I was teaching recently at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, and gave my students an assignment of seeing and photographing shadows, while they were exploring the plaza downtown.  Since they were to wander on their own, to find unique photographs,  I wandered, too – to catch up with them and check in on their progress, answer questions, etc. And while doing that, I too made a few pics here and there and focused on the same assignment.

Santa Fe is known for the light – all of New Mexico is really – and in late March – before the trees leaf out, you get some great shadows of tree branches on adobe walls, and other fun things. The angle of the morning light is still low in the sky after it pops over the hill to the east, making great textures, too.

When turning a corner, outside of the Library, I spotted this cool shadow, created by a statue outside the Library. I can’t remember who it was now, but definitely a friar of some sort by the robe outline. In converting to black and white using Topaz B&W Effects 2. I chose a Warm Tone filter for a more sepia effect. In Lightroom, I darkened the window area down to keep it from drawing the eye too much. Now, at least they are a counterpoint to each other.

Topaz is releasing a new version of B&W Effects on Thursday, April 11th. The two biggest additions are:

The Zone System Viewing Mode lets you see your image broken down into 11 zones that represent the full tonal scale going from 0 as black to 10 as white. Zones are shown in different highlight colors for easy viewing. This viewing mode helps you determine whether or not you have the full tonal range in your image and then make exposure adjustments in our conversion module to correct these tones.

The Borders feature in B&W Effects 2.1 allows you to choose from several realistic darkroom borders, with several styles including both bleeding and crisp edges. This new feature also allows you to select the size of the border.


To save 15% when buying the program, click on the link in the text above, and enter “brendatharp” at checkout – but wait until  Thursday or beyond to get the most up to date version.