Pushing the envelope as far as it will go during B&W conversion. I was always curious about how dark a sky could get when imitating a red filter in post production. This shot was taken during a haze-free clear day using a regular DSLR. There were only few adjustments applied here, such as contrast, microstructure, radiance and exposure. All done in Luminar.

The B&W conversion filter already allows me to fine tune the brightness of each color channel (red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta), so using the “red filter” preset obviously lowers the luminance of blue and cyan channels. This is to evoke the look of old-fashioned red filters, which were often used on monochrome film camera lenses to darken the sky and bring out more contrast in the clouds (think Ansel Adams). Where I’ve gone to the max was in using HSL (hue, saturation, luminance) filter, in addition to the B&W conversion. The HSL effect also allows full control over the 6 primary color channels, So, in addition to already a very dark sky achieved in the B&W, I further pushed the blues and cyans to their lowest possible luminance, until the sky turned pitch black.

I recently did a focus micro adjustment on this lens, so this shot’s original purpose was to see where the lens would be focusing on the ladder, using a rather wide aperture. Focus was right on the money and showed a nice looking falloff into pleasing bokeh at the top of the ladder.

Camera: Pentax K-5
Lens: Pentax smc DA 35mm f/2.4 AL
Aperture: f/3.2
Shutter: 1/3200
ISO: 200

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