When I was in Yosemite earlier this year, I made a few images with a special project in mind. I wanted to recreate the look of antique glass plates.

Glass plate negatives predate the film negatives used today. Like today’s negatives, glass plate negatives could be used to produce many copies of the same image. Unlike today’s negatives, glass plates were easily broken and the prints made from them were not enlarged. All images were printed directly from the negative. To produce a large photograph, a large glass plate was used.

It was a very limiting technology. If the plate broke – there goes your picture.

Copyright Scott Bourne 2009 - All Rights Reserved

Copyright Scott Bourne 2009 - All Rights Reserved

Luckily, today we have other options. Using my Nikon DSLR, I can capture to the convenience of a memory card, upload to Aperture and then convert to something that mimics a glass plate using a plug-in. In this case, the plug-in is Nik Silver Efex Pro.

Yes, I am still in love with this plug-in. No they are not a sponsor, but I wish they were :)

Copyright Scott Bourne 2009 - All Rights Reserved

Copyright Scott Bourne 2009 - All Rights Reserved

I just really like the creativity this plug-in offers. Going back to earlier posts I’ve written about pre-visualization, this plug-in figures so prominently in my work now that I shoot with the effects it can create in mind.

Using a preset called Antique Plate I, I converted all these images in Aperture in less than two minutes.

Copyright Scott Bourne 2009 - All Rights Reserved

Copyright Scott Bourne 2009 - All Rights Reserved

I saw the finished product in my mind’s eye as I was pushing the shutter button. Clearly, this plug-in has impacted my work

I have lots of presets for Nik Silver Efex Pro. If you want to use my presets, they are available for download here – I offer no support whatsoever for those who want to use this free gift and I make no warranty or guarantee as to their suitability for you to use. They work for me. They go here: Macintosh HD : Users : <your user name> : Library : Application Support : Nik Software : Silver Efex Pro : Use at your own risk and consider backing up the original preset file first in case you have a problem.

Copyright Scott Bourne 2009 - All Rights Reserved

Copyright Scott Bourne 2009 - All Rights Reserved

If you have presets for SEP that you’d like to share, let us know.