Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, iPhone, Luminar, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Using Masks

Sometimes it takes me a while to get to a final version of a photograph. This shot below was taken on my iPhone and then in Luminar had a “look” (that is what they call a set of predetermined filters) applied to it. This one was called Victorian Postcard:

ISO 25 4.2mm f/2.2 1/725sec

I don’t particularly like it, but I like some of the elements that are in it. I like the idea of a vintage feel for this scene. I’m interested in contrasting that with the red in the postbox. I thought about those ideas, and when I went to edit again, I started with this version:

ISO 320 4.3mm f/2.7 1/500sec

This was taken on my point and shoot, which has better jpeg quality than my phone, but doesn’t shoot in RAW. The day I was taking this photo was rainy and grey. Rainy enough that I had opted to leave my DSLR camera at home.

I still liked this scene, but you will see in the next version a crop has been applied. There are a lot of things in this image and a crop eliminated some of them. The eraser tool got rid of some of the others like the cones.

But this edit you will see below was really going to be about masking. I’ve applied the Vintage Postcard look to it and then used a mask, to edit back in the postbox. I used this video to get the basics of how masking works in Luminar:

ISO 320 4.3mm f/2.7 1/500sec

Ok, a few things:

  1. Wow, that’s terrible. The postbox looks like it isn’t even actually there, more like it’s one from some other photo that has just been plopped into this one.
  2. The video I used was a really good starting point, but really you have to be willing to experiment and fail, and then try again.

Here is my final version:

ISO 320 4.3mm f/2.7 1/500sec

Ok, so that’s much better. The main difference is that when I went to mask in the postbox, I used a paintbrush setting with a lower opacity. That helps the postbox blend a bit but still pop out a bit.

In terms of method, I’ll point out that the middle version I saved as a separate file before going back several steps in the edit history and starting off in another direction. I did this because, while I wasn’t crazy about that version, there were several steps like the crop and the erase that I was happy with.  I don’t always do this, but I think it is a good practice.

It was a lot of trial and error to get to this point. I think it was worth it. I like the final image. I also think masking, while a powerful editing tool, can be tough to master, and practice like this will make me better at it. Your comments about my edits or questions about my methods are welcome below.

Are you interested in postboxes in the UK? I am it turns out. So far in my travels here I have a photo of one of all the monarchs except for King Edward VIII. Is there one near you? I’d love to know where you have seen one. Thanks!


Added to One Word Sunday, Red.

11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Touch of Red

When I sit down to edit an image it’s true to say that I’m not always sure what I will do with my final version.  Here is the original file of such an image:

ISO 1250 15mm f/11 1/40sec

Editing this image started with a crop. Since it was the little red ribbons that caught my attention on site, my next edit was to give them a saturation boost. I’ve desaturated some of the colors in this image. I then put a radial filter around the angel and sheep and made the rest of the image softer by moving the dehaze slider into negative numbers in the area outside of the filter. Here is the final image:

ISO 1250 15mm f/11 1/40sec

Like several images from my time in Prague, I don’t have a real use for it so to speak. However, I really like many of my images. They are a reminder of how much I enjoyed looking around the city. Prague is beautiful in my opinion. I will keep this image, as I have kept others, just because they make me happy. Sometimes, it’s the little things, like little red ribbons, that catch my eye. It appeared that someone had taken the time to hand tie them in, and that lovely small detail really what made this display beautiful.  Do you often keep images for no other reason than they make you happy? Do you like the edits I have done here?  Feel free to leave a comment below.


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Red, and Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Small is Beautiful.

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

Seeing Red in RAW

Just yesterday I published a post where this climbing bag was the finished result:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/3.2 1/60

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/3.2 1/60

While I was working yesterday, I saw in my textbook that there was a way to desaturate an image selectively using Camera Raw.  It was a technique I had never tried before, so I thought I would give it a shot.

Here is my finished result:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/3.2 1/60

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/3.2 1/60

I found this pretty interesting, and there would be a lot of fun ways to edit using this technique.  It was very straightforward as well.  I opened the image in Camera Raw from Bridge.  From the original dialogue box I clicked open the HSL/Grayscale tab and made my adjustments.  Here is a screenshot of the settings that I used:

Here are the settings I used

Here are the settings I used

I started with desaturating all the colors but red and then decided to boost the reds just for fun.

So what do you think of my red version?  What kind of photo do you think might work with this technique?  I am thinking a landscape or floral photo.


50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photography

What I’m Thankful for (I’ll keep it simple)

Not only will I keep it simple, I’ll just base it on this photo:


First of all, I’m thankful for my husband.  He’s the one who rigged the bird feeders right out side of my office window.  Awesome no?

Second, to the birds that frequent my feeder all day while I’m working.  I just love that they stop by.

Third, for photography in black and white.  Also, color photography.  I also like mixing the two.  Fun, isn’t it?

Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving! (yeah, about a month or so ago say all my Canadian friends!)

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

Travel Theme: Mystical

When I saw that mystical was the theme this week at Where’s my backpack?, I knew what I was going to be blogging about right away.  I have borrowed an infrared filter for the week, so here is a photo I took in the morning at about 8 am:

ISO 500 50mm 0ev f/10 87sec.

I put two others on flickr, so you can pop over and check them out if you like.


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

Single Fall Leaf

This past week I was working on a color assignment for my digital photography class as well as a natural symmetry themed contest.  This photo fits in both of those categories:

ISO 100 50mm f/2.2 1/160

I tried a bracketed exposure for this shot of -1,0,1 for editing in Photomatix.  Once I had put the photos in Photomatix, I picked a version which I felt was pretty natural looking because part of what I was wanting viewers to see was the way the red was basically imitating the overall shape of the whole leaf.  When I was composing and editing the shot I was trying to blur the background as much as possible.  I liked the green color, but didn’t want any competing detail.

Any thoughts?  feel free to leave them in the comment section.




50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Photography

A Flower for Your Monday

I have been working on night photography for my digital photography class and here is a photo from that assignment:

ISO 160 f/18 0ev 50mm

This photo has an exposure time of 105 seconds.  My camera was on a tripod and I was using my remote release shutter.  During the exposure I used a laser pointer to color in the flower.  I will also tell you that even though this was night photography, I took the photo in the very early morning, while it was still dark.


50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Nature, Photography

It takes a village to get a tomato on a blog

I did not grow these tomatoes, that was the work of my neighbor.  Then she left town, leaving the tomatoes in my care.  So here they are on my blog:

ISO 100 50mm f/16 1/2

I set a custom white balance on this and used a tripod.  What do you think? would it make a good stock image?

As for the tomatoes, they will be for dinner.  This one plant that has been producing a crazy number of tomatoes.  So far enough for 4 families to share, that is a lot.

For my own personal notes, I started at a smaller f-stop number, but ended up liking the f/16 shots best.