by Mike Boening
So, earlier in the week Joseph asked if any of the readers could come up with a “winning” image created only within Aperture [Editors note: or Lightroom!], no plug-ins. If you have read any of my posts you will notice that I only use Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 for all my B&W conversions. The program is awesome and when you enhance the image with control points it usually becomes even better. So, not going over to Silver Efex and staying within Aperture was a bit of a challenge for me but I was up for it.
Over the weekend I had shot an old abandoned plant in Detroit, MI called the Packard Plant. Among urban explorers and graffiti artists this plant is known nationwide. You could literally spend days shooting images while there. As my group walked around looking at the buildings and the ruins of the area one of them mentioned that the area looked as if it were from a war torn country during World War II. That made me think of how I could depict something like that in an image and went to work. I selected the above image because of all the ruins and debris scattered about and thought this would be the one I use for the challenge. I wanted to make it a darker image than I normally would and a bit edgier to really contrast the deepest blacks.
Here are the technical aspects applied in Aperture 3.3.
First I wanted to give it that edge of being a gritty picture so I gave it a Dutch Angle by tilting it 5.8 degrees. Next I bumped the exposure a bit and brought definition all the way up. I used the B&W higher contrast #2 under the effects drop down and then played with the tint sliders a bit. In the B&W block I boosted the red to 100% and darkened the sky a bit as it was a very nice day out that morning. By the way, I have saved this preset if you use Aperture. I am willing to share…
The image was captured with a Nikon D7000 and a 24-70 Nikkor f2.8 lens. The shutter speed was 1/10, ISO 100 at f10.
The timing was about double to complete the adjustments compared to Silver Efex and I probably could have gotten more specific if I used the plug-in, but can an image be made that is “rockin?” I am not sure if it is “rockin”, you be the judge… But, to address the initial question, do you have to have a plug in? My answer would be no, you do not…