Black and white photography erases time from the equation. You can compare an amazing black and white image that was shot today to one from the 1940s and there is no obvious timestamp (other than maybe style or technology). When you picture the 1950s or 60s with your eyes closed, you can still imagine the color within the monochromatic tones. This style truly makes timeless images. It also allows you to focus more on the emotion in the image as opposed to the timeframe.
Find the intersection of light, composition and a real human moment.
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For those who have access to Lightroom: You can also play around with hand contrasting, painting shadows, and the gradation tool.
As I navigate through my day, photography is like white noise – it’s almost therapeutic in a way. My day job and my life are constantly in motion, and photography allows me to disappear and find the little moments where I am not thinking of anything. I can clear my mind and often come back from it with answers for everything.
There are many different chemical mixtures that can be used for black & white photography. You also have chemicals for film and for prints. Years ago, I found a book that had all kinds of “recipes” if you will, for making photographic chemicals. I made copies of the chemicals that I would come more near using and I still have those copies. It’s much easier to buy your chemicals already pre-packaged and mix them instead of having to weigh many different chemicals and then mix them up.
Step 2: I then bump down the saturation and up the contrast.
I never worry about what is in the mixtures, just the results that I get with the chemicals I’m using. I still shoot black & white film in my Toyo VX125b 4×5 view camera. I prefer D-76 mixed 1:1 with water and I dispose of the chemicals after each batch of processing (including stop bath and fixer). HC110 can be diluted many different ways. Kodak’s TMax developer is good. I don’t really know what is still available on the market but I stick with D-76.
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Step 3: I save the image and bring it into Filterstorm to crop to 4 x 5 (this size fills your screen most on an iPhone).
Black and white photography erases time from the equation. Why is photography important to you?
Be your own harshest critic. Shoot 4 to 5 images every single day and be patient with yourself. I am on a quest to create the perfect image. I am never fully happy with what I am doing – I try to make it better and better and better – adding slight iterations to similar frames or photos.
For the fixer, I prefer either Kodak Rapid Fixer of Ilford’s rapid fixer. I’ve tried other black and white developers before but always come back the D-76. For black & white paper, I always liked Kodak Dektol developer. I still have all my darkroom equipment but now, after I process my black & white negatives, I scan them and make prints from the scans. Sometimes I miss the magic of working in a darkroom with black & white prints. It is always magic when the image appears on the paper in the darkroom!
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I posted one of these photos on my Instagram four months ago and someone just said, “Oh my, this is amazing! That’s my father-in-law”. The father-in-law reached out to me and I gave him a signed print of his commute home. I love that social media reminds us that we have an immediate real world connection. I have hundreds of those stories.
A study of the human condition against architectural scale. Within that, I look for little moments that happen every single day.
I only spend up to 5 minutes editing a photo – though it usually only takes 30 seconds to 1 minute. I created that rule for myself so I am not over-editing or overthinking it. I shoot in such a way that I already know the minor edits that need to be performed. When editing on mobile, these are my simple steps:
It is actually a series — a series where I shoot in on the train windows at Chicago’s Union Station. When you are on the train, they have these weird green florescent lights which are really beautiful, but make it hard for you to see outside the train in the station. Because of this, I am able to both frame and capture 100% natural moments. There is something really pure and honest about that series that I really love and continue to go back to.
Step 1: I use Snapseed to increase both the sharpening and clarity to around 60%. This makes up for the physical size of an iPhone lens (they are a bit limiting).
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For me, photography is about looking, searching, and finding. When it comes to black and white photography, always start with light. For example, if I spot good light coming down an alley – I will sit and wait for a genuine moment to happen in that light. My composition is tailored to the light at hand. I have an obsession with finding perfect composition – balancing what the end viewer sees. For example, I love using symmetry to show scale and depth.
Contrary to what you may have heard — try shooting in broad daylight. I like the harsh daylight because it brings out crazy amounts of contrast in shadows. This is how I shoot my ‘white on white’ series pictured below. This can literally can be done from my office window. When you super overexpose your image – everything should be blown out to white. The contrast of the person and the shadow is so great that it kind of goes through the over exposure. If you are using an iPhone, tap on your subject and then hold your finger down to drag the exposure up before taking the photo. On a DSLR, there are a number of ways to do this, but try starting with the lowest ISO (my Leica SL goes as low as 50 ISO) and then open the aperture up to let a lot of light in while keeping a super fast shutter speed to really freeze motion and ensure sharpness. I then do a light edit (see more about my editing process in Tip 06).
