Galleries Are Here!

The Gallery pages are coming online!

Sunrise on Folley Beach, Light painting on the driftwood with a white LED light! Very LONG Exposure...


On the top menu of the blog you will find several pages listed across the top.  The one labeled Galleries is actually a series of drop down menus which will let you select several organized image galleries containing my favorite work from over the years.  So far, I have 4 galleries populated but will be expanding over this month to around 15.  Please stop by for a visit and come back often to see the changes there!

I hope that you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed creating them!  They cover about 15 years of my work since living in the Low Country of South Carolina and cover about 19 different states and 6 different countries! I even have some high speed water drop photography thrown in as good measure.

Comparing Color To B&W For Viewer Impact

Mattamuskeet Light, B&W Conversion

B&W or Color, The Eternal Question!

Wow, talk about a loaded topic!  I have ALWAYS preferred B&W over color, but until recently the public voted with their dollars for color over B&W about 3 to 1.  Along came Infrared and the trend totally reversed!  So I find myself looking at B&W conversions of my color images each and every time I sit down in front of the computer!  This is especially true in Infrared also.

What this means is that as I post process my color images I also do a B&W version just to be sure…

After doing my RAW conversion and basic cropping for my master image library size I use the Nik filters in the following way…

Color Work Flow:

  • Nik Define 2.0 – In the auto mode simply select the defaults and check OK to complete.  If needed you can switch over to Manual and add extra control points in noisy areas but make sure you select the measure noise button before clicking OK.  This process cleans up the  the image but doesn’t reduce clarity!
  • Nik Color EFX 4.0 – I usually run the Tonal Contrast recipe but always try the Warmth and Brilliance and others as well.  This is to sharpen and adjust the saturation levels!
  • Nik Viveza – Overall spot corrections.
  • Flatten Layers and save as a 16 bit PSD file with a usable name keeping the camera image serial number as part of the name.

B&W Work Flow:

  • Always run through this workflow after finished with your color processing.  Never switch your camera over to it’s B&W internal mode.  You will get better conversions using the Post Processing!
  • Nik Silver EFX 2.0 – Boy this is a tough one.  There are so many recipes plus millions of individual adjustments.  For me I usually use the Basic recipe, or the Full Spectrum recipe (my choice most of the time) but for some images the Wet Rocks recipe is too magic to overlook!
  • Under Image > Mode select B&W than flatten the layers keeping the image in the 16 bit mode.
  • Save As giving the image a new name with BW in the name field.

That’s all there is to my workflow from the color world.  Infrared is much different and you can read great volumes about it on my IR blog at:

OK, here are some color/B&W comparisons for you to ponder over…

Capt James, Very Moody & interesting image

But, check out how the B&W version draws you into the image and smacks you around a little!  Both images are good but the B&W works better for me!

Emotionally Charged, Moody... Perfect!

B&W - Down & Out, Moody, Nice but a little plain don't you think?

But the Color image is something else!

The Color version tells more of a story and works better!

As you can see, I like the Color version much better.  This goes to prove that you never know which is going to work out the best so you should process for both each and every time!

What do YOU think?

Shrimp Boats from the NC Infrared Workshop!

Infrared vs. Color/B&W, So Many Choices – So Little Time!

Shrimp Boats & Crab Pots!

I know, it really was an Infrared workshop given in the Swan Quarter area of North Carolina!  BUT, (really big but!) I wanted to capture these shrimpers in color.  The lighting was perfect, the clouds were moody and there were literally hundreds of the boats in port in both Swan Quarter and Englehard.  It was a dream come true!

Joane B. - Englehard, NC

Just look at these colors!  This first image was taken in Swan Quarter.  The fleet infrastructure was dismal and beyond poor condition.  Some (most) docks were physically crumbled but yet still had boats tied up!

The difference between Swan Quarter and Englehard was simply amazing!  Englehard was well maintained and full of boats.  Everything was sparkling (well, as much as a fleet of shrimpers can be!)

And yes, I did shoot in Infrared as well but will post those images on the IR Blog at

Ok, and now for some of my favorite shrimp boats of the weekend.  All were shot with the 7D switching off between the 24-70L f/2.8 and the 17-40L f/4 lenses!

Wonder Woman, Englehard, NC

Swan Quarter Fleet

Mary Elizabeth, Englehard, NC B&W

I did mention B&W shrimp boat images didn’t I? Sometimes, B&W images can be so stunning that they can take your breath away.  They pack and incredible emotional punch that can grab the viewer by the throat and scream “Look At Me!”

Swan Quarter Fleet, B&W

Mary Elizabeth, Englehard, NC

All images were processed in Adobe CS5 using the Nik Filter set.

Please let me know what you think!