The Art of Black and White Photography: Techniques for Creating Superb Images in a Digital Workflow Second Edition
Well written. Insights on “Meaning” in photography, going beyond snapping shots, beyond the technical, beyond classification [“There’s a shot of the Grand Canyon”] to sensing and feeling and expressing oneself, approaching in some cases a meditative state.
All this is good, though I got a lot more from Bruce Barnbaum’s earlier work “The Art of Photography.”
Introduction: The Art of Black and White Digital Photography
Very good. Some challenges but a great read. If you are thinking about black and white photography this the book.
I have just started reading this book and I am finding it to be superb. It is technically up to date but reaches back to the film world where black and white photos were the only game available. He not only covers techniques but also artistic insights, compositions, and creating worthwhile photographs while avoiding cliched photos.
Exactly what I was looking for, a book for photographers with practical techniques and valuable insights. Highly recommended.
I HAVE JUST FINISHED READING TORSTEN HOFFMANN’S SECOND EDITION AND MUST ADMIT THAT IF YOU HAD ALREADY READ THE FIRST EDITION THERE IS PROBABLY NOT A LOT MORE NEW INFORMATION.Read more
The Photographers Guide to Image Sharpening in Lightroom: Professional Image Sharpe…
I am quite surprised at the content of this book. I though I was buying another mostly inspirational, visual book but it ispacked full of Lightroom, Layers and other techniques just like a Photoshop “classroom in a book” would have.
Although I amfairly adept with Photoshop CS6 I am learning a great deal and I am new to Lightroom so any user info is welcome.This is an inexpensive JEWEL. Well worth the purchase!
In The Art of Black and White Photography a great variety of thematic photos are analyzedto show how mood and emotion are evoked by certain fundamental elements,while…Read more
Learn all features, menus, and controls of the Nikon Coolpix P610 from a fully illustrated guide book with a detailed index and many helpful hints.
With only black and white contrasts, we can reveal the details, textures and patterns that was lost in color.We see the first example photo is of the beach. Specifically, ripples of sand. While walking around, we will normally notice these ripples, but in color, these ripples do not stand out as much. What we see in color are shades of yellow from the sand. In black and white, the darker gray shades stand out a lot more than color. This contrast can be further enhance with post processing. We see from the photo, the ripples are very prominently displayed. We see here, the patterns, details and the textures of the sand was brought out with black and white processing.In the second photo, we see tentacles. The high contrast of the suction cups reveal to us the roundness of the cup. When devoid of colors, we do not notice the rest of the tentacle but only the cups. The rest of the tentcle fades into the gray and black.In the third photo, by controlling the lighting, we can see the textures on the face. The light helps use create areas of high contrast where details are revealed. If this photo was in color, we might not have the same contrast, thus, we will be less aware of the textures on the face.
3.0 out of 5 starsWell written. Insights on “Meaning” in photography. But not as good in showing the reader “how” to accomplish his aim.
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Richly illustrated with the author’s own images, this beautiful guide presents the skills needed for great black-and-white photos while encouraging your confidence and creativity.
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Photography and the Art of Seeing: A Visual Perception Workshop for Film and Digital Photography
The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos
Very well written book. Easy to understand and use. I picked up many new tricks from this book. Being someone who does this work everyday myself, I can speak with knowledge you…Read more
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5.0 out of 5 starsThis was a gift for my husband. He loves …
5.0 out of 5 starsA Hearty Welcome to Another Top German Photographer/Author
I had seen Davis’ videos on youTube, and was very impressed by him. I bought a couple of his books initially, and then several others so that I now have 9 of them. Each one, so far, is excellent–it is taking me longer than I expected to read them because there is so much information to absorb.
If you want to learn whatever the subject matter of the book is, from the concepts behind the subject (night photography, lighting, etc.) planning for the picture (e.g., the use of lightboxes to create translucent pictures), to the detailed post-processing of them in Photoshop or equivalent, you will not be disappointed–at least, I haven’t.
One of the particularly great things about this book, specifically, is that it really helped me understand what photographs are good candidates for B&W conversion, as well as how to start seeing the world in terms of light and dark tones.
