Town Hall by Nikon

For today’s post I picked another photo that I took with the Nikon 5100 on Sunday of the Ivanhoe Town Hall.  I was so disappointed with how the sky turned out in the photos. When I was looking through them, there was one that I thought wouldn’t be such a bad image if the sky were better.  It has been overcast and rainy here today, so I took the 5100 outside and took some photos of some clouds.  I picked one image and replaced the sky.

There has been quite a bit of processing done to this.  I have tried to enhance the brick detail more.  The lighting has been completely changed as well.  What do you think of the cloudy sky?

The original is there on the left.  It’s really washed out and I really don’t like the sky in it.  The clouds and the processing have improved the image so much.  A lot more mood has been put into the image.  The darkening of the bricks has helped give the outside of the building more depth.

Of course, I couldn’t just leave it at that.  With the Nik Software, you know I had to try the image in Color Efex.

The Color Efex filter Classical Soft Focus.  This filter really is my favourite.  I find a lot of the others too much, whereas I like the subtleness of this one.

So after using Color Efex, I had to see how the image would look processed with Silver Efex.

When it is changed to black and white with Silver Efex, the whole mood changes.  It almost looks like it was taken at night with a full moon.

The other day when I did the post on the images from the back beach, someone suggested using the soft focus on the black and white image, so today I decided to try that.

Though,  now that I compare the two, there doesn’t seem a lot of difference.  It is softer, but not a lot.

Doing the images in different ways can be a great thing, but then it becomes harder to work out which one you like the best.

I had hoped that I would be able to get out with the Nikon 5100 today to get some photos, but the weather wasn’t suitable as we had thunderstorms and rain this morning.  I am planning some trips this weekend to really try it out.  Though, I am going to try some still life images this week with some dead roses I have.




  1. I really like the Color Efex Classical shot; it creates an atmosphere that looks like a storm is coming, or has just passed. The b/w looks very moody, as if a story is about to break out. Very cool.

  2. I love the light in the first shot and the sky does enhance it. It is sharp and very authentic. I am sure the Town Hall would love it.

    • I don’t know if they would, maybe I should send a link to the post, actually I am hoping they might let me photograph the whole building, inside and out. Thanks

  3. Wasn’t it wet? It feels likes its been ages since we’ve had rain like that. I really like the top shot. I have to admit I struggle with soft focus photos, nothing to do with the images but the softness always makes me feel like I need my eyes tested, ie i’m getting old.

    • No, it wasn’t wet Liz, the sky was overcast, but the clouds came from Tuesday when we had the thunderstorms. Great to be able to give it a different sky. I love why you don’t like soft focus, I had to laugh. Thanks

  4. Wow … it’s hard to believe that the clouds in the final version came out of the washed out sky shown in the original. It’s like the software is pulling elements from out of nowhere. I guess the camera seems a bit more than we ever do. Amazing adjustments. Continued nice work. D

      • Ah, ha! Tricky. Hey .. what’s up with east13photography? Are you starting up a new blog? If so … what’s its focus? No pun intended! If Photoshop was able to so seamlessly merge the clouds with the original image – it must be truly powerful and flexible. Nice work. D

      • I’m a music photographer: I don’t really go in for the wordpress mutual appreciation society thing – I use wordpress, but self host – but I do post pictures of musicians.

    • HI Dave, looks like you got the answers, the sky was replaced with another one. I love that I can do that. Thanks.

  5. Truly cool images…
    I woke up this morning thinking about some of the still lifes you’ve done over the last year, and remembered the painted backdrops you used…If you get the time, could you do a post on them, and the why’s and how’s of choosing?
    (Yes, I’m serious about the waking-up part; I have some odd dreams when I’m stressed ;) )

    • Thanks Marie.
      Of course I can, I will have to wait for a cool day though, my studio doesn’t have any ventilation and it gets really hot this time of the year. I have had some others wanting to know as well. I might see if I can do a tutorial on how one Monday.
      I have very strange dreams too, I’ve been dreaming about making it through impossible situations lately, I hope it means things are going to be good. :)

  6. The color effects classic soft focus is attractive because it doesn’t have that over processed look and the next process using the silver effex is filled with drama because of the accentuated detailing. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to create many looks/feelings from the same original image. Great job Leanne and thanks for sharing this project!

  7. LaPetiteFéerie says

    Nice! I really liked what you did with the Silver Efex. It gave it a very classic/retro feel to the pic :)

  8. Leanne. the first photo is great, the B&W does not seem to pop. I like the fact that you try different things and show them. It allows us to visualize what different software does. I’ve been a Nikon Person since the late 70’s. My opinion you can’t go wrong with a Nikon.

    • Thank you, I do like to try lots of different things. I love Nikon, I have to admit, I can’t imagine using another brand.

  9. A more menacing sky, or at least more interesting one, is something I would’ve not thought of. And, the Color Efex has given it the night time appearance. Well done.

    • I have done it a few times, of course you have to have a stock of clouds that you can use. I try and photograph interesting clouds whenever I can. Thanks David.

  10. Mmm, quite nice, but don’t let this trickery put you off going out and taking nice pics. Nikon’s D5100 is a jolly nice camera that is up to much more than the pic you used as a basis for your -must admit quite impressive- bit of p-shopping.

    • Going out and taking photos is all part of it. The weather hasn’t been great this week, but I am hoping to get out quite a bit this weekend to try it out before it has to go back to Nikon. Though having said that, playing with the images on the computer for me is also part of the process and one that I love. Thanks

  11. Leanne, the color and black and white are both stunning…. when I think of all the time I spent in a dark room and I could never get images like that.

    • Bless you, I know exactly what you are talking about. I can remember spending weeks in the darkroom working on one image, I even got some help couldn’t do it, I scanned the negative earlier this year and within 15 minutes I had what I had tried to do in the darkroom. I love the digital darkroom.

  12. Very interesting. Love the first B&W shot. You’re right it looks like it was shot at night. Looking forward to seeing more.

  13. Love the storm-brewing moodiness of the b&w…but go back and forth on which of these renditions I like the most. Maybe that’s all dependent on my own mood[iness] ! :) I like them each, a lot, for different reasons.

  14. petit4chocolatier says

    Wonderful shots. I really love the dramatic sky, the flag blowing, and the green clock-colourful. And I really love the eerie setting of the black and white!!

    • Thank you petit4chocolatier, seems it was a great choice, people have liked different ones for different reasons.

  15. calvininjax says

    You have followed my blog long enough to know that the B&W conversions are my favourites.

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  17. I like the first picture and the normal bw ones the most. :) That is some serious editing you did, I have no idea how you did it. Awesome work. ^_^b

  18. mapsalesdotcom says

    Your photo captured the architecture of the Town hall building very nicely.

  19. Catching up here, Leanne!

    Not keen on the first image…a bit too saturated…yet love the path you placed it on with Nik! That ‘soft focus’ is quite wonderful…and what it did to B/W version makes it really stand out! BTW, love the architecture of this building…really a great shot to begin with!

    • That’s what I seem to be doing a lot, catching up,
      I think Nik did a great jov with it, I loved the effects. It is great architecture, I will go back when we get some better weather, thanks 1000

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