Writing with Light

Posts tagged “Black and white effects

Toronto Centre for the Arts

The Toronto Centre for the Arts, located in the north part of Toronto opened it’s doors in 1993 as the North York Performing Arts Centre. It’s name was later changed to the Ford Centre for Performing Arts after a major donation was made and later renamed to its current name…The Toronto Centre for the Arts.

Last week I had the opportunity to photograph the interior of the centre.  Access was arranged by my photography club and I and 15 other inconspicuous, tripod toting individuals descended upon tho slovenly space. The unfortunate part was that the Main Stage was off limits as a show was being set up at the time. We did however have access to one of the smaller theatres and the lovely Art Deco lower and upper lobby.

The challenge in photographing in an interior space such as this, with close to 30 photographers, is that inevitably someone walks through your shot. As respectful and mindful as you try to be it just happens when you have that many photographers. On the flip side the advantage to attending one of these types of outings is that you can share ideas and techniques with like minded individuals.

Here’s one view of the lower lobby processed in both colour and black and white. What I love about this space this the Art Deco look and when I looked at all the converging lines and details I thought this would look great in B&W. Which do you prefer? I can tell you that I asked my son the same question last night and he unequivocally choose the colour. I’m undecided.

Click on the images to enlarge to see a higher resolution (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Toronto Centre for the Arts, lobby, interior, Art Deco, North York, North Toronto, Theatre

Toronto Centre for the Arts, lobby, interior, Art Deco, North York, North Toronto, Theatre, Black and White, Monochrome


iPhone Friday – Shuffling off to Buffalo

We were in Buffalo last weekend….

border crossing, Canada, America, bridge

…and we figured since we were making the 2 hour drive we should find some decent places to eat. So we consulted you know who…

….yes back to Guy Fieri’s picks from Diners, Drive-In’s & Dives. For dinner we had made a reservation at Mulberry’s Italian Restaurant. It’s a good thing we did because when we pulled up to the restaurant the parking lot was packed and there was a line out the door.

mulberry italian restaurant, Buffalo

Was it good….you betchya! If you ever find yourself there have the lasagna…it was out of this world. Our second Triple D restaurant was The Lake Effects Diner.

lake effects diner, buffalo,

This really turned out to be much more than we expected. They’ve taken diner food to a whole new level.

Old Montreal City Hall with Topaz B&W Effects

Ok…I’m excited. Last week Topaz announced the release of its new plug in, Topaz Black & White Effects. As an avid user of Topaz plug-ins such as Topaz Adjust and Topaz Lens Effects (just to name two) I’ve been wondering when they were going to come up with a plug-in for black and white conversion. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to test their  beta copy and really give it a trial run.  Topaz Black & White Effects has the same look and feel as other Topaz favorites like Adjust, Simplify and Lens Effects. Its very intuitive and easy to use and the results are pretty impressive. One of my favorite new features is the selective brush tool for dodging, burning and selective color. With that there’s also an “edge-aware” slider which ensures that you stay within the area that you’ve selected when, for example, you’re burning a selected area.

I was in Montreal last weekend and thought I would test out the plug-in using some of those shots. This image of City Hall in Old Montreal was a 3-shot bracketed exposure which I processed and tonemapped with Photomatix and then brought into Photoshop and adjusted levels and unsharp mask.

Canon XTi, Sigma 10 - 22mm, 3 Exposure HDR Tonemapped with Photomatix

Black & White conversion with Topaz B&W Effects

Topaz B&W Effects is a black and white converter and image enhancer that gives you a variety of tools, making it easy to create stunning black and white compositions. More than your traditional black and white conversion tool, Topaz B&W Effects offers more tools and flexibility for a diverse range of looks. It includes 8 Effect Collections with over 120 presets (more coming with the release version) that simulate traditional and alternative BW processes, offering the ability to create traditional and stylized looks. It also features a simplifed, yet intuitive, selective brush, creative effects and finishing effects for high-impact black and whites.

Here are just some of the unique features found in Topaz B&W Effects:

1. Selective Brush. Intuitive selective adjustment brush for burning, dodging and selective color – plus edge-aware options.

2. True Grain Filter & Grain Creation. Choose from your favorite films or create your own grain.

3. Adaptive Exposure. The power of Topaz Adjust is infused with B&W Effects to help create dynamic detail and exposure.

4. Quad Tone. Allows for 4 different tones to be selected and applied to different tonal regions within an image.

5. Creative Effects. Includes popular Topaz effects to creatively enhance images.

6. Finishing Touches. Includes effects to give your image the perfect final touch.

While we haven’t been given an exact release date or pricing, Topaz Black & White Effects will be available this week at a special introductory (discounted) price. Watch the blog for more information.