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photoshop davis photographer images photos harold lightroom ways processing photo image examples learn process knowledge step photographers achieve serious interested
Comment: Ex library copy with library stickers on front cover and spine, ink stamped library markings on top page edges. Pages are clean and tight, no highlighting or writing.
While we saw that black and white photography can be used to reduce distractions, we can also use black and white photography to increase emphasis towards the subject. This is particularly useful with high contrast. The dark shadow of the coffee cup against the brightly lit chair allows us to focus on the cup even though the cup is off to the side of the photo.In the second photo, the great contrast between the white cat fur, the black eyes and the black background draws the viewer towards the cat’s eyes and face. In this photo, a side light is coming in from the left side of the photo lighting the cat’s white fur while the rest of the subject and background was dark. FYI, the cat was hiding behind a desk in the dark. This is somewhat a low key photo as well.
I would recommend this book highly. It dives into the technical side of photography as a beginning taste of the digital aspects without being overly wordy/complex.Read more
“Harold Davis’s Creative Photography series is a great way to start a photography library”—PhotoFidelity
Learn all features, menus, and controls of the Nikon Coolpix P900 from a fully illustrated guide book with a detailed index and many helpful hints.
Very disappointed in the book. It is only helpful if you are using PS3. Since PS6 was the first version of Photoshop I used and I currently use CC, it is virtually useless.I purchased it because of a recommendation from Rocky Nook.
I won’t make that mistake again
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Paperback: 264 pages Publisher: Rocky Nook; Second edition (January 24, 2012) Language: English ISBN-10: 1933952962 ISBN-13: 978-1933952963 Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10 inches Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies) Average Customer Review: 3.
6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,809,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #66 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Black & White #150 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Equipment, Techniques & Reference > Darkroom & Processing #2049 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Equipment, Techniques & Reference > Reference
Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you enjoy your craft. I commend you for processing your own photos. I shot film prior to digital, so I understand that the images of digital have a different “feel” to them vs film. However regarding the pop, I think thats more of a subjective matter or personal preference. Pop, like many things in photography, its an endless debate. What I try focus on with digital photography is what is possible with the medium, and not its limitation. Mind that digital photography has only been mainstream for a short period of time when compared to film. It will take us awhile before we can figure out what we can really do with digital photography and how to take advantage of it. Recently, Xerox tried to determine the aesthetic quality with software. Im sure it will fuel more debates: https://services.open.xerox.com/WebApp2.svc/aesthetic-search/index.php
I got this for my dad on his birthday I believe and he loves it!
As a fan of black and white photography, I’ve read a couple of books that explain the “how” of this segment of shooting pictures. This one is terribly disappointing. It opens by telling readers to not take photos that are clichés, and as you go through and look at the photos in the book, by the author, you see many clichés.
There are sections talking about shooting portraits, street photography, landscapes, etc, but all they do is show his photos and explain how he shot them; there is no broader explanation of shooting black and white, as opposed to color.
The section on composition looks like it’s cribbed from another book, with specious things like the golden ratio, and is really quite useless; at least it’s not specific to black and white photos.The text is bland and boring – which could be in part because of the translation – and after reading about a quarter of the book, I skimmed the rest, looking at the photos, and reading some of the descriptions.
This is overall pretty useless for those who want to know more about shooting black and white pictures.
Black-and-White Photography Tips from Author Harold Davis Black-and-White Photography Tips Photos by Harold Davis Tips for Seeing in Black and White [PDF]
This item: The Art of Black and White Photography: Techniques for Creating Superb Images in a Digital Workflow
As I recently noted in my review of another Black and White digital book by Michael Freeman, I am not a huge fan of the “stars” method of review. I think this is a book that is worth the price for any photographer who (like I do) likes to learn by reading and likes to “get under the hood” a little bit, and wants to work with Black and White digital processing of their images.
Much like the Freeman book, this book is divided into 3 major sections. Freeman goes into some detail about B&W photography history comparing film to digital capture. Davis, instead, uses his first section more as a “philosophy of B&W shooting” piece.
