52 Week Smartphone Challenge, Animals, hipstamatic, iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

52 Week Smartphone Challenge: Week 16

This week’s theme, Shadow, is one that could be interpreted  in many different ways particularly at this time. I call this photo, Stepping Into My Space:

ISO 25 f/2.2 1/1166sec 4.15mm

What’s going on in this photo? Quite a bit. I’ll divide it into pros and cons.

Pros: I’m out on my daily allowed by the government walk, and it’s a beautiful day. The other shadow is my walking partner/teenager and we are both healthy. This is a friendly dog.

Cons: This is not my dog, it’s not on a lead, and I am both allergic and scared of dogs.

For me, this photo has a bit of conflict and tension in it. The original file lent itself well to a square edit, so I went ahead and used Hipstamatic to create the image. After an initial  shuffle of random filters, which the app will do for you with the touch of a button, I settled on a combination I liked and then did some additional edits to come up with this final version.

Your thoughts and comments are welcome below.


iPhone, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photography, Squares

April Squares: Top Shots, English Countryside Part 2

ISO 25 f/2.2 1/1972 sec 4.2mm

Day 6, find other responses here.

Date and Location of Photo: May 21, 2017. Wadenhoe. Notice that large cow there? Good, give it and all livestock plenty of space while walking through the countryside. There are rules concerning where and how you can walk through the countryside, it’s all about commonsense and respect. Today’s photo is a continuation of yesterday’s. If yesterday was a scene I commonly came across while walking, today’s is not.

Thoughts on the Edit: The Luminar Look applied here is Blue and White at 58%.

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.


18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, made with Luminar, Nature, Photography, Picfair, Six Word Saturday

Old Man of Coniston

ISO 640 f/10 1/800sec 20mm

Old Man Coniston, Lake District UK,

I walked up an October day.

Nice photo-op, about halfway up;

but the view from the top?

I just can’t really say because

it was cloud covered that day.


Added to Six Word Saturday. Picfair version here.


Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, iPhone, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Photo Challenges

I Went for a Walk

Ah, the stereotypical English countryside, how I love walking through it! What do I love about it? churches and graveyards, livestock, fun signage, postboxes, and bonus points for a pub stop at the end. Ramble with me? The first stop was a church, of which there were three on this walk, but this particular grave marker caught my eye:

ISO 200 f/2.7 1/25sec 4.3mm

Then we kept going and came to a gate. An aside to my fellow Americans, you can walk through private property such as fields here, there are a set of expectations, but it is a completely different system than the US. So, yes we went through the gate and closed it behind us. What is it with cows? I feel like I have the following conversation every time I walk through a pasture:

~Yes, hi, just passing through.

~Because this is where the path is.

~Yes, really, it’s marked.

~No, I do not have any snacks.

ISO 100 f/5.6 1/200sec 17.8mm

And just to reinforce the whole English weather stereotype, I’ll tell you that the weather was threatening rain so I took the photos in this post with a small point and shoot and my iPhone:

And yes, I did finish up at the pub with a pint. Cheers and Sláinte!

Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Countryside and/or Small Towns.


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, 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, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pedestrian

Not too long ago I took part in a charity walk whose path toured the grounds of some of the colleges at Cambridge University that are normal shut to the public. There were a lot of beautiful buildings and gardens but at Corpus Christie College I was stuck by this scene of all the pedestrians observing the “stay off the grass” sign while a solitary bird ignored it completely:

ISO 1600 13mm f/20 1/400sec

Cheeky little bird!

It was a funny scene, but the original image was a bit, uninspired:

ISO 1600 13mm f/20 1/400sec

You can see I have done quite a few edits here, but one of the most important was applying a field blur in Photoshop. In this case, I have kept the bird in focus and purposely blurred all the people. Emphasizing the importance of the little rebel who was strutting around the grass looking down its beak at us walkers on the path.

Have you ever edited a photo to tell a story? Certainly this can be a bit of a controversial topic, but feel free to leave a comment below.


Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photography

Travel Theme: Walls

Quebec City has walls.  So you would think that I might have taken a few pictures of the walls when I was there.  I didn’t though, and here is why, I was to busy taking pictures from the top:

ISO 100 28mm 0ev f/11 1/200

ISO 100 28mm 0ev f/11 1/200

It was the view from the wall that I couldn’t get enough of.  So even though the theme at Where’s My backpack? is walls, I am posting this photo.  You can even stay at that huge castle (haha) Details here.  Quebec City is a great place to visit, but come ready to walk, because that is the best way to see it.


Animals, Birds, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Nature, Photography

Stalked by Ducks

ISO 250 17.0mm f/5.6 1/160

Umm, yikes they are following us!  It all started innocently.  I was just taking photos of this one duck:

ISO 320 17.0mm f/5.6 1/160

This one, the one I now refer to as my “gateway duck”, due to the results you see in the first picture.  I have heard that you shouldn’t feed the ducks, but I wasn’t aware that you also should not take their picture 🙂

Both pictures taken with my point and shoot, no tripod, and honestly I did not feed the ducks to make them follow like that.  There were five kids with me at the time though, maybe the ducks just figured with that many kids, I had to have some bread.