what I worked on. For this week’s Lens-Artists challenge participants were encouraged to pick some favorites for the past year. I went through the year and from last January picked this image:

ISO 200 22mm f/16 1/400sec

The original blog post it appeared in is here, but I chose it as a favorite because the edits are minimal and the composition simple, two elements that often turn up in my work.

This past year I also launched a weekly wrap up of daily photos taken with my iPhone. From that series, this is a recent favorite:

As Shot

The original post is here, but this is a favorite photo because I liked the image just as it was and felt no need to edit it.

Many of the photos on this blog end up in some variation on my Instagram or Picfair accounts. From 2019, these were my top 9 on Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

It’s my #topnine2019

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

Images in this post that are also on Picfair include the lighthouse and the pig.

So, what’s in the works for Photography Journal Blog in 2020? I’ve enjoyed the Daily Photo Weekly Wrap-Up posts, so look for those to continue. I will also continue to write about my process of editing photos, I like writing out what I have done as a way of thinking about what I have or haven’t accomplished in any given edit. For January, look for two new additions. The first is I will be attempting Becky’s Square Challenge, January’s theme is light and you can read about it and join in here. The second is a 52-week Smartphone Challenge hosted at Island in the Net. I misunderstood the original post and accidentally got a head start of that one, but I will be joining in on the right weeks starting in mid-January.

Overall, I’m hoping for a robust year here on the blog. It will be a challenge! Thanks very much for reading and all the best for 2020 to everyone!


70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Creating A Custom Workspace

Part of what I enjoy about photography is the editing process. These days there are a lot of editing software choices on the market. Then once you are settled on one that you like, the edit options within that software are usually extensive. That’s great. Except when it is so much that it becomes a distraction.  The reality is that I shoot a lot of photos like this:

ISO 200 70mm f/16 1/250sec

When I then open this photo in the edit tab of Luminar 3 I have a lot of filter options, but there are a few that I almost always use. The rest are helpful sometimes but are just clutter to my process at other times. A way to clear that clutter is to create a custom workspace with just select filters. I did just that and here is what it looks like:

To create this, I did the following. First, where the dropdown now says “Amy 1”, I clicked the down arrow, and selected “clear workspace”. Then from the filters I picked the ones I almost always use and in the order I use them, opened them, that added them to the list you see there. Then I clicked again on that down arrow and one of the options is “save custom workspace” it then prompted me for a name, that’s when I added “Amy 1”. Now anytime I open a new image, I can click that down arrow and my saved workspace is there. Or, even better, I also clicked to have that show as the default. Here are those filters applied to my original image:

ISO 200 70mm f/16 1/250sec

From there I could have added more filters and done some other editing. Sometimes I will, but in this case, I wasn’t really looking to do anything else with this image.

I spend quite a bit of time thinking about my photography workflow. My hope is that this workspace will make the process a bit smoother. Do you use a custom workspace in your editing process? I never have before so this is just something I’m giving a try. Feel free to comment on that or on my edit below.


Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Round.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Tuesday Photo Challenge

And then there I was

I knew it was going to be beautiful even before I went. A driving tour along the Normandy coast? I was truly looking forward to it. As a bonus, the day we were scheduled to go was a beautiful one. This is the lighthouse in Saint-Valery-en-Caux:

ISO 200 12mm f/16 1/400sec

That’s an unedited, as shot, version of the lighthouse. I feel like everything I saw that day was photography ready. The day included a stop in Etretat, which I have already written about, and several other stops that I suspect will make their way onto the blog in the future.

When I came upon this scene, after “wow” and “how lucky am I?” my next thought was, what would I want from a photograph of this lighthouse?  My answer was to keep the image simple in terms of the story.  So the decision I made was to shoot in such a way that the fisherman was out of the scene but that his gear stayed. The story here: yes, there are people around but also a great expanse of the natural world.

The first edit was a simple one, that is cropping. In this first edit I have used the tone curves to boost the blues and bring down the white tones a bit:

ISO 200 12mm f/16 1/400sec

This first edit I think speaks well to the vibrancy of the day. The photo itself though, is such a delightful treat, that I knew I wanted to try at least two more takes on it. I wanted to do a more vintage edit and a black and white. First my vintage:

ISO 200 12mm f/16 1/400sec

I’ve kept the warm tones and desaturated the blues for this one. One of the things I like about this particular edit is the way the rust on the lighthouse now looks.

The black and white edit was a bit more problematic:

ISO 200 12mm f/16 1/400sec

I ended up with a cream tone instead of true black and white. As much as I think a brilliant, saturated color photo often translates to a nice black and white image, in this case, it ended up not appealing to me. I think what the cream tone allows for is the warmth of the original scene to still be there.

This is a photo that I suspect I will be coming back to. I would like to have another shot at the black and white. I’m also thinking of trying to crop the photo in a different way. Of these, do you have a favorite? is there a way that you would approach editing it in a creative way?  Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge: Treat and Lens Artists Photo Challenge: Wonder.

Picfair version is here.