Saturday, December 31, 2016

Black and White Panoramas Are Too Easy , Even Underwater

I've finally gotten around to editing my PNG stills from November 2015.  I spent a month aboard the vessel Golden Dawn with fellow divers Howard and Michele Hall, and Douglas and Emily Seifert, and Raine Irving. 

I had just started experimenting with shooting panoramas before that trip, and I shot some underwater panoramas with almost no knowledge of how to do it correctly.  Since then, I've learned proper techniques.  The software these days is amazingly easy to use. 

I've also had to learn Adobe Lightroom to organize and edit my images (I've been a long-time Apple Aperture software user for my image library needs).  Lightroom is great, as most photographers already know.  You can create panoramas from within Lightroom, which makes the process very easy.  Before this, you had to convert your images to JPGs, then use a program like Autostitch to create panoramas, then fit those images into your workflow and library somehow.  It was clumsy. 

I've tried using Google's Nik Collection, and it is ridiculously easy to use to create great-looking images. Again, you can use Nik Collection's tool within Lightroom. 

Here's an underwater panorama of a lush coral reef in Papua New Guinea, converted to black-and-white using Nik Effects's Silver Efex Pro.  It's too easy -- so easy it's not that interesting to use.  Art should be hard.  With Nik Effects, creating a "look" just involves pushing a button.  It's  art.  But it still looks good.  And it's easy!

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