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

What I Am Working On: A Continuation

The file I chose to work on this past week was a continuation of and a revisit of work I have done in the past. The file under construction is this one:

ISO 250 F/9 22mm 1/500 sec

An older edit can be found here. Recently, I posted about using sliders that I don’t often use and this edit is a continuation of me working on using them. The resulting edit is this one:

ISO 250 F/9 22mm 1/500 sec

Prior to conversion to black and white, I used the custom white balance, luminance, dehaze, and polarize filters. It’s then converted to black and white with a red filter. The matte look and Orton effect filters have been applied and it has two vignettes applied to it.

A lot of filters but I am pleased with this edit, for now. The photo was taken a few years ago from the grounds of the Monte Cassino Polish war cemetery and is a shot of the nearby Monte Cassino Abbey  It was a day trip from Rome, and a memorable day from a fabulous holiday.

Your comments or questions are most welcome below. This post was inspired by the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge which has the theme Special Spots Shots for this week.


18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, travel, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Little Used Sliders

Over this summer I had the opportunity to hike up to Kehlsteinhaus, or Eagle’s Nest, a Nazi-era building associated with Adolf Hitler, although apparently he was afraid of heights and hated the place.  Today it is a building you can tour and a restaurant. There are a couple different ways you can visit. We went early in the day and walked up. It’s tough if you decide to do it that way, wear hiking boots, monitor the weather, dress in layers, and bring food and water. I didn’t go into the building itself, I was there for the views:

ISO 250 f/11 18mm 1/320sec

I’ve edited this in Luminar.  The edits I will discuss below are a few that I don’t often do as part of my workflow:

ISO 250 f/11 18mm 1/320sec

The first was a custom white balance. I used the little eyedropper to find a neutral grey and clicked. I struggle with white balance sometimes, mostly because I don’t work with it a lot. I think that my camera does a pretty decent job most of the time. The other two filters that I used here were the dehaze and the polarizing filters. A lot of times, if a scene is hazy, I let it stay that way. I think that is just a matter of personal preference, haze either bothers you or it doesn’t and generally speaking, I fall into that second category.

Even though I am posting this, I don’t really feel like I am finished with this photo. I’m not completely satisfied with the edit and think I may prefer the original to the edit.  I’m going to let this sit, probably for months, then I’ll take another look and re-evaluate. That’s the beauty of digital, another version is always possible.

Feel free to leave a comment or question below.


Added to A Photo A Week Challenge, Opposite Weather, because man, is this photo the exact opposite of today’s very grey day!

52 Week Smartphone Challenge, iPhone, Luminar, Photography

52 Week Smartphone Challenge: Week 2

The challenge for this week was to use the rule of thirds. As I was working on this, it seemed to me that my use of the rule was maybe a bit subtle, so I took a screenshot with the rule of thirds grid showing on the photo:

ISO 25 f/2.2 4.15mm 1/100sec

That lower left point is where I am focusing the visual interest of the image.  Here is the final edit:

ISO 25 f/2.2 4.15mm 1/100sec

I took this image just a few days ago. I was out on a walk and happened across a few WWII pillboxes, including this one on the path that went through the middle of a field. A bit of an unexpected find. The edits, done in Luminar, are mostly for clarity.


Added to 52 Week Smartphone Challenge.

18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, iPhone, Luminar, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Veterans Day

In July I was working on a photography project at Cambridge American Cemetery. My shooting week was documented in this post. I was photographing the grave marker of Finis E. Harris Jr. His family lives in the United States, but right now I am living not far from the cemetery, so I made these images for them:

When it came to editing, these photos have had very minimal edits applied. The idea was to show the marker as it is. The cemetery here is a really nice one, beautiful and peaceful. The American Battle Monuments Commission manages this and several other overseas military burial sites. I’ve had the opportunity to visit a few of them. They are all really well run. If you happen to have a family member buried or memorialized at one of these sites, know that they do have a lovely final resting spot.

I was back at the Cambridge site this morning for a Veterans Day service:

Added to A Photo a Week Photo Challenge, In the Neighborhood.


18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, iPhone, Luminar, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Walls of the Missing

I am planning to visit the Cambridge American Cemetery again soon and as part of that, I was looking through some photo files that I shot this past winter. One of the features in the cemetery is its Walls of the Missing that have 5,127 names on it. It’s an interesting structure in that there are places where you can walk through and it operates as both a barrier to the outside, but also an entrance and exit between the cemetery and it’s exterior. So it’s both a wall and a door. It’s imposing, yet delicate; Both personal and impersonal. During this particular photo editing session, I was working with images that included the Wall:

These first images are ones that I shot on my iPhone using the app Hipstamatic. One of the features of that app is “randomize” which means you shake your phone, take your photo, and the app applies a random selection of filters. I created a series of those over the course of my visit.

I also brought my Canon 80D:

ISO 400 24mm f/11 1/250sec


ISO 400 24mm f/11 1/640

These two photos I edited in Luminar 3 with an eye to accentuating the warm but quickly fading light of a February afternoon.

It was an interesting work session, and I was giving some thought to how different the lighting conditions will be since my next visit will be in July. In that vein, I think it is nice as a photographer to have the experience of shooting the same place at different times of the year. It’s a good exercise in thinking through things like light. It’s also interesting to then have the time of year be part of the narrative of the image.

Do you have a place like this, that you visit regularly over the year in part just to see the changes? What do you think of my various photos, is there a particular one that speaks to you? Feel free to comment below.


Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Wall and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, 5+ Items.


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

Tough Topic

Every once in a while I take photos of a subject that I’m a bit conflicted about. This post is about the enemy. The photos in this post were taken at La Cambe German War Cemetery. It’s near Omaha Beach in Normandy France. There are 21,222 German war dead here, ranging in age from 16-72. Most died between 6 June and 20 August 1944. They were the enemy but as the sign on the front of the cemetery stated, “With its melancholy rigour, it is a graveyard for soldiers not all of whom had chosen either the cause or the fight. They too have found rest in our soil of France.” I found the place to be very somber and sad:

ISO 640 22mm f/16 1/160sec

This first shot gives a bit of an overview of how the markers are laid out in rows. This second shot it a bit more of a close-up:

ISO 640 19mm f/16 1/320sec

It is the square markers and not the crosses that are grave markers. I’d also like to note that some of the markers indicated that the graves are sometimes stacked.

ISO 640 10mm f/16 1/160sec

This statue was at the top of the resting place for the unknown soldiers. I have versions of each of these on my Picfair site, if you would like to see them at higher resolution: photo 1, photo 2, photo 3.

When it came to editing, the first two were just edited for clarity. The third is a bit more creative, but I wanted to stick with the somber and ethereal feel of the cemetery itself.

Tough topic, but what do you think? To me, it was a reminder to never lose sight of anyone’s humanity, even those who would stand against you. Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to Lens Artists, Weather or Worn and One Word Sunday, Row.