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John blakemores black and white photography workshop
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John Blakemore’s Black And White Photography Workshop.

Look for Contrast, Shape and Texture. The complimentary and opposing colours that bring a colour image to life are all reduced 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 straight 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 featureless straight from the camera. happily , it’s possible to work adjust the brightness of these two colours discretely to introduce some contrast. However, a good 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 could 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, may 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 best composition.

Dodge and Burn. Dodging and burning is a policy 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 should only thought of taking a degree of because you may 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 up them to increase local contrast. It’s a good approach of giving a sense of better sharpness and enhancing texture. Plus, because you should set the opacity of the tools, you can build up their effect gradually so the impact is subtle and there are no hard edges.

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 a couple years ago Photoshop’s Channel Mixer was the favored means of turning colour images monochrome, but now Adobe Camera Raw has more forceful 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 one 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 could become unnatural looking. And adjusting the brightness of a red or pinkish shirt with the red sliding control, for moment , will have an impact on the model’s skin, especially the lips. The Levels and Curves controls could also be used to manipulate tonal range and contrast, but the HSL/Grayscale controls allow you to create differentiation between objects of the same brightness but with unique colours.

Try Long Exposure. Long exposure shots can 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 required , 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). typically , when exposures extend beyond about 1/60 sec a tripod is required 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.

Use Filters. Graduated neutral density (AKA ND grad) and polarizing filters are simply 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 collaborative when you want to retain detail in a bright sky while a polarizing filter could be used to reduce reflections and boost contrast. Alternatively, contemplate taking two or more shots with different 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, may also be useful for manipulating contrast in digital images. They work by darkening objects of his opposite colour while lightening objects of his own. An orange filter, for example, will darken the blue of the sky while a green one will lighten foliage.

Shoot RAW + JPEG. The unsurpassed monochrome conversions are arrived at 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. numerous 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 wont 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 may also do this if they activate their camera’s live conviction policy , but the usually slower responses mean that many will find it preferable or check the image on the screen post-capture.

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John blakemore book binding and sequencing workshop · john blakemore master photographer · photographs 1951 2010 john blakemoreJohn blakemore book binding and sequencing workshop · john blakemore master photographer · photographs 1951 2010 john blakemoreRead john blakemore s black and white photography workshop pdf booksBlack and white photographers workshop john blakemore on landscapeThisBlack white printing with john blakemore and dan wheeler

An Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography (Bk.1) Paperback

John Blakemore S Black and White Photography Workshop 4.06  ·  Rating details ·  16 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews

Fran Halsall considers the place of simplicity in landscape photography

An Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography (Bk.1)

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The Film Photography Handbook: Rediscovering Photography in 35mm, Medium, and Large Format

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I do love this book. Yes, I have read all the Ansel Adams books I could get my hands on, but this book had more of an affect on my work. I do shoot medium format, black and white, and I do love working in the darkroom.

I like printing with a dichro head on VC paper, and I do split-contrast printing to avoid all the dodging and burning that I used to do. Blakemore has helped me think more about the images I make, and think about what I am after.

You don’t have to like the subjects he chose, try to get what he was saying about the problems he was facing and what he did about them. If you are shooting digitally, this book may help you. I don’t know.

Maybe you should get back into the darkroom and feel the magic of pulling a paper print out of the soup! It’s addictive.

John Blakemore’s Black and White Photography Workshop Paperback – Bargain Price, April 15, 2005

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John Blakemore has been a key figure in British photography for over thirty years. He is a recognized master of the black and white medium, and here he presents a unique and practical masterclass in the techniques that have earned him worldwide acclaim.

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Ansel Adams: The Camera (The Ansel Adams Photography Series 1)

Bringing his vast knowledge and experience to bear, John Blakemore explores the creative as well as the technical processes involved in black and white photography. Long awaited for the many thousands of photographers that have attended his legendary workshops over the years and essential for the many more that have never had the chance, this is a unique insight into the art of one of photography’s most influential practitioners and an important document of the methods of one of photography’s most important teachers.

