Reflections in Black & White

Winter is a funny time of year in central Texas. The leaves have mostly fallen and the fields turned golden brown. The southern sun is much lower in the sky and the light is both softer and less harsh. Though the days have grown shorter, the shadows have grown longer. It’s as if the “magic hours” we nature photographers so love have been extended just when we need them the most.

Reflections in Black & White – Smithville, Texas
Copyright © 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 50mm, f/13 for 1/25th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta using Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro for the black & white conversion. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Many folks look at winter as a time to put their camera and tripod away and wait for spring. For me, winter offers an incredible opportunity to look past the colors of the other seasons to the rich textures offered only in winter. It’s a time to “see” each shot in black & white just as I did when shooting Kodak Pan-X, Plus-X and Tri-X back in the mid 1970’s. There’s something almost “zen like” about shooting in black & white (or in the case of digital, converting to black & white) that clears the mind and focuses the senses. It feels like home.

13 thoughts on “Reflections in Black & White

  1. I will be taking advantage of this. I will finally be back in Texas for a month until I go back to college. You really got some amazing sky and clouds on that one. Good shot!

  2. This shot brings memories of darkroom days. Dodging and burning. Coming out smelling of fumes but it was all worth it. 🙂

    It does inspire me to do more of this as I have not done the B&W for a while.

    • Otto,

      Thanks for reading. I honestly don’t miss the days of using an enlarger and wet printing. I’m sure my liver is half full of “fixer”.

      Jeff

  3. Jeff:

    Have you tried shooting in the 5D2’s B&W mode, as a comparison to shooting in colour and then converting? I would be interested to hear what you think about the 2 methods, and if you favour one over the other and why. I guess that shooting in colour does give the option to either keep it that way and convert later!

    cheers
    Michele

    • Michele,

      I shoot in raw and do my post-capture processing in Lightroom and Photoshop CS4. I’d much rather control the B&W conversion myself rather than let the camera make all the choices for me.

      Jeff

  4. Great shot, and I love the results of the SilverEfex plugin. I wish it supported 64bit Photoshop CS4 on Windows. Having to switch applications for one plugin is annoying.

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