Insight Into a Black and White Bald Eagle

May 16, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Jim BeasleyBald Eagle

This P-51 Mustang that was at the Manassas airport during their airshow turned out to be a nice surprise. It was not part of the show and I don't know why it was there. I'm sure one of my aviation buddies knows. The plane itself is a P-51D Mustang named Bald Eagle, owned by Jim Beasley. The Mustang is arguably one of the best looking planes ever to take to the air. Its Rolls Royce Merlin engine is music to the ears.

This photo has proven to be very popular with my aviation photo peers. Funny thing is, I wasn't sure I was happy with the processing I had done. I'm still not sure I'm completely happy with it! I posted it out on the internet social sharing sites to gage whether or not I should include it in my portfolio! Folks really liked the processing. Well, it won its place on my website.

 This particular photograph, like all of my photos, started life in color. I made some basic exposure adjustments in Adobe Lightroom. Next, it was sent to Adobe Photoshop and the real fun began. First step was to remove a couple pairs of legs that were sprouting out the bottom of the plane. No Fred Flintstone look for this Mustang. Next, it went to Nik Software's Color Efex to put an extra high polish job on the bare metal skin. The exact recipe for the polish is a secret. After a lot of binary elbow grease on that metal finish, it was off to Nik Silver Efex for conversion to black and white. At this point it looked good, but not what I was seeing in my mind's eye. Back to Silver Efex for round two. That second round in Silver Efex was brushed only on to the plane. I'm a bit happier with it now, so its time to sharpen the image. I chose a method of sharpening that not only sharpened the lines but, enhanced the reflections as well. At this point I saved the image back into Lightroom. Still not there yet. In Lightroom, I bumped up the clarity, again, and bumped the contrast just a hint. Done.  

 I think this one may end up hanging on one of my walls.  View a larger version of this photograph or purchase a print here Manassas Airshow 2013.


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