This past week I received an email from a nice man that wanted to talk computer settings and processing. He had a lot of questions all to common I’m afraid. He was looking for the answers that are often argued and given bad info on. Well towards the end the inevitable happened, he went into his system of how he does his processing trying to prove to me that it’s right and works. To which my only response was, I’m glad you have a system that works for you.”
That is a crucial point that gets lost. Everything that is talked about on the web, in print, in a workshop is useful information to be brought into YOUR workflow. That doesn’t mean yours is wrong most commonly it means that there is a new technique that is faster. What works for me doesn’t work for everyone else. Take my wildlife images for example. The shot above has never seen post except to put that white background on it. Others may not share that point of view but you know what that’s fine. As long as you have a system that works for you, that’s what matters. As time changes technology improves and efficiencies are made to make life easier. Taking advantage of the trial and errors others have made available to you is key. This is a community of different opinions but also of helping one another to better the photography world.
One of the biggest highs that we had at Oshkosh was working with this L5/OY1 along with it’s owners the Bergens, and a WWII Veteran that flew the plane. Well I have been working on a lot of the images from that shoot for various projects and one series of images i wanted to show to everyone. For quite some time I wasn’t sure if i was even going to put this on the blog but it occurred to me that this might be a good time to show another variant of the black and white process.
Now when I first saw this plane I honestly didn’t think much of it. I mean it wasn’t a fighter like a mustang, even though it did have three bazookas mounted under each wing. It is an observation plane and has a rather subtle look to it. Well I photographed the plane many different ways while at Oshkosh, including going inside and photographing the cockpit. The inside is actually sweeter than the outside. It still has the turnakit and med supplies in the back. I wanted to make sure that i had every image i would need for the projects i had in mind. Now that being said I wasn’t sure how well anything would look in black and white. That’s where I started playing.
Now this is the only image out of the series that i converted into black and white. That day we didn’t have any great clouds, it was a bright mourning, with relatively uninteresting skies. So why did i convert? Well the one element that i loved while working with this plane is the reenactment tents in the back. Those tents were a perfect background for the plane. It totally gives the feel of being in an old army base ready to fly. With that in mind i knew exactly what image i wanted. That was this next one.
This is the image I had in mind, without the antique plate. I didn’t know at first to use this tool, but after seeing what black and white did I wasn’t impressed. While in SilverEfex Pro I clicked on Antique Plate, which isn’t something i use often, it’s more artsy fartsy to me. But because i wanted that old active base feel it seemed appropriate. I haven’t used it on any other plane nor do i know in what possible future i would use this image for except the blog but that affect did capture exactly what i was looking for with he L5. Knowing the subject and it’s history is still crucial for the post processing to be successful.
Images Captured with Nikon D3, AF-S 24-70, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film