A couple of years ago I bought the Complete Collection of NIK photo editing software. I bought the set mainly for the Color Efex Pro and the noise reducing program Dfine, both of which are terrific. I wasn't thinking too much about black and white images but thought it could be fun to play with Silver Efex Pro at some point. It was probably six months before I finally started experimenting with it but once I did it it was a game changer. It brought me back to the days of black and white film and reminded how magical it was taking images based on solid composition and the contrasts between dark and light.
This isn't a tutorial on how to use the software, there are a lot of those available on the NIK website, but rather an endorsement of how well it works. It provides a lot of ways to be creative and adjust the images to your vision. Most importantly, I actually look for great black and white possibilities when I'm out shooting again. It's changed the way I think when I'm editing images from various trips and assignments in that I'll label any images I think will also be great as black and white and I'll submit those versions to clients as well.
I encourage you to embrace black and white image making again!
Below are some of my favorites from the last two years.
|Barb Franks, Anchorage, AK|
|Denali National Park, AK|
|Terzah Tippen-Poe, AK|
|Stretching Salmon Skin, Smithsonian Arcttic Studies Center, Anchorage, AK|
|Kenai Fjords National Park, AK|
|Penn Valley, CA|
|Placer County, CA|