photography filters

High Contrast Red Filter turns blue sky to night in Silver Efex Pro

Signature Place in downtown St. Petersburg Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/11 ISO 200 1/320th with high contrast red filter in Silver Efex Pro appliedWhen teaching photography at night I often tell my DSLR photography lessons students that with long exposures you can turn night into day.  Well, with a high contrast red filter, you can do the harder reverse of that, which would be turning day into night!  It is actually not hard if you have the awesome Silver Efex Pro plugin, which I have been raving about for years.  

The Nik Silver Efex Pro interface with high contrast red filter applied to the imageFirst I went through my normal digital photo editing workflow on this architecture shot of Signature St. Petersburg.  I made a duplicate and sent it into Silver Efex Pro.  From there all that needed to be done to change the color image to black & white and the blue sky into a night one was to click on the high contrast red filter preset.  No mess, no fuss.

Psychedelic Medical Mannequins

Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 @ f/5.6 ISO 400 1/60th strobist: SB-600 off camera on counter to the right

I do not often play around with editing software filters much, but last week I found myself inside a Red Cross office building with my camera in hand and no supervision.  The mannequins pictured above were visible from the far end of a dark hallway and startled me at first.  My next thought was I want to photograph these things!  

I touched nothing.  There were in the exact positions you see above.  I looked around for a good place to put my SB-600 Speedlight on because I knew right away I wanted to bounce the light off one of the walls in this room to try and get an unusual lighting outcome.

Since this was just a photograph I took for fun, I then went through some of the filters I rarely ever use in Color Efex Pro 3, and settled on this one to portray a kind of psychedelic horror nightmare look.  I feel it kind of makes it look like a composite shot, like all three mannequins were photographed separately then combined into this one image.  

I think it is important to still have fun with one's photography from time to time as it is easy to get caught up in the business end of shooting.  Who knows, maybe some day a potential client will see this image and want their own portrait made like this!  

Here is the original image straight out of the camera:

original, no processing done