This week, we commemorate Ansel Adams’ 121st birthday by taking a look at how his approach to photography still inspires us as photographers. We’ll also discuss modern techniques for black and white processing of digital images, and offer up our tips and tricks for getting better monochrome shots.
I’ve recently been adopting Skylum Software’s Luminar as a Photoshop plug-in to replace my aging Nik Collection. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Nik, but it’s outdated and I’m not sure where it’s going to end up (yes, I realize it’s been purchased by DXO). With a little practice, I’ve gotten to the point where Luminar is effectively replacing Silver Efex Pro 2 for monochrome conversion work.
With Luminar I’m able to replicate most of my go-to Nik filters, all in a single plug-in application. Luminar also supports Smart Filters, so you can create non-destructive edits if you use Smart Object layers in Photoshop. Instead of having to run multiple plug-ins (usually Silver Efex and Color Efex), I can do everything in a single interface
This image is a digital infrared capture (590nm) that I processed to emulate deep black (830nm) infrared using Luminar.
If you missed my online class on digital monochrome conversion using Silver Efex Pro 2 (Nik Collection), you can now download the video workshop. The video workshop includes an illustrated printable PDF notes package for easy reference.
I’ve been taking lots of infrared images with my converted Nikon 1 V1 camera. It’s not just because I think infrared is cool, but there is a method to the madness. Any time you get a new piece of gear, whether it’s a lens, camera, or accessory, you need to learn it. That means spending some serious time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of your gear. With an infrared camera, I not only need to understand how the camera itself operates, but also how to best process images to get the creative results I desire. Continue reading My Descent into Infrared Photography, Part 3: One Camera, Multiple Looks→
Photography combines technical and artistic elements and allows me to express my creativity. Today, just about anyone with a cell phone has a camera on-hand. So how do you go beyond just taking pictures of your food and your cat?
As with all things, you should have a grasp of the basic fundamentals of exposure. Sure, you can put your camera into Program Auto or “Scene” mode, but doing so can sometimes restrict your creativity. Program Auto mode is great when you’re just looking to get snapshots, and it is well-suited for those just starting out to allow the user to concentrate on composition. But at some point, all your photos will start to look the same, and you’ll probably want to expand your horizons. Here are some techniques you can experiment with once you have the basics down. Continue reading Get Out of Your Rut: Tips for Creative Photography→