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

The Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography – Book 1 (Ansel Adams’s Guide to the Basic Techniques of Photography)

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This is a book for the serious monochrome photographer who is interested in more than just manipulating oixels.A renowned british photographer, Blakemore takes the reader on a personal journey through the making of several series of images, including tulips, still life and landscape.

There is a chapter on the zone system which is not technical – you don’t have to be a fan of the system to read this book, but his discussion is thoughtful and insightful.Every time I want some inspiration this is one of the books I pickup and reread or just browse.

Highly recommended.

Absolutly a most read book about working with black and white film in the darkroom.

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The Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography, Book 2

After a certain point, I don’t believe reading about your hobby is going to make you any better at it – you just have to practice. When I first started I read The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression, all of the Ansel Adams books The Camera (Ansel Adams Photography, Book 1),The Negative (Ansel Adams Photography, Book 2),The Print (Ansel Adams Photography, Book 3), and especially Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs several times each.

About 1000 medium format B&W negatives, I’ve gotten to the point where I need a little “push” to make my photos better.This book gave me that push. It is an excellent blend of technique and application.

It really got me rethinking a lot of my assumptions about tonality and contrast, and is helping me refine my personal style. Having just rescanned all of my negatives, it also got me to revisit many “failures” and reconsider them in a new artistic and technical light.

This is an excellent book whether you are just learning the basics of B&W film, or you need to advance your technique and creative vision. I bought several copies to inspire my darkroom friends!

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With expectation I opened my copy, only to find that, yes, all the tech details were spot on, concise and well argued, but that the haphazard layout was an affront to the subject…Read more

For those of you who don’t know the tulip work, John spent over a decade of his life developing a series of photographs based around the tulip, all of which started whilst avoiding writing his thesis by taking photographs of ‘stuff’ that was on his kitchen table. That such a successful and intriguing body of work can arise from something so trivial a start should remind us that any of our photographs might contain the germ of a creative project. Although this chapter isn’t about landscape photography, it is still relevant in nearly all of its content.

Putting aside the fact that almost everything in this book is, well, obsolete, I found this to be one of the most engaging books on how to “make” photographs. Reading how John Blakemore analyzed what he was trying to attempt with his photography and how he honed every possible aspect of the photographic process until he got what he wanted simply intriqued me.

There is no escaping the work that photography requires in order for it to be any good. But the good news is that all of this working through processes to make a photograph succeed can be a heck of a lot of fun, because of the exploration and discovery that is involved.

This book has changed the way I look at taking photographs and has definitely broadened how I look at–and assess–the world around me.

The Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography – Book 1

Chapter three concerns itself with the zone system and the art of pre-visualisation (his admiration of Minor White shows in his use of that term) and a lot of this might be of less interest to digital photographers, the discussions about tonality are still relevant. There is still an orthodoxy in black and white conversions that there should always be black blacks and white whites in every picture, something John rejects in similar words and I have to say I am in complete agreement with. Some of the pictures that I find strongest in John’s work are those high an low key pictures that limit themselves to only two or three zones and that rarely contain what John terms ‘dead blacks’ (he has a phrase ‘dead blacks and living darks’ which summarises part of his approach to printing). Using some of these techniques on my own black and white conversions improved them considerably. Chapter four is about Post Visualisation, the making of the print and again this may not be of a whole lot of interest to digital photographers but there are some gems hidden in the content.

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Starting as a freelance photographer in 1956, John Blakemore soon emerged as England’s leading landscape photographer, later transferring his unique and elegant photographic style into areas as diverse as still life, documentary, portraiture and Polaroid colour. His work is included in the public collections of, among others, the Royal Photographic Society, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Arts Council of Great Britian, the Los Angeles County Museum, the Fotografiska Museet, Stokholm, and the British Council. He has had one-man exhibitions all over the world including in London, LA and New York, and a British Council Touring Exhibition to Eastern Europe, South America and China. He has had four monographs of his work published, and has given public workshops for over 25 years establishing himself as one of the UK’s best known photography teachers. He also taught photography at the University of Derby for many years and, recently retired, is now Emeritus Professor of Photography. He lives in Derby, UK.