Both are well done, but different. The second two sections in both books are similar, going first into the actual process of B&W conversion and processing, and then giving some creative advice, example and perhaps motivation.
I thought the first section in Davis’ book could be thinned by about 2/3. It just seems to repeat itself, and repeat itself. But then, maybe I just don’t “get” it. He also has a tendency toward “flowery” language.
At times it may be a bit overdone, and at least for me, I found myself noticing it, instead of the straightforward information it was trying to impart. But we all speak and write our own way – and to each his own.
None of the criticism here should, in my opinion, deter a purchaser. This is a very good addition to my own library, and I learned (and will no doubt continue to learn) a lot from it.Once you get into the second section – which is really the meat of the book, the learning ramps up.
Davis does a great job – almost in a “cookbook” formula, of illustrating a number of ways to handle B&W conversion, along with the whys and hows. He gives – in most instances – a step by step explanation of how he does the processing (mostly in Photoshop) with enough information to see and accomplish the result, without getting into an “in-the-weeds” tutorial on Photoshop.
I like that. I will get, as he recommends, my Photoshop basics from other sources.I recommend this book and think it is well worth the price.
Black and white photography at times can reduce elements that are distracting in our composition by controlling the light and colors. Black and white can also hide noise problems due to high ISO usage. Here are a few examples of what I mean.The first photo is a night of San Francisco from Pier 7. If you do a search of pier 7 on google, you will find a lot of photos showing the skyline and the pier. Some of these photos may appear cluttered especially at night with all the colors and light from the building. However, I wanted to take a photo that showed more of the pier. By underexposing and converting to black and white, the distant skyline fades into the background, but the light from the foreground lights up the details of the pier. You can see the planks on the pier and the slabs of wood used on the benches. The without the skyline as a distraction, we can easily see the leading lines created by the lights.In the second photo example, this is a photo of San Francisco from Sausalito. The clouds are moving in as if rain is coming. For this photo, i wanted the clouds to be the center of attention. By converting to black and white, we can really see the clouds pop out. Normally, when we observe a scene where it is about to rain, we see the colors of the water, the colors of the buildings, bits of blue sky peaking through the clouds. When we remove the colors and convert to black and white, we see contrast. The strong contrast between the rain clouds, white clouds and the sun cutting through the sky creates a situation of high contrast. The high contrast gives the clouds that stunning pop in black and white.For the third photo, we can use black and white to hide color noise. The photo was shot at ISO 1600. So there was some noise. By converting it to black and white, the color noise becomes a fine grain reminiscent of film. This can be a great way to create elegant low light photos while giving it a film feel.
Advancing Your Photography: Secrets to Amazing Photos from the Masters
Photographer’s Guide to the Nikon Coolpix P900: Getting the Most from Nikon’s Super…
This is the guide you need to retouch your digital images professionally.
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Book Condition: Ex library copy with library stickers on front cover and spine, ink stamped library markings on top page edges. Pages are clean and tight, no highlighting or writing.
My copy of this book will end up dog-eared and coffee stained as the years go by.In addition to a discussion of the art of b&w, the author provides many examples of his own work… and step-by-step descriptions of how he accomplished his results.
He also examines the reasons for what he does.The step-by-step discussions are even more valuable because he does everything using digital photography – so many consider b&w an artifact of film. And since digital images are always captured in color, he covers the various techniques of conversion to b&w.
He discusses these techniques using several different photo processing software programs – Photoshop, which is the only one I have, and some others.I consider this book an educational investment.
5.0 out of 5 stars… Hoffmann through his book “Photography as Meditation” and thoroughly enjoyed his insights into developing a vision for my ph
Book Condition: An apparently unread copy in perfect condition. Dust cover is intact; pages are clean and are not marred by notes or folds of any kind. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less.
Comment: An apparently unread copy in perfect condition. Dust cover is intact; pages are clean and are not marred by notes or folds of any kind. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less.
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Yhis is the best book that I have yet read. Thanks to the author.
Paperback: 240 pages Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (May 10, 2010) Language: English ISBN-10: 0470597755 ISBN-13: 978-0470597750 Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies) Average Customer Review: 4.
