Sunday, April 22, 2012
Clouds in Black and White
Do you like clouds? I like them a lot and they make nice pictures. Those clouds that you get just before or after a heavy rain. Or the fluffy clouds that add an extra spice to a blue sky. Always liked to process in a dramatic way, to pop up their texture. And black and white processing is good for this, as you don't have to focus on color but just on texture. 60 years ago there was only black and white. Now we are heading back to the roots for some reason.
Processing wise, we have tried various way of turning an image to monochrome: desaturating it in Photomatix as part of tone mapping process of an HDR, Topaz B&W plugin for Photoshop, Nik Silver Efex or just simple desaturation in Photoshop.
For Nik Silver Efex we used the trial for 2 weeks and decided not to buy. They have that strange attitude against European clients (no coupon codes, the prices have same amount in Euro as they have in $ in US, extremely slow customer service response time, no care about the attendants questions during webinars). Photomatix works pretty fine if you want to do a real or a fake HDR .
Photoshop is also great but its more work then the rest as everything that you get embedded in a plugin needs to be done using levels, curves or hue and saturation layers. The fastest and easier to use turned out to be Topaz B&W, a plugin produced by Topaz Labs, that has a lot of useful presets but also provides ability to fine tune them.