50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, Luminar, made with Luminar, Photo Editing, Photography

Made With Luminar: Dolbadarn Castle

This shot of Dolbadarn Castle was taken on August 18, 2016.

ISO 500 f/11 1/100sec 50mm

Usually, with photos included in this series, I show the original file. I opted not to with this post because one of my children was in the original file. Other first adjustments included white balance and an increase in the luminance of the greens and yellows in the image. I did also crop this image. The Luminar Look, Past Days, was added at 100% with adjustments to the split toning and texture amount filters.

Added to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge, Decayed or Rusty.

 

The Made with Luminar Series

This image is part of a project I am calling Made with Luminar. What the images in this series have in common is the software used to edit them, Luminar 3. As with my usual blog posts particulars of the camera settings can be found in the caption below the image. I’ll then explain what other filters and edits have been applied, often mentioning what layer and therefore order that they were applied. The text of these posts includes any Luminar “Looks” that have been applied to the photo. Each look is a series of presets that are applied to the photo. Where applicable I will mention what changes I have made to any of the looks. A full explanation of looks is available here on their website, https://skylum.com/luminar/user-guides/chapter-14-working-with-luminar-looks

You can assume basic edits have been applied. My most common edits are cropping, detail enhancement, and vignette. Specific questions or thoughts on the image are welcome in the comment section below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photography, Squares

April Squares: Top Shots, Conwy

ISO 500 f/11 1/1000sec 50mm

Day 1, find other responses here.

Date and Location of Photo: August 19, 2016

Thoughts on the Edit: It was hard to choose how to set the square edit within this photo which was shot on my Canon 50D. I’ve added the Luminar Look, That Glow Faded at 68%. Conwy is in Wales. This photo was from our first of three trips to Wales.

April Squares, an Explanation:

When Becky announced that the April Squares theme was going to be “top”, I thought it over and then sent her a message, then pitched my idea. She was open to my theme within the theme and the result is my response to the April Squares challenge.

I move a lot and I have a move pending. I’ve lived here in England for about four years and will be heading to the United States. Exact dates to be determined, given the current world situation, details have yet to be worked out. My April Squares is a “top shots” reflection on the last four years. Each square represents some moment or place that was meaningful to me. They are in chronological order moving forward in time. I’m attempting to post every day. All photos will be edited in Luminar 3. I hope you enjoy following along, I’ve enjoyed the process of creating. Your comments and thoughts are welcome below.

Cheers!

 

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, made with Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, travel, Tuesday Photo Challenge, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Editing the Landscape

I do a lot of photo editing and it is easy to get into the habit of using the same filters every time.  In order to encourage myself to try different things, I watch a lot of tutorial videos on Youtube. I feel free to adopt some suggestions and leave others, but I think it is important to understand that most photo editing software has lots of options and so knowing what is even available is important.  One of the files I was working on the week was this photo, taken at Mt. Snowdon in Wales in 2016:

ISO 800 f/13 1/800sec 50mm

It was a fabulous view, even if this particular file doesn’t really seem to suggest that. I was also watching this tutorial on Youtube. It’s specific to editing a landscape in Luminar which is the software I am using, but I would say that the suggestions made can be applied in other editing software as well. One of the first suggestions was to use the dehaze slider. Now that happens to be a slider I almost never use but for this file, it seemed like a really good starting place. For this edit below, I then went on to use the sky filter, the foliage enhancer, the HSL panel for luminance, and the small details slider for sharpening. The final edit was this one:

ISO 800 f/13 1/800sec 50mm

I think this edit is a pretty close representation of what I saw that day. From there I decided to do a more creative edit. This particular edit has two additional layers, the first was the Luminar look, Overlook, added with modifications and the second layer is an AI filter and vignette. Here is that version:

ISO 800 f/13 1/800sec 50mm

I like it also but will readily admit it is not what I saw. The Picfair version of it is here.

So which version is better? which do you prefer? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Back Catalog.

 

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Luminar, made with Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, travel, Tuesday Photo Challenge, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: LUT’s

Before I get into the steps and explanations I’ll say that I wanted to experiment a bit with this file:

ISO 800 f/13 1/2000 sec 50mm

It’s shot from Mt. Snowdon in Wales, a hike that is popular but needs to be treated with respect, so if you are thinking of doing it some planning and also checking the current weather conditions are necessary.

