Mason District Park, Annandale VA

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Thank you, Bart and Mike. The black and white color mixer in Lightroom helps bring out a range of tonalities and emphasize certain colors to make the composition of a scene more interesting.

Here is the SOOC color version:
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After editing:
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I converted using Lightroom's Adobe Monochrome profile, then used the various Light, Color and Effects sliders in Lightroom to get an effect I liked. I don't have a systematic way of doing this: just hit or miss. I love monochrome, and when I take a photo that seems to lend itself to mono treatment, I try to see if I can make something of it. Black and White Photography by Michael Freeman showed me how to do this, but I'm still just in the learning phase.

Playing with the yellow and green sliders, especially yellow, helps to bring out contrast in otherwise uniformly green vegetation. Orange (or raising the color temperature) is useful for wood and trees. Turning down the luminance of blue gives nice, dark skies if there is any blue in the sky; if the sky is heavily overcast and flat and uninteresting, then it needs to be cropped out as much as possible, or if there's some hint of darkness in an overcast sky, the Dehaze slider can bring out contrast to give the sky some interest. The Dehaze slider also adds mystery and drama, but you need to avoid going too far with it. That's definitely a problem that afflicts me.

In converting to mono, you can exaggerate and distort colors to a much greater extent than you could with color: the eye accepts the distortion in mono. That way, you can emphasize certain elements in the scene that would otherwise appear flat and uninteresting.

Sometimes I shoot MC in-camera, and I actually like Nikon's setting better than Adobe Monochrome, but you can't use the color mixer with Nikon MC. The color information, of course, is preserved in the file whether you shoot color or mono, so it doesn't really matter, though shooting color and then converting allows you to pre-visualize what you can do with the colors in the conversion.
 
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Considering that you enjoy doing monochrome conversions, I strongly recommend giving DxO's Silver Efex Pro a trial run. DxO bought the entire Nik/Google suite of plug-ins and are continuing to develop it. All components of the suite function as a plug-in to Adobe products. I use Silver Efex Pro for all of my monochromes.
 
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Considering that you enjoy doing monochrome conversions, I strongly recommend giving DxO's Silver Efex Pro a trial run. DxO bought the entire Nik/Google suite of plug-ins and are continuing to develop it. All components of the suite function as a plug-in to Adobe products. I use Silver Efex Pro for all of my monochromes.
I should have mentioned that I have Silver Efex Pro, and I use it sometimes. It's excellent for processing B&W. It doesn't seem to plug into the version of Lightroom that I use, though, so I have to go through PS to get at it.
 
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Considering that you enjoy doing monochrome conversions, I strongly recommend giving DxO's Silver Efex Pro a trial run. DxO bought the entire Nik/Google suite of plug-ins and are continuing to develop it. All components of the suite function as a plug-in to Adobe products. I use Silver Efex Pro for all of my monochromes.
A couple more thoughts about processing mono with Silver Efex Pro.

1. The control point feature is much, much easier to use than LR's radial gradient.

2. Silver Efex Pro alone doesn't let you adjust the luminance of individual colors separately. So for a landscape image like this one, with a wide array of colors, I find LR is necessary, at least to begin with. Silver Efex Pro is at its best for images where shape and geometry are the salient features, and for the"documentary" and "street" uses of B&W. At least, those are my personal thoughts.
 
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Silver Efex Pro alone doesn't let you adjust the luminance of individual colors separately.
I'm probably not understanding the point you're making because Silver Efex Pro definitely let's you adjust the luminosity of individual greyscale tones separately. Indeed, some people make no adjustments to the color versions of their photos, including landscapes, instead preferring to making all of their adjustments using Silver Efex Pro.
 
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I'm probably not understanding the point you're making because Silver Efex Pro definitely let's you adjust the luminosity of individual greyscale tones separately. Indeed, some people make no adjustments to the color versions of their photos, including landscapes, instead preferring to making all of their adjustments using Silver Efex Pro.
Thanks for your response, Mike.

Silver Efex Pro allows you to adjust the greyscale tones, but this is done globally, once the conversion has taken place and, I think, after the original color information has been lost. The LR color mixer allows adjustment of the individual colors themselves, even after conversion, because the RAW file still preserves the color information.

