New York in Monochrome


On my recent trip to the United States of America I spent ten days in New York. On one of those days we took the Staten Island ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. We got off at the other end, but got back on the next one we could. As we were approaching Manhattan I took some photos of the skyline. Such a mixture of buildings along the edge of the river. For monochrome madness today I decided that it would be a good image to try and use.


I tried several things on it when I was processing it. As always I changed the image to monochrome in Adobe Camera Raw. I made the usual adjustments before opening it up into Photoshop.

I used High Pass to bring some more detail to the buildings. I applied motion blur on the water in the river to make it disappear a bit. I used some curves to darken the background and the foreground. I wanted the buildings to stand out more. Finally I got the dodging tool and added some whiteness to some parts of building to make them stand out.

Once I had the image the way I wanted it, I decided to see what it would like in colour again, so I switched it back. This is my reverse processing. You can get some interesting resulting doing it. Sometimes it works, and other times it is shocking and I don’t go any further.


The colours were a bit too saturated so I had to tone them down. I toned down the blues and yellows to give it an almost monotone look.

Out of the two I like the second version more. I think it shines more. My husband said it looked metallic. I like that description.

There are a lot more Monochrome images over on my other blog for MM 2-34: Monochrome Madness.

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  1. Really awesome Leanne ! Deserves to be a book cover !
    I’ve got one or two images I really think I must play with , thanks for generous sharing of tips on processing and editing .

    1. Thank you Poppytump, I do love the image, so happy to see how it came out.
      It is nice to get back into playing with images again, it seems like ages since I’ve done it. I think the trip to the US was fantastic for me. You’re welcome, I hope they are useful.

  2. great shot, Leanne. works well in monochrome. considering both variants, I like the sepia one most. It’s not so ‘cold’

  3. Interesting technique that I have not attempted (changing back to color) – I am a frequent user of the High Pass filter – especially when used on a color image, I do the B&W photo conversion in PS – where I can adjust how the B&W is rendered – then apply the High Pass using the Soft Light blend mode – mask as needed.

    1. It is something I’ve been working on for some time now. It is quite interesting to do. I do similar, though I tend to use the linear blend mode, might have to try the soft light, I usually use that for most things. I love masks, one of the best inventions, don’t you think. Thanks Robert.

  4. I love the reverse color processing you mention. I may have to come up with my own version as I have yet to master Photoshop!

    1. You could do it in Lightroom I think Emilio, I don’t know if you use that. I love doing it, you never know what you will get.

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