Earlier this week, I ran a very small contest on the Boards.ie photography forum to process two of my photographs, one of Galway’s Williamsgate Street and the second of Galway’s St. Nicholas’ church. I had some great responses on the thread in question, but the outright winner was Brian Healy, who won the voting by a clear margin.
To hear from the man himself about his method of and choices for processing:
I processed these in Adobe Photoshop CS4. I used the Silver Efex plugin from Nik Software to do the main conversion and then used curves adjustment layers with masking. I also did some dodging and burning on the church photo.
Silver efex is a specialist black and white conversion plugin, it allows for targeted adjustments of individual areas without the need for selections. You can also use different colour filters, toning etc. For these shots, I also used the ‘burn edges’ feature, which gives a vignette style effect, but you can use it on each edge of the photo individually. In the photo of the street corner, I used this on the left and right to draw attention to the centre of the photo. I used it on all sides of the church photo but more subtly.
The curves adjustment layers was just basic S-curves, and masked out in places where I thought it looked over contrasty.
I did some dodging and burning on the church, on a separate layer. I used a soft brush, about 5% opacity and adjusted down the opacity of the whole layer afterwards.
Finally, I sharpened the photos using Nik’s output sharpener. Again, this allows for selective sharpening without the need for complex selections.
To view some examples of my own photography, go to: www.brianhealyphotography.com
I have a range of prints for sale, and am also available for weddings, portraits, commercial photography etc.
I am currently based in Tipperary but am available nationwide.