ZENITH 2010 – A landscape image like this where the ‘presence’ of the object is less important can be created without emphasizing the volume and details in the bench: that’s irrelevant for this scene
Exposure Mastery: Aperture, Shutter Speed & ISO. The Difference Between Good and BR…
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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.
Create dramatic Black & White photography. Learn new and advanced techniques. Avoid frustration and poor results. Includes detailed worked examples.
The biggest secret to taking stunning pictures is simply to…
People familiar with my black and white post processing workflow may conclude that the technique I utilise for black and white post processing isn’t that advanced and are merely tricks to obtain a visual effect. It’s just partly true, yes, the techniques aren’t very advanced at all but no, they’re not just tricks to obtain a specific visual effect. The method I developed for myself, called iterative selective gradient masking 2.0 (iSGM2.0) and use in practice, originate from the fundamental notion that I can’t and won’t let myself be restricted in my artistic expressions by what is seemingly possible with the tools everyone knows for black and white photography post processing: Photoshop, Lightroom and plug-ins like Silver Efex Pro 2 and Topaz to name just a few.
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Black & White Artistry: The Creative Photographer’s Guide to Interpreting Places and Spaces
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.
Two Leading Principles In Black And White Photography Post Processing
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Before I go any deeper I need to take a few steps back to identify and explore the context of the topic I want to elaborate on and to avoid any misunderstanding. Because my topic, my suggestions were only related to a very specific phase in the creation of a fine art photograph.
“Why is working in black and white still so much depending on and driven by the original color information and the hues they originally have?”
Resisting the Challenges of the 21st Century: How Much Extra Does No Cheese Cost?
Therefore the following applies: If you want to control a photograph in the phase of ‘creating the photograph’ or simply put, the editing phase, then you only need to control shape and light. How can you control shape and light? First by identifying them, then by isolating them and then finally you can control it. As you may probably know, the best way to control something or someone is to isolate it. Once you’ve isolated something or someone, you can fully control it.
This is a great book by a classical landscape photographer who has converted to digital photography without losing the quality of classical film images.Read more
Imagine a software developer who creates a plugin that will enable me as the ‘artist’ to just indicate, by clicking on an area on my screen, the shapes I want to isolate, the light variations I want to isolate and on top of that indicate where I want the eye to look at by clicking an area that needs the highest selective contrast (see for more on ‘selective contrast’ my blog post on The Rules Of Gray)? It would not only give me ultimate control but also would it save me a lot of time that I prefer to spend on ‘taking the photograph’. Perhaps one day…
Expert guidance for creating impressive digital black and white photos. Detailed instructions with easy to understand step by step examples.
Or like I formulated it in the book From Basics to Fine art where I go into detail into my black and white post processing workflow: it’s about intensities of light. And I now want to add to that: it’s about intensities of light and presence of shapes.
Perhaps only a few people know and acknowledge the different artistic thought process and practical approach that lies behind my so called iSGM2.0 technique and that it’s less of a trick but more of a practical approach to let the personal artistic vision prevail and be unrestricted by conventions in black and white photography post processing. Because that’s what my method really is. I’m not trying to propagate my specific method, it’s nothing more than my personal tailored way of applying what I think is a better approach to black and white photography than what the likes of Adobe, plugin developers and their teachers and protagonists are trying to make us believe. If you can develop a better method or even software that are based on the same principles I use, then by all means, please do so. I would strongly encourage doing so and I hope one day a plugin developer will use my suggested principles for creating better black and white post processing software that really lets the artist think in an infinite array of possibilities in the phase of post processing, instead of imposing a specific translation of an interpreted scene into black and white.
The creation of a photograph with the intention of creating fine art photographs, consists of 2 phases:
gary images photographer image wagner photographs photos hdr shows process stunning post processing landscapes shot step guide explains follow photo
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.
In essence I agree with Ansel Adams that the act of creating a photograph just doesn’t happen in-camera only.
