Nik SIlver Efex Pro - what have I learnt in my trial with new black and white architectural photography work?

Nik Silver Efex Pro – what have I learnt from the last two weeks?

Firstly, that I love this software.

The presets are incredibly powerful, and I reckon that in 50% of my images just the preset alone is enough.

I like the toning feature, and the fact that you can scroll down the 22 different toning treatments and the effect is instant.

The reason I have not used toning much is because I want consistency within an image set, and toning makes things different. Not the adjustment for coming up with a set of 12 black and white architectural photography images.

I absolutely love the filters - they really do make a massive difference. And in an instant.

I reckon going through my favourite presets then applying a filter might be all I need to do, for non-portfolio images, giving me a quick and slick black and white conversion process.

What don’t I like?

Control points. Too fiddly. I like doing local adjustments using the brushes in Lightroom. Maybe I just need to give them time, but I am really after a quick conversion.

And the fact you have to select “edit a copy with Lightroom adjustments” every time, after selecting edit in Nik Silver Efex Pro.

Beyond that it really is down to time. How much time are you prepared to spend on an image?

I love the fact that I can choose a preset, add a colour filter and be done with. I am going to have a go at this with a load of architectural images and see what comes up.

I am clearly not stopping at 12 black and white architectural photography images – there will be a few more. How many I really don’t know but now I am going to have a play with my two step black and white production workflow!!

So by the time you read this blog post you will have seen a few black and white pictures of London on my blog - please keep popping back to see what new work I have posted.

 

Rick McEvoy Photography

14th July 2016

www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk

 

Picture of the extension to Hamworthy Park Junior School, Poole, Dorset - black and white architectural photography image number 8.

The next image in my series of black and white architectural photography is a picture of Hamworthy Park Junior School in Poole, Dorset.

Hamworthy Park Junior School by Rick McEvoy, architectural photographer

Hamworthy Park Junior School by Rick McEvoy, architectural photographer

This image was taken for the architect for the extension to the school, Kendall Kingscott. The client was the Borough of Poole.

The colour image is the client issue image. To get the black and white version of this image this is what I did in Nik Silver Efex Pro using the final edited Tiff file from Lightroom.

Firstly, I browsed through the presets. I went through all my favourites, then went through all the presets, but nothing looked better to me that the first preset, which is called Natural.

This was my starting point. And as I am no longer timing myself with these black and white edits I gently went through the other options and selected the following;

Dynamic brightness +53%

Structure shadows -68%

Control point on the cladding – structure +34%

Green colour filter

Vignette lens fall of 2

Then hit save!

Again nice and simple.

Here is the colour image, which to be honest took me a long old time to produce, due to the shapes and very subtle but specific colours in the extension to the school.

Hamworthy Park Junior School, Poole, Dorset, photographed for the architect Kendall Kingscott

Hamworthy Park Junior School, Poole, Dorset, photographed for the architect Kendall Kingscott

And here is the completely unedited RAW image

Hamworthy Park Junior School extension for the client, the Borough of Poole

Hamworthy Park Junior School extension for the client, the Borough of Poole

Image 8 is now done, and tomorrow I will be something slightly different – not specifically architectural photography but architectural photography in the making, also known as construction photography. I photograph lots of construction sites, and it will be interesting to see how a picture from a construction site looks in black and white.

Oh yes forgot to say - this was taken using my Canon 6D and Canon 17-40mm lens.

This is after all about me seeing where I can expand my photographic services and add something different – to be able to do this successfully I need to be able to show these alternatives to clients via my website.

Thank you for reading this post, and please call back to my blog tomorrow.

Picture of a reflection of a windmill, Burseldon, Hampshire. New black and white architectural photography image number 7

Picture of a reflection of a Bursledon Windmill, Hampshire. This is black and white architectural photography image number 7.

Picture of the reflection of a windmill, Bursledon, by Hampshire Photographer Rick McEvoy

Picture of the reflection of a windmill, Bursledon, by Hampshire Photographer Rick McEvoy

I was browsing through my Lightroom Catalogue, and wanted to include in this set of 12 black and white images something a little bit different. As regular readers will know I have to sort my collection of Hampshire images due to a geographical error on my part, so this might just be one of the two to go in there – the colour version that is.

I wanted to add mood and drama to this picture of the reflection of a windmill. This is what I did to the image in Nik Silver Efex Pro.

Firstly, I selected the pre-set “Full dynamic harsh”

I reduced the brightness by Brightness -9%

Then increased the Dynamic brightness +28%

Next I applied a Red colour filter – I have never tried these before and like the effect they give.

Finally, I added a Vignette – lens fall off 3, and also Burn edges - all edges 2

So not too much really, and I like the result.

Original image capture was as follows

Canon 6D, Canon 24-105mm lens. Focal length used was 45mm Exposure was 1/125th of a second, F8, ISO400.

Here is the colour final edit, which I also like quite a lot.

Picture of the reflection of a windmill, Bursledon, Hampshire

Picture of the reflection of a windmill, Bursledon, Hampshire

And finally the flat RAW image.

Picture of the reflection of a windmill, Bursledon, Hampshire

Picture of the reflection of a windmill, Bursledon, Hampshire

Let me know what you think of these image and what I am doing to them, and I hope you are enjoying my black and white photography work. Tomorrow I will be posting a recent architectural photography image that I am looking forward to converting to black and white, so make sure you come back to my blog tomorrow at www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk/blog to see what I come up with next!

And after that only another 4 images to go until I have my set of 12 black and a white architectural photography images.