This is not just another black and white post…
Well, I suppose it is really. But it came about in a very annoying way.
I decided today that when I took the dogs for a run at the old Oreti Sands Golf Course I would take a series of black and white photos as I walked the length of the course, and use them for a new story here on The Occasional Photoblogger.
Hence this story…..
A black and white post
Today dawned (if you can say that when the sun doesn’t show itself..) dull, damp and cold. So I decided that I would set my trusty Nikon D300 to take black and white JPEGS, but I would also shoot RAW – just in case.
As it was a really dull day when I started our walk I set the ISO to 400, white balance to “cloudy”, shooting mode to aperture priority at f8 and exposure metering to matrix. My intention was just to take a series of photographs and return home and post the black and white jpegs just as they came out of the camera. It turns out my intentions were good if somewhat flawed.
The sun came out; clouds drifted across the sky; the light levels changed all the time. Thinking that the Nikon designers would have built compensation into the now 13 year old D300 electronics to cope with all these changes, I happily – although coldly – kept on clicking the shutter.
Almost all the JPEGS were unusable without making drastic alterations to them. The exposures were all over the place. If I wasn’t so lazy I would have changed the metering mode to match the light conditions and the subject of each photograph. But unfortunately I am a lazy photographer!
So I threw my idea of straight-out-of-camera black and white jpegs out the window and set to work tweaking the RAW files into black and white images.
My workflow was as follows:
- Import RAW files from the D300 into my Pictures folder;
- Open each file in DxO Photolab 3 to apply automatic lens corrections;
- Tweak each RAW file to make it more presentable – i.e adjust exposure, highlights, shadows, and other tweaks where necessary;
- Export to Luminar Flex as a TIFF;
- Convert to black and white;
- Watermark, resize and export as jpegs.
Yes – I know it sounds easy – but it certainly takes a lot longer than getting things right in the camera first!
I didn’t really strive for any particular black and white look in Luminar Flex, but when I completed the first image which just happened to be the black and white post, I saved the settings as a Luminar Look (…preset to most people…), then just applied that Look to all the other images.
I was annoyed with myself at first for not getting it right SOOC – but it was my first conscious effort to shoot in black and white, and I am happy with the images that I ended up with.
All photographs were taken using a Nikon D3000 DSLR with the 18-55mm kit lens supplied with my Nikon D5100.