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on Dec 1, 2011 in B&W Photography, Landscape Photography

It’s Trying to be Winter

Our storms so far this winter have been short, sweet and scant. All the snow we’ve had so far as melted off at the house. So chasing storm fronts has been challenging to say the least. I typically set out with just one lens on the D3x, the 24-70. I do this because the sky, the clouds are where the drama resides. I minimize the foreground, pointing the lens up. If there are some wild linticular clouds taking over the horizon, I might go wider but I tend to find going tighter and focusing on specific cloud formations is much more successful. One thing you should notice is there is a foreground, a middle ground and background. Foreground is the sage and grasses. Middle ground are the mountains and the background are the clouds.

When it comes to finishing, that’s pretty much right out of my basic B&W play book. I go into ACR where it all starts. I then go to Silver Efex Pro which does the heavy lifting and then I use Color Efex Pro. There, I use the graduated neutral density and to me, the Blend is the most important slider. You move the Blend slider back and forth and you will see how it does just that, blend the split and it makes a world of difference. Finishing time per image, less then 30sec, down easy stuff. That is of course because the photograph was taken to be B&W.

The bottom one is by far my favorite because of the micro burst, it just brings the storm to life in a still image. And in B&W, it just looks cool.

What follows below are the same images but Silver Efex Pro has not been applied. This is the image right out of ACR. In ACR the blacks are dropped down a tad, Highlights are moved up a tad and the blue is drawn down. And that’s it, it’s real simple finishing. As full color images, there is only one that kind of intrigues me enough to finish as a full color image. Which one is it? I’ll let you guess.