From Capture to Final – Image Stages

Most of my images go through several stages

RAW capture,

Conversion with minor white balance & exposure adjustments,

Color & tonal contrast adjustments,

Adjusting to my Final Vision

Often one or more of the last three steps amount to nothing,

I try for a perfect in-camera capture

Including no P-P crop, even with the D800E’s 36 MP

But – I usually check them all out just in case


A Time Capsule

Untouched since 1957

Abandoned Silk Mill, Lonaconing, MD


Not visible in the ambient light

On camera flash


Click to enlarge

I find that the mood I want for an image is best achieved by converting my “best” color image (Color Efex Pro 4) to black & white (Silver Efex Pro 2) and then blending that best color version with the B&W using Photoshop’s luminosity blending mode.

I use SEP2 to create a B&W with a mood and  transfer the mood to the color via the blending.

I might want light & airy

Or dark and moody

Lots of detail

Or muted and soft

Harsh contrast & structure

Or not

While there are ways other than SEP2 + blending to accomplish this, I find it easier to create a mood to match my vision using this approach than anything else – thus far

To me, B&W is inherently moodier and more expressive than color (& thus easier for me to envision & feel)

I often will make several very different B&W versions and combine each with the same color version to create a wide range of final images from the same capture

It depends on my “mood”. 😉


The above image is a close up of this cabinet

I stood there in the dark (with a flashlight)

Imagining some 55 years back when someone stood in my place

Looking at this same scene

As he went about his job

This was near what appeared to be the mill’s machine repair area

Nearby was a wrench over two feet long

Click either image to enlarge


A very different B&W style from the one used in the close up.


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