In a recent post, a reader suggested that the Gehry EMP building would look great in B&W as well as color. I think his comment was in response to my saying something like, “some subjects demand to be color”. This is why I love feedback from readers. While I have played with B&W on another Gehry building in LA, I just felt the EMP (Experience Music Project) with all of its color worked better in color. I decided to take the reader to heart and have processed a few EMP images in B&W. Guess what? He was right!
Fall is fast approaching with spots left for both the week long and weekend workshop in the Poconos. Come on and join the fun! All images in this post are from the Poconos.
Through the end of the month my friends at Topaz are offering their award winning ADJUST for 50% off! Click on this link and use the code augadjust at check out.
There are still a few spots left for our B&W focused February tour with special guest Chuck Kimmerle. Click on the TOURS tab above to see the details.
When I look at this image from our spring shoot in the Palouse, it reminds me of velvet. I never tire of the beauty that is the Palouse.
I’m coming to Wrentham, MA to present my Dream – Believe – Create program for the Stony Brook Camera Club at The Wrentham Senior Center on September 18th at 7:30PM. The club allows visitors so come say hello! Please RSVP with Janet at email@example.com and put Barclay in the subject line so they can plan for you.
I continue to be amazed at just how good Perfectly Clear is as a first step in my post-processing workflow. For this image, I used Perfectly Clear first. Then I did a little bit of work in Lightroom to bring out the shadows just a bit. I then darkened the overall feel of the image as it was a tad too bright and did not have the feeling of last light. Lastly, I warmed it up just a touch to match the gold quality of the light that I remember.
On the last morning at Steptoe Butte, I was shooting a favorite scene when I looked to my left and spotted a great sky developing. What to do!? Do I stay or run? I grabbed a few more of my favorite scene and then ran! I only managed a few captures as the sky was moving and changing very quickly, ultimately casting a shadow on the land.
If you’ve not yet read Tony Sweet’s most recent blog post, I suggest you do. Thought provoking.
I would like to introduce you the the excellent work of Jim Lasala, a new friend that I had the pleasure of having lunch last week. My LINK takes you to his Haiti gallery page. However, be sure to look at both Haiti galleries, Cuba and all the others while you’re at it. Jim does some excellent work. You’ll be inspired.
Unless I’m presented with a grand landscape that includes a great sky, I find I’m more drawn to the intimate landscape of the Palouse. I love varied colors of the gentle rolling hills that create beautiful intimate scenes like this. Of course the late light and long shadows did not hurt.
On another note, I’ll be speaking at The Harford County Photography Group in Maryland on August 13. If you’re in the area you are welcome to attend. Details below.
Just when we thought the show was over for the night, this happened. It pays to stay, you never know what will happen. Sometimes its a bust, sometimes its a blast!
When we arrived at this location, it really was not the right time of day to include the barn. The sun was behind the barn leaving the front side in shadow. It would have been nice to have some light on the barn, however, the sky was working and so were the cloud shadows raking across the fields. I also liked the fence leading to the barn. So, rather than be discouraged, I began working the scene. As I looked back on what I took, I made 10 different compositions. I went in tight, I included more, I waited for the cloud formation to change, I waited for the rolling shadows to change. I finally settled on this spot with just part of the barn. My first composition included two windows. It felt a bit static, so I included three in my next composition. Then I waited until the roof of the barn would sit in blue sky rather than white clouds. Last but not least, I waited for the cloud shadows to roll through the image to give depth. In the RAW file the front of the barn was indeed dark, however, I knew I could work on this in post. Once again, Perfectly Clear was applied first and then I worked the file further in Lightroom and a bit more in Photoshop along with Nik Viveza.
I’ve posted and alternate composition below just for fun. While it does not have the nice cloud shadows in the field, I do like the lines created by the fence, grain and dirt.
If you did not see my recent post about Perfectly Clear, I think its worth a look. Click here.
Don’t forget we are heading back to Death Valley, Valley of Fire and a night in Las Vegas with Chuck Kimmerle in February. Spots are filling up for this unique opportunity to spend time with a master b&w photographer. Chuck is great fun to be around too! More information is available on my tour page.
