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

Well, Isn’t That Dramatic?

I love a good drama. I took this image from Solomon’s Temple in the Peak District:

ISO 640 21mm f/18 1/200sec

It was a bit of a spine-tingling moment. The skies were about to open up, so it was cool and calm, but you could feel the storm. Then there was the added tension of the fire, how bad is it? what’s going on over there? It wasn’t possible to answer those questions. From that original file, I created this:

ISO 640 21mm f/18 1/200sec

I wanted both the colors to pop and the light and dark to contrast in this edit. To achieve this first I lightened the shadows, then I moved the whites slider up and the darks slider down. I used the luminance sliders to increase the green, yellow, and orange tones. The photo also has a corner-darkening vignette on it.

All pretty standard edits for my workflow.  It also represents my favorite type of editing, subtle and true to the original scene.  I’m looking to accentuate the drama that was there while still maintaining a photo that looks real. Do you like the result? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Favorite Things.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, travel, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Editing the Sky

When you live in England, chances are you are going to want to edit the sky in your images. I was working on some images shot in the Peak District including this file:

ISO 800 10mm f/20 1/200sec

There is a lot about this landscape image that appeals to me. It’s going to need some help to pop a bit though. About a week prior I had watched a video that included a bit about sky enhancements in Luminar. The technique is explained starting at 15:41. I liked the tip as a starting point, and so I modified it a bit to suit me. First, I edited the photo in general, I’ve boosted its luminance, boosted the details, and adjusted the white balance. Then I watched the video bit again. Here is my final edit:

ISO 800 10mm f/20 1/200sec

I liked the sky tips from this video enough to create a workspace for it in Luminar, here is a screenshot of what that looks like:

The filters applied to the sky

The video does not mention making the sky edit its own separate layer, but that is what I have done here. By creating this set of filters as a workspace, I can add a new layer and then set this workspace for this layer. This allows for the flexibility of just modifying these edits, instead of trying to manipulate the whole image.

Do you like the final result? Have questions about what I chose to do? Feel free to comment below.


Final edit added to my Picfair portfolio here.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday, Peak District

ISO 800 21mm f/20 1/640sec

Added to Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge, Delicate, and Tuesday Photo Challenge, Vista.


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

Less is More

I love taking a walk. I love the simplicity of views like this one near the Derwent Dam in the Peak District:

ISO 800 16mm f/20 1/500sec

When I go to edit a scene like this one, I’m often not interested in making dramatic edits. I’d like to show the scene as it lives in my mind:

ISO 800 16mm f/20 1/500sec

I’ve stuck with the basics here. For starters, a crop that included straightening the horizon line a bit. From there, I’ve boosted the colors using the blacks/whites slider. I’ve also used the sky enhancer slider and a foliage enhancer. Lastly, I used the Orton filter, this sharpens the image a bit while at the same time giving the photo a bit of a dreamy feel.

This was approximately a ten-minute edit for me. I looked at the original file, thought about what I wanted my final file to look like, pulled out the appropriate filters, and then applied them without over thinking it too much. What do you think? do you like the final version? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Inspired by and written for the Len-Artists Photo Challenge, Less is More.

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

What I Am Working On: Cropping

One edit that I do to almost every photo is a crop. I don’t have a set in stone way to approach it but often it’s the first edit I do. I’m usually thinking something like, what do I really want to say in this photograph?:

ISO 800 14mm f/11 1/320sec

In this case I knew I wanted it to be about the boulders, their imposing and larger than life presence in the landscape.  To do this I was thinking about having them seem to almost spill out of the bottom of the frame. While a good rule of thumb with photography is often to have something all the way in the frame and not running into the edges, in this case I was going to deliberately choose the opposite.

In Luminar, two cropping overlays are available for use. They are the rule of thirds and the perhaps less known golden ratio. While I don’t always crop using these guidelines, I usually at least give it a thought. They both provide a helpful guide to making a stronger composition. If you are interested in a comparison and explanation of the two methods, this is a good place to start.  Here are two screen shots showing how the lines look within the editing software.

Cropped using the rule of thirds:

Screen shot showing the rule of thirds overlay.

Cropped using the golden ratio:

Screen shot showing the golden ratio overlay.

I went with the golden ratio for this crop. It fit well not only with my overflowing boulders, but with the path in the middle of the photograph:

ISO 800 14mm f/11 1/320sec

From there I warmed up the ground quite a bit, it helped throw the sky into a more dramatic contrast. I have also sharpened the photo, which particularly brought out some of the interesting detail in the boulders.

What do you think of the edits? Do you have a preferred way to crop your photos? Your comments are welcome below.


Added to A Photo A Week: Vanishing Point.

Picfair Version is here.

iPhone, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Six Word Saturday

Haddon Hall, Oh What A View

Princess Bride was filmed here too:

ISO 25 4.15mm f/2.2 1/900sec


Added to Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Windows and Travel With Intent, Six Word Saturday.


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

Where the path splits

This photo was taken at Derwent Edge in the Peak District.

ISO 800 12mm f/20 1/400sec

I have applied very little in the way of post-processing to this photo because it was a beautiful scene that didn’t really need enhancement in my opinion.  This walk, that we did over the summer, was a riot of blooming heather contrasted with the rocky terrain and the blue of the sky. I chose to take a photo at this particular spot because I found the split in the trail to be visually interesting. It was one of those walks where I had to purposely put my camera away, to that I would also just enjoy the moment. I’m grateful to have this shot though.

Does this photo appeal to you? Can you name a place you’ve visited where you had to put your camera away in order to enjoy the moment? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Picfair version here.

Added to Lens-Artists photo challenge, Path.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photo for the Week, Photography, Picfair

A View of the Trail

The viaduct in the photo is now a bridge for bikers and pedestrians on the Monsal Trail in the Peak District. We had been biking it earlier in the day. When we were on the viaduct we could see a lookout point, so off we went to find this spot so that I could take this photo:

ISO 800 10mm f/18 1/120sec

Have you spotted the huge photography rule I have broken with this photo? It’s on the lower right side of the frame. A sign leading to a trail. The sign is neither fully in or out of the photo. That was my first edit, a crop that got rid of that little detail. Next, I applied a graduated filter to the sky. Bringing the exposure down in just that area brought back some detail in the sky. I then used the tone curve to darken both the dark and light tones just a little. They didn’t need much, just a bit to make the color in the photo a bit richer. Here is my edited version:

ISO 800 10mm f/18 1/120sec

Like many of my photos, with the edits, I have attempted to keep the scene looking realistic but give it a little pop. Do you think it works in this case? Have you ever been somewhere, realized the view was probably better several miles away and then trooped over there just to get a photo? Feel free to leave a comment below and happy trekking all over the place in the name of photography!


Added to Photo for the Week-8-Bridges.

Picfair version is here.