I like experimenting with new (or new to me) techniques. Here’s a twist on a self-portrait that is pretty easy to do indoors. I used a 30-second exposure with my Nikon D810, and I only stayed in the frame for about 20 of those seconds. The result is that I’ve become a ghost!
This type of photographic effect has been around for years, but with digital, it is so much easier to do because you can get the instant feedback on each capture. I did about five takes before I got one that I liked.
I processed the image in Lightroom and then used Macphun Software’s Tonality Pro to do the black and white conversion. I used a combination of layered effects (Tonality Pro offers layers) and color blending to retain just a hint of color in the final image.
Here’s a digital infrared image of a Phalaenopsis orchid captured with my converted Nikon 1 V1 and new 32mm f/1.2 1-Nikkor lens. This new lens delivers good bokeh even on the small CX-format sensor Nikon 1 cameras. I converted the image to monochrome using Silver Efex Pro 2.
In my previous post, I mentioned that I selected a “Super Color” conversion for my Nikon 1 V1 camera. Today, I’ll dive a little deeper into my rationale for this conversion and provide some examples for why I think it was a good choice for what I do. Considering that most infrared conversions cost between $250-$325, you want to be sure you’re making a choice that you’ll be happy with. Your choice of conversion will determine what look or looks you’ll be able to get with your camera.
I based my rationale for choosing a “super color” conversion, which allows some visible light to reach the sensor, on two key points. First, I like the creative options afforded to me by having some color information. Second, I own Photoshop and Silver Efex Pro 2, and I’m fairly proficient with those products. Had I not owned those two programs, I may have chosen a different conversion style (likely standard IR). Continue reading My Descent into Infrared, Part 2: Choosing a Conversion Type→
Here’s another image from my recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg. On our first morning at the historical area, this house immediately caught the attention of our group. We probably spent 15-20 minutes photographing it. Because there were 12 of us there, wide shots weren’t feasible. Instead, I switched to my 70-200mm AFS G VRII Nikkor and went looking for tighter compositions.
I really loved the textures and shadows in this image, and while the color photo was nice, I really wanted the shadows and textures to be the dominant elements. I therefore chose to convert the image to monochrome. To do this, I used Silver Efex Pro 2, part of the Nik Collection (now part of Google).
Why Silver Efex Pro 2 is My Choice for Monochrome
There are lots of options for converting your images to monochrome, including on-board conversion in your RAW converter. While you can get reasonable results using those tools, a dedicated monochrome tool like Silver Efex Pro 2 offers some seriously better control options. Continue reading Window to Your Soul→
Bethesda Fountain is one of the larger fountains in New York’s Central Park. I used a 25-second exposure to soften the water. I then converted the image to monochrome using Silver Efex Pro 2, where I was able to create the soft look in the sky.