Monochrome Madness 4-18

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.

I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are  published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.

Take care!


 

 

Monochrome Madness 4-17

Finally a (sun)day worth being called a mid-summer day. Only a few more days and the wheat will get harvested.

These hot summer afternoons with crisp blue skies and a few white clouds are ideal for taking monochrome images. Takin either a yellow, a red or an orange filter to get such an amazing sky.

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.

I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are  published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.

Take care!

Monochrome Madness 4-16

Looking back to my trip to Barcelona in spring 2014 and especially to this amazing building designed by the genius architect Antonio Gaudi.

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.

I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are  published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.

Take care!

Monochrome Madness 30

 

Silver Efex Pro (Stand Alone)

Silver Efex Pro (Stand Alone)

Another Tuesday and another photo for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness. I picked this photo of hazelnuts I took last week. Currently we have lots of hazelnuts in our garden. Most of them are already laying on the ground waiting to be collected.

Today’s post is a little bit different, because I let different kind of imaging software run against each other. So, who are the competitors?

First of all: my regular raw developing software Capture NX2 for the color image. It’s the source for this comparison and you can see it at the end of this post.  I also used it for a first monochrome conversion, although I usually don’t use this feature of Capture NX2.

Next, my favorite bw-tool Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. In this comparison I used it twice: the plugin for Photoshop CS6 and the standalone version.

The third competitor is (at least for me) the new kid on the block: MacPhun Tonality Pro, that is also usable as a stand-alone software and as a plugin for Photoshop.

The last competitor is Photoshop CS6 without any plugin.

There are really huge differences between the competitors. While Nik can only work with TIF or JPG-Images, Tonalitiy Pro is able to handle Photoshop PSD files as well as native Nikon and Canon Raw files. So, you don’t need another kind of software for your raw development. Another pro for Tonality Pro is the native file format, that stores your complete history with layers just like Photoshop would do. Silver Efex Pro depends on Photoshop for this. Thus, running the standalone version is only a quick-fix-tool. For a straight workflow you definitely need Photoshop and run Silver Efex Pro as a plugin.

Native Photoshop is in my opinion the weakest conversion. Silver Efex and Tonality, both produce very good results with only minimal differences.

Both, Silver Efex Pro and Tonality Pro, come with a bunch of presets organized in several groups. And both can save your own presets. But only Tonality Pro can handle RAW files, can save your editing history and does not depend on Photoshop.

Just in case you want to produce high quality monochrome versions of your photos, I’d recommend giving Tonality Pro a try. There’s a demo version available for free.

 

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Take care!

 

color vs. black-and-white

compareOn Thursday morning I was out for taking some photos. As I wrote in my post on May 1st, that day is a public holiday here.

That cottage is near my town, about 10 km away from my home. I passed that cottage quite often on my way to one of the motorways. Every time I passed it, I made a notice in my mind, to come back on a day with beautiful weather and take some photos.

On Thursday we have had fantastic weather and I didn’t have to work. On my way to another location I stopped and took some photos. I’m very happy about the cows on the meadow to be an additional interesting feature for this photo. I’d have composed it different without the cows.

As you can see, there are many clouds in the sky. So, the light conditions were changing quickly. When I arrived, the whole scene was shaded by the clouds. But, in such circumstances, it’s necessary for a landscape photographer to have time. Time for waiting that the sun comes back. The upper atmosphere was in heavy movement, so, I didn’t have to wait for a long time. The sun came from the left and after a short while every part was back in the sun.

Those kind of cottages is very typical for this (wider) region. Houses were built in that style for centuries and in many different sizes. I’ll put another post online showing several different houses to give you a better impression. As I wrote in the topic, I want to focus on a completely different aspect. As you can see, I converted the photo to black and white. I do that every now and then. Black and whites need structure and contrasts to be impressive. Not every photo is suitable for being converted. This one is! It’s because the clouds really pop out and create a dramatically ambient.

As always, you can click on the photo to open it on its own. Another click will bring it to the maximum size. This works at least in Firefox, Chrome and Safari – sorry, I don’t have an Internet Explorer.

I’d like to hear your opinion on both of them. Use the comment field below for give me some feedback. Do you convert photos to black-and-white? What do you think about black-and-white photos?

This photo is also part of Leanne Cole’s monochrome Challenge #10. Go there and see more fantastic work in black and white from many other photographer around the world. You can also find some of my monochrome photos here.

Take care!

 

 

Weekend wanderings

600_4742-e3b2_w This weekend I was out with my camera at a location nearby, where I didn’t was before. I started a wonderful sunny weather, but after a 20 minute drive the sky was covered with thick gray clouds.  I started my walk anyway, to get familiar with that area.

At first I noticed, I parked my car too far away. There is another parking ground much closer. Next, because of the dark sky it was hard to photograph, because the exposure time was quite (too) long. Much too long for the geese and other birds I met.

For landscape photographs the sky wasn’t that attractive. But, for a first visit and to check the opportunities it was OK. Unfortunately another half an hour later it started raining quite hard and I was drenched when I arrived at my car.

As expected, the exposure times were way too long for the birds, even for those drifting with the slow flowing river. But some of the landscape photos were nice in black and white.

Black and white photos need structures in the subject, like in the photo above. The many twigs and branches of the tree, the other reed at the bank around as well as the plants on the hills behind bring back live in the photo. Also, the sky. The sky isn’t plain gray. It also has some structure in it. The clouds aren’t all of the same thickness. Some clouds are thicker than the surrounding ones. So, some are more opaque than other. This gives lighter and darker areas in the sky and makes it more interesting.

Next time, your outside with your camera at such gray weather, look for structures and give black & white photography a try.

Take care!

Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles

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Here is my contribution to Cee’s photo challenge for black and white images. This week she asked for cars and other transportation vehicles. I picked a photo of a steam train taken nearly two years ago.

I hope, you like it.

Have fun!