Category Archives: Nik Silver Efex
A quick post to kick off the weekend. I’m out in Johnstown PA today where I’ll be presenting my Dream – Believe – Create lecture to a gathering of a few local Photography Clubs. Tomorrow we will spend the better part of the day out in the field together. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of spending the day with my dear friend Jim Richey who was gracious enough to show me around this beautiful area so we could find some locations for the group to photograph. We stumbled upon this wonderful scene made even more dramatic by the stormy sky that seemed to follow us everywhere we went! Converted to B&W in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 to enhance the stormy feeling. Handheld with Fuji X-Pro 1 and 35mm 1.4 lens.
Have a great weekend!
Sorry for being out of touch, however, the internet in Death Valley is pretty much non-existant. We just finished our tour there with our very special guest instructor, Chuck Kimmerle. As my faithful blog readers know, I’m a huge fan of Chuck’s work, so it was a treat to finally meet him in person. I’m sure many are thinking, so what kind of guy is Chuck? Well, let me put it this way, on day two of our scouting, I heard him tell his wife in a phone conversation something like this… “so you know the immature childish jokes you think are stupid and don’t like? Well I’m with two guys who are more childish than me. You would hate it here but I’m having fun” I took great offense as it was abundantly clear that Chuck is so much more childish than Dan and I. Needless to say, Chuck was a blast to be with. He did portfolio reviews for those who brought images (prints). He lead two lectures about Black & White image making as well as processing. His knowledge of composition, image design and the subsequent toning in post processing is tremendous and all went away with pearls of wisdom. I hope Chuck will want to work with Dan and I in the future, however, I’m a bit concerned after our spending 9 days together. He might be having second thoughts….
The blog image was made on our scouting day to the Dunes. Keep in mind this was processed on my laptop, I’ll check when I get home today and to see if I need to adjust on a calibrated display. Hopefully, Chuck will approve!
Stay tuned for a few more Death Valley images in the week to come. Oh and the title is a reference to Peter Lik and Chuck’s excellent impression of him.
Update - I tweaked the image a bit since getting home and working on a calibrated monitor.
This beautiful little girl was more interested in the crazy photographers than we were in her. She was about the best model you could hope for. Cute as a button and willing to pose for a long time! And then, the dog wanders into the frame… MAGIC!
Below is a close up where I felt B&W would be stronger. I’m also a big fan of the square format for many scenes. Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0 for processing of the B&W image.
My first love was black & white photography. I saw my Dad’s b&w images taken while serving in WWII and Korea. I was mesmerized by them, and intrigued by how the black & white choice made me feel. He built a darkroom for me when I was in high school and fostered my love for photography.
I love the quote, “with color we look at the image, with black and white we look into the image” I find this to be true. I love color now but black & white will always be another choice for me. I’m very excited about the upcoming workshop we’re doing with Chuck Kimmerle in Death Valley late February.
Color version below for kicks. B&W conversion done in Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2.0
I love going back through images to find hidden gems. I’ve spoken about this before, but feel it worth another reminder. Give yourself time from the shoot so you will be able to evaluate the images for what they are, and not what you had hoped they would be. Now, don’t get me wrong. It would be best to craft your image in the viewfinder and feel confident you have THE shot. That said, I still feel we are drawn to certain images when we do our review and these pop out because of our emotional and visceral reaction to them. What then happens is, we tend to move on leaving behind other images that are also great! With today’s image, I have already processed three others from this particular morning shoot. As I went back to review images, now almost two months old, I had new knowledge. I have learned more about processing this type of image and was able to review the RAW files with a new perspective. This new knowledge helped me to see the potential in other similar images. And then I decided to play with a crop and came up with the image below. Another right answer!