the blog of Seldom Seen Photography

Back in the Saddle

Lime Kiln LighthouseComputer upgrade is mostly complete, and I am back to having a digital darkroom. It’s like magic! Lightroom is like a totally different program. When going to a 1:1 view, it snaps into focus in about 2 seconds and not the seemingly (I never actually measured) 1/2 minute. When running my Tony Kuyper triple play actions in Photoshop, they finish up in a few seconds. This is great!

The big test, though, was running Nik Silver Efex Pro, which would not run at all on my old computer. Several months ago I posted about wanting to do more black and white work, but not being able to use Silver Efex Pro. I was still able to produce quality black and white images, but was unable to use one of the top plug-ins for creating black and white images. So now with the new computer, it was time to put it to the Silver Efex test; it passed with flying colors (or actually lack of colors that is)!

I tried it out on an image I took over Memorial Day weekend on San Juan Island. Being on San Juan Island over the long weekend, I had hoped to capture some good images. However, since we were with friends and Tanya took pains to remind me that the trip “was not a photography trip,” combined with not the best weather in the world, I didn’t get anything I was really happy with.

Since first seeing photos of the Lime Kiln State Park lighthouse, I’ve always wanted to photograph it. And Memorial Day weekend was my chance. I convinced Tanya and our friends to have an early dinner so we could go out to the state park for sunset. Sunset was kind of a bust – not much color. However, we stayed into the blue hour, and I captured the shot featured here, which I thought might work well as a black and white. Below is the original RAW capture straight out of Lightroom with no development (other than the default). Also below is the color version after I developed in Lightroom and Photoshop – not bad, but not really what I was hoping for. I made a duplicate image and tried the Silver Efex Pro plug-in. It opened right up, and within a few minutes, I was able to create the image above. I was just playing around, and this probably won’t be my final version of the image. But Silver Efex Pro impressed me with how quickly I was able to get close to my black and white vision for the image. It’s great being back in the saddle again.

For those who are interested. This image was taken perhaps 10 or 15 minutes after sunset. The exposure settings were 13 seconds at f22, iso 100. I used a 2-stop, graduated neutral density filter.

Lime Kiln RAW

The original RAW capture with no post-capture development.

Lime Kiln Color

The processed color version used to create the black and white image.

4 responses

  1. Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.

    June 9, 2014 at 1:33 pm

  2. Great, Joe. Never heard of the program Silver efex. Did you get it online? Difficult to use? Thanks for the show and tell!

    June 9, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    • Hi Lucy! It is not difficult to use; like a lot of software, while easy to use, you can get more into it and more advanced if you want (but don’t necessarily need to). It is available online. It comes as part of a software suite from Google (who purchased Nik Software a couple years ago). The suite also includes plug-ins for noise removal, sharpening, color corrections, etc. I’m not sure how much it costs. When Nik owned the software, they sold each part as a separate program. I purchased the noise removal program (Dfine) some years ago. When Google purchased Nik, they bundled the whole thing and made it available free to anyone who had previously purchased one of the components, and if you still might be able to get that deal. Anyway, you can find out more by clicking on the link in my post, or by doing a internet search for Google Nik collection, or Silver Efex Pro, etc.

      June 10, 2014 at 12:14 pm

  3. Reblogged this on Kuba Kosy.

    August 17, 2014 at 4:31 am

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