Saturday, 25 May 2013

Made For Mono

Hi All,

During the week I was looking through my image catalogue in Lightroom when I spotted an image I took last year during a trip with the Derby City Photographic Club to Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire.

The image is of Lacock Church which is situated a short walk away from the Abbey in the village itself. 

The image itself is pretty unassuming but when I viewed it again it seemed to be crying out to have something done to it. The something I decided to do was convert it to a mono image and see what happened. 

Below is the start image. 

Lacock Church (Wiltshire)

Stage 1 was to bring the image into Photoshop CS6 as a RAW file. Then I converted the image layer to a smart object then opened it in the Camera Raw interface to create a dual conversion. One conversion for the main body of the church and one conversion to bring out the detail in the sky. I then masked the conversion to bring back the original image of the church but with the new sky as below. 

Image after dual conversion in Camera Raw

As you can see the conversion worked although it left two problem areas. The first are was around the top of the tree on the right hand side, It was quite difficult to select each of the bright areas when creating the mask especially as any amount of feathering made more of a mess. The second troublesome area was by the top of the steeple which, as can be seen, has a blown out area created by the sun. Selective use of the clone stamp tool soon eliminated both problem areas. 

Image after cloning on the tree. 

It was now time to convert the image to mono. For this I decided to use Silver Efex Pro by Nik Software. This is one of the best, if not THE best, pieces of software for Mono conversions. 

I selected the Full Contrast pre-set and made a few slight adjustments to the sliders to bring out the structure of the brickwork in the church and also enhance the sky. The image really didn't seem to need much more than that. 

The final image is below. I feel it's a much more dramatic image when converted to mono. As always it may not be to everyone's taste but I really like it. 

Lacock Church Final Image. 

No comments:

Post a Comment