Black & White Conversion in Silver Efex Pro

Some shots are just meant to be converted into black & white and there’s really no better tool than Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom. I’ve tried many different black & white conversion techniques in the past few years and nothing I’ve found works half as good as Silver Efex Pro.

Oldest Presbyterian Church in Texas

Oldest Presbyterian Church in 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/4 L IS USM tripod-mounted with a Singh-Ray LB Warming circular polarizer filter attached. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/13 for 1/80th of a second at ISO 100 on Lexar Professional digital film. Post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4 using Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro filter. Click on the image above for a larger version.


Here’s what the raw file looked like in Lightroom 2 before any processing was done. Not a bad color image but fairly bland given the cloudless sky and dry conditions. Converting this image into black & white added the extra contrast that was needed to give the image a little more vibrance and “pop”.

One thing to keep in mind when converting to black & white using any technique is noise. I always run Lightroom’s or Dfine’s noise reduction before the black & white conversion process. This helps eliminate the artifacts that can occur when high contrast images are converted to black & white.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Photography, Texas Towns


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