Friday's Fab Photographer: Christie Mellor

It's Friday - time for another Friday's Fab Photographer here on my blog!

Thank you so much, Rick, for inviting me.  It’s such an honor! 

As a photographer, the creative process is largely made up of all the decisions I make before ever pressing my shutter button. Before taking the shot, I have thought through location, lighting, wardrobe and even weather. And while the goal will always be to get the best shot possible straight out of the camera, there’s a whole other creative journey that begins the moment the shutter is pressed. It's true that good editing will not save a bad photo, but it can turn a good photo into a great one!

Taking photos is an art unto itself, and I, for one, will be learning new things and bettering myself for as long as I live. Likewise, learning to use all of the amazing editing tools we have at our disposal will be a life-long endeavor. This pursuit is close to my heart, because how I choose to edit my photos is as much a part of my style as how I choose to take a shot. Wouldn’t you agree? Post-processing is part of how I tell my story, and one of my favorite story-telling techniques is to simply create a B&W image. When I say B&W, I mean the full range of warmer, chocolate-like B&W to the cooler, almost silver B&W photo.

I often open my photographs in Nik’s Silver Efex Pro and get beautiful and dramatic images.

By adding contrast, structure and a color tone, you can easily take one of Silver Efex Pro’s many presets and bring out the details that otherwise might get lost in your image.

One thing that has struck me looking back at my earliest B&W photos is how easy it is to convert an image to greyscale and just leave it that way, without drawing out the highlights and bringing details back from the shadows. There are so many amazing tools to help you not only convert the image, but really accentuate all of its elements! Nik’s Silver Efex Pro is just one of my favorites.

Even if you do not use a plug-in, you can get fantastic results using Lightroom and Photoshop. By paying close attention to highlights, shadows and contrast, you’ll be able to create something much richer and with more dimension than ever before. Everyone loves eye-popping color, but the next time you just want the focus on your subject, try a black & white!

Thanks again, Rick, for this opportunity.  You are a tremendous resource, and I so appreciate all you do to teach others!

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