It’s been almost two years since I was in Tanzania and I still find it difficult to exactly express why this trip was so important to me. Even harder is to distil that thought into a single image. I have many files from that trip that I have chosen to keep but have not been through the editing process yet. The lens artist photo challenge for this week prompted me to go through them and this is the image that floated to the top of my imagination:
The vast landscape that was teeming with life. The humor of being caught in a wildlife traffic jam. The color of the landscape itself. These are all things that appeal to me in this image. For this particular image though, it is the inquisitive zebra that is the story. My edits reflect this. The crop and placement of the vignette are the most simplistic edits I have applied to accomplish this. The other technique I used was after applying a filter that gave this photo a bit of a vintage memory look, I used a brush at 20% to remove the filter a bit on the zebras in the foreground. The final edit is this:
What do you think of this edit? Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section. Because this was also a part of my Made with Luminar series, the next part of this post will spell out some of the details of the edit.
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. The text of these posts include the 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 other 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.
Luminar Look applied: Past Days. The texture within the look was reduced and the filter is set to 74% application. A mask was added and the filter was brushed out with a 20% opacity brush over the zebras in the foreground. A few more spots of the texture in the sky were erased.
For this particular edit, I thought I would attempt to make a black and white portrait of an animal that was already black and white. The challenge here was that the color version was a pretty bright exposure and the greens in the foliage really competed with the zebra. So, I have chosen a black and white edit that wanders pretty close to a sepia. I’ve done this by bringing down the exposure and vibrance sliders.
Do you like this edit? Do you like animal portraits like this one that don’t include the whole animal or do you prefer images where you can see the whole animal? Feel free to comment below.
Added to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge.
Zebras in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania:
Picfair version here.
There is a story behind every photograph:
In this case, it is a story of a young zebra napping near its mother:
Then a car starts, and nap time is over:
For this story, I have left the smaller images of the zebra composing himself in their original as-shot state. The two larger images I have edited. They have been cropped and sharpened. This past week or so, I have been experimenting with curves in Photoshop instead of levels which is my usual go-to for white balance. Earlier in the week, I had been using curves to get a black and white image to pop a bit, so it wasn’t really a stretch to see how that might also work in a color image of a zebra.
I created the first image as a stand-alone, and I think it works on its own. The images taken together though tell a story. To some, it may have an aww factor since it includes a young animal. To others maybe it tells the story of a mother’s care for her offspring. For me, it is also an expression of my love for wild places. On a more practical note, it is also a bit of wild for the wildcard in week 5 of my Dogwood challenge. What, if anything, does it mean to you? There are a lot of ways to correct or creatively edit white balance, do you have a favorite? Feel free to leave a comment below.