18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Luminar, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Building Blocks

Sometimes my process of creating an image can involve many steps. The first can be as simple as what is going on around me or what I might be looking at online. For this particular image, I pulled it out to work on because, as you will see in the link at the bottom, Tuesday’s Photo Challenge is stone. The photo Frank used in the prompt was shot in Ireland. So, I thought it would be interesting to also create a stone image from Ireland. Here is the image I started with:

ISO 3200 f/11 1/80sec 18mm

I liked this image because of the story I saw in it, and went about coaxing what I saw in it, out of it. What follows is a series of screenshots of the various stages of construction. First is the overall general edits:

Shows the first basic steps.

I adjusted the whites (up) and blacks (down), boosted the luminance of the reds, oranges, and yellows, then I sharpened a bit by increasing the small details.

The next layer, I labelled “Desaturation layer”. On this layer, using the HSL sliders, I removed the following colors: green, aqua, blue, purple, and magenta:

Where I remove most of the color.

For the final layer, I added my custom made look called “Amy Black and White Pinhole”:

In a minute I would add back in a hint of color.

I have a blog post about creating a saving a custom look here. Then I set about editing that look for this particular photograph, and the end result is this:

ISO 3200 f/11 1/80sec 18mm

I did things like adding the saturation of the reds and yellows back in. I’ve also tweaked the amount of the “Orton Effect” filter and set the vignette in a better way for this particular scene.

Writing out these steps has been an interesting experience as well. It has taken longer to do that then execute the steps, or at least it felt longer. Creating the image, in this case, was pretty simple because the final edit was something that I had already seen in my mind and I had a fairly decent idea of how I was going to go about getting it to emerge.

Thanks for reading this far. Feel free to leave and comment below. This photo has been added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Stone. If you are like me and enjoy looking at stones, there is a camera installed at Stonehenge, I find it calming and visit a few times a week. The photo from this post was taken at Kilmainham Gaol, a prison in Dublin that is well worth touring.


50mm Lens, Canon 50D, iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Technology, Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors: Stone Doorway

Having visited Plymouth Rock as a child, I was curious about visiting the town of Plymouth where the pilgrims departed from. Overall, it was less of a tourist trap than its American counterpart. One of the more charming parts of town was an Elizabethan Garden that was tucked off the main drag.  This first shot shows the stone detail work:

ISO 250 50mm 1/30 f/7.1

of this doorway:

ISO 25 4.15mm 1/50 f/2.2

This is one of those times when I was glad to have two cameras at my disposal.  The top photo was taken with my Canon 50D.  I shot it as a bracketed image and then created the HDR version you see above. The second photo is shown as shot with my iPhone.  Having the two cameras allowed me to document the scene in two different ways.  In this case, the iPhone gets the opportunity to show the “big picture”. When I take photos like this I am also asking the iPhone to perform another duty, that of keeping track of the location of the photo. I find the GPS feature on the phone helpful later if I have a question about exactly where the photo was taken. I use this most often when a photo has been taken while on holiday.

How do you keep track of the location of all the photos you shoot? Your thoughts on the topic are welcome below. Do you like this stone doorway? the gardens themselves were formal and I felt the stone was a good choice.  Feel free to comment below.


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

Travel Theme: Stone

One of my favorite places to go and photograph animals in the St. Louis Zoo.  This Black and White Ruffed Lemur lives there:

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/50

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/50

Obviously the image has been edited in Photoshop.  I’ll show you the original exposure at the bottom of the post.  Photographs in the primate house can be difficult to get.  The closer you can get to the glass the better and flash generally works against you in the scenario.  I have a fairly high ISO here but a slow shutter speed.  This combination worked for this particular photo because this lemur was pretty still, he seemed content to stare back at whoever was looking at him.

The image I wanted to create in Photoshop was one that looked like a print or a silk screen.  I would say the toughest part of achieving what I wanted was to maintain some of the texture in the white fur.  The way to go about creating an image like this is to create a separate layer for every color value you want to use.  Because I am pretty new to the technique, I first created a duplicate layer of my original photo, that way I hadn’t lost it if I messed up completely.  Then on my duplicate layer I went to Select-Color Range.  From there a dialogue box will open up and you can choose the color values you want to work with first.  Then click OK.  Then I clicked quick mask and got rid of any areas that I did not want to have selected.  Then I created a new layer, used the eye dropper to pick the color I wanted and did and option-delete to fill the area with that color.  That is one color selection done.  For each additional color I repeated those same steps.  Once I was satisfied with that, I added a layer of solid grey at the bottom of the layers to sort of hold the image together.  Then I found a stone texture on line and dragged it into the image as the top layer and dropped its opacity.  The lemur was sitting on a stone, but I wanted that texture to run through the whole image.  Here is the original image:

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/50

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/50

Pretty different from the edited version I created isn’t it?  What do you think? Do you like this particular editing technique?  Have you ever tried it?  Your comments are welcome below.

I wrote this post in part as a response to the Weekly travel-themed photo challenge at Where’s My Backpack?  The theme this week is stone.