Selective Blending B&W and Color

I was teaching at the Black Hills Photo Shootout a few years ago and had half a day to kill so I went on a marathon shooting visit to Badlands NP. I have been there many times and like many places you visit over the years, returning can be like you have never been there before with fresh eyes and new perspectives.

The light was not that great when I got there but I shot anyway and it was fall, so there was a tiny bit of color. I like the idea of B&W with some color remaining because it really emphasizes the color when you do this and directs the eye where you want it to go.

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Here’s the Photoshop screen showing the B&W and a mask to brush back the color area which keeps the bush in its original color. I also added contrast with a Curves adjustment and also used High Pass Filter. 

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Doors of New Mexico

Nothing better than the SW and New Mexico in particular for amazingly cool and colorful doors and windows. Okay I now France and Europe and Mexico has them as well but I aint been there. This is near Albuquerque and while the wall is newer the door is very old and it just popped out as I was driving by and of course, I had to stop. I had no camera with me except my iPhone which still amazes me as to what I can capture with it especially when I gotta get the shot and dont have my Canon’s.

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The Oregon Coast

This is from the Oregon Coast and while I had been here a long time ago I had not seen this huge rocks that was split in half. Perfect subject for a near/far approach filling the foreground with the rock using my 16- 35 mm lens. The only processing was darkening the sky a little and a bit of saturation and sharpening.

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Post Processing Adventures

I photographed this image at Red Rock Conservation Area, North of Las Vegas, about 6 weeks ago. I was zipping down the road from Mt. Charleston when I spotted the cactus starting to bloom. I guessed that I was about 1 week to early for full bloom, but I was not going to be here in a week, so I shot anyway.

I used a flash to fill in the shadows on the cactus and that worked great. But since it was 4 pm the light was not that great yet, so when I opened the image in Photoshop it looked like a basic snap. That’s where the fun begins. You get started and you never know where you are going in creating. Are these images ever DONE? No, they are abandoned when you are happy with the results.

I always bracket exposures so the first thing I did was HDR process it with the only intention to add drama to the clouds. Then I opened Topaz B&W Effects and used the Cerulean set to colorize the image. Once I got here I decided I had what I wanted and subsequently ‘abandoned’ this image to go start the process all over another. If you want to know about Topaz, here’s the link: http://www.topazlabs.com/aff/idevaffiliate.php?id=196

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