05 Nov 13. Over the weekend I attended the annual Kenmore Camera Digital Photo Expo, Classes & Lectures, an event I've been attending for the past 7 years. Each year it seems as though the featured big name speakers are becoming more and more self centered, speaking with one arm behind their shoulder, and sharing less and less information as to how one goes about creating a good image AFTER it has been captured by the camera. I walked out on both of the featured speakers their talks were so bad! One gentleman, whose talks last year I found to be worthwhile, proved to be offering material of the same caliber this year. Of interest to me this time around was his talk entitled "256 Shades of Grey: Seeing in Black & White." He spent 90 minutes trying to educate folks on what it is to see color as shades of grey so as to visualize what you are photographing in color will look in black & white. He lost the interest of a goodly proportion of his audience when he answered a question from the floor which was "how much time should one expect to have to work on a color image to get a good B&W' with his response of "I usually spend at least an hour, or more, to get my B&W image." A honest speaker for a change. His presentation did a very god job of showing how to interpret the colors we see as they will appear in B&W, and was just about the only thing of value in the entire day. This was likely my last time to attend this conference! Now to try and put into practice what he taught. One part I have down pretty well already; this image took roughly 90 minutes create, and even at that, it graphically displays in the sky the fact that I have a lot yet to learn!! The halo around the mountain is actually there, an "artifact" resultant from the sunlight coming from behind the mountain, which in the original color version is virtually impossible to detect, but the moment I converted it to B&W it was immediately obvious. I tried many things to get rid of it, but this was the best I could do. This is a shot of the far eastern end of St Mary Lake, which runs quite a distance through the eastern side of Glacier National Park. This is one of the earliest views one gets of the lake, and at this point it doesn't look like much, but after you've driven several miles and it is still with you it begins to become obvious that this is a rather large lake. And beautiful as well. To get the finished image took 8 different layers of "correction" which go as follows. Starting with the background layer, I first converted it to B&W, then employed a curve layer to darken the sky, then added a dodge and burn layer to further work on selected part of the sky, followed that with another curves layer to further darken the sky, then another layer to burn in selected part of the sky, and finally a noise reduction layer to smooth the sky. Remember, noise reduction programs work by blurring the image, and very slight blurring serves to smooth things out. Most of these layers were needed to try and fix the halo problem in the sky. Nikon D300s; 18 - 200; Aperture priority; ISO 200; 1/250 sec @ f /11.