I've been reviewing my photo work going back to about five years ago, and discussing many of the b/w images with a photographer I greatly respect, and who first turned me onto the work of W. Eugene Smith. As a result of looking at that work I see that my first attempts at processing a few of them was a bit heavy handed. The first takes were processed with Nik's first iteration of Silver Efex Pro. After a few years of using and refining my technique with Silver Efex Pro 2 I wanted to try again.
The first image was taken on the subway. After examining the processed image I could see that I covered up quite a bit of detail in the shadow areas which got compressed into black:
After reworking the shot in SEP2 and paying more detailed attention to zones 1, 2, 3, and 4, I got a much more interesting and detailed image:
The same is pretty much true for this second image taken on West 14th Street: