If you live in a place where the late fall and winter can be cold, I think that can make it a little tough for taking photos. You don’t have much color and trees can look like dead sticks. It also may be tough to motivate yourself to go out and look for photo worthy stuff to shoot.
Last week I went out and wandered around a park here in CO. I didn’t expect find anything very exciting, and I was right. BUT, I managed to get a few simple shots that I thought might be fun to play with in black and white. And it gave me an excuse to play around with the Black and White module in the new Perfect Photo Suite 8. There are lots of ways to convert photos to black and white and I’ve usually used Photoshop. But OnOne’s new software is a powerful alternative with a much more user-friendly interface and at a much lower cost.
I’m just scratching the surface, but here is an example of what you can do and how easily you can do it with Black and White 8.
Here’s my original image opened in Adobe Lightroom 4.
From the 20th Century Classic Silver category, I chose Ansel in the Valley. The presets give you a good starting point and you can modify them to your taste. You can then save the modified preset as your own preset for later use.
I wanted to increase the detail, but not in the trees and sky. So I increased detail slightly and used the detail brush to brush in the change only to the foreground.
I wanted to create little more drama in the sky. This was quick and easy to do. Moving the blue and aqua sliders to the left brought down those values which increased the contrast in the sky.
I did no sharpening on this image because this scene is busy enough with all the branches and stalks. As a matter of fact, I added a slight glow overall to soften the image just a little. My last step was to add a vignette.
Here’s the final image. Total editing time - less than 5 minutes.