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Let me give you an example. Earlier this year I visited the Playa de las Catedrales (Cathedral Beach) in northern Spain. Search for it on 500px and most photos will look something like this, showing the cathedral-like arches for which the beach is named.
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2.0 out of 5 starsI’m sorry to say I was really disappointed with this book
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Anybody who visits this beach will naturally want to take photos of those arches. They are why the spot is famous. But this can be a hindrance when it closes your eyes to other possibilities. After getting my rock arch photos, I really started looking. I saw some rocks in the sea that made an interesting minimalist composition. So I made the following photo.
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Black and white is different. Without color, you have to work harder to create strong compositions. You need to learn to look for the building blocks of photographic composition, such as leading lines, shapes, patterns, tonal contrast and texture. Really, what you are learning to do is see in black and white.
6 Tips to Help You Make Better Black and White Landscape Photos
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Black and white photography is as popular as ever, and landscape is a genre in which many photographers have chosen to work in monochrome. But working in black and white is different to working in color. It takes time, and practice, to develop your eye for black and white. These tips will help you make better black and white landscape photos.
For example, this photo works well in black and white because of the contrast between the twin waterfalls and the dark rocks.
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One of the benefits of working with digital cameras is that they can help you learn to see in black and white. All you have to do is set your camera to its black and white (monochrome) mode. It then shows you the scene in black and white in Live View, and if your camera has one, in the electronic viewfinder as well.
RELAXING WITH Color A Collection of Relaxing Coloring Patterns
Without travel, I would never have experienced and photographed places like this (photo taken in Bolivia).
Dramatic Black & White Photography Using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2
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Tonal contrast is the term used to describe variations in brightness between different parts of the image. Take the photo below as an example. The jetties, silhouetted against the evening sky, are dark. The sky is much lighter. This is tonal contrast. The sea is mid-grey – darker than the sky, brighter than the jetties.
Inspirational, no bluster or bravado. This is what it is, this is how it’s done. Perfect
I’ve never taken this idea to its extreme because I believe it’s important to research an area before you go to find its most photogenic parts. But the problem with this is that the most powerful images you see during your research tend to stick in your mind. The natural tendency is to want to create similar images. The problem is that you then end up with photos that look like everybody else’s.
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.
It doesn’t feature the arches the beach is famous for, but it’s more personal to me and was more satisfying to make.
With color landscape photos, you can rely on the strength of the color to create drama and interest. The key to good color landscape photography is to find a dramatic scene and photograph it in the most beautiful light possible. That’s why so many color landscape photos are taken during the golden hour or just after sunset.
When you look at their work, ask yourself why their black and white landscape photos are so dramatic and powerful? What light are they shooting in? What photographic techniques are they using? How do they approach composition? The answers will teach you a lot about black and white photography.
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Neutral density filters are the secret weapon of the landscape photographer. They are made of glass that blocks light so that less reaches the camera’s sensor.
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To understand why they are so useful let’s think about the typical settings used for a landscape photo. First of all, you set your ISO as low as possible for the best image quality (ISO 100 or 200 on most cameras). Next, you set an aperture that ensures everything in the scene is in sharp focus while avoiding the smallest apertures on your camera because of diffraction related softening. Most landscape photos are taken at f/11 or f/16.
Black & White Photography: The timeless art of monochrome in the post-digital age
Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Masters
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Tips for Culling Your Photos – How to Throw Away the Worst and Concentrate on the Winners
With those variables set, the shutter speed depends on the ambient light level. In bright sunlight, it might be around 1/125 second. In low light, it could be as low as 1/2 a second. But what if you’d like to use a slower shutter speed for creative effect? If ISO and aperture are fixed, the only way you get longer shutter speeds is by using neutral density filters.
5.0 out of 5 starsThis is a great book by a classical landscape photographer who has converted …
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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.
Even if you do live somewhere with spectacular landscapes, you will need to travel to expand your experience and add depth to your portfolio. All my favorite landscape photos were taken while traveling. The two activities go together very well. Travel is more interesting and exciting when there’s a purpose behind it. Landscape photography is one of the things that can give you that sense of purpose.
