Monday, October 3, 2011

Justin and Rusty–Black and White Shots from the Garage

Justin and Rusty-18

In early September I met and became friends with Jackie and Steve who were buying a number of prints from my Southern Maryland Photography gallery.  The photography was printed, framed and delivered in time for Jackie’s promotion party which I attended this past weekend.  Jackie hired a couple of talented young men to perform at her party – another photography opportunity for me!

Justin and Rusty-1

The photography was little challenging to say the least.  Due to the passing showers, Justin and Rusty were forced to set up in the garage.  In general, garages do not make good photo studios.  This was made even more challenging because Justin (guitar) had his back to the open garage door which meant the lighting was dominated by back-lighting.

Justin and Rusty-10

Having only my camera and no lighting gear, I pressed on and did my best to take advantage of what I could.  With the less than optimal lighting, some odd backgrounds to deal with, and uninteresting or even distracting colors, all the photography was processed as black and white through Silver Efex Pro 2.

Justin and Rusty-11

This was my first run at processing a group of raw photos through Silver Efex Pro 2, and led to a couple of discoveries with respect to work flow.  First I started with my normal workflow of importing all the shots into Lightroom.  Next I proceeded with my normal process of selecting and rejecting shots.  Then I went to work on individual photos.  This is the point where the workflow diverges.

Justin and Rusty-4

At first, I went directly to Silver Efex and made the black and white conversion. With the round trip to Silver Efex complete, I found that some Lightroom work was still warranted – such as cropping, and using the spot removal tool.

Justin and Rusty

I quickly found that these Lightroom adjustments are best made before processing in Silver Efex Pro.  In the end, I discovered the only Lightroom adjustment best left for post Silver Efex Pro was noise reduction.  Because I was shooting at ISO 800, there were a couple of shots with underexposed areas that benefited from applying the Lightroom noise reduction tool.

Justin and Rusty-13

I remain completely enamored with Silver Efex Pro 2 and the level of control and added creativity it offers for processing black and white photography.

Justin and Rusty-19

Have fun, and go make some great photography.


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