Advancing Your Photography: Secrets to Amazing Photos from the Masters
2.0 out of 5 starsI’m sorry to say I was really disappointed with this book
The Photographer’s Black and White Handbook: Making and Processing Stunning Digital Black and White Photos Paperback
Having that idea is one thing, but to be really be able to do it, is another thing. So how can and should you really do it? I will give you a few principles that you can use, should use perhaps. I personally think that black and white post processing should be driven by two principles only:
“In my strong opinion I find the tools most photographers are working with are developed with outdated ideas on how a black and white photograph should be created, since those tools are for an important part based on the limitations of the old analog darkroom”
5.0 out of 5 starsThis is a great book by a classical landscape photographer who has converted …
Why do we still use principles from the analog era in our modern digital era? If you think more critically and deeply about what a photograph really is and what it consists of, then this and other questions may genuinely arise: why are we still doing this? Why is working in black and white still so much depending on and driven by the original color information and the hues they originally have? My proposition: they should be less dependent on the original color information and more driven by what the artist had in mind, without any limitation imposed by the tools and the software algorithm. Of course colors are still important since they can provide you with a base conversion to tweak to your own likings but at some point you need to let go of the relationship with colors. As soon as possible. I’m suggesting a different approach, an approach based on a few principles, that I already utilize in my iSGM2.0 technique, even if just in a very basic form.
Comment: Ships directly from amazon 100% satisfaction. Excellent condition clean crisp pages. Essentially a new book.
Identify light, isolate it and control it by creating luminosity masks in Photoshop – ‘soft selections’Identify shapes, isolate it and control it by creating accurate selections in Photoshop – ‘hard selections’
This is a very accessable tutorial of how the digital photographer can do B&W conversion. After a fairly short dicussion on gear and software, the meat of the book is the examples which the author annotates with some detail on the shooting and processing strategy.
Wagner stresses shooting a HDR series, tone mapping and then converting to monochrome. With current sensor technology the HDR step is less likley to be needed than it was even 5 years ago. Also, Wagner’s style is to produce a fairly dark and moody print.
This style may no be for everyone or for every image, but the principles presented allow the reader the freedom to find their own asthetic. For a broader look at modern B&W imaging there is Michael Freeman’s Black and White Photography: Field Guide.
I find both of considerable value.
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A refreshing, unique approach to improving your photography. Understand weaknesses and remedies. Challenges you to develop using practical exercises.
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Inspirational, no bluster or bravado. This is what it is, this is how it’s done. Perfect
This can all be done in Photoshop: identifying shapes takes place visually, based on how you interpreted a scene, its main subjects and then finally on what you want to convey. Isolating shapes takes place manually by creating hard selections and controlling the shapes can then finally be done by using either curves, gradient tools or simply dodging and burning within those selections. There are several ways of creating hard selections, most of them are manual and very laborious and time-consuming. The generic manual methods are explained in this series of tutorials on my website. [Update December 2017: Recently I’ve developed a whole new method of creating selections that is largely automated and faster than creating selections manually, but even more accurate, and the result is a Photoshop panel called Quick Mask Pro that I released in December 2017]. Identifying and isolating light is even easier: Photoshop does that completely automatically by creating luminosity masks, which I need to stress is a method made popular and described extensively by Tony Kuyper. Controlling it can be done in the same way as controlling shapes. The nice thing is that you can combine the use of hard selections and luminosity masks by adding, subtracting or intersecting hard selections with luminosity masks. This concept and the use of existing tools like curves, levels and layer masks, give me complete control over a photograph, hence ensuring that the only limitations of a photograph I created are only dependent on my creative vision, and not dependent on, nor is it driven by, external factors like the tools I’m using. If you want to know how I apply the principals laid out in this article in practice in my iSGM2.0 method of post processing a black and white photograph, then I can highly recommend reading either the 424 pages eBook From Basics to Fine Art – Black and white photography, architecture and beyond, written by me and co-author Julia Anna Gospodarou or view my new 3.5 hour B&W post processing Speed workflow tutorial that is all about my black and white photography post processing method.
Paperback: 128 pages Publisher: Amherst Media (August 11, 2015) Language: English ISBN-10: 160895921X ISBN-13: 978-1608959211 Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.2 x 10 inches Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies) Average Customer Review: 4.
