John Collett and David Collett are photographers who specialize in fine-art landscape and travel photography. John Collett lives in San Clemente, California. David Collett lives in Redondo Beach, California.
Haze is reduced and blue skies look particularly dramatic when shooting infrared
After some final tonal adjustments and finishing touches, such as sharpening, you can create stimulating and original images that will enable you to see the landscape in a whole new light. It’s well worth printing your best work – the tones and textures of mono can look wonderful in a nice frame.
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The author really did a good job explaining his process and outlining ways that the reader could follow. This book is a resource that I will see a lot. I may not do as much black and white but I will follow his steps when I process my pictures and also use his tips for setting up the shots.
The pictures were absolutely stunning.
Gary Wagner’s love of the photographic image and craft began at the age of sixteen when he became the photographer for his high school newspaper in Kokomo, Indiana. He continued his education at Indiana University in Bloomington, eventually moving to Santa Barbara, California, to attend Brooks Institute of Photography.
While at Brooks, Gary increased his artistic and theoretical knowledge of photography and the historical significance of the printed image. Earning a Master’s Degree in Photography from Brooks Institute, with the publication of his work on historical carbon printing, gave Gary a continued appreciation and passion for his artistic craft.
Gary’s professional career spans more than three decades and includes, fine art, portrait, and commercial photography. His knowledge, expertise, and enthusiasm for the photographic image enabled him to successfully teach theory and technique at the college level and seminars in Europe on the English country landscape.
Fluent with all film formats, from 35mm to 8×10, Gary has embraced the digital image and the ever-changing environment of photography in the current technological age. Exploring photography using digital imagery offers a myriad of possibilities.
Refining technique with the interplay of artistic expression fascinates and challenges Gary to continue his exploration of the photographic image and his study of the land and its natural elements and beauty.
For the past 25 years Gary has made his home in the beautiful Sierra foothills of Northern California.
There is much more to creating a successful monochrome image than simply looking back through the hard drive to salvage a shot by converting it to greyscale (although this can bring about desirable results, particularly with scenes that were too contrasty to be successful in colour). To make the most of shooting in black & white, you’ll need to develop a whole new mindset before you even press the shutter. Whereas colour photography is dependent on the relationship between the various hues in a scene, when this is taken out of the equation other factors take on much greater prominence.
The tonal values in the image become more important, and although it’s not always easy to visualise these, with a little practice you can become much more adept at picturing the landscape as areas of light and shadow.
“Such is the diversity of images shown as examples you could take any of your own creations and find a reasonably close example to act as a starting point for your post-processing attempts. The breadth of technique employed by various photographers for tuning their landscape images is huge.” –Professional Imagemaker
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Shooting in infrared opens up a whole new dimension to black & white landscape photography. When using an infrared filter or IR-converted camera, most of the visible light is blocked, allowing only the infrared spectrum to reach the sensor. In practice, this can transform images and add a surreal, dreamlike quality to them.
Whereas Graduated filters give you a sweeping effect, Radial filters are perfect for making adjustments to specific areas. They can be used to accentuate highlights and shadows, detail and textures, and are a good way to add depth and interest to the important areas of the photograph.
Processing your black & white images well is vital to creating an impressive final image; it is also where you really get to add your creative input. Simply removing the colour and converting the image to greyscale will often lead to disappointing results, and can leave you with a rather flat and lifeless photograph.
Foliage becomes lighter, blue skies become much darker and atmospheric haze is reduced. This is often used to create the ghostly looking infrared shots most of us are familiar with, but it can also be used in a much subtler way to enhance contrast and alter the expected dynamics of light and shade within an image.
Creating a route through the image is a great technique to engage the viewer, and black & white is the perfect medium for doing this. Light and shadow can become key compositional elements. The eye is naturally drawn to the contrast when very dark and very light areas meet in a black & white image, so use these to create focal points and lead-in lines. A shadow falling across a field or hill, or a patch of sunlight on the sea, can be just as important an element within a shot as physical objects such as a fence or building.
Use the natural interplay of light and dark as a key compositional tool
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This monochrome preview shouldn’t be seen as the final image, though, as one of the most liberating aspects of black and white landscape photography is that you have the ability to alter the tonal range of individual colours later, as well as having much more control over the highlights and shadows. This allows you to recreate the image you are visualising out in the field and exercise a degree of creative influence over it.
