After the rain - Lupine leaf

I made this image a few years ago in a local park, just after it rained. I wasn’t happy with the color image, so I forgot about it. I was looking for another image a few days ago and saw this and thought this may do well in B&W.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any, I don’t know how to use luminosity masks. Could this be made better with those masks? I just purchased those from Sean Bagshaw’s web site, but haven’t installed them.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Canon 7DII + 180/3.5 + tripod
f/8, 1/80, ISO 800
Canon DPP for RAW conversion, PSCC, NiK Silver Effex for B&W conversion, no sharpening or noise reduction, full image.

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Ravi: Spectacular subject and a fine conversion to my eye. The refractions in the drops and the contrast in shapes between the round drops and the spikey leaf edges is marvelous. Most excellent. >=))>

Wow this does work nicely in monochrome. Such fine detail and that smooth background makes it all just leap out at you. I can’t speak too much of the masking since I’m new to it myself and only have Tony’s freebie plug in. I am a bit intimidated by them, so for now I’m taking it slow.

This is beautiful, Ravi, and would be fun to work on with luminosity masks. I’m only getting started with luminosity masks myself. It’s be fun to try to darken (burn) the background, and then bring out (dodge) just the white sparkly parts. There are some good videos on Sean’s website to help.

Gorgeous detail, Ravi. I’ve also only just begun using luminosity masks and have just begun to see the advantage of using them. However, this image, at least for me, is wonderful just the way it is. Nicely done.

This is fantastic and perfect for B/W! I don’t think anything could make it better!

I’m also way behind the curve with TK masks – maybe we need a support group.

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Really well done Ravi. Lots of WOW factor here. Good that you remembered it and went back for the b/w conversion. Placement in the frame is excellent.

This is excellent. It never hurts to learn TK’s masks, but I don’t think you need any here. The conversion, processing and image look spot on to my eye. A lovely jewel.

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Ravi, this is a good subject for b&w. The tonality is lovely as is, so whether further refinements would “improve” it all depends on what story you want to tell. High drama? Gentleness?

That being said, if you wanted more drama or less drama or whatever, luminosity masking would make that easier. Lum masking makes it easy to create a mask that excludes the fine hairs from the background, for example. Here’s a mask made using the TK7 panel, choosing only Zone 3 - you can see that it excludes all the light bits (they’re black), but leaves in everything else (the white parts). That would be good if you wanted to accentuate the light bits and darken everything else, for example. The TK7 panel also lets you “erase” parts of the created mask to further refine the mask. In this example, you could erase the mask from the leaves, leaving only the background. Of course, you could do all that with just PS tools, but the TK7 panel makes it so much easier.

I definitely recommend watching Sean B.'s videos. They show you both how to use the panels and give you ideas for your own images.


Like everyone else, I think this is a fantastic image. I like the off-center composition and the black and white treatment wonderfully brings out the pattern and textures.

I did play with it a bit in Photoshop. One thing I noticed is that you appear to be working in Grayscale mode. This generally is not necessary. You can still work in RGB Color mode with black and white images and doing so gives you access to more Photoshop functionality.

From a creative perspective, I created a Lights-1 mask and output it to a Levels adjustment layer. Increasing brightness using this layer’s midtones (gamma) slider preferentially targets the lighter values in the image and makes them look a bit more jewel-like. A free hand vignette is then used to focus the eye a little better on the main drop of water in the center. These are subtle changes to the image and might not be easy to see if the two versions aren’t next to each other, but they maybe provide a sense of what else is possible.


Thanks everyone for your generous comments. I can see two possibilities from Bonnie and Tony . I love the glittering water drops in Tony’s re-work. It is just amazing to see what is possible. I am more motivated to work on TK panels and learn how to work with luminosity masks. I have what is needed. i just need to learn them.

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