Lone Tree

Focus on Imaging tomorrow. It’s the annual trade show dedicated to all things to do with imaging, including photography, held at the NEC Birmingham. Three hours on the train, five hours at the show, three hours on the train again. It’s worth it though because there’s usually some great deals on cameras, lenses, etc.

Anyway I digress. Whilst I was at the National Slate Museum, blog article coming soon, I saw a tree standing alone on top of a pile of discarded slate shavings. It was silhouetted nicely against the sky but i had a problem; it was a bright sunny day and I wanted the tree to look dark and moody.

Lone Tree

With some work in Photoshop I managed to get it looking not too bad but I still wasn’t happy. To get the image this far, I had tone-mapped it using PhotoMatix with extreme settings. Then applied a filter from NIK Colour Efex called Tonal Contrast and finally another one from NIK called Glamour Glow.

Finally I decided that if I wanted the image to look dark and moody then probably Black and White was my best choice.

Lone Tree

To get the black and white look I didn’t just de-saturate the colour image. Instead I ran it through one of the excellent Black and White Photoshop filters from Topaz Labs.

There you have it, two versions of the same image, which has left our house divided. I like the black and white, my wife prefers the colour.

Which do you prefer, the colour version or the black and white one? Or maybe you don’t like either of them? Let me know, I’m always interested to hear your thoughts.



  1. I like the color version better although the blue doesn’t seem quite right. Wondering how it might look if all the sky was grey but you had the color on the tree base, slate. I think the blue overpowers that, but it is really interesting tonal variations.


    • Sorry I haven’t replied earlier. I was at a convention yesterday an am only getting round to catching up. I think this tree is going to have to be a “work in progress”. There are so many ways I can take it, but I think I have to sit down an look at the best way

      Sent from my iPad


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