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I had my Canon EOS 5D Mark II converted to infrared (using a 720nm filter) purely for mono work. I love the extra contrast and slightly surreal effects I can achieve with it.
The first step is to switch the image to black & white in the Develop sidebar. Adjusting the Contrast, Highlights, Shadows and Clarity will start to lift the image, giving you a wider tonal range. You can also alter the tone of individual colours using the Black and White Mix sliders.
Photographer’s Black and White Handbook: Making and Processing Stunning Digital Black and White Photos
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Black & White Photography: The timeless art of monochrome in the post-digital age
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Black & white photography enables a more personal interpretation of the landscape. Lee Acaster, winner of multiple photo awards, explains
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Paperback: 128 pages Publisher: Amherst Media (15 April 1999) Language: English ISBN-10: 1584280042 ISBN-13: 978-1584280040 Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 0.9 x 28 cm Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,495,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #901 in Books > Art, Architecture & Photography > Photography & Video > Nature & Wildlife > Landscapes #984 in Books > Art, Architecture & Photography > Photography & Video > Aerial #1411 in Books > Computers & Internet > Digital Photography > Techniques & Tips
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With the Graduated tool, start darkening or lightening specific areas of the image. Using several of these and coming in from different directions enables you to create a vignette effect, to draw the viewer’s eye to the important areas of the image. Hence, you can adjust the exposure and contrast.
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Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
I highly recommend this book to anybody interested in learning more about composing or critiquing photographs.
The author uses common techniques to capture multiple-exposures of a scene. Then he utilizes Photomatix to render HDR interpretations. Finally he uses Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 to yield stunning BW results.
From scene to scene the end-to-end recipe is fairly consistent. That said in my opinion the results are very impressive and eye catching.
We all see the world around us in colour, but as photographers we have the opportunity to look beyond this and view it as form, tone and texture. Shooting in black & white opens up a whole new landscape hidden beneath the surface.
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Creating a vignette effect by darkening the edges of the frame, and increasing the contrast around the key components of the shot, will naturally lead the viewer’s eye towards these lighter areas and make it linger there. The same approach can be applied in reverse to a high-key image, where the darker areas become the focal point.
Paperback: 128 pages Publisher: Amherst Media (27 Aug. 2015) Language: English ISBN-10: 160895921X ISBN-13: 978-1608959211 Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 0.6 x 25.4 cm Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 804,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #790 in Books > Computers & Internet > Digital Photography > Techniques & Tips #1316 in Books > Art, Architecture & Photography > Photography & Video > Digital Photography #2878 in Books > Art, Architecture & Photography > Photography & Video > Techniques & Tools
By using light and shade in this way, the viewer is given a ‘starting point’. Typically, this is introduced around the edges of the frame, and then the eye is led into the key focal points of the image. You can enhance this effect even further in processing, which, whether in the darkroom or digitally, has always played an important role in creating great mono images. Gradient and Radial filters provide a simple and effective method of concentrating the viewer’s attention on the important parts of the image.
I still use filters for my black & white photography, in particular a Lee Filters circular polariser, which is useful for adding contrast to skies.
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent for learning how to compose or critique photos
This slim volume is a comprehensive guide packed with necessary information on black and white and landscape photography. The introduction to the book states, “. . . when photographing landscapes, you are at the mercy of these elements–quickly changing weather, changing and uneven illumination, poor contrast or limited tonal range, undesirable yet unchangeable foregrounds or backgrounds, and extraneous objects in the scene which may significantly detract from your composition.
” The challenge of creating a dynamic black and white landscape almost makes a photographer want to quit before beginning. Yet, with the help of this book, obtaining a spectacular black and white landscape seems to be within the realm of possibility.
I like the book most because there is great detail in clear and understandable terms. Along with the text are more than seventy interpretive examples of black and white landscape photographs. The first section of the book discusses “The Artist’s Tools.
” Everything from camera format to film and tripods are thoroughly addressed, including the benefits or drawbacks of various choices, prices and recommended accessories. Section two defines the art of landscape photography.
Some questions answered are, “What is art?” “What makes a good landscape photograph?” and “Why black and White?” I found section 3 to be the most informative. Visual elements are explained in detail. Among some of the aspects covered are framing, vision, viewpoint, tonality and design.
