A view of the tree across the street through the snowstorm
Last week I had an appointment in Flagstaff, so we decided to take the Oak Creek Canyon scenic route. Of course, we had to stop at the Bell Rock and the Courthouse parking areas to visit some of our favorite rock formations! It had been raining, so the red in the rocks was extra saturated. But, for some reason, I converted this image of the Courthouse to black and white, which I thought made a nice contrast with the clouds.
I’m a fan of sunflowers in black and white. I added some split toning to the shadows in this one.
Here’s another shot of the Wigwam Motel at night- this time with a black and white edit for a vintage look. It’s also missing the “car trails”- streaks from tail lights from passing cars- that were visible in yesterday’s image (and I kept in because I like them).
As you can probably tell, I found the Wigwam Motel totally captivating. I only wish that I had crossed the street and wandered around the grounds. It would probably not have been a good idea to do this at nighttime though. I think I need a return trip!
Spring is here- so I’m continuing on with flowers today. Here is a lensbaby daisy photo in black and white. I recently updated Lightroom and decided to use one of the new “artistic profiles” for this image. I’m not thrilled with where they have placed these in the adjustment panel (or even that they are IN the panel. . .), but I do like the improved ability to preview changes- and also adding Dehaze to the basic panel (where it belongs!).
Over the years I have bought quite a few plug-ins for Photoshop, which I use fairly often- but not without a lot of tweaking in Lightroom and Photoshop as well. In our photo class, it is not uncommon to use well over twenty layers to craft the final image. I jumped right in when I joined- and have become used to this style of editing.
But. . . I have been having some arm and shoulder issues since August, and have been told by the chiropractor and doctor to cut back on the computer (I haven’t mentioned to them how much time I spend texting. . .). Since my two retirement hobbies (genealogy as well as photography) involve LOTS of computer time (like all day long. . .), I have tried to change my habits. I discovered propping my laptop or tablet against my legs and RECLINING is a fairly pain-free way to do go through family trees and compare DNA matches and that texting via voice works well- but nothing was working for photo editing.
Then I started playing with Luminar, which I had but had not really used much until recently. For the last month, I have been editing at my computer using Lightroom, then going into Photoshop if I need to clone something out- and then going into Luminar for the rest. I love their presets, which I can modify with sliders- and then I’m done! I’ve upgraded to their 2018 version, which is even better!
The photo below was taken at Castle Dome. I just loved this little tableau- the aprons hung by the counter. It reminds me of Lonnie’s grandmother’s farmhouse. I spent longer than I’ve been doing in Photoshop- I had to clone some blown out areas in the curtains (only 5-10 minutes). But then I took it into Luminar and used one of their presets as a basis for this edit. What took the most time was deciding which preset to use.
And because I can’t leave well enough alone, here’s a toned black and white (just done in Lightroom with a one click preset I created years ago) for another look.
The last few months, I’ve found myself missing blur and soft focus. As a result, my Lensbaby Velvet 56 has been on my camera for the last week, and I’m going to put the Edge 80 (my fave!) on there next. Manual focus is always a challenge, but I find taking soft and dreamy photos is my comfort zone. I love the blur!
I sometimes get bored editing landscapes- a little clarity and contrast, maybe a little vibrance, some dodging and burning, some sharpening- and done. Since joining the photo group, I’ve tended to use Nik Color Efex Pro or sometimes Silver Efex (both photoshop plug-ins) to edit my landscapes – because that’s what they all use in class. Now I am trying to use Luminar, because Google, who bought the program, is no longer supporting or updating the older programs. And we all use the TK Actions panel as well.
I decided to try doing a black and white in Luminar- but I ended up having to do a lot more more afterward in Photoshop, because I couldn’t figure out how to get the look I wanted. And when I was done getting the look, I decided I really wanted a color image after all.
Here is the black and white, edited in Lightroom, Luminar, and Photoshop. This was taken in the Matanuska Valley in Alaska.
And here is another view from a slightly different angle (and with a different focal length) of the same scene, edited mostly in Lightroom, with just a little work in Photoshop.
Sometimes you CAN have it both ways!
And now that I see them together, I think I like the black and white better after all. Maybe.
When we were out driving around Sunday, we stopped at Watson Lake for a short while. There was some snow on the ground, but what interested me was the high water level. Areas that we could normally walk through in Watson Woods were flooded, which made for some nice reflections.
Same photo, tighter crop. . .