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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.
You can educate yourself about black and white landscape photography by looking at the work of masters like Ansel Adams and Edward Weston who worked predominantly in black and white. Also look at what modern day photographers are doing by browsing 500px. Some names to search for include Cole Thompson, Rob Dweck, Arnaud Bertrande, Thibault Roland, Joel Tjintjelaar and Nathan Wirth.
DSLR Photography for Beginners: Take 10 Times Better Pictures in 48 Hours or Less! …
This item: Digital Black & White Landscape Photography: Fine Art Techniques from Camera to Print
The Photographer’s Black and White Handbook: Making and Processing Stunning Digital Black and White Photos
This helps you see in black and white, without being distracted by color. It’s useful because it makes it easier to see tonal contrast, texture, lines, shapes, patterns, and light.
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Hopefully, this article has given you an insight into why I love black and white landscape photography so much and that it inspires you to give it a go yourself. Do you have any tips for black and white landscape photography? Please share in the comments below.
Hey All – I rarely write reviews but just had to mention how disappointed I was with Mr Wagner’s book.Read more
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I touched on this in the previous tip, but I want to emphasize them here because they are so important.
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.
Black & White Artistry: The Creative Photographer’s Guide to Interpreting Places and Spaces
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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
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.
Comment: Ships directly from amazon 100% satisfaction. Excellent condition clean crisp pages. Essentially a new book.
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.
The Photographers Coach: Helping you achieve success in your photography (The Light…
A refreshing, unique approach to improving your photography. Understand weaknesses and remedies. Challenges you to develop using practical exercises.
Pages with related products. See and discover other items: fine art photography book, digital arts, art technique, star photography, black and white photography
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All the photos that I have shown you so far were taken in northern Spain. Unless you are lucky enough to live in an area like this, it is likely that, like me, you need to travel to find similar inspiring landscapes to photograph.
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.
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If you think about the sort of things that appear in landscape photos – cliffs, rocks, grass, trees, mountains, sea and man-made objects like piers and jetties – they all have distinct textures.
Landscape Photography Tips Portrait Photography Tips Photo Composition Tips Beginner Photography Tips Photo Post Processing Tips Get Started with Cameras and Gear
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Here’s an example. This photo was taken at dusk with an aperture of f/11 at ISO 200, and a shutter speed of 1/5th of a second. This was slow enough to introduce some blur into the water, which you can see in the foreground.
The biggest secret to taking your photography to the next level is simply to…
Expert guidance for creating impressive digital black and white photos. Detailed instructions with easy to understand step by step examples.
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Photographer Cole Thompson has an interesting idea. He practices what he calls photographic abstinence, and doesn’t look at the work of other photographers. The theory is that it enables him to see the landscape through his own eyes, without being influenced by other people’s photos.
Great examples though I do wish the post processing was a bit more specific.
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
Neutral density filters give you control over shutter speed, which you can then use creatively to create more interesting black and white landscapes.
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The biggest secret to taking stunning pictures is simply to…
Then I added a neutral density filter and made this photo (below) with a shutter speed of 180 seconds (3 minutes). The water is completely blurred, and the clouds have moved across the sky, creating a streaked effect.
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Digital Black & White Landscape Photography: Fine Art Techniques from Camera to Print Paperback – August 11, 2015
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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
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.
In the photo below, the arch, the cliffs in the distance, and the rocks in the foreground are all heavily textured. The sea and the sky are much smoother. There is a strong contrast between the roughness and tactility of the rocks, and the smoothness of the sea and the sky.
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.
Create dramatic Black & White photography. Learn new and advanced techniques. Avoid frustration and poor results. Includes detailed worked examples.
Don’t forget to set your camera to shoot in Raw format. Raw files contain all the information captured by your camera’s sensor, and give you the freedom to process the images in color if you want, even if you initially shoot in black and white mode.
Advancing Your Photography: Secrets to Amazing Photos from the Masters
5.0 out of 5 starsThe author really did a good job explaining his process and outlining ways that the …