I was out and about in Cambridge yesterday with my camera, and I was accosted by an elderly lady. She thought that because I was carrying a camera, I must be a snoop from the council. That is just one of the hazards of street photography. Had I been carrying a big DSLR, she would have assumed I was a proper photographer. However, a small camera like the Sony a6300 can unfortunately make you seem like a furtive fellow.
The picture above was taken there. The couple look delighted to have been caught on camera. I was having a good day!
The Google Nik Collection including Silver Efex Pro2
I created the moody monochrome image using Silver Efex Pro2, from the Google Nik Collection.
The Google Nik Collection is the best free resource for photographers available on the web. In 2016 when Google decided not to support the software further, it went on to provide the software free to photographers. This was both good and bad news. The software was free, but it was never going to to be updated. However, a month or so ago it was agreed that DxO acquire the Nik Collection, and fortunately they plan to continue to develop it. A revised version will be available mid 2018.
It is still possible to download the existing software, including Silver Efex for monochrome post processing here.
Silver Efex Pro2
This is a note to myself about how the image was processed.
In Lightroom, there are the usual workflow: exposure, sharpness and white balance adjustments to process from RAW. The image was then desaturated to -31, the vibrance taken down to -29 and the clarity pushed up to +71. Reducing the colour to provide a dark and moody presence. I also added a shallow tone curve and imperceptible vignette.
Removed the reflection of myself and used the burn tool to tone down the interior of the pub, reducing lights and reflections.
Processed to mono using preset 23 Wet Rocks and film type Agfa APX Pro 100.
To achieve that look, without Silver Efex would be impossible for an amateur retoucher like myself. Furthermore, in the distant analogue days it would have taken hours of work in the darkroom to achieve the same results.