Black and white architectural photography - image 1 - private housing development in Poole, Dorset

I need a break from the intense commercial photography work I have been doing recently. So I am going to treat myself to 5 posts all about black and white architectural photography. I do not know how many images I will produce but you will find out over the next five days.

I find it useful to give myself these tasks to work on a specific area of my photography work.

Architectural photography is my core photography work, and adding black and white processing using Nik Silver Efex Pro will give some variety to my architectural photography work.

This is not something that I have tried properly before, and the idea came about when Google made the Nik software free recently.

I need to come up with my own black and white style, and I am looking forward to this. I am going to work on some recent commercial architectural photography work, taking final client issued work and producing something new.

I am looking for a distinct, highly stylised look. The images have to sit well together, and I will be developing another new workflow specifically for black and white architectural photography. I will be able to offer this to new clients as an additional service, allowing me to give added value to my customers.

My aim is to have 12 new images which I will publish as well as on my blog on a new page on my website. Later on this year I am going to do the same with my interior photography work and my travel photography. And of course last but by no means least I will produce a set of black and white landscape photography images ā€“ and with this set I really will be going for it!!

Set yourself tasks to do something different ā€“ you might find it as rewarding as I do.

And here is tomorrow. Today I am going to start with this picture of 2 brand new private houses in Poole photographed for the architect, Kendall Kingscott. Well one of the two.

These fantastic new houses in Poole are exactly what I love photographing. The interiors had so many things in them of interest to me, and no doubt they will feature in my black and white interior photography collection. For my black and white architectural photography collection I am going to stick with images of building exteriors only.

Since I got Nik Silver Efex Pro I have been doing the odd black and white conversion, but every image I write about this week is going to be a new black and white conversion of a final edited image given to the client.

Part of this process id deciding how far I want to go with my image processing. The tries I had with Nik Silver Efex Pro were quick experiments. Now however I am going to edit rah image exactly as I want, so I will describe exactly what I do to each image, and how long it took me to produce the black and white conversion.

Oh yes before I forget, each post will also include the original RAW image with all processing stripped out of it, along with the final edit issued to the client.

I will not write much about the images themselves, just the black and white conversion process. At the end of the five day so happy to have 12 new black and white architectural photography images.

So onto the first image. As I said this is a photograph of a new private housing development in Poole, Dorset. The RAW image is at the bottom of this post, the client edit above it, and on the top is the black and white version.

Private housing development, Poole, Dorset

Private housing development, Poole, Dorset

The black and white conversion went like this. The pre-set I chose was Full contrast and structure. I went through all the presets and simply chose the one that gave the image the most impact, dynamism and content. 

I then further tweaked the pre-set with the following adjustments.

Dynamic brightness +50%

I played around with the other sliders and left them as they were. I did add a vignette ā€“ lens fall off 1 to very subtly darken the edges.

And that was it. 8 minutes of faffing about with sliders!!

Hit save and the image appears as a Tiff file next to the image you selected to have the conversion on.

Here is the final colour edit of the picture


And here is the RAW file straight our of camera.


As you can see an image evolves from the flat, RAW file into something completely different!