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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Making Your Best B&W

Conversions in the computer have become easier, allowing you to get better results than ever before

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Photoshop CS4 And Nik Software Viveza Conversion
Beginning with the color image (Figure 5), I opened the image and converted it to a Smart Object. This enabled me to perform nondestructive editing, and move back and forth between considered changes. In the Smart Object mode, I applied a Viveza Control Point to the sky and water areas, tweaking each area. Then I started Nik Silver Efex Pro and prepared a variety of renderings, as shown here. During this process, the image’s underlying color data was preserved for future use in my original NEF file.

The High Contrast Yellow filter was applied using Silver Efex Pro (Figure 10).

The Yellow filter was removed, and the Soft Sepia filter applied (Figure 11).

The Soft Sepia was removed, and the image was changed to an ambrotype and flattened. Finally, an acid burn frame was added using onOne Software Plug-In Suite 4.5 (Figure 12).

What Comes Around Goes Around!
I recently attended the AIPAD 2009 show (Association of International Photography Art Dealers), where I had the pleasure of viewing, in one place, the most incredible collection of monochrome images. From daguerreotypes to tintypes to platinum prints and more, the experience was brilliant and left me thirsting to see more, while at the same time motivating me to render images of my own with today’s digital monochrome techniques. Mind you, I’m not trying to emulate the subjects, but rather want to enjoy seeing my own images in a rendered state that’s different from the norms of color.

My experience takes me back to the days of sending a roll of 620 Verichrome Pan film to the local drugstore and getting back a collection of lovely “deckled-edge” prints. I’ve worked in darkrooms, been tutored by many of the world’s greatest photographers, had the pleasure of working as a photo educator, worked at Nikon for 36 years, participated in the development of digital photography and enjoyed making pictures using some of the world’s greatest equipment. But, in all sincerity, seeing the work of the masters of early photography is humbling, and after hearing stories about their trials and experiments, I fervently hope that the past will continue to influence the future, and that today’s wonderment of digital technology will continue to embrace making timeless images, just as photography’s fathers and mothers did.

Auto FX Photo/Graphic Edges
autoFXOnce you’ve made the black-and-white conversion, you can apply all sorts of effects to your image. For his photograph of the Tetons, Richard Lopinto ultimately decided that the image would look particularly good with a deckled-edge effect. While you can make these effects yourself in Photoshop, an easier and often better solution is to get software that does the heavy lifting for you. Auto FX Photo/Graphic Edges is a favorite of many photographers due to the huge array of options the software gives you. In addition to edges, Auto FX makes a number of other software packages that give you the ability to take an image in any number of directions with special treatments. Contact: Auto FX Software, www.autofx.com.


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