Saturday, January 31, 2009

More Through A Black & White Lens

I am beginning to enjoy creating black & white photos. This time I tried a different way of doing so and so far I like this system the best. One thing I'm trying to accomplish is to create b&w photos with an old style look.

What I did this time was to shoot in RAW format and then use Photoshop Elements 6 for the conversion. I used the Black & White Conversion in Camera RAW. The adjustments I made included selecting Auto to lighten the photo and then adjusted Saturation to take out any color.

Then I adjusted the Clarity adjustment for mid-tones, to achieve a tone I liked. After this I made adjustments to the Contrast. I did this as a tip from Scott Kelby. Doing the Contrast first allows for better adjustments to the Black adjustment level later; to keep from jumping back and forth between the two. Finally I made adjustment to what's called the Recovery adjustment to darken the Highlights to a level that I felt looked good.

Once that was done I then opened the photos in Elements itself and made Sharpening adjustments using what's called " Adjust Sharpness" control. I like this better than the Unsharp Mask filter as this sharpens the edges but leaves the smooth areas, like the sky, alone. On a couple of these I also added a little burning in of the edges. Other than that, nothing else was done, except to optimize the images for web viewing allowing them to load faster in your browser.

As usual, if you click on a photo it will open with a larger view and then if you hit the Backspace button on your Keyboard you will return to this Blog.

All of these photos were taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens, and they were all done at f/8. All of these shots are views that I see either every day or several times a week. One was even taken through a dirty window. Do you know which one it was?

As a note of history, the bottom two photos are of Wills Creek in the Narrows, just West of Cumberland. According to Wikipedia:

Wills Creek was named after Will's Town, a former settlement of the Shawnee Indians at the site of Cumberland, Maryland. After the Shawnee deserted this region, an Indian named Will lived a short distance from the site of the old Shawnee town at the mouth of Caiuctucucer. At the time of the coming of the first white settlers he was living in a cabin on the mountain side. The creek, mountain, and town were afterward named for him.

Yes, this is my world and even in a Black & White world I love it, and you are welcome to it.

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