Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

Scraping the Sky in Black and White


I’m so pleased to be part of  Leanne Cole’s ( Black and White Challenge on Tuesdays.   Thank you, Leanne, for coordinating this!  I’m not sure hers is up quite yet….I think I usually end up posting this first.  I’ve sent her the link to include with her own image, so hopefully it will be up soon!

Today’s post shows a building in San Francisco that I originally took around Christmas time.  First, I converted this image three different times in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 (neutral, high key and low key) and layered them in Photoshop.  Next, I masked them to expose and hide what I wanted and then burned/dodged here and there to hopefully create a pleasing image.  (Thank you to Mabry Campbell for giving me this B&W processing suggestion back when I created my “Trees in the Fog” image.)    I’ve gotta say…Leanne & Mabry, you two ROCK!

Scraping the Sky in B&W

Scraping the Sky in B&W


Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

45 thoughts on “Scraping the Sky in Black and White

  1. Very nice technique Laura. The image is awesome. Bravo!

  2. 101 California… I was in that building the day Luigi Ferri did what he did in that building… Now it’s just a memory…

    • Amazing! I love it when the locals come out. i was there when it wasn’t even a building! lol I started working downtown in the summers when I was 16. Thanks for sharing that.

      • The police swat teams kept us on an upper floor until they figured out he was a lone gunman.. They could not rent those two floors until they removed the staircase between those two floors.. I remember I stayed in the phone room for hours talking to my then wife. She was watching the news and kept me informed.

        • Ugh scary stuff!! When I was I think 19, I was in 245 Market and someone jumped from I think it was One Market but I’m not sure, but my office faced the side of the building. i remember the SF CHronicle put the guy falling on the front page and was chastized (as they should’ve been) from putting that on the front page. I couldn’t watch.

        • oops make that 215 market

    • btw that must’ve been scary! i was working across the street and I was scared!

  3. I love b/w photography. Very well done Laura.

  4. A brilliant photo… I’m not one too partial to B&W, but this makes me rethink my thinking…

  5. This is very strange with the dark reflections and sky – Noir! I also like how the lighted window contrast with the dark reflective surface.

  6. Well composed and captured. Lovely b&w effect!

  7. Great job with this – I am however very partial to architectural abstracts in the first place. I’m glad you gave insight into how you achieved this – Many of my shots have layers galore in their original PSD files to get to the point where I’m happy with the results. Thanks again for the B&W challenge – this is a good image to have in that gallery.

  8. I am super glad that this challenge is going on too! I love to see you and Leanne’s inspiring work. I absolutely love the pattern in the image, how the reflection, windows, and columns all seem to align perfectly. Looking forward to next Tuesday!

  9. Interesting technique. As I only use Lightroom, I’ve never used layers.

  10. I might have to try some of those techniques. You have a gift for black and white and I think you should explore it a lot more Laura.

  11. Laura, your photography is brilliant. I am following you!!! Love, Amy

  12. Great shot Laura I really like that you explained your technique

  13. so dramatic and beautiful reflections 🙂

  14. Beautiful image. Well done. I enjoy reading how you accomplished this. I love black and white but am finding that not all images look best that way. This one is gorgeous. I love it. Did I say that already?

  15. Great image and a very sound Photoshop processing method. Have you tried taking three bracketed shots and then processing in HDR software such as Photomatix? Ideally you should use a tripod but handheld (with rapid fire shooting) works most of the time as the software re-aligns the images.

    • Yes I’ve done that too. I have several shots I did doing just that on my smugmug site. Sometimes I only have one image though 😦 Thank you for that also sound processing method!

  16. This is an awesome shot. It’s such a great angle! Reminds me of some of the professional theater captures out of a surreal Super Hero Movie… Batman..

    I’m not sure if that was the effect you intended, though I’m suffering #ThunderBrain at the moment.. lol

    It’s a very ‘grand’ picture, foreboding and powerful. #LoveIt

  17. THAT is a beautiful photograph!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s