Monthly Archives: April 2010

More B&W Foliage

I have continued to shoot more spring foliage with B&W in mind.  As before, I find both the color and B&W images quite nice. Which do you like best? Color or B&W.

Climbing HydrangeaBlog_20100424_1-2Blog_20100424_1 

Variegated HostaBlog_20100425_2Blog_20100425_1

The B&W images were created using SIlverEfx Pro from Nik Software. As before I added a bit of structure, used the red filter and added a bit of a vignette.

Both the plants are in my yard.

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Watercolor Orchard – Before and After


I decided I would go through another before and after image creation. Looking at the opening image, I am not sure that it really shows off the effect because of the image size.  But I will share it anyway. This is a software approach inspired by an in camera technique used by Freeman Patterson.

Blog_20090424_1-4This is our starting point. A richly saturated  HDR composite image created with Photomatix. This doesn’t have to be an HDR image, but saturated colors are good.

Blog_20090424_1-2After opening up the original image in Photoshop I created a duplicate layer and using “Apply image” with a “Screne” lightened it up and then applied the “Gaussian blur” filter with about 30% blur. The blue sky had faded too much so I brought it back a bit using Nik Software’s Viveza (reducing the sky brightness a bit) This is the resulting image so far.

Blog_20090424_1-3Using the original image I created another later using SIlverEfx Pro. I applied the “Antique Solarization” preset to create the image you see here.

Lastly I stacked the “solarization” layer on top of the “Blur” layer and changed the layer mode for the “solarization” layer to “Overlay”. I then adjusted the opacity to taste – ~35% in this case. The result is the opening image.

Any questions?

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B&W Naturally

I have started looking at some of my foliage images as candidates for black and white conversion.  I find in the end I like both. What do you think?


Blog_20100419_1-2 Blog_20100419_1-3

False Solomon’s shield.

 Blog_20100419_1-5 Blog_20100419_2



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Station 22 in HDR


As I have written in some of my earlier blogs, one of the great things about doing photography is the people we meet. A couple days ago I went on a photography club shoot in the St John’s area of Portland. Being out fairly early on a weekend morning I had the opportunity to meet with the local police and fire department personnel – all very nice people. The guys at Station 22 offered to pose for this picture. I had them hold still  for this multi-shot HDR image. Their presence gives the image a nice touch. Thanks guys! Hope you catch this blog entry. I told you the image would be a bit different. If I am out your way down the line I’ll try to bring you a print.

Earlier that morning I met a local police officer as I was shooting the old police station. He used to work there and missed the old place. It made him a bit sentimental so he said he had to suck it up before he got back on patrol;-) It is a great old building.

Blog_20100412_3  Images:

  1. Shot for HDR. Double processed with my grunge settings in Photomatix. The lights were lit up using NikSoft’’s Viveza (small u-point point set to full brightness, full contrast, full warmth and minus a little blue). The engine grill and firemen were  brought out a little using Viveza as well.
  2. Shot for HDR from ground level with a 12mm wide angle zoom lens. Double processed with my grunge settings in Photomatix. ColorEfx Pro Midnight filter brushed around the building like a wide vignette in Photoshop. The lights were lit up using NikSoft’’s Viveza as for the first image.
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Orchard – Before and After


I have been ill for a few days so I haven’t been out shooting to my dismay, but I did get to play with one of the orchard images I shot last week. I thought I would share not only the final image, but the images along the way to the final one.

Below is the original image (RAW) – the before.  I made this shot with B&W in mind. As you can see the colors don’t add much. I also wanted a composition that walked the view back into the trees but not in a straight line – more like stepping stones.



First I opened the original image up in Photoshop and opened NikSoft’s ColorEfx Pro filter plug-in and applied the Color Contrast Range filter to better bring out the color. This results in a better B&W conversion.

Blog_20100402_2Next I opened the image in SilverEfx Pro and applied the “Antique Plate I” preset. I then made a couple minor tweaks of the edge burn settings to my taste. Once back in Photoshop I did some clean up and a little dodging to put the brightest point in the upper left/center area of the orchard.

The final step was opening the image up again in ColorEfx Pro and applying the Glamour Glow to add more mystery and moodiness to get the final image I imagined (see the top blog image) – the after.

If you would like to see more Before and After blog entries let me know. In addition, is the level of detail sufficient or would you like to see more?

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Return to the Orchards


As I mentioned in my last blog entry I did get sometime to visit the plum orchards that I discovered last year. I have included a few orchard images from there plus one from an adjacent filbert orchard (no blooms). As you can tell I have chosen to post process these images in a variety of ways.

The first image is a vertical format take on a shot I did last year. Unlike last year there has not been good sunrise light so I went with a bit more of a muted image. It is a swipe (~1/4 sec).


Panoramic formats aren’t so great for the blog but if you double click on them you should be able to get a better look. The second images is composed of two shots stitched together using Photoshop. It was then processed with Topaz adjust to create the pencil sketch look.



The third image is a mirrored shot processed with SilverEfx Pro and then a negative vignette added using ColorEfx pro.


Using a technique from Freeman Patterson, I created the forth image by overlaying two images. One that was very sharp but overexposed by nearly 2 stops to capture only the form of the trees, the second was an out of focus image shot at a “correct” exposure level. Strong morning sidelight created the oblique lines.


The last images was converted to a strong B&W using SilverEfx Pro and then mirrored in Photoshop.

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Morning Light


I got up early this morning to photograph the plum orchards I found last year (see my blog last year about this time). While the sunrise didn’t  shape up to what I had envisioned, I did get a couple good orchard images that I may share in a later blog. Reminding myself not be to fixated on my initial goal, I set out to see what else the morning light and fog was doing. While looking around I came cross the images you see here. I am quite pleased with all of them. The lead image was behind me when I was shooting the second image (always pays to turn around).


Just before I got home, I stopped by the neighborhood entrance and walked around. That is where I spotted the third image.


One last image I came across along the road. All in all a successful morning. Just remember to be flexible and go with the flow. Not something that comes all that natural to some of us (like me).


Before I forget again. Notice that my blog is now posted on my new “fan” page with facebook. Just click on the badge in the right column to become fan.

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