Big day. Nik Software just released their second generation of Silver Efex Pro. This plug-in for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture is widely regarded as the best in the biz for high-end black and white conversions. And for good reason. It looks simply amazing. Tonnes of control and the ability to simulate traditional black and white film stock.
I needed to do something to test the new engine so jumped into my (way long overdue for completing) France catalogue. This scene from the amazing palace in Versailles was the first thing I saw and thought it would be a good candidate for conversion.
After a neutral raw conversion this took a hit of Nik Dfine to clean it up, Nik Sharpener Pro to give 'er edge, and then Silver Efex Pro 2 for the final conversion. New to the engine is greater control for individual tones. What's really cool is the edge generator to simulate raw film edges. Looks very cool.
This will be printing out tonight on Epson Exhibition Fiber which rules for black and white images. Thanks Nik!
I've written previously (here) about being inspired by the work of Dan "Dano" Steinhardt. Dano happens to be the Professional Imaging Products Manager at Epson, a company I am deeply grateful for as they allow me to make stunning prints in my home with the Epson Stylus Pro 3880. He's also an amazing shooter with a great eye for turning the ordinary into something special. I think of his work a lot when I'm wandering around looking for something of interest. His style is very graphic and vibrant.
Packing up to leave yesterday morning and checked outside my hotel room window. I bordered on a golf course and this scene caught my eye from nine floors up. Managed as best I could given the dirty window and odd angle, but I really liked the texture of the ice and new how it would look as a high contrast black and white.
Drove past this remnant today from somebody's car, perched in a snowbank. Had to grab my camera and come back to capture it. I just found it comical how it was sitting there, placed as either a beacon or a reminder to whoever lost it to pick the damn thing up.
Reminded me of the stop sign from this post last July.
I think I'll stick with urban and natural landscapes. Not particularly drawn to still life, but I appreciate what it takes to do it well. That said I couldn't help but notice these interesting lines playing on our wall at sunset. Thank you, blinds. Find interesting light and stick something in front of it.