However, I'm no expert at this -- l'm really only a beginner at this trying to find my way here -- and you're probably more adept at these adjustments than I. I'm just describing how I proceed, and with some diffidence at that. I'll give your suggested approach a try next time, though.

Thanks again.
 
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Silver Efex Pro allows you to adjust the greyscale tones, but this is done globally
The conversion is done globally, meaning you convert the entire image using only one color filter. You then use the Control Points to locally adjust the greyscale tones to your heart's content.

I'll get back to you later tonight about whether the underlying color data is lost when using Silver Efex Pro. I really don't remember, so I'll check it out.
 
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I'll get back to you later tonight about whether the underlying color data is lost when using Silver Efex Pro. I really don't remember, so I'll check it out.
Now that I've checked it out, the answer is: It depends. I'm not being coy (this time - ha!). Silver Efex Pro loses the color data in one situation and maintains it in another.

First, I need to mention that I use Silver Efex Pro only as a plug-in to Photoshop CC whereas you apparently use it as a plug-in to Lightroom. So, when I load a raw file into Photoshop CC, Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) is automatically loaded. (Lightroom and ACR have the same engine; only the user interfaces are different.) To get my raw file to Silver Efex Pro, I have to hand the file from ACR to Photoshop CC. I can then load the Silver Efex Pro filter to convert the image to monochrome.

Once the raw file is displayed in Photoshop CC, if I immediately load Silver Efex Pro, the underlying color data is lost.

However, once the raw file is displayed in Photoshop, if I immediately embed the color file with all of its ACR adjustments in Photoshop, a new layer is automatically created in the form of a Smart Object. If I then load Silver Efex Pro, the color data is not lost. That's because Silver Efex Pro is reading that Smart Object. As an example, I could re-open that Smart Object in ACR, darken a particular part of it, and when I return to the layer displaying the Silver Efex Pro adjustments, the change is also seen in Silver Efex Pro.

Make sense? Not sure I explained everything clearly enough.
 
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Thanks, Mike. I think I follow you, except that for me PS is mostly inscrutable. So far I'm like the Sorcerer's Apprentice when I try to use it. And the version of LR that I use doesn't seem to admit Silver Efex Pro, so my SEP is embedded in PS. When I want to use SEP, I first make my adjustments in LR, then transfer the file to PS for the final output.

So I think we're following a similar process, except that I make the initial adjustments in LR, while you do so in PS. My process is cumbersome and I need to learn enough PS to be able to make local adjustments in separate parts of an image (though LR usually gets me what I where I want to go).

But I'm already an old dog, and new tricks don't come easily.

I'd also like to get to where I can deftly use PS to modify group pictures of my extended family by inserting amid the crowd the current occupant of the White House or maybe Stalin, but that's probably not a good idea.
 
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I make the initial adjustments in LR, while you do so in PS.
To be more precise, I make the initial adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw, which is the plug-in that automatically ships with Photoshop and automatically loads when a raw file is opened. I encourage you to give that a try, as the only difference between Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw is the interface.

When post-processing a color image, I use Photoshop only in the few circumstances when a pixel editor is needed or in the rare situation such as when doing complex cloning that something is easier to accomplish in Photoshop than in Adobe Camera Raw.

Similarly, when post-processing a monochrome image, I use Photoshop usually only as a host for Silver Efex Pro. Another way of putting it is that I do some basic adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw and move on to Silver Efex Pro to convert to monochrome and then to do the local adjustments. My point is that if you find Photoshop daunting (you're not at all alone!), you could really be using it only to host Adobe Camera Raw and Silver Efex Pro, which might be an easier workflow for you than starting in Lightroom before handing off to Photoshop.
 
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Thanks again, Mike. I'll give your suggestion to use ACR a try. My current workflow is perhaps not as bad as I suggested, since LR has an option to transfer a file directly to PS in DMG format once editing in LR has been completed. I would like to learn to use PS a little, though.
 
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The thought occurred to me, Bill, that if you are using Lightroom's cataloging capabilities, it might make more sense for you to stick with that product rather than switch to Adobe Camera Raw. One big reason I rarely use Lightroom is because I don't need its cataloging capability. (I use Lightroom only for its Book module and even that gets used so rarely that every time I use it I have to relearn how to use it.)
 

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