Variations on a Street Scene

According to photography experts, the best time of day to take outdoor photos is during the golden hour. The golden hour is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset where daylight is redder and softer than when the sun is higher in the sky. Not a morning person, many of my images are unfortunately taken when the sun is out in full force which makes for less than ideal images.

To improve my images, I use post-process editing software to adjust the exposure, colors and other attributes of the digital images. A few of the tools I use include Adobe Photoshop Express, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Snapseed. Recently, I learned about Luminar, a photo editing software program advertised to give you everything you need to make perfect photos in less time.

I’m all for spending less time on my computer and more time out taking photos, so I gave Luminar a spin. The results are in – after a few minor adjustments using the cropping tool, I used Luminar’s presets to create nine different variations of a street scene in Nafplio in less than ten minutes.

Click on each photo in the collage below to see the preset I used for each image. The first image is the original, unedited version. While I had a hard time deciding on my favorite effect, I landed on the “Vivid” preset. Which one do you like best?

Below is a slideshow of the same images. Use the arrow buttons to toggle through the slides more quickly and the stop button if you want to pause the slideshow to take a closer look.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What’s a preset? In simple terms, all the manual adjustments needed to create the various effects you see in the images above have been automated via a tool called a preset. In order to save time when developing an image, Luminar offers an extensive collection of presets that were created with input from Professional photographers around the world.

Inspiration: Variations on a Theme.

23 thoughts on “Variations on a Street Scene

  1. This is really interesting – I have no idea what or how to alter my photos and often end up wasting a lot of time in the process of ruining a perfectly good image

    1. I hear you. I started editing with Photoshop Express on my iPad and PC. It has limited adjustments so it was easy to learn by trial and error. I’ve since learned there is a “correct” workflow to editing. Luminar’s presets are perfect for an entry level person, at the same time, the software has a lot of wonderful features for advanced photographers. I’ve found it takes baby steps to learn post-process editing. Keep going, don’t give up!

  2. I don’t like presets or filters, so this is not for me. At a quick glance, all of these that make the wall behind too white are no good (such as no. 2 and 4), and the vivid is too vivid. But I wish to tell you something else: the gallery is not working for me. If I wish to see a photo from up close, I need to click on it and then close again, and open a new one and close again, because there is no arrow or anything to allow to continue horizontally. Just to let you know, I wonder if it’s because I’m on my laptop.

    1. Many thanks for the feedback, Manja! I agree with you about presets for many images. With Luminar it’s easy to scroll through presets to see if they help or hurt an image. I like the usability of the program, and it can be used as a plug-in to Lightroom or as a stand-alone program. For travel photography, I prefer a natural look for the images and make only basic edits to correct for exposure or to crop for better composition. In addition to the blog, I belong to a Camera Club and participate in monthly competitions. For two of the categories, Pictorial and Creative, they require a more artistic approach to photographic images. For this type of photography, I can see myself using the presets as a starting point.
      For the bicycle image, it’s a toss-up for me between the Vivid preset and the Mild Image Enhancer. I like the Vivid one on the phone and iPad but prefer the Mild Image Enhancer on a larger screen. I find the monitor’s color quality makes a difference in how the images look. At a recent photography lecture, the presenter recommended calibrating the computer monitor every two months, something I’ve never done.
      Concerning the gallery, I agree with you. Unfortunately, the only shortcoming I’ve found with my current Theme is that it is ultra sensitive to touch when scrolling on a phone or tablet. The carousel pops up at the slightest touch which is annoying to folks who don’t want to use it. At some point, I’ll contact WordPress Help folks to see what can be done to fix that bug. In the meantime, I added a slideshow to this post so that readers can see a larger image and scroll through like you would on a carousel. I’ll add the slideshow to galleries that would benefit from this approach. Thanks for pointing this out, it got me moving on finding a workaround. Take a look and see if this helps.

      1. Thank you for you detailed reply, Donna, and for putting the images in the slideshow. It improves viewing indeed.

        The creative part of photography is something that is buried deep in me, I’m afraid, as is any kind of visual creativity. For some reason I got the idea early on that I can’t even draw a dog, and that’s about that. That’s why I prefer to take realistic photos, for now at least.

        I always find your photos natural and beautiful, but I’m sure it feels good to tackle it from a creative angle as well, at least from time to time.

        Calibrating the monitor sounds just what it’s needed, I’ll look into it, thank you! I’m aware that people can only see your photos not as you intended it but as their devices allow. Which reminds me of the recent viewing of Dunkirk on our TV via the computer after amore played with some TV image settings. In my mind I kept applauding the director for the extreme and daring use of colours. But then the next film looked exactly the same hahah.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.