HDR Image of the Ohio River in Black and White

B&W HDR Image of the Downtown Span Construction Sites on the Ohio River in Louisville, KY.
B&W HDR Image of the Downtown Span Construction Sites on the Ohio River in Louisville, KY.

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This image was taken from the Big Four Bridge looking west over Waterfront Park and the Ohio River in Louisville Kentucky. It was a busy morning on the river, the construction tug was moving barges for the Ohio River Bridges Project, the Belle of Louisville was headed upriver and a tugboat was pushing the largest size tow downriver, five barges long and three barges wide, that can go through the McAlpine Locks at one time. The Ohio river carries more traffic than any river in America delivering cargo from Pennsylvania in the northeast to the Mississippi River in the west and vice versa.

I decided to make this image Black and White after merging it in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2. I first took it into Aperture 3 after merging my three frame bracket set where I applied some additional contrast and a vignette to the HDR image before opening it in Topaz B&W Effects 2.1 where I chose the Platinum preset. I adjusted the paper tone slightly as well as adding some additional contrast adjustments that the Topaz B&W version seemed to need.


Don’t miss the 50% 0ff sale on Topaz Adjust  that is going on until September 30,2013. Topaz Adjust doesn’t go on sale very often and this is a great chance to save some money and get a true workhorse of a program. My entry into the world of plug-ins began with Topaz Adjust and I recommend that anyone wanting to explore that world take advantage of this opportunity.  Use the link below and the discount code septadjust when you order.


While there consider purchasing the entire Topaz Suite of programs. Topaz has done a lot of improving in the past few years and offers a very good line of software plug-ins that work well with Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture 3.


13 thoughts on “HDR Image of the Ohio River in Black and White

    1. Good point Phyllis; I suppose it would have been more appropriate to use the term monochrome when classifying this image. There have been some comments made on LinkedIn that it was too grainy and too dark; what would you say to that critique? Am I overdoing the processing?

      1. Yes, I do confess I found this image and several others recently rather grainy and wondered why. Small scale, it is fine but if it were to be printed and larger, well I wonder. The shadows are a tad dark, some detail lost but at the same time it sets a mood with the backdrop of clouds. But as in all things, it is in the eye of the creator and beholder. As always I admire your work, even if a particular piece doesn’t call to me. I applaud your continuing quest to learn and grow in your art!

        1. I am sure that some of the graininess is a direct result of the HDR process. I have to confess that my B&W skills still need polishing but with time I’m sure I will master it too.

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