Just to illustrate how you can take the same photo different directions…
This photo was taken with an EOS 7D and an EF 17-40mm f/4L. Between Olympia and Tacoma, Washington is the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, where these barns are located. This first shot was edited in NIK Silver Efex Pro 2. The contrast is not extreme but I tried to bring out as much detail as I could. The sky was over-exposed and showed very little detail in the unedited image, but I managed to pull out some of the cloud detail. An advantage of shooting RAW format. The other challenge was winter overcast weather which made for a very gray image with little color.
This version of the same original image was edited in NIK Color Efex Pro 4. It is a softer and more dreamy look. I could have done just about anything with it, but I thought this look was good. Notice that the sides of the barn are darker, while the roof is lighter, the opposite from the first black and white edit.
This version was done in Topaz Labs Adjust 4. I made it partial color and punched up the details. No it doesn’t look realistic, but it’s art right?
I shot this last weekend and thought I’d see if I could do some versions that were different from each other.