I had the idea to do this photo since a while, just wanted to find the best time and the right gear to do these black white and grey portraits with Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2.
I got this beautiful Octagonal Softbox from Westcott, 43″ inch / 1.1 m built on an umbrella frame and so quick Set-up and Tear-down. With an Impact lightstand + Photoflex arm, I added 3 speed lights Canon 580EX II mounted with Lastolite TriFlash Bracket by Joe McNally, and unique rotating shoes for all 3 flashes.
The more difficult part was so get focus on my eyes when you are shooting alone, not easy ;), so I added of my Ezybox Hot Shoe Softbox, an colorful image exactly on the same horizontal of my eyes, did the focus and switch to manual and use my wireless remote control to take this photo.
My editing is always start with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom by the same routine each time: transform my sources from RAW to DNG images, go to Lens Corrections to apply the profile of my lens and Color to remove the chromatic aberration, add sharpening, about 50% of amount and go to the top basic panel to work with Highlights, shadows, whites and blacks.
This last part is where I spent most of my time and it’s not more than 5/8 mn, and I get the base of my image after I am jumping to Presence to add clarity and vibrance. it’s about what you are feeling and what look and feel you wish to give to your image. that’s it 😉
After I export my image to edite to Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2 to get the best black/white image you can get and honeslty I have been trying a lot of plugs in and Silver Efex Pro 2 is the the world’s leading black and white software.
As you can see with my screen captures below, I just played with highlights -70% to get back details into my forehead, shadows +20% for the neck, add some structure 36% (love this tool) and toning sepia 19. don’t need this time to add some revolutionary U Point technology that enables you to fine-tune your images with precise selective enhancements. the result was perfect to me. But see how to use them wiht my second image, click here
On Lightroom, with the Adjustment Brush, I added some exposure, clarity and saturation into my Iris and white.
Silver Efex Pro 2 Panel
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Panel
I took this image with 3 lights, my ORB Westcott front of me 45° and 2 Ezybox Hot Shoe Softbox on the side behind me. With the same routine as previous but this time I played with these powerful control point to add more contrast on the back and my front hand was too bright, get some contrast in my face, so as you can see the mask is very clear and with those points you can create amazingly precise selections without time consuming and difficult tools, such as selections and layer masks. By using control points, you have the ultimate level of control over the tonality, color, and detail of your images, producing stunning results.
Et voila, I hope this helps
More lifestyle photos, click here
Have a beautiful day. Posted November 2012
Black white and grey portraits with Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2: Silver Efex Pro 2 Panel with Control Point
Silver Efex Pro 2 Panel with Masks
Black white and grey portraits with Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2: The final imageShare