All this talk of old school film and cameras reminded me of a skill that I once had and took for granted. I just remembered after downloading the Lightroom film presets and playing around with them. Ove asked if I had solarized a particular photo.
Well, no. I didn’t. While in Lightroom I remembered what I used to do to black and white film to get dramatic skies. In my bag I always carried about 2 red filters, a Wratten 25 and Wratten 29, if I remember correctly. These filters were very deep red blocked out blue and cyan light, for the most part. Even back then, I shot most of my stuff on a tripod, so the extra stop or two that I needed for the filters was not an issue. What these filters did was to give dramatic skies. Since it would block all of the cyan light attempting to come through, it would render the skies black, as in the photo on yesterday’s post.
Now, I can do this post process by using the sliders in Lightroom under Grayscale mix. Simply pulling the blue slider all the way to the left makes my sky become very dark and dramatic. I used to carry a green filter as well. If I saw a scene where I wanted the grass to become light, with respect to the other colors, I applied the green filter. It blocked other colors and allowed green light through. Again, all I have to do now is move the green slider to the right to get more green, left for less (darker).
I don’t use color filters anymore because there is no need to. They don’t work well on digital cameras anyway, but I’m glad that that is still there in LR. It just gives me a way continue to experiment with my black and white photos in the digital realm.
For the above shot I pulled back the green sliders a bit to make the grass a little bit darker. When I saw this shot, again from my little field across the street, I had an idea of what I wanted to accomplish. A little bit of slider movement, burning here, dodging there, all in Lightroom, and I had what I wanted.