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Black And White Japanese Photographer.

Take Control. Although coloured filters should still be used to manipulate contrast when shooting digital black and white images, it’s more common to save this work until the processing stage. Until a some years ago Photoshop’s Channel Mixer was the favorite means of turning colour images monochrome, but now Adobe Camera Raw has more powerful tools (in the HSL/Grayscale tab) that allow you to adjust the brightness of eight individual colours that make up the image. It’s possible to adjust single of these colours to make it anything from white to black with the sliding control. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the whole image when adjusting a particular colour as crafty gradations may become unnatural looking. And adjusting the brightness of a red or pink shirt with the red sliding control, for instance , will have an impact on the model’s skin, especially the lips. The Levels and Curves controls can also be used to manipulate tonal range and contrast, but the HSL/Grayscale controls allow you to create delineation between objects of the same brightness but with unique colours.

Use Filters. Graduated neutral density (AKA ND grad) and polarizing filters are just as useful in monochrome photography as they are in colour. In fact, because they manipulate image contrast they are arguably more advantageous . An ND grad is supportive when you want to retain detail in a bright sky while a polarizing filter could be used to reduce reflections and boost contrast. Alternatively, view taking two or more shots with varied exposures to create a high dynamic range (HDR) composite. Don’t be afraid to use a ND grad with a standard neural density filter if the sky is brighter than the foreground in a long exposure shot. Coloured filters, which are an essential tool for monochrome film photographers, could also be advantageous for manipulating contrast in digital images. They work by darkening objects of their opposite colour while lightening objects of their own. An orange filter, for example, will darken the blue of the sky while a green single will lighten foliage.

Try Long Exposure. Long exposure shots could work really well in monochrome photography, especially where there’s moving water or clouds. During the exposure the highlights of the water, for example, are recorded across a wider place than they would with a short exposure and this should help enhance tonal contrast. The blurring of the movement also adds textural contrast with any solid objects in the frame. If compulsory , use a neutral density filter such as Lee Filters’ Big Stopper or Little Stopper to reduce exposure and extend shutter speed (by 10 and 4 stops respectively). characteristically , when exposures extend farther than respecting 1/60 sec a tripod is wanted to keep the camera still and avoid blurring. It’s also advisable to use a remote release and mirror lock-up to minimise vibration and produce super-sharp images.

Look for Contrast, Shape and Texture. The complimentary and opposing colours that bring a colour image to life are all decreased to black and white or shades of grey in a monochrome image and you have to look for tonal contrast to make a shot stand out. In colour photography, for example, your eye would right away be drawn to a red object on a green background, but in monochrome photography these two areas are likely to have the same brightness, so the image looks flat and drab straight from the camera. providentially , it’s possible to work adjust the brightness of these two colours singly to introduce some contrast. However, a great starting point is to look for scenes with tonal contrast. There are always exceptions, but as a general rule look for scenes that contain some powerful blacks and whites. This should be achieved by the light or by the brightness (or tone) of the objects in the scene as well as the exposure settings that you use. The brightness of the bark of a silver birch tree for example, should inject some contrast (and interest) in to a woodland scene. Setting the exposure for these brighter areas also makes the shadows darker, so the highlights stand out even more. Look for shapes, patterns and textures in a scene and move around to find the unsurpassed composition.

Shoot RAW + JPEG. The unsurpassed monochrome conversions are reached by editing raw files which have the full colour information, but if you shoot raw and JPEG files simultaneously and set the camera to its monochrome picture Style/Picture Control/Film Simulation mode you get an indication of how the image will look in black and white. As numerous photographers struggle to visualise a scene in black and white, these monochrome modes are an invaluable tool that will help with composition and scene assessment. most cameras are also capable of producing decent in-camera monochrome images these days and it’s worth experimenting with image parameters (usually contrast, sharpness, filter effects and toning) to find a look that you like. Because compact attribute cameras and compact cameras show the scene seen by the sensor with camera settings applied, users of these cameras are able to preview the monochrome image in the electronic viewfinder or on rear screen before taking the shot. DSLR users could also do this if they activate his camera’s live belief roadway , but the usually slower responses mean that most will find it preferable or check the image on the screen post-capture.

