Black and White Photo Challenge

Fellow photoblogger Janice Sullivan nominated me for the 5-day Black and White Photo Challenge. It had been a while since I’d done any serious B&W conversions so I was glad to have this discipline. Below are the photos, with something about each one. Each image was originally posted on my Facebook page.

Ed IMG_1190 Nik Neutral sThis is the interior of The Coffee Pot in Littleton, NH; the old-fashioned interior lends itself well to B&W. I had already processed this in color and chose to make the B&W conversion from the psd file instead of from the jpg to which I had added some Topaz Adjust finishing touches. This conversion was made with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2, in which I used the Neutral preset and simply increased the structure a bit as I like the somewhat gritty look that gives.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you know my image Dreamtime at the Ashokan Reservoir, this is another taken on the same day. After preliminary processing in Lightroom 5, I brought it into Photoshop and added a B&W layer, decreased the Cyans and Blues to darken the clouds (and their reflections in the water), and increased the Yellows and Greens to lighten the bridge structure to make it more prominent. I also cropped it a bit from the bottom; without the “dreamy” look of the color image I wanted the bridge to stand out more.

 

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This was taken at the Sachuest National Wildlife Refuge, Middletown, RI, when sun and wind combined for the right conditions early one morning. Observing the waves and trying to capture “the decisive moment” is a meditative experience. Here I was struck not only by the wave action but also by the play of the rising sun on the edges of the rocks. B&W conversion was simply a B&W layer in Photoshop CS5. I darkened the Cyans and Blues at the top of the image to make the contrast with the wave stand out more.

 

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This image of a barn and tree in the Adirondacks first went into Lightroom to increase clarity to enhance detail in the barn and the grass. Then I brought it into Photoshop for B&W conversion by adding a B&W layer. I tweaked the Blues to darken the sky but not too dark, then increased the Greens to bring out more detail in the grass.

 

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Finally, here is the Diana’s Bath waterfall in New Hampshire. I began by working on my processed jpg, but then decided to take the psd file back into Lightroom to increase the Clarity. That worked! Then back into Photoshop where I added a B&W layer, then tweaked the Shadows/Highlights a bit. In the process, I ended up with a better color version as well.

What do you think? Let me hear from you. If you’re interested in purchasing a print as a gift for yourself or a friend, click on the photo to go through to my FAA website. Thank you for looking.

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Fun at PhotoPlus 2014

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The enormous PhotoPlus event held at New York’s Javits Center in autumn each year is photographer heaven. Everything photography is there to visit, inspect, try out — it’s energizing just to be there. An amazing variety of seminars is also available, many of them by prominent photographers, but I just enjoy spending a couple of hours walking around the exhibit hall, usually with my map marked out with the booths I definitely don’t want to miss. As usual, this year I visited the Canson Infinity display where friend and fellow Hudson Valley photographer Robert Rodriguez, Jr. holds forth; the AdoramaPix display, where you can spin the prize wheel and are guaranteed to win something — perhaps even a $100 gift card (this time I won a free 8 x 10 canvas print; and the LaCie booth, as I’m usually interested in external hard drive storage solutions.

The major manufacturers such as Nikon and Canon always have gorgeous prints on display by the big-name photographers who use their gear, and taking these in is always a “must”; this year I was especially struck by the work of Elizabeth Carmel. And I went by the Sony display because, as often happens, I’m itching for a new high-end point-and-shoot and wanted to check out some of their gear that’s been highly praised. And if you were looking really hard, you would have noticed the little booth occupied by Adventures in Photography. Run by my friends from the Ridgewood Camera Club Martin Joffe, Boris Hardouin-Deleuze, and Jia Han Dong, Adventures in Photography is an offshoot of the Camera Club field trips (now a completely independent venture) that offers everything from photo trips of one or several days to workshops on postprocessing and presentations by prominent pros.

Here are some photos from Friday October 31:

I loved Sony's Halloween-like color.

I loved Sony’s Halloween-like color.

Martin and Boris of Adventures in Photography were on hand to greet people and talk about what they have to offer.

Martin and Boris of Adventures in Photography were on hand to greet people and talk about what they have to offer.

Take your chance at the AdoramaPix prize wheel -- you're guaranteed a prize.

Take your chance at the AdoramaPix prize wheel — you’re guaranteed a prize.

You can see where my loyalties lie. In any case, Nikon's display always provides great material for exploring shapes and angles.

You can see where my loyalties lie. In any case, Nikon’s display always provides great material for exploring shapes and angles.