Clouds – Guest Blog #2

Our Guest Blogger this week is Tina Burbank. She sent a photo of clouds.

Clouds are such a crucial part of landscape photography, especially if you are photographing for black and white images.and I thought it would be fun to take her basic photo and run it through various filter plugin programs so see what effects I can create. (Plugins actually work directly with Photoshop or Lightroom and you can easily transfer the photo into the filter program and back out to Photoshop or Lightroom.)

Here is her photo – with no changes.

Clouds - original photo
Clouds – original photo by Tina Burbank

My first step was to move the photo into Color Efex Pro by Nik. I used ProContrast to bring out the texture and contrast in the color of the clouds.

Clouds by Tina-1
Clouds with Nik Color Efex Pro 4 Contrast filter

Then, I uploaded the photo into Lightroom 5 by Adobe because I wanted to remove the color and see how the photo looks as a Black and White. Lightroom has a Black and White preset which will remove the color in one click of the mouse. There is contrast in the photo and subtle variations in hue that make an interesting black and white photo.

Clouds by Tina-3
Clouds with Black and White preset in Lightroom

Finally, I was exploring the presets in Lightroom 5 and found a Lightroom 5 Color preset called Old Polar. The color is back in but the preset gives it an antique cold look.

Clouds by Tina-4
Clouds with Lightroom 5 Color Preset Old Polar

If you have Photoshop or Lightroom by Adobe you can use various filter plug-ins to create a variety of effects. Some companies to explore would be Nik which makes Color Efex Pro 4 used in image #2 above. Nik makes a number of other filters. Topaz Labs also makes plugin for Photoshop and Lightroom with a wide variety of effects. These companies offer demo programs that you can download for a certain period of time to try them out.

So, try them out.