Zabriske Point Badlands In Black And White

I've spent some time in the last few days taking another look at the images we captured on our trip to Death Valley in October 2011.  Originally, I wasn't too impressed with most of the shots but after a couple of years, and more time/experience in processing images, I'm finding some "new" diamonds in the rough. One of those diamonds is a number of images from our time at Zabriske Point, one of the most iconic areas in Death Valley. Zabriske Point is a beautiful area with lots of textured badlands surrounding the famous rock. We got up to Zabriske Point before sunrise one day and waited for the Sun to come up over the mountains. As the Sun rose the rock and valley below lit up with all kinds of great color. I captured the end of the "blue hour" on Zabriske Point in this image but there were a few other images from that morning that I think I will post over the next few months. One of those is of a small section of badlands that surround the rock outcropping: Zabriske Point Badlands 1

I used the "kit" Canon EF-S 55-250mm zoom lens (a pretty darn good lens, btw) to capture the late sunrise sun casting some nice shadows in the rock. The original color file looked ok but the colors were a little washed out (probably due to the angle of the sun). Basedon that I thought it looked like a better subject for a black and white conversion. I used Silver Efex Pro to convert the color image. I chose a relatively high contrast image and added a bit of structure to bring out the texture of the rock. Seeing the result in B&W made me wish I had my Rolleicord with me on that trip. I think a "real" B&W image shot on film would look fantastic. I guess that's a great excuse to go back!

There are a number of other images from that trip (which also included some time in Zion) that I will be taking another look at and probably posting over the next month or two.

Project 365 Day 282-Courtyard Tree In Black And White

Today was a busy day at work. As I was heading out of the office I figured I better find something to take a photo of for my project 365. It was kind of a cool, gray day her in Atlanta so I was thinking about shooting something that would look good in black and white. That's how I came to photograph the tree in our office building courtyard. It looked better to my eye in B&W than color. Here's the result: I ran the image through Silver Efex pro and once again I was very impressed with the results. I think it's getting easier for me to "see" in black and white and I'm looking forward to it.

Pipe Fitting In Black And White

Here's another image from our trip to Star Iron & Metals last week. This image is a "team" effort between my wife Pam and I: The image is courtesy of Pam and the post-processing is from me. Pam took this close-up of the end of a pipe and I ran it through Lightroom and Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro to get this final image.

I'm just starting to play around with Silver Efex pro and so far all I can say is "Wow!" To my eye the conversion of a full color image to black and white is amazing. There are so many options and it is super easy to use. I plan on taking a number of my images and running through Silver Efex Pro just to see what can be done. I think I'll be happy with the results!


Deal Alert: Nik Software July 4th Sale

If you are interested in the various software tools from Nik Software you might want to take advantage of their  Fourth of July sale on the "Complete Collection" which includes all of Nik Software's plug-in software titles for Aperture™ or Lightroom® including:

  • Dfine® 2.0
  • Viveza® 2
  • HDR Efex Pro™ 2
  • Color Efex Pro™ 4 Complete Editon
  • Silver Efex Pro™ 2
  • Sharpener Pro™ 3.0
All of these plugins, in one package, are being offered at a very-tempting price. The package for Lightroom and Aperture is $75 off and the "Ultimate" version (for Photoshop as well as Lightroom and Aperture) is $150 off!
If you have been thinking about purchasing 2-3 (or more) of their plugins, the complete collection is the way to go as it gives you all six for less than the price of three! Just click on the banner below to be taken to Nik's main page where you can then go to their store to see the special pricing. Or, you can use the following coupon code when you purchase:
Either way don't delay, as the sale is for 5 days only, beginning on July 4th, 2012.

Nik Software

I am definitely going to take advantage of this deal as I've been considering getting a couple of their products myself.