Published April 17th 2006 by David & Charles Publishers (first published March 25th 2005)

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Mastering the Exposure Triangle is the key to photographic excellence. Highly illustrated and easy to follow lessons require no prior experience.

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The first chapter of the book discusses the full process of photography in terms of John’s categories of “Relationship, Recognition and Realisation” – our relationship with our subject, our recognition of the moment an exposure needs to be made and the realisation of the final product, the print. The second chapter takes this framework and discusses how it worked for John’s most famous work, the tulip series.

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The final chapter returns to John’s discussion of subject development; developing a theme or series. This works as an almost free form discussion of John’s projects (apart from the tulip which was handled in more detail in chapter two), discussing his stream, beach and emergence series and then moving away from landscape and onto his still life work. This chapter is full of little gems and I gained as much from re-reading it for this review as I did when I originally read it a few years ago.

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John Blakemore has taught photography for over two decades and has worked as a fine art photographer for that period also. This book tries to distil his teaching into a single tome, covering technical and artistic bases along the way. The fact that this isn’t just a technical tome or an art philosophy tome works very well in my opinion and reflects the fact that these two aspects of photography cannot really be separated (however much many photographers would like to do so).

John Blakemore Book Binding and Sequencing Workshop  John Blakemore Master Photographer Photographs 1951-2010 – John Blakemore

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This book is similar to Ansel Adams’ Making of 20 photographs in some ways, but Blakemore’s images are more pictorial than Adams’ and he focuses more on what he was thinking than how he made the exposures.

There are almost no technical details, but plenty of insight into the creative process Blakemore uses to make his images, with a basic introduction of the Zone system for good measure. Personaly, I could not get past the images, which are too soft and abstract for my tastes, to really connect with his though process.

If you think you would be interested in seeing into Mr. Blakemores’ mind while he formulates these images, AND you like his soft focus style, you might enjoy this book. If you prefer more defined images, or are looking for more technical information on how the images were made, you will not find what you are looking for here.

This book seems less of a workshop and more of a chat session with the photographer.

Paperback: 160 pages Publisher: David & Charles (April 15, 2005) ISBN-10: 0715317210 ASIN: B001QCX9TA Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 9.4 x 0.6 inches Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds Average Customer Review: 4.

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Fully one-quarter of the book is spent on tulip still lifes. There are 40 pages of tulips out of the 160 total.Read more

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Exploring the creative and technical processes involved in black and white photography, this book includes insights, hints and tips from one of Britain’s top photographers on how to make the most from this medium.

I can thoroughly recommend this book to everyone, even those who have gone digital. John talks about how and why he has made a photograph and also discusses the Zone system. The zone system has always been a bit hard for a lot of people to follow but I think John has made it more accessable.

The point is even if you are a Digital photographer the same principles apply.The rest of the book deals on “seeing” and “reasons” to make a photograph, also on burning and dodging, which is just the same in Photoshop as it is in the Darkroom.

John is one of the Worlds finest teachers and photographers and this book should be on every photographers bookshelf. Even if you only just look at the pictures.

Overall the book is a fascinating melange of technical and philosophical, art and craft. It sits on my bookshelves in the art section despite being one of the better tomes on the zone system I have read. I would strongly suggest every photographer buy or borrow a copy and read it but more importantly think about it whilst doing so.

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Ansel Adams: The Camera (The Ansel Adams Photography Series 1) Paperback

This is not a technical book on black and white photography. Although the author provides some technical material, it assumes that you are already past the basics. This book is more about developing and refining your aesthetic, the part of photography that is harder to teach and may I say harder to learn.

The author takes you on a journey through a series of images discussing everything from the original motivation behind the capture to the final execution of the print. Throughout it is sprinkled with delightful insights and perceptive observations.

The author also shows prints that were left out of the final portfolio and discusses what artistic criteria they failed to meet. Quite instructive indeed.I found this book useful, despite the fact that I usually print digitally from film scans.

I also found the images a welcome deviation from the usual punched up prints that are popular today. However, you need not ascribe to the author’s taste to benefit from the book.

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