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Sometimes simple is better….
I like using NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 for preparing black and white images. Using the bracketed exposures really helps intensify the textures and contrasts within an image. After merging the three exposures -2, 0, and +2 EV I returned the image to Aperture 3 where I applied a B&W setting with a blue filter. Some sharpening and contrast adjustments were applied and a slight vignette was used to finish the image.