Dodge and Burn. Dodging and burning is a plan that comes from the traditional darkroom and is usually used to burn in or darken highlights and hold back (brighten) shadows. Photoshop’s Dodge and Burn tools allow a level of control that film photographers may only hope of because you should target the highlights, shadows or mid-tones with both. This means that you can use the Burn tool to darken highlights when they are too bright, or the Dodge tool to brighten them to increase local contrast. It’s a good drive of sharing a sense of superior sharpness and enhancing texture. Plus, because you may set the opacity of the tools, you should build up her effect gradually so the impact is crafty and there are no hard edges.

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With her heavy use of saturated colours and floral imagery, the photographs of Mika Ninagawa are intoxicating creations. Shooting mostly in the fashion industry, her art is simultaneously a traditional and ultra modern view of Japan.

Born in Tokyo in 1985, Daifu is part of a new wave of young photographers challenging the establishment through their own brand of exuberant non-conformity. He stuffs his frames with as much colour and objects as possible. For example, he documents his family life in full exposure with nothing hidden from view.

Sato lights up our world with a little bit of enchanting magic. Tokihiro Sato

Presently, there are numerous names that have made their mark both at home and abroad in the US and Europe in fields such as fashion and fine art. Here I’ll be looking at a wide range of contemporary photographers, who with their own unique visions have influenced the world in different ways.

Dances of light across a deep blue river: the spellbinding artistry of Takehito Miyatake. Takehito Miyatake

Hamada and his visually engaging series “Primal Mountain.” Yuji Hamada

Known and admired for his captivating interpretations of light and space in his black and white pictures, Tokihiro Sato is without a doubt a master photographer. Filling mythical landscapes with different means of light, he fuses the human and the natural world in spellbinding fashion.

Takehito Miyatake is a Japanese photographer whose beautiful landscape imagery has an air of poetry about it. Whether he is shooting a forest alight with golden fireflies or a volcano in the midst of an eruption, he finds the magic in the natural world.

A riot of florals and colour by Mika Ninagawa pays tribute to Japan’s rich culture. Mika Ninagawa

Strong and simple portraits shot by acclaimed snapper Yosuke Yakima. Yosuke Yajima

Hamada created his “Primal Mountain” photographs after getting inspiration from a postcard a friend in Switzerland sent him of a picturesque snowy mountain. After finding the right raw materials near his home in Tokyo, he then composed the shot against a real sky, so as to blend the real with the fake, the foreign with the home.

Photographer Yosuke Yajima has a strong minimalist aesthetic to his work. The portraits in particular stand out for the way Yajima strips them back. He goes in for subtle lighting, drained and neutral colours and expressionless looks on the subjects’ faces. Very interesting stuff.

The dreamy and ethereal photography of Rinko Kawauchi can be seen everywhere from book covers to the inside of New York galleries. Her work uses soft colours and simple compositions to draw the viewer into her pictures. Zen-like and minimalist, she is not to be ignored.

Kawaguchi captures the restricting aspect of love and relationships. Haruhiko Kawaguchi

Hungry? Daifu chronicles the everyday lives of Japan in subversive fashion. Motoyuki Daifu

Japan has a rich history in photography. Think back to the hazy and dislocated black and white imagery that came out of Tokyo in the 60s, a time that was defined by a younger generation struggling with their country’s past and future.

It’s near impossible to mistake the work of Haruhiko Kawaguchi for any other contemporary photographer. The Tokyo artist has made his name by asking strangers back to his studio to be shot in claustrophobic plastic bags. The resulting imagery is quite shocking, and in the process he is making interesting points on the oppressive nature of love.

Top: Mt Fuji made out tinfoil by Yuji Hamada. The delicate layout and subtle shades mark out the photographs of Rinko Kawauchi. Rinko Kawauchi

An example of the often shocking and fearless art of Arākī. Nobuyoshi Araki

The diorama series of Hiroshi Sugimoto is a visually ravishing project shot within the world famous Natural History Museum in New York. The choice to shoot in black and white covers the primordial imagery (think cavemen and prehistoric landscapes) in a further layer of nostalgia.

Often called by his nickname Arākī, this controversial Japanese snapper has been photographing seductive nudes and exploring sexuality with his camera for many decades. Shooting almost exclusively in black and white, his work can be analysed in the same light as Nan Goldin: both capturing natural and flash-heavy images of nudity.

Frozen in time: Sugimoto shoots New York’s natural history museum. Hiroshi Sugimoto

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