After the Storm – Color vs. SEP

After the Storm

If there is anything that most photographers or “wish they were photographers” such as myself have in common, it is a deep respect for the spectacular images and black and white mastery of Ansel Adams. I still go back again and again to his books for points I’ve either forgotten or never really learned. And whenever I do a black and white, I always seem to ask myself, “What would Adams have done with this?”  Those thoughts and questions have been popping into my mind quite a bit recently.  In learning the ins-and-outs of Lightroom and Nik Software, I’ve been experimenting with several older photos. You know, seeing how close I could get to the color, lighting and exposure that I remembered. And after viewing several of Moose Peterson’s photos processed with Silver Effects Pro, well I just had to give this black and white art a try. As I proceeded, I had a couple of shots in mind. In this posting, I’ll concentrate on a photo taken late in the afternoon of July 10, 2010.  A violent thunderstorm had passed through late in the afternoon and following the worst of the weather, Susan and I took a little drive to see-what-we-could-see.  It was really something how the storm had passed, the western sky was starting to clear up and the wind just started to blow something terrible from the NW.  That culminated just as we turned back to the east and saw those magnificent wind beams.  I’d never seen anything quite like it as in the photo, I am facing southeast, the wind is at my back and the sun is poking out of the western clouds behind my right shoulder.  So I took a few shots then but never really thought about getting into the full processing until now.

After the Storm (Silver Effects Pro)

No doubt, the color photo shows the detail and anger of the clouds and those magnificent wind beams. But somehow, that black and white with all the contrasting elements of clouds, wind beams and billowing grass really seems to add to the drama and make this a good shot.  I guess we’ll each have our opinion but I’m really liking the black and white. Next time, I’ll show another capture with a color and Silver Effect Pro photo for you to compare. In the meantime, I’m looking even more for those light contrasts that will make another great black and white shot.  For now though, have a great night and sleep well.