As with all photographs and also with all blog posts I often have to remind myself to ask “What is it I am trying to say here?”. With individual photos or sets of photos this may affect whether I convert the photos to black and white, whether I increase the colour saturation or whether I process the photos in some other way. With blog posts how I process the photos still applies but I also have to ask myself “What is the subject matter for this blog post?”.
I started off writing this blog post after processing the photos and started writing about the Dakota aircraft and how important it was during World War 2 however, as much as I am interested in military aircraft (as you may know from some of my previous posts), the Dakota simply doesn’t interest me that much. If what am writing doesn’t interest me how can I expect it to interest you? So I asked myself again – “What am I trying to say here?”. I realised what interests me about this particular set of photos is not the aircraft but the way I processed them and changed them from fairly bland, washed-out shots of a plane against a relatively blank sky to dynamic, “contrasty” photographs which seem to pack a punch. So how did I do that?
The obvious tool to use would have been Adobe Photoshop which I used to use all the time and enjoyed using it but since Adobe moved to a subscription licensing model I can’t justify spending that much every month and so I had to stop using it and moved to GIMP. Unfortunately, as good as GIMP is, it’s simply not as good or as easy to use as Photoshop. I have to admit for the time being I don’t have the patience to learn how to process photos in GIMP like I used to in Photoshop.
So what is the solution without spending more money? Well one solution I have found is the Google Nik Collection. Now you might be saying “Hang on! The Nik Collection is owned by DxO and costs $$$” however this set of photo processing tools were previously developed by Google and were free. Thankfully this free version, although now unsupported and containing a few bugs, can still be found and downloaded here.
It takes a bit of fiddling around and Googling to get Nik Collection to integrate with GIMP but once you have got it working it works really well. This particular set of photos was processed using the “Silver Efex Pro 2” tool. If money is short or you simply want a quick way to process photos I would highly recommend checking out the Nik Collection.