To the sea!

Fancying a walk with daughter and wife it was decided to head out to the sea. Shame we didn’t check the tide times as the tide was out when we arrived. Never mind.

I’d been looking at some books by Bruce Barnbaum and was keen to try some black and white images again for a change. As many of you may already know, I spend a significant amount of my time behind the camera shooting properties for real estate agents in and around Auckland. These images are alwatys in colour, so to go back to black and white was a bit of a treat. I’m always congnisant of Ansel Adams and his zones which often takes me longer to consider and plan for than the time I’m allowed on an evening stroll. Nevertheless I tried.  I was particularly taken with the clouds and felt use of black and white might accentuate their structure more.

Conifer Grove in monochrome

Conifer Grove in monochrome looking towards Wattle Downs.

I shot colour also, and there’s a couple more images below taken whilst on the walk. Ansel Adams encourages you to “see” in monochrome which is a lot easier with today’s digital cameras. I’d set my camera to save RAW images to one memory card, JPEGs to the other, and selected to shoot in monochrome. When using the LCD display I then see the image in black and white. Use of the histogram helps even more. By selecting to save in both RAW and JPEG I then get both a colour and black and white image. Remember the sensor in my camera (Nikon D800) is a colour sensor, so the RAW image will be in colour, the JPEG the monochrome version. This isn’t as good a black and white image as it could be as all that’s happening here is that the image is desaturated. How to get a good black and white image from a colour sensor is nicely explained by Vincent Versace in his From Oz To Kansas book.

Sunset over Wattle Downs

Looking out towards Wattle Downs from Conifer Grove. Shame the tide was out.

Vincent Versace has another book – the predecessor to “From Oz To Kansas” actually – entitled “Welcome To Oz” that gives more detail on the way he processes colour images. Versace has worked with the team at Nik Software (now part of Google) in the development of their ColorEfex software plugin for Lightroom and Photoshop. Playing with this product resulted in the last two images you see in today’s post. Shame about the flare in the last shot … or does that add to the mood?

Sunset over Wattle Downs #2

Sunset over Wattle Downs #2

Conifer Grove walkway leading to the sea. Shame the sea was out!

Conifer Grove walkway leading to the sea. Shame the sea was out!

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