Vermilion Lakes (a string of three side by side lakes) just outside of the town of Banff, Alberta is a great landscape location. On this particular day the light was beautiful. Evergreens are usually quite dark in a photograph but the low side-lit angle of the sunlight was trans-illuminating the evergreens so they glowed a bright green. The lightly dimpled lake was just calm enough to give me a nice, slightly blurred reflection.
To convert the color digital file into a black and white image I used a Black & White adjustment layer in Photoshop. If you are new to Photoshop, in the menu system go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Black and White.
I picked the Red Filter preset since it was closest to the look I wanted and modified the settings by dragging the blue slider farther to the left to darken the blue sky and dragging the yellow slider to the right to lighten the evergreens.
The end result is akin to what Ansel Adams would get when he used a red filter over his camera lens to darken the blue sky and then in the darkroom he would “dodge” the trees during the printing process to make them lighter (video link below). I did the same back in my black and white film days. For better or worse, digital makes the process faster and more controllable. But, as the saying goes,Â “I miss the smell of Dektol in the morning”.
Photo Data: Canon 5D Mark III. Canon EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens at 40 mm. 1/6 sec,Â f/11,Â ISO 100.
Article: Contrast in the Photography of Ansel Adams. Over the decades, Ansel Adams made his prints more and more contrasty.