Santa Fe Style Architecture in Black and White

Posted by on Jan 21, 2013 in Blog, Newsletter | 1 comment

San Francisco de Asis Mission Church, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico

San Francisco de Asis Mission Church, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico

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The adobe buildings for which the Santa Fe style architecture is so well known have simple clean lines and some very interesting shapes. The contrast between the earth tones of the adobe and the clear blue sky, as well as the texture in the adobe mud itself, call out to be produced in Black and White.  By removing the color from the images, the focus is then on the shapes and textures of the buildings.

Adobe Architecture Details, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico

Adobe Architecture Details, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico

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All four of these images use a preset I created in Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro as the base for the monochrome conversion. Each image, though, has been individually finished to bring out the best of the architectural detail.  I believe that a preset should only ever be the start of the conversion and not used for mass-production of images.

New Mexico Museum of Art, West Palace Ave, Santa Fe, New Mexico

New Mexico Museum of Art, West Palace Ave, Santa Fe, New Mexico

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In the image below, I lowered the opacity of the Silver Efex layer in Photoshop to bring back some of the color in the adobe. A mask has been applied to prevent the color from returning in the sky.  I was in two minds as to whether to mask out the windows and vigas (the projecting wooden roof beams) but decided that, as they were of the same earth tone as the adobe, I would let the color come through.

Inn and Spa at Loretto, Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Inn and Spa at Loretto, Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, New Mexico

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One Comment

  1. Nice images, Mark. I like all but particularly your explanation of the masking. I’ve also found that adjusting layer opacity for the Nik silver layer gives interesting results.
    Mark Neal recently posted..Revisiting an Old FriendMy Profile

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