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Recognize what it is that you love about your photographs and from there, define your style. My process is natural because I have a very specific goal of studying the human condition against architectural scale. I have trained my eye to look for lines, light & composition that are similar to what I am creating as a whole.
Ball and stick molecular model with formula of new drug written on glass Money can change your life – concept illustrated on chalkboard Toddlers’ Cereal Two pieces of chalk on chalkboard with chemical formula analyzing chemistry formula on screen ‘cow & gate’ baby toddler milk formula Caterham mechanics work on race car during Formula One tests aerial view of Silverstone Formula 1 Racing Circuit in Northamptonshire, UK Daniel Ricciardoâs Red Bull Formula 1 racing car on display at the Motor Museum of WA, Whiteman Park in the Swan Valley, Perth, Western Australia Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Singapore. Asia Infant formula powdered milk are on sale at a Wumart supermarket in Beijing, China.28-May-2011 United Kingdom Scotland Edinburgh listed as World Heritage by UNESCO Royal Museum of Scotland Formula 1 Singapore Formula One/F1 race track.
Mark Webber F1 Formula one racing driver Stela of Sobekhotep with offering formula 12 Dynasty Abydos 1900BC Egypt Egyptian Michael Schumacher, former Formula One racing driver and Ferrari consultant at the 63.
Internationale Automobilausstellung Germany,Bavaria,Munich, BMW Museum, Formula 1 race car Slovakian Stuba green power formula electric car that races in formula student compositions, Bratislava, Slovakia, Europe Formula one Narain karthikeyan India NOMR Chemical formula of antibiotic drug written on glass in laboratory Bottle of non drowsy Covonia Catarrh relief formula Student girl writing mathematical formula, Debica, Poland.
napkin sketch ‘mathematical formula of love’ on cafe napkin 2013 Infinity Red Bull Formula One race car RB9 isolated on white background with clipping path boy drawing E=mc2 on the wall Caterham mechanics work on race car during Formula One tests aerial view of Silverstone Formula One race circuit in Northamptonshire Daniel Ricciardoâs Red Bull Formula 1 racing car on display at the Motor Museum of WA, Whiteman Park in the Swan Valley, Perth, Western Australia Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Singapore. Asia Chemical formula of acids on a chalkboard United Kingdom Scotland Edinburgh listed as World Heritage by UNESCO Royal Museum of Scotland Formula 1 of Sir Jackie Stewart A replica Formula one Ferrari driven by Michael Schumacher in 2002 Mark Webber F1 Formula one racing driver Old Painting Gallery FIA Formula One World Championship Grand Prix Monaco Monte Carlo France French Mathematical formula, integral calculus on a blackboard Albert Einstein 1879-1955 Formula E=mc2 on the wall A dramatic ,editorial view of a 1962 Porsche 804 Formula One race car.
Formula one Narain karthikeyan India NOMR Math Formula on a Blackboard Formula race red car designed by myself Student boy writing mathematical formula, Debica, Poland. Formula 1 sign in the Bay of Baku, Baku, Azerbaijan An elderly woman looks at imported infant formula baby milk powder in a supermarket in Beijing, China.
09-Jul-2013 The complex steering wheel of a Formula 1 car female Toyota mechanic with laptime display for Jarno Trulli at racetrack at Formula One testing sessions Pantone formula guide – USA Daniel Ricciardoâs Red Bull Formula 1 racing car on display at the Motor Museum of WA, Whiteman Park in the Swan Valley, Perth, Western Australia Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Singapore. Asia Quadratic formula explained on a chalkboard Principality of Monaco, Monaco, cap from the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix PUNTA ALA – 3 JUNE: teams sailing on Formula 18 national catamaran race, on June 3 2016 in Punta Ala, Italy Mark Webber F1 Formula one racing driver Michael Schumacher Gallery FIA Formula One World Championship Grand Prix Monaco Monte Carlo France French 2013 Infinity Red Bull Formula One race car RB9 Jungle Formula Mosquito repellent spray A side on view of a 1962 Porsche Type 804 Formula One race car.
