2019-03-17: Signs of Spring

I have not photographed a single sign of spring this week, though I have been enjoying them immensely.  I guess in some ways the topic, photographically at least, has been a fail, but it has been making me more aware, and more appreciative of the little signs that spring is on its way.

Today in fact, it really felt as if spring has arrived.  Despite the lawn still being covered in snow, it was warm enough to sit on my front porch with an iced coffee and my knitting, and enjoy the warmth of the sun for awhile.  Today, that felt a lot more important than rushing around trying to find an image that symbolized the change of seasons.

Instead, here is an image I just finished working on; a 3 shot panorama taken at Phinda Reserve, May 2017.  Everyone knows elephants are my favourite, and they are a great stand-in whenever I need an image.  This was another moment where sitting and allowing life to unfold was just perfect.  Our guide knew the ellies would be heading for the dam, so we drove to it, and just waited.  And they arrived shortly after, in groups of 2 and 3, until we had the scene here unfold.  And then just as quietly, they all headed back into the bush, to carry on with the day.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.

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2018-08-05: Processing with Luminar

As I mentioned in my July in Review post, this month I am going to be exploring editing images using Luminar 2018.  When I was still using Lightroom and Photoshop, I used the MacPhun plugins quite a lot (especially the Tonality plug-in) so some of the interface and working of Luminar feels familiar, but I really wanted to take a deep dive with the program and get proficient is using it and develop a workflow around it.

Just to get this out of the way, I don’t have any affiliation with Skylum, the makers of Luminar or with any of the creators of the resources I may mention or share links to.  Luminar is one of several editing programs that I use, and any links that I mention are from my searches online for Luminar editing tutorials and resources.  I’m including links to them in case someone else may find them useful.

In terms of resources, the most logical place to start is direct with the developer.  There are loads of videos on the Skylum Youtube Channel from Getting Started videos to tutorials that deal with specific processing situations such as landscapes and portraits.  I watched a few of the Problem Solving, Core Skills, Quick Knowledge and Inspiration videos when I first got the software to give me an overview of where to find things, and have just watched a few chapters from Anthony Morganti’s Mastering Luminar 2018 as a refresher, since I only used the program once since purchasing it.  Over the coming week I’ll post more resources as I work through them.

I decided to work on an image that didn’t need a lot of work, just some basic refinements including removing dust spots, cropping, adding some detail and contrast, and adjusting the tone of the sky.

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This is the Raw file, exported from On1 Photo Raw.  The only thing I did is add my photo logo and resize the image on export.  I use On1 Photo Raw as my main photo editor and organizer tool.

I sent this image to Luminar from On1 Photo Raw, selecting the “Edit the raw file option”.

The settings I used in Luminar for this image are below:

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Luminar has a handy before and after view; the slider can be adjusted to show more or less of the before image.
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Here is the image edited with Luminar.  I’m not really happy with the logo application, but there is a special preset that can be downloaded to help with that which I haven’t done yet.  To be fair, I’m not 100% happy with the logo function in On1 either.