My friend Tom Tauber had promised a ride in a glider awhile back. We were finally able to find a day that worked. What a blast!! Tom had a GoPro camera, so I took a few video clips of the event which can be seen by clicking on these links. Me in the Glider #1 , Glider Ride #2, Glider Landing #3.
On the way home I stopped at a gas station to fill up and met Geoff. I had my Fuji 56mm 1.2 lens with me, so I gathered the courage to ask if I could get a couple of shots. We ended up having a delighful conversation where I learned he too is a photographer. I only wish I had a bit more courage to ask him to pose a little differently as I really wanted to get a side shot that would show the mohawk better. None the less, another example of always having gear with you. Sure am loving the 56mm Fuji lens. I’ve never had 1.2 glass and man that creates bokeh! Fun!
Perfectly Clear is not an image enhancement plug-in. Rather, Perfectly Clear is an image optimization or correction plug-in. It should not be thought of as your “creative” editor, this is what Nik, Topaz, Alien Skin and OnOne are for. Perfectly clear has a very different purpose. Its job is to overcome the limitations of your camera and sensor technology. And it does this on the pixel level. So, rather than apply Perfectly Clear after your RAW or creative processing, it is recommended that you run your un-edited RAW files through Perfectly Clear first, and then do your “normal” enhancement to achieve your creative look if you desire.
Lets take a look at a few examples that should help you understand how Perfectly Clear works and just how powerful it really is.
The first image below is what the RAW image looked like straight out of camera with no adjustment whatsoever. Pretty drab and flat. (remember you can click the image to make it bigger and then scroll through all images.)
The next image has been run through Perfectly Clear using the “default” setting while making just a couple of tweaks to the exposure and contrast sliders. There are not many sliders in Perfectly Clear, so not much to worry about. (see screen capture below) The mulit-patented technology behind the scenes is doing a very good job. It is important to let Perfectly Clear work on the un-edited RAW file (meaning all sliders zero’ed out). It does a better job and will never clip or blow out shadows or highlights if you do. A pretty big difference!
For the last image, I felt the Perfectly Clear version was a tad bright, all I did was use a Curves Adjustment layer to bring down the mid tones and then add a slight “S” curve to enhance the contrast just a touch.
Lets look at another, this from the streets of Havana. Again the first image is an un-edited RAW file.
Next is the file run through Perfectly Clear. This time the difference is more subtle as the RAW capture from the Fuji is pretty good to start with. Still, look at the color of the car, the pink on the walls, the tones in the street and the overall depth that PC gave the image. It feels more alive to me.
And the last image below was created in Alien Skin Exposure 6 as a creative old film look from the Perfectly Clear optimized file.
One last example. When I processed this image two years ago, I blended two exposures to get what I needed. This time with Perfectly Clear, I used just one with better results. The first image is the RAW file unprocessed.
And the next with Perfectly Clear applied using the “fix dark” preset and then tweaking the exposure and contrast sliders just a touch. Wow! I’d say that is a big improvement. And please notice the true colors. I really appreciate that Perfectly Clear does not alter my colors, in fact it restores them to what they should be!
And the last image below was finished with Lightroom only. I used the adjustment brush for the sky, shadow slider to open up the shadows a bit and the highlight slider to reign in the brights. A touch of vibrance and clarity and I was done.
Armed with this new knowledge, the first thing I will be using on my images is Perfectly Clear first. Is it perfect software? Does it work perfectly every time? No, there have been a few, very few images where I did not like the result.
You should know that you can batch process your images using Perfectly Clear. This makes a lot of sense when you have a lot of images from a a specific shoot like a wedding or portrait session etc. And you can create a preset in Perfectly Clear that can be applied to the entire set of images that are being group processed. This is a huge time saver and another big benefit of this plug-in.
If you can’t tell, I’ve had a paradigm shift about Perfectly Clear after learning what is really going on and when to use it in my workflow. I highly recommend it! Click on this link to give it a try and SAVE 20%.