Steering wheel of formula car Bombay Mumbai ; Maharashtra ; India Confused Man in Front of Math Formula Written on a Chalkboard Formula race red car designed by myself Student girl showing e=mc2 formula, Debica, Poland.
formula one, silverstone, england, uk, europe An elderly woman and a baby look at imported infant formula baby milk powder in a supermarket in Beijing, China. 09-Jul-2013 Chemical formula of Vitamin D3 and some pills.
pressured gas bottle and lollypop in Ferrari Box at racetrack at Formula One testing sessions Chemical formula in speech bubble Daniel Ricciardoâs Red Bull Formula 1 racing car on display at the Motor Museum of WA, Whiteman Park in the Swan Valley, Perth, Western Australia Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Singapore. Asia Chemical formula for glucose on a chalkboard Renault formula one F1 racing car at a European motor show PUNTA ALA – 3 JUNE: teams sailing on Formula 18 national catamaran race, on June 3 2016 in Punta Ala, Italy Formula One Championship Winner, Jenson Button launches ‘Virgin Mediaâs SpeedWeek50’ Vials with grout on a document with structural formula.
Formula of water, H2O, made of air bubbles in water Jungle Formula Mosquito repellent spray formula one car race honda indy toronto canada Former Formula driver Narain Karthikeyan with new Tata Nano car ; Bombay Mumbai ; Maharashtra ; India NO MR E=mc2 Formula for Einsteins Theory of Relativity Written on a Blackboard.
Formula race red car designed by myself. 3D illustration A Formula One Autocentre in a U.K. city. Formula 1, Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany, Europe A man looks at imported infant formula baby milk powder in a supermarket in Beijing, China.
09-Jul-2013 Chemical formula of Vitamin E and red pills. Jenson Button (GBR),McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 during Formula One tests on Circuit de Catalunya racetrack near Barcelona, Spain in Chemical formula in speech bubble Front of the Red Bull Formula One racing car.
Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit. Singapore. Asia Eulerâs formula explained on a chalkboard Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship 2009 St.Petersburg Russia PUNTA ALA – 3 JUNE: teams sailing on Formula 18 national catamaran race, on June 3 2016 in Punta Ala, Italy Germany, Hockenheimring, formula racing car in garage The formula E=mc2 on a blackboard at school Formula of water, H2O, made of air bubbles in water Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) molecule.
Skeletal formula (chemical structure). Honda Indy car race formula one Toronto Canada Formula one car at rajiv gandhi sea link. Bombay Mumbai ; Maharashtra ; India Monaco, France, May 27th 2016: Paddy Lowe, motor racing engineer and executive director of Mercedes Formula One team.
Formula race red car designed by myself. 3D illustration Sergio Perez of Sauber drives his Formula 1 car during qualification for the 2012 US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas Formula 1, Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany, Europe A man looks at imported infant formula baby milk powder in a supermarket in Beijing, China.
For more than 20 years, Jason has been igniting cultural conversations across all media, including digital, television, print, content & brand identity. Jason is responsible for creating and overseeing integrated campaigns for Reebok, NBA, Coke USA/Japan, Heineken, Ford, GM, StateFarm and many more. He is currently Chief Creative Officer of Havas Worldwide.
A great example for this is Harry Callahan. He would go out almost every morning, walk through the city he lived in and take numerous pictures. He then spent almost every afternoon making proof prints of that day’s best negatives. He was his own critic and editor and produced no more than half a dozen final images a year. I can pick out one of his photos at the beginning of his career and at the end of his career because they are that distinct in nature.
You need to make people feel something when creating a photograph – whether this is black and white, color, etc. I look for micro-moments that are honest and human. For example, take a look at the photo below taken in Washington Square Park in New York. I looked down 5th avenue and it was completely backlit. I stood there and waited and waited and waited. All of a sudden a guy was standing there – perfectly under the arch. He was waiting for a girl. They embraced for a few seconds, kissed, and then walked away. That is what I am looking for. Find the intersection of light, composition and a real human moment.
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