Colorado Springs is home to the United States Air Force Academy, and this week is graduation. To celebrate the event, a group of WWII aircraft from the Commemorative Air Force arrived in town on Monday. These beautifully restored aircraft were on public display, so I grabbed my Nikon D4, 16-35mm f/4 AFS G VRII lens and went to check it out. Shooting in mid-day light isn’t the best scenario, but I was able to use the D4 to capture ±2EV bracketed sequences in continuous high-speed advance mode at 10fps. I processed the images using HDR Efex Pro 2 and then finished the image in Color Efex Pro 4 (part of the Nik Collection).
Here’s another image from my recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg. On our first morning at the historical area, this house immediately caught the attention of our group. We probably spent 15-20 minutes photographing it. Because there were 12 of us there, wide shots weren’t feasible. Instead, I switched to my 70-200mm AFS G VRII Nikkor and went looking for tighter compositions.
I really loved the textures and shadows in this image, and while the color photo was nice, I really wanted the shadows and textures to be the dominant elements. I therefore chose to convert the image to monochrome. To do this, I used Silver Efex Pro 2, part of the Nik Collection (now part of Google).
Why Silver Efex Pro 2 is My Choice for Monochrome
There are lots of options for converting your images to monochrome, including on-board conversion in your RAW converter. While you can get reasonable results using those tools, a dedicated monochrome tool like Silver Efex Pro 2 offers some seriously better control options. Continue reading Window to Your Soul
I loved this old tree in Colonial Williamsburg. The problem was that the morning sun was in my face. Had I shot this tree from the other side, I would have had a distracting background. Therefore, I decided to shoot it as an HDR. I used a 7-shot (±3EV) bracket on the Nikon D800e, and I stopped down to f/16 to create the starburst pattern in the sun. I tone-mapped the image in HDR Efex Pro 2 and then finished it off in Photoshop with Color Efex Pro 4 and some minor layer tweaks.
The Nik Collection now includes all six pro plug-ins by Nik Software for a new low price.
I just finished up teaching a four-day photography workshop in Williamsburg, Virginia with Deborah Sandidge. We got lucky and had amazing light on each of our photo shoots. On our last day, we returned to Colonial Williamsburg in the morning and we found this lovely house that looks like it came from a fairy tale.
One of the main themes of our workshop was encouraging participants to combine multiple filter/plug-in effects. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that we have many tools available to us in our digital darkrooms that span multiple plug-ins. For example, while you can create a black and white image in HDR Efex Pro 2 or Color Efex Pro 4, why limit yourself to those tools if you can use the unique controls in Silver Efex Pro 2? Continue reading A Storybook Ending
This is the Union Pacific “Big Boy” 4005 at the Forney Museum of Transportation in Denver. The shooting conditions in the museum, especially of this train, are extremely difficult. First, you have extreme backlighting due to the large window. Second, the train is black and lit only with incandescent lamps. That means you have a difficult exposure and also mixed lighting. I decided this situation called for some creative processing.
Read on to learn the steps I used to create this interesting image, using multiple tools and the Google Nik Collection. Continue reading Photo of the Day: Big Boy Locomotive