December 7, 2012

Standing in the Shadows

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You are looking at the Bath Village Covered Bridge in Bath, New Hampshire. It was built in 1832 making it one of the oldest covered bridges in the United States. It is also the longest covered bridge in New Hampshire.

It wasn’t the perfect day for a shot like this. I would have preferred an overcast day or a time of day when the bridge and rocks were more evenly lit. In fact, I sought out a shot from lower on the rocks out from the shadow, but I liked the idea of using this little side waterfall as a foreground element, so I went for it.

For processing, I have to give a shout-out to my friends at onOne Software. Their new Perfect Photo Suite 7 includes their first ever Black and White conversion module, Perfect B&W. It has become my favorite tool for BW conversion, supplanting the tool from that company that was bought by Google (you photographers know who I mean).

Perfect B&W is loaded with presets that you can use either as is, or as a starting point for your processing.

Basic Fundamentals is – well – basic. It gives you a default conversion of the file and a few with minor adjustments from subtle to extending the dynamic range:

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There are a couple of Vintage sets including 19th Century Processes designed to mimic the look of a whole lot of classic processes including daguerreotype, cyanotype and ambrotyp:

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With this image, it was tough to leave the “19th Century,” but I played around with some 20th Century Classic Silver and 21st Century Modern Digital for a bit. I finally settled in a place I didn’t think would fit this image. I assume that the Hollywood Portrait presets included with PB&W was designed with portrait photographers but the “Ambrose” really worked for me.

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I used Ambrose as a base, making only slight adjustments in exposure and tone.

There is so much more to this application I will be sure to write more about it in the near future. It is available as part of Perfect Photo Suite 7 , or you can get Perfect B&W 1 as a standalone application. There are free 30 day trials available.

If/when you decide to purchase, you can use the code “lussier” and save a few bucks.

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  1. What a fantastic image!
    I noticed how long the bridge was right away, seldom see them at this length.

    Great idea with the waterfall in the foreground. Interesting and very effective processing. End result is awesome, man.