3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #243 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Digital Photography #381 in Books > Computers & Technology > Digital Audio, Video & Photography
5.0 out of 5 starsThe author really did a good job explaining his process and outlining ways that the …
Kindle $19.99 Read with Our Free App Paperback $27.61 47 Used from $14.75 44 New from $23.00
Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Masters
I’m not suggesting that everyone should use my workflow or even try to create photographs like I do. But I’m convinced that everyone who is interested in even furthermore progressing and evolving the art of black and white photography should at least look critically at what he or she’s doing when processing a photograph and to not just take anything for granted. Especially not when taking things for granted that will limit you in your artistic expression. And the basic principles we’re taught when processing a photograph to black and white, even in this digital age, are too much focused on principles that have no major relation with the actual outcome anymore. A black and white photographer who wants to create fine art images, shouldn’t be interested in the original color hues, but merely in expressing his own vision to its full extent, without any limits. So why should the original color information be the engine that drives everything in black and white conversion software? I think light and shapes should be the engine.
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Digital Black & White Landscape Photography: Fine Art Techniques from Camera to Print Paperback – August 11, 2015
Black & White Photography: The timeless art of monochrome in the post-digital age
The Photographer’s Black and White Handbook: Making and Processing Stunning Digital Black and White Photos
The method of black and white photography conversion that I developed and present here is meant to enable artists to express their vision without any limitations. To truly create a photograph according to their personal vision. This section will go into the phase of ‘Creating the photograph’ only. When we have taken the photograph, with this slice from objective reality captured in a frame, ready to be molded according to our artistic vision, we’ve arrived at the phase of creating the photograph.
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Contrast is just a difference between darker and lighter tones. Color or black and white are just specific characteristics of light. Light and shadow give shape and volume to an object and on the other hand, the shape of an object will determine how light or shadow, depending on the direction of light, will fall on the object and how light will be distributed across this object. Without light an object cannot be seen and visually identified, but of course this doesn’t mean that the object with its specific shape isn’t there if it cannot be seen due to absence of light. Hence both elements, shape and light, interact in such a way that a viewer can interpret it.
This item: Digital Black & White Landscape Photography: Fine Art Techniques from Camera to Print
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Taking the photograph: composition, aperture, correct exposure and subject matter are key in this phase. This is not the end result but just like the marble straight from the Carrara marble quarries that Michelangelo used for his sculptures it’s just the beginning.
The raw marble isn’t the objective, it’s just a means to meet his objective. The best what reality can give us at a given moment, as the ideal fundament for what the artist wants to create.Creating the photograph: either in the conventional dark room or in the digital dark room.
The individual artistic interpretation of the photograph as taken is decisive. What the human eye in conjunction with the mind’s eye see should never be limited by technical limitations of the camera.
Nor should it be limited by black and white conversion techniques.
Black and White photography post processing techniques in the digital age
A stunning collection of beautiful garden illustrations, just waiting to be filled with color. Bring your garden to life!
Trackbacks/PingbacksGuide to black and white photography 2 – Technical Essentials | BWVISION – Black and White fine art photography and long exposure photography – […] that are the practical reflection of one’s personal preferences.
My method for example has a clear structure and underlying…Being a professional photographer in the digital age | BWVISION – Black and White fine art photography and long exposure photography – […] me give an example of what I did and shared: in 2010 I created a manual but highly structured…Black and White Still life photography | BWVISION – Black and White fine art photography and long exposure photography – […] shapes.
They are the foundations of every photograph in the post processing phase. Please refer to this article on Black…Photokina 2016 Impressions | BWVISION – Black and White fine art photography and long exposure photography – […] processing method that offers ultimate control over processing images to black and white in the ‘creating the photograph phase’.
…The Complete Guide to Black and White Photography – 97 Tips – […] How to Transition From Taking to Making the Photograph […]
The biggest secret to taking your photography to the next level is simply to…
Critical notes and suggestions on conventional post production techniques in the digital age. A black and white photography tutorial.