“Field Techniques” are explained in section four. The sometimes confusing effects of different colored filters on black and white images are explained with the help of charts and photographic examples.
A condensed, but comprehensive explanation of the Zone System ends this section. The quotation, “The darkroom . . . allows you to create an image that exactly matches your artistic conception” introduces section five.
This chapter takes us into the darkroom and beyond. Section six explains “Putting it all together,” and section seven gives examples of field exposure, darkroom printing and Zone System field exposure records so we can repeat the perfect image every time.
A list of recommended books for further reading is supplied as is a list of Internet resources. I found this book so helpful and comprehensive, I carry it with me into the field and find myself referring to it often.
A definite five star addition to your library.
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Shooting digitally gives us an added advantage in this regard. By switching your camera’s picture style to monochrome, you get an instant preview of how the image could look in black & white, although it is worth noting that a raw file will also retain the colour information and give you much greater control in post-production.
I like the way the author presents the subjects, they are easy to understand. The photos in the book are great. I have Photomatix and the Nik programs, so what he writes about them is very helpful to me.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in improving their photography skills.
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Based in East Anglia, Lee is an amateur photographer who has a love of landscapes. He is widely published and has won numerous national awards, including AP’s Amateur Photographer of the Year 2015 competition.
Digital Black & White Landscape Photography: Fine Art Techniques from Camera to Print Paperback – 27 Aug 2015
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Make the most of infrared’s ‘bleaching’ effects on leaves and undergrowth
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To create striking landscape images, it pays to look for strong lines and simple compositions. Larger areas of fine detail can easily lose prominence in the overall image in black & white, so it becomes much more about the shapes in the landscape. Looking at the scene as a whole can help you to create a stunning and effective composition, and building your image around one or two key focal points will help with this. Texture also plays an important role; with no colour to focus on, it adds depth and substance to a scene. As with colour, it can be particularly useful to have interesting foreground detail when shooting wideangle landscapes, but with black & white, contrast is the important element to consider, be it in ripples of sand with deep shadows, or backlit leaves or grasses.
Will lead the amateur and professional photographer through concepts of landscape photography, including professional techniques of art, composition, the Zone system and the darkroom.
I’ve recently replaced my main kit with a Sony Alpha 7R mirrorless system. It’s lightweight, and the dynamic range and resolution are superb.
Increasing the tonal range by adjusting contrast, highlights and shadows will add more punch to your images, and the use of dodging and burning alters the dynamics of a shot. A quick and easy way to do this in Lightroom is by adopting Graduated and Radial filters, which you can use to concentrate attention onto the parts of the image that are most important to your composition. The soft-feathered edges of these filters allow you to increase contrast, sharpness, light and shadow within specific areas in a subtle manner.
When shooting in raw, even if your camera was set to monochrome the file includes all colour information. Although the source file might look quite lifeless, this gives you better control over your final image and the ability to adjust tones more accurately.
I use a Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm f/3.5 lens more than any other. It’s robust and beautifully built, and performs well in colour and on my infrared body.
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5.0 out of 5 starsThe author really did a good job explaining his process and outlining ways that the …
As others have mentioned, the photographs in the book are beautiful. I was hoping for a book that would dive into photography techniques as used in black and white photography. But most every photo follows the same process of bracketed images, HDR merge and convert to black and white.
There is little mention of any actual techniques or why or ho the photograph was taken, which in my opinion is the toughest and most interesting part. If you are looking for a book to simplify the editing process with good results then buy this one.
If you are looking for a book to learn about how and why to take a picture for black and white then look elsewhere.
Lots of good info here, & the book is a pleasure to just thumb through.
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Unfortunately, you will need to compose your picture before attaching the almost opaque filter to the lens, and shutter speeds are significantly increased to one or two minutes. This can prove problematic when shooting subjects that are prone to movement, such as foliage, but it’s also a good way to experiment with the technique.
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Lately I’ve found myself increasingly using a 55mm lens, and the Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA is light, fast and pin-sharp.
2.0 out of 5 starsI’m sorry to say I was really disappointed with this book
Converting a camera to infrared can be quite costly, and as it’s usually irreversible, it requires a second camera body. The advantages of a converted body are that you can preview the effect in live view, and the camera will operate at its usual shutter speeds. A much cheaper alternative is to use a screw-in filter such as a Hoya R72 Infrared.
