With so much texture, I just had to include this monochrome version.
Just thought I’d drop in with a photo from the Smoky Mountains that I’ve processed with Nik Color Efex Pro 4. After lots of manipulation of the original, realistic version below, I settled for this just beyond reality expression.
Here’s the original.
Having now gained a little more experience with the Nik software, I decided to redo this one as a revised color version below and the dramatic monochrome above. The black and white conversion was done with a preset and no other processing. I am truly amazed with the fantastically artistic possibilities that are available with that software.
Quite colorful for poultry, this pseudo-HDR image of chickens should brighten up this otherwise dreary time of year. I found this couple in one of those shops that has just about everything that you don’t need but lots of things that would be fun to have. You know, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, or something like that.
Processing: single image processed with Adobe Camera Raw using Sharpening and Luminance along with a bit of contrast. Adobe Photoshop for dodging and burning to emphasize the subjects a little more. I used Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 for the image below and added a lot more drama for more of a menacing look. Angry birds?
Monochrome photography in black and white is a great way to express the tonality of an image. This shot of an old barn in Illinois, could pass for a pseudo-HDR or even true HDR. With the technology available today, what took hours in Photoshop a decade ago can be accomplished in minutes.
This image is a result of just a little tone mapping in Nik HDR Efex Pro and then Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. Of course, the old standard from Adobe was used for the finishing touches, i.e., sharpening and luminosity.
This is a shot of the same plant that I worked with a few months ago. The buds were there then but not yet “coming into color” so to speak. This pseudo-HDR image shows a little more progress. But, they’re still not opening up fully due to our crazy weather here in eastern North Carolina. At any rate, I thought this bud was still worthy of display with it’s intensely vibrant colors.
I got in close with my 105mm macro (micro in Nikon speak) lens set at f/5.6 with camera settings of 1/500 sec and ISO at 400. The day was very cloudy so the lighting was pretty flat. I simply loaded the single raw file into Adobe Camera Raw for post processing.
After basic light, contrast, clarity, vibrance and saturation adjustments, I added sharpening and luminosity for a crisp yet smooth look. What a contradiction. Anyway, the Camera Raw results can be pretty impressive. I only used Adobe Photoshop CS6 for enlargement to post on 500px.com .
I’m hoping that these buds will blossom into full bloom. If they do, I’ll try to get a good shot. If not, maybe next year.
Though this shot is not a true High Dynamic Range (HDR) image, I worked to make it look like what many folks call HDR. Guess it’s another realistic, pseudo-HDR. And from a color slide no less. It’s amazing what we can do with software.
I shot this before I converted to digital imaging when my method was to normally take three shots; one at metered exposure and another at 1 ev below and one at 1 ev above. I could always compensate for camera inconsistencies and when I finally moved to digital, the underexposed images gave me just what I needed for a full tonal pallet.
This photo represents about 2 inches of space on an old wooden gate. I hope to present the full view later. Ah, the beauty of macro photography!
And a monochrome version, of course.
I decided to walk around my yard with a Macro lens for a few close up, pseudo HDR images. I planted some dwarf nandina plants a couple of years ago and they are still pretty dwarfy. Guess they’re slow growers.
Processing: I loaded a single raw image into Adobe Camera Raw where I did about 90 percent of the post processing. I especially like the ability to selectively apply just about any effect by using the Adjustment Brush tool. I used it extensively for this image, balancing the color, tone, depth and to apply custom vignetting. I also used a small amount of sharpening and luminance to define the edges and smooth out the tonal gradation. I find that this method gives a more realistic look.
After finishing up in Camera Raw, I did global adjustments for Curves and added a little more color punch with Vibrance where I set vibrance to +60 and saturation to -6. By using a separate layer for each effect, I can further adjust the intensity of each effect.
After finishing the color version, I used Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 for the image below. After getting the tones just right, I used Curves for more contrast and the Burn tool in Photoshop to eliminate the distracting background areas. The color version didn’t need this fix because the color differences don’t conflict as much as the shades of gray do in monochrome.
Equipment used: Nikon D700 with 105mm f/2.8 lens at f/5.6, 1/500, ISO 400.