Writing with Light

Posts tagged “B&W

Sky Light

I hope that all my American friends had a wonderful 4th of July. Keeping with the festivities of the week I wanted to share another fireworks image although I wanted to try something different. I know fireworks should be enjoyed in full living color but I was curious as to how this would turn out if I converted it to B&W. I used OnOne Perfect Effects to do the conversion this time. I was really pleased with the abstract quality. Let me know what you think.

Click to enlarge (it really looks better) or to purchase a print.

fireworks, Canada Day, Ashbridges Bay, Lake Ontario, Toronto, Black White, monochrome, abstract

Awards, Nominations & A Big Thank You

Over the past several months I’ve been honoured (and humbled) by being nominated for several blogging awards. I am embarrased to say that while I have acknowledged and thanked the individuals who have nominated me I’ve not dedicated a post to it.  It’s just a simple matter of lots of juggling of work, family and various projects and lack of precious time. So today I’d like to publicly say THANK YOU to the following bloggers that have nominated me…

Otto von Münchow – Münchow’s Creative PhotoBlog

Nia – Photography of Nia

David Pasillas – iPhone Photographer

nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award and

Silvia Ganora – The Visual Notepad nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Definitely check out Otto, David, Nia and Sil’s blogs as they are quite incredible.

The award requirements are that I share seven random facts about myself and nominate 15 other bloggers so here we go…

7 Facts about myself

  1. I have a Bachlor of Fine Arts with a major in Theatre
  2. I worked professionally as a Stage Manager and stage managed a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland
  3. I have 4 men in my life that I would walk to the end of the planet for (my husband, 2 sons and my dog, Brady)
  4. I have a travel bug that I can’t cure (and don’t want too)
  5. I love musical theatre and know the words to just about every Oscar & Hammerstein; Sondheim; Kander & Ebb and Lerner & Lowe (amongst others) musical…but I CAN’T sing…so sad 😦
  6. In photography I know it’s not about gear…but I love gear.
  7. A few years back I wrote and published a pregnancy journal titled “Baby…I Can Hardly Wait!’

So according to the award I’m supposed to nominate 15 blogs but to be honest this was a very difficult task. There are so, so many wonderful and talented photographers out there that I found it very difficult to keep to 15. So as someone who’s been known to bend the rules every so often here are 21 (my lucky number) absolutely awesome photoblogs that I nominate and you should check out (but only visit if you want to be completely awestruck and inspired…you’ve been warned):

Toad Hollow Photography

Mike Criswell – TheatreWiz

Andy Gimino – Visual State

Rob Hanson Photography

Peter Talke – Places2Explore

Anne Mckinnell

Eden R. Ellis – Eden’s Captures

Anne Jutras – Photographe

Len Saltiel – LensEye View Photography

Adam Allegro – Catch The Jiffy

Dave DiCello – HDR Exposed

Jimi Jones Visuals

Mike Murphy – MurphyzPhotography

Aaron Barlow – Delineations of the Eye

Elia Locardi – BlameTheMonkey

Gracie – Frames & Focus

Mark – Rigmover

Marc Collins – Lead In Lines

Jim Nix – Nomadic Pursuits

A Creative Adventure photography by Denise Ippolito

Jim Denham Photography

There are still so many other blogs of talented photographers that I visit and I will list those in a follow up post.

The Dance Studio

It’s Victoria Day long weekend here in Canada and we’ve had exceptional weather all weekend. I wish I can say that I got out to shoot but I didn’t. I took a much needed break and enjoyed time with the family. Hopefully I’ll get out today (once I’ve finished planting some flowers in the backyard) and do a little photowalk.

I think I’ve mentioned that I’m a member of the Toronto Digital Photography Club. The club was asked by the community centre where we have our regular meetings, to photograph the building, which is relatively new. This is one of the images from that shoot showing the 2nd floor dance studio on the left with a view of the outside.

The image was processed in Photoshop and then converted to monochrome with Topaz B&W Effects. You can receive 15% off any Topaz product by using the code “ELPHOTO”

Click on the image to enlarge.

Rooftop View

We’re back in Quebec City today. This was taken from my hotel room at the Chateau Frontenac. What I really liked about this view were the lines of the snow-covered sloping roofs. I used Topaz B&W Effects to convert the image to B&W and increased the contrast in order to accentuate the lines.

Quebec – The Old City

Project 52 Entry 32

Quebec City’s “old city” is a charming place full of heritage building, cobblestone walkways and quaint restaurants. Walking around really reminded me of being in Europe and of course with French being spoken around me this illusion wasn’t a far stretch.  It was a very cold day (did I mention that before) with a dull grey sky but as we were walking back to our hotel I had to stop and take this shot. I really liked the way these 2 buildings looked like they were intersecting from where I was standing. I converted this to B&W using Topaz B&W Effects and then used the local adjustment tool to bring back the color in the window trim.

For possible savings on your next vacation to Quebec, use this Orbitz coupon code.

Old Montreal City Hall with Topaz B&W Effects

Ok…I’m excited. Last week Topaz announced the release of its new plug in, Topaz Black & White Effects. As an avid user of Topaz plug-ins such as Topaz Adjust and Topaz Lens Effects (just to name two) I’ve been wondering when they were going to come up with a plug-in for black and white conversion. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to test their  beta copy and really give it a trial run.  Topaz Black & White Effects has the same look and feel as other Topaz favorites like Adjust, Simplify and Lens Effects. Its very intuitive and easy to use and the results are pretty impressive. One of my favorite new features is the selective brush tool for dodging, burning and selective color. With that there’s also an “edge-aware” slider which ensures that you stay within the area that you’ve selected when, for example, you’re burning a selected area.

I was in Montreal last weekend and thought I would test out the plug-in using some of those shots. This image of City Hall in Old Montreal was a 3-shot bracketed exposure which I processed and tonemapped with Photomatix and then brought into Photoshop and adjusted levels and unsharp mask.

Canon XTi, Sigma 10 - 22mm, 3 Exposure HDR Tonemapped with Photomatix

Black & White conversion with Topaz B&W Effects

Topaz B&W Effects is a black and white converter and image enhancer that gives you a variety of tools, making it easy to create stunning black and white compositions. More than your traditional black and white conversion tool, Topaz B&W Effects offers more tools and flexibility for a diverse range of looks. It includes 8 Effect Collections with over 120 presets (more coming with the release version) that simulate traditional and alternative BW processes, offering the ability to create traditional and stylized looks. It also features a simplifed, yet intuitive, selective brush, creative effects and finishing effects for high-impact black and whites.

Here are just some of the unique features found in Topaz B&W Effects:

1. Selective Brush. Intuitive selective adjustment brush for burning, dodging and selective color – plus edge-aware options.

2. True Grain Filter & Grain Creation. Choose from your favorite films or create your own grain.

3. Adaptive Exposure. The power of Topaz Adjust is infused with B&W Effects to help create dynamic detail and exposure.

4. Quad Tone. Allows for 4 different tones to be selected and applied to different tonal regions within an image.

5. Creative Effects. Includes popular Topaz effects to creatively enhance images.

6. Finishing Touches. Includes effects to give your image the perfect final touch.

While we haven’t been given an exact release date or pricing, Topaz Black & White Effects will be available this week at a special introductory (discounted) price. Watch the blog for more information.