Tag Archives: monochrome

Photo: 21st Century Ghost Writer

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I’m not dead yet! I’m getting better, really.

 

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.

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Photo of the Day: Phalaenopsis

Orchid captured in infrared with a converted Nikon 1 V1 and 32mm f/1.2 1-Nikkor lens.
Orchid captured in infrared with a converted Nikon 1 V1 and 32mm f/1.2 1-Nikkor lens.

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.

My Descent into Infrared, Part 2: Choosing a Conversion Type

Afternoon clouds near Cañon City, Colorado. Super-color infrared image converted to monochrome using Silver Efex Pro 2.
Afternoon clouds near Cañon City, Colorado. Super-color infrared image converted to monochrome using Silver Efex Pro 2. If you have the right tools, a Super-Color infrared conversion is probably the most versatile choice for the creative photographer.

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

Window to Your Soul

Historical building in Colonial Williamsburg, VA. Nikon D800e; monochrome conversion with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.
Historical building in Colonial Williamsburg, VA. Nikon D800e; monochrome conversion with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.

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

Photo of the Day: Bethesda Fountain

Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, NYC. 25-second exposure and Silver Efex Pro 2 conversion to monochrome.

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.

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