Juvenile Herring Gull in the harbour at St Ives, Cornwall; 27 Sept 2012.

I have a liking for photos that appear more like the products of other media and here is something certainly heading that way – perhaps more like a pencil drawing?  I’ve used a Soft Portrait preset, which includes pale vignetting, and the bird appears to be emerging from dense mist, with even its left wing nebulous and obscure.

Using this preset has also almost completely obscured details of the sea below the bird – and this all makes for an artificially isolated vignette of the creature – a sketch in a notebook perhaps.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; conversion to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Soft Classic Portrait preset, and giving the image the look of Ilford Delta 400 mono print film.


About Adrian Lewis
Photographer - using mono, colour and combinations of the two - many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous, trying new ideas, working in multiple genres. And I've a weakness for Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.


  1. bluebrightly says:

    You used this technique, or effect, to great advantage! Yes, it totally looks like a pencil drawing. Actually, in principle, I’m not usually fond of one media mimicking another, but this brings something special to the gull – it has more soul – that photos often lack. The details that are here and those that aren’t – well, you have the perfect balance.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I know what you mean about soul, and I’m happy with the highlight in the eye too. I’m glad you like this, Lynn, I don’t experiment much like this these days – maybe I’m becoming less adventurous! A 🙂


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