The final edit is this one:

ISO 800 f/13 1/2000 sec 50mm

I was thinking about two things in this edit. The first was that in person, the haze that shows in the photo file seemed less. The second was that the contrast between light and dark seemed more pronounced. I’ve reflected this in both the sky and the shadows on the mountain. The final edit is more like the hike that resides in my memory.

I started with editing the sky on its own layer. In this past post, I talk a bit more about that and include a link with video instructions. What I would point out here is that I think it is important to do sky specific edits on its own layer because this makes it possible to revisit the edit and make changes without having to effect other edits done on other layers.

The next phase of the editing process was more experimental. In this case, I am using LUTs to create a new look for the photo. LUT stands for lookup table and when you apply one it will change the color and tone of the image based on the instructions that are in the LUT. This explanation of LUTs and how they work I have chosen to link in because I think it provides a good explanation of what a LUT is and then directions of how to access them within Luminar which is the software I am using. The further step that I have taken is to use two LUTs on the photo. I have each of them on a separate layer. Having set the two layers in place, I could then use the sliders available on each to control the amount of LUT applied. When working with this type of preset, it is important to remember that once applied, you can make edits to the preset, you are not obligated to keep it as is.

Editing software comes with all sorts of presets and as you are learning to use it, I would advise experimenting. Making even small changes from a preset can help the photo you are working on look more like the vision you have for it rather than a set idea the software has added. Feel free to comment or ask a question below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Tourism.

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photography, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Old Files

From time to time I go through photographs that I shot several years ago to see if I would like to try a new interpretation of them. That’s how I came to be working on this file:

ISO 250 f/2.7 1/60sec 4.3mm

This photo was taken at St. Michael’s Church in Betws-y-Coed, Wales, in 2016. So, some things haven’t changed since then, like the fact that I enjoy visiting churches and graveyards. This photo was taken with my point and shoot that only has jpeg file capability.  That means there is a limit to how much detail I am going to get out of the sky. To work around that one of the filters that I used was “dark fog”. I paired it with a filter called “Old Timer” that I have in a collection of Halloween “looks”. I felt that a Halloween filter was appropriate with it being October and the photo being an old graveyard. My final edit was something much darker than the original:

ISO 250 f/2.7 1/60sec 4.3mm

Do you like the edit? That tree was really something else! and I feel like it adds a lot of character to the photo. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Circles, Curves, and Arches.

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iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Heritage

I am a bit of a history buff.  I enjoy thinking about how generations before me lived, which is why I was fascinated by the interior of this church:

ISO 500 4.15mm f/2.2 1/17 sec

It’s a reimagining of what the church would have looked like in 1520 :

ISO 25 4.15mm f/2.2 1/250

The church is part of St Fagans National Museum of History which is just outside of Cardiff, Wales. It’s an interesting collection of heritage. This museum is unique in that they have collected various buildings and homes from different time periods and parts of Wales and moved them here to this site. Visitors have a chance then to view a wide variety of the history of Wales in one place.

The interior of this church was interesting because it brings to life what it would have looked like in the Middle Ages. Usually, churches from this time just have traces of the paint, and you have to use your imagination as to what the original would have looked like.  This particular example brings to life the use of the church almost as a book and guide for those who would not have been able to read.

As for the photos, it was raining that day, and so I had to be selective of when I would take out my larger camera.  For most of the day I relied on my iPhone.  I keep my phone in a pretty decent case to prevent damage from when it gets dropped.  On days like this I also keep in in a very technical waterproof case, a ziplock bag. That meant for the shot of the sign, I just had to slip it out for a moment.  The inside of the church was easier as it wasn’t raining in there.  The low light and the small interior of the church meant that the iPhone was a good choice for getting a representative shot of church.

I did edit the photo a bit in Photoshop.  It’s been sharpened and I also increased the exposure a bit. A large part of why I took the photo was to remember this space.  I’ll probably even come back to look at this photo the next time I am in a church that has remnants of a similar style of painting.  Have you ever done that, taken a photo as a point of reference, to help you better understand?  Do you have a favorite history museum?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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