I promise, last snow photo

Discussion in 'Develop, Process and Print' started by John Allen, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. John Allen

    John Allen Well-Known Member

    for this winter, anyway. That snow we got the other day melted in 3-4 days. Then we got another 24cm. I guess winter wasn't done with us yet. I took this shot today and converted it to b&w with a new plugin I tried - Vitamin BW. You may already be familiar with it. If not, there is more info after the photo.
    I'm not really sure how I feel about it yet. It works by creating Photoshop layers, so it might appeal to the photographers who like working in PP as much as they do taking pictures. It can also be incredibly simple if the the few settings you can set work for your photo. You can choose between 'default' or 'boost contrast', choose a colored filter, set the tint - cool, warm, neutral, or mixed, and set it for single or triple pass for tone. All of those work with a radio button or, in the case of toning, a regular button. Triple toning takes longer, obviously, but also gives very interesting results for some photos. And, there's the catch - "some photos." There is no preview. You might as well be making the settings in a popup menu. That means you have to learn what works best for each type of photos. Some photos will look great with Triple Tone and others will look much better with Single Tone. Without a preview, you have to know which color filter would be best for the lighting in a photo. The other drawback is that there aren't any settings for grain or for film type, although I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there are plugins available for that purpose.

    This is set to 'default, orange filter, mixed tint, and single tone. I thought it had a bit too much contrast, so I reduced the opacity of one of the new layers it created to tone it down a little. I need to try several other settings to find which one goes best with an image like this, which has so much contrast with all that bright white and dark silhouettes. That brings me to one of the pros for VBW, it is super simple. It is so quick and simple that you can try different settings several times in a fairly short time.

    One thing that became immediately obvious, is that it is no Silver efex or Topaz BW Effects, but Silver efex crashes Photoshop on my computer and I've never been all that fond of Topaz. This cost $35, which isn't going to break me if it turns out poorly, so I took a chance on it. I'm going to use it for a while. If I decide I don't like it, I'll probably pay for the Topaz plugin.
  2. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

  3. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    Looks good to me, John. Best of the lot so far.
  4. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    John Allen likes this.

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