I flagged this image as I was going to work on it over the weekend for my raw conversion comparison that I was doing, but 3 images repeated a few times seemed to be enough so I saved it for a monochrome treatment instead.
I’m glad I did! Doesn’t this guy look striking in back and white? He was so close to our vehicle, I had to crop out bits of the Land Rover that had made it into the frame.
Just a quick single image post for Monochrome Monday this week.
A zebra stopping traffic on one of the roads through Etosha National Park in Namibia. The zebra were very abundant there, and quite chill around vehicles making for some nice opportunities for images. I’ve had lots of experience with zebra taking off in the other direction as soon as they realized you were looking at them.
I mentioned in my post last week that I would concentrate on using Luminar in Windows for the balance of the month. I missed getting this posted before the end of the month, but still wanted to share the images and my thoughts on Luminar in Windows.
First off, thankfully the clone and stamp issue that I found the first time I opened my version of Luminar in Windows had been corrected once I updated the software. Basically what was happening is the clone and stamp layer would appear to work normally, but then would disappear once you clicked done on the clone and stamp module. A bit frustrating, so I am glad that is no longer an issue.
I had read in a few blogs that there were a couple fewer filters on the Windows version; I didn’t count them myself and never found I was missing a tool I wanted to use, so that’s definitely not a concern for me. The one thing I really enjoyed was using the touchscreen for creating masks; my Windows machine is a Microsoft Surface complete with the Surface Stylus. What a huge difference using that made in terms of accuracy. I never transferred my logo file to my Windows machine, so I had to open up the edited files on my Mac to add a logo and then export. I didn’t have any issues with using the files on different systems, which is a good thing as I don’t see leaving my Mac as my main editing machine any time soon, but it does mean that I can work on the road and transition to home in a fairly seamless way.
I’m going to say for my editing purposes, there really isn’t any difference between Mac and Windows for using Luminar. Others may have a different experience, but I didn’t have any issues.
I decided on leopard images as I knew I had some that had some with contrast issues, some wonky colours to deal with and an images where I would need to test the clone and stamp. And Leopards in Luminar just has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
I was inspired by my post yesterday on white balance to continue editing images from my time at the Skelton Coast in Namibia. Given the flat light in a lot of the images, I thought black and white edits might be a good option. I am quite happy the way the turned out.
All of the images from my time at the coast were shot with my Panasonic FZ1000, which I have mentioned before is a great and capable camera, but sometimes the quality is a bit lacking when comparing to the files I got out of my Nikon or that I now get from my Fuji. But these were shot at the start of a long trip and I thought it would be wise not to subject the Nikon to blowing sand, given its terrible habit of picking up dust particles. So, I’ve done the best with what I got that day.
I’m a little later than normal with my Monochrome Monday post as I have been playing around with using the MacPhun (now Skylum) Tonality plugin with Luminar. I must say, I am really enjoying using Tonality again!
Tonality was my go-to for black and white conversion when I was using Lightroom and Photoshop. I found I could dial in the vision I was imagining much faster than using other black and white methods. Now that I no longer have Photoshop, I am glad I have a way to integrate the plug-in back into my workflow when I want to.
I’ve started watching some Luminar videos on YouTube by Jim Nix, and one of them really resonated with me today. It had nothing to do with the image or the edits he did, but just the concept of revisiting old work to re-edit photos, to experiment with new software, filters and combinations of tools to keep your creativity and interest peeked. A lot of that is why I am enjoying this theme so much, as the lack of familiarity with the software has caused me to think a lot more critically about what I want to achieve, so I can figure out how to do it, but it has also allowed me to just open random filters to see what they do, sometimes to great result, sometimes awful. If you are interested, you can find the Luminar video by Jim Nix here.
Now on to the images for today.
For this giraffe image, I did an extra step to start, and from Luminar opened Topaz Studio and then the Topaz Remask plugin. I find Remask is excellent for complicated situations like these tree branches against the sky. The sky was very grainy, and I wanted to apply some noise reduction, and I thought that would be the best way to go. I shot this image with my Panasonic FZ1000, which is a very capable little camera, but I do find skies are generally quite noisy regardless of the ISO. There was also a lot of airborne dust so it could have been that rather than a limitation of the camera. After I created my mask in Remask, I ran the noise removal filter in Topaz Studio and sent the image back to Luminar, and then onto Tonality for black and white conversion. If Luminar had an option to adjust luminosity masks so I could isolate the sky, I would have gone that route and saved some steps, but right now its not an option.
Things were much simpler for the next two images. I edited both using the Tonality plug in, though I am sure I could have arrived at similar results just using Luminar. As with most photo editing programs, there are a lot of different paths to get to the same place. It’s all about what works for you.