Hey All – I rarely write reviews but just had to mention how disappointed I was with Mr Wagner’s book.Read more
Before I explain why those are the two necessary principles that should drive your black and white processing workflow, obviously initiated from your personal artistic vision, I need to say that not all photographs have obvious objects or objects that need depth and volume, since the objects in some photographs are less important. For example a minimalistic seascape or landscape. Any object in there is less important than the overall impression created by the zones of light and the distribution of it. Those objects like sticks in the water or a lone bench don’t need any 3D depth or volume to stand out in your photograph. It would be distracting. But an architectural photo where the main object is perhaps a building, needs to be approached in a different way. The object needs to stand out from the rest.
LightShapesIdentifyAutomatically by photoshop with manual aidVisually and selectivelyIsolateBy manually creating luminosity masks in photoshopBy creating hard selections in photoshopControlUsing curves, levels, dodge & burn and brushes and gradients within the luminosity mask selections – can be combined with hard selections to improve controlUsing curves, levels, dodge & burn and brushes and gradients within the hard selections – can be combined with luminosity mask selections to improve control
Great examples though I do wish the post processing was a bit more specific.
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DSLR Photography for Beginners: Take 10 Times Better Pictures in 48 Hours or Less! …
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Too many times I’ve seen photographers trying to create a black and white photograph in Photoshop or with a plugin, only to find out that the practical execution of what they had in mind is too much limited by what the sliders of Photoshop features can do or by the presets and detailed adjustment features of plugins. Yet they persevere in getting it right but without the intended results or, worse and unfortunately most of the times the case: they give up and they conclude that the image ‘isn’t working’. In my strong opinion I find the tools most photographers are working with are developed with outdated ideas on how a black and white photograph should be created, since those tools are for an important part based on the limitations of the old analog darkroom. For example: colors are converted to black and white in a predefined way: blue can convert to mid gray, light gray or even black. Same for the color red or other colors: it all depends on the specific software filters you use in the post processing or by the software algorithm that are all derived from the conventional analog in-camera techniques.
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.
The Kindle version of this book is not much cheaper than the printed one. I got it after seeing some of Gary’s images in the current issue (#121) of LensWork magazine. They were big and presented professionally in the magazine.
The Kindle book though had all the images fixed in position and very small, making it hard to tell what Gary was trying to tell the reader about the image. Hopefully there will be an update to this book, for free, fixing the image sizes so that paying customers can see the images, at least as well as they were shown in LensWork.
UPDATE: Rotating my iPad or Kindle to look at this book works better for the pictures. I did see the analog version at a brick & mortar store and am now glad I went with the digital. I am updating my rating of 2 stars to 4 stars.
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Suggestion: Instead of using the obligatory software for black and white photography editing and accept their limitations and conclude your image can’t be worked with or that the final result should do because it can’t be bettered, reject it and think: what do I really want to create if the limitations of the software weren’t there and I forget about the original color information completely and create something truly originating from your personal vision? The only limitation should be in the artist’s mind, not in the tools. And if the tools don’t give you the artistic freedom you crave for, then let go of those tools and create your own tools. That’s what I did with iSGM2.0.
The Photographers Coach: Helping you achieve success in your photography (The Light…
Dramatic Black & White Photography Using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2
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.
by Joel Tjintjelaar | Apr 7, 2015 | B&W RECOMMENDED, Blog, Tutorials | 0 comments
When you are in this phase of creating and editing the photograph then there are only two basic elements when you deconstruct a photograph to its basics: shapes and light. Basically there’s nothing more than just shapes and light.
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.
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I’ve started developing my current iSGM2.0 method back in 2009 when I found out that the common existing methods of black and white conversion, with Photoshop, Lightroom or with additional plugins, didn’t give me the results I had in mind. It took me till 2010 before I could also rationalise and explain what I was doing intuitively before then, and all my creative ideas like this method and ‘creating presence‘, all came together. One of the best results that encompassed all those ideas was ironically an image that I photographed and created for the NIK Software SEP2 launch in 2010, is the Salk Institute photograph.
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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.
Now the elaboration on this approach. More or less along the same lines as Ansel Adams’ famous trilogy, “The Camera”, “The Negative” and “The Print”.
First off, Gary Wagner’s photographs are a joy to behold; this book could serve as a fine arts coffee table book. Then Mr.Read more