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I first borrowed this book from the library by title only in an on-line search. What a surprise! The authors have distilled a lot of important ideas and facts into simple sections, with pointers & critiques along the way.
A veritible small wealth of information. While a pro might find this all rather second nature, an amateur will definitely find something of value in here, and a beginner will find the whole book very valuable.
It’s this ability to control the overall tonal range of the image that makes digital black & white photography so rewarding. This process and technique is so much more than just simply converting an image to greyscale.
Turning on the monochrome picture style helps you to see the world in black & white, and highlight subjects
With no colour to rely on, use texture, tone and lines to draw the reader in and give a 3D feel
Colour landscape photography relies very heavily on light and weather conditions, and we are almost bound by the scene that nature presents to us. However, black and white landscape photography offers the opportunity to create a more personal interpretation.
Landscape photography is a popular photographic genreand for good reason. The great outdoors is an ever-ready subject. It is variable, as well; it is affected by changing light, decomposition, weather, human interaction, and myriad other factors.
Its features range from natural to manmade elementsand many landscapes are comprised of both.Photographers who point their camera’s lens at a scene do so in an effort to communicate their feelings about the landscape.
Rather than simply document the scene, they seek to capture the spirit of placeperhaps to tell a story or depict a mood. They aim to share with viewers the ways in which the scene speaks to them. Accomplishing these goals may seem simple at the outset, but the task is rife with challenges.
In this book, Gary Wagner shows readers how to create powerful, evocative black & white landscape photographs filled with beautiful light, a full range of tones, and exquisite detail. Beginning with a look at the gear you’ll need to get the best-possible images, Wagner covers cameras, lens types, tripods, and filters.
He then discusses the postproduction processes he uses to enhance his images, producing breathtaking photographic records of natural and man-altered locales.Following a run-through of the basic tenets of landscape photography, Wagner presents 60 of his favorite images for review.
Readers will find images in six categories: (1) Lakes and Streams, (2) Trees and Rocks, (3) Coastal Seascapes, (4) Winter, and (5) Man-Altered Landscapes. This presentation model allows readers to focus on the aspects of landscape photography that most appeal to them or challenge them most.
With each image presented, readers will learn the strategies that went into conceptualizing and creating the shotfrom exposure, to composition, to postproduction, and more.With information on every aspect of creating striking, moving landscape imagesfrom choosing gear, to studying light, to calculating ideal exposures, to composing images, to retouching/manipulating the images for breathtaking results, to setting up your workflow to ensure that the printed/output image meets the strictest criteria, this book will prove indispensable to photographers new to landscape photography or those seeking to take their image creation to a whole new level.
Careful vignetting can focus attention on the subject and make the most of tones
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I like a very stable tripod, and they don’t come much sturdier than a Gitzo. A geared head is a must for me; my favourite is the Manfrotto XPRO Geared 3 Way Head.
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I have purchased several books on photography in the past few months since starting this hobby, and this is by far the best. Mostly because it focused on the things I’m after, B&W and landscapes, that is about all I want to do.
There is not a lot of information on Digital Photography, but unlike some books I have, there were not several chapters on darkroom developing that I’ll likely never need. This book seems to focus on the composition and creativity, which was just what I needed.
I can’t recommend this book enough. Buy it now, you won’t be dissappointed.
I’m sorry to say I was really disappointed with this book. I was looking for some new inspiration to perhaps add a spark to my own landscape photography and certainly Gary’s photos do have a unique mood to them.
However it would seem the author just didnt have enough advice to offer in order to justify an entire book. The post process involved in creating the look and feel of these photos is very repetitive and once you’ve read about a couple of them you’ve pretty much got the gist of it.
And unfortunately quite a bit of it is automated programs and filters. I really didn’t learn a single new technique. Not one “aha” moment.Great photographs but ultimately not very educational.
Because landscape photographers are at the mercy of quickly changing weather, uneven illumination, poor contrast or limited tonal range, and other elements, this book shares the skills and techniques needed to turn these liabilities into assets.
It explores types of landscape photography, explains what equipment works best, and describes how to find a balance between creativity and technique. It tells how to see the palette of natural light and the tonalities that make for outstanding photography and discusses focus, depth of field, and controlling tonalities in black- and-white landscapes.