5 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #761,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #31 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Black & White #1089 in Books > Textbooks > Humanities > Visual Arts > Photography #1193 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Digital Photography
Over the last few years, most books on photography have been focused on the new breed of cameras and how to master the digital imaging workflow. In The Art of Black and White Photography author and photographer Torsten Andreas Hoffmann takes a different approach, focusing on image composition and image capture, with an emphasis on the creative aspects of black and white photography rather than on the digital workflow. After introducing the ground rules of composition, Hoffmann illustrates their applications with his own stunning black and white images that cover various photographic genres, including architecture, street photography, portraiture, and surreal photography. Also discussed are the elements of a “photographic language”‘, which distinguishes creative photography from random shooting. Finally, you will learn valuable post-processing techniques, mostly using Photoshop, that emphasize the functions necessary for creating outstanding black and white images.This second edition has been updated to include Photoshop CS5, as well as brand new images, content, and a revised layout.
In conclusion, we see that light, colors and contrast play a large role in how our black and white photos work. We ran through a few examples of what we can do with black and white to enhance our photography. And lastly, we learned about the basic settings we can adjust to tweak our photos during post processing. I hope you enjoyed this overview of what black and white photography can offer. I hope you enjoyed some of the photos I’ve taken.As mentioned before, you do not have to take what I’ve written as hard rules for black and white. Be creative. Sometimes the unconventional can be the most compelling. Do not be too caught up in equipement and camera settings right away. The intro photo was taken with a point and shoot, not a $3,000 or even a $1,000 DSLR. Learn to see light and composition first then move on to adjusting your toy.Other things to consider – Check out black and white photography books or photo web sites if you’re interested in learning more. Sometimes it is easier to learn and be inspired by looking at other photos than simply following rules or suggestions. – Consider mixing HDR photography with black and white – Use strobes (flash) – Black and white portraitures can be elegant – don’t afarid to experiment. – Try other monochromatic techniques, such as cyanotype or sepiatone as pictured above.
When I first started shooting in the 1970s, I used black and white film and did most of the developing myself.Read more
Torsten Andreas Hoffmann is mostly known as the photographer and author of illustrated books on New York, Paris, Rome, and the Himalayas. He regularly teaches workshops on photography with an emphasis on composition and black and white photography. Hoffmann is a regular contributor to LFI, the highly acclaimed international journal published by Leica.
Good information. However I haven’t made the crossover from film to digital. I am intermediate talent and love B&W. Do my own darkroom work and there is nothing like it for me. Just a casual comment about digital B&W and my own personal observation. There is a distinct difference. Digital looks too perfect and seems to lack “pop”. The one pic in your Instructable that I would consider having “pop” is the leading one where there is a lot of light energy. For what it’s worth, my 2 cents.
Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual Third Revised Edition
Bryan Peterson’s Understanding Photography Field Guide: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
German photographer Torsten Andreas Hoffman writes, “Photography is not preeminently about technique, but rather is about images with content that express the photographer’s consciousness while being created in an interesting way.
“The Art of Black and White Photography is divided into four sections. The first covers some technical issues such as file types (RAW, TIFF, JPEG), the polarizing filter, and the gradient filter. The second is an overview of genres.
The core of the book is Section Three, Rules of Composition. Section Four wraps up with some Photoshop techniques. Hoffman’s own photos – both analog and digital – demonstrate the concepts presented in the text.
The author is clearly knowledgeable about photography, but not always effective at imparting that knowledge. For example, he frequently refers to “image tension” without ever explaining what he means by this.
Photography is not exclusively used to present the obvious. Using black and white effectively, we can add some mystery to our photos.In our first photo example, I took this photo in a San Francisco park. As the darker trees fade into the white fog, the changing shades of gray into pure white adds a sense of mystery to the photo. Whats beyond the fog? is a cliff or is it more trees? If this photo was in color, we might be more focus on the trail and the colors of the trees and not notice the encroaching mysterious fog. To enhance this photo some more, i reduced the exposure. If we took the photo in color with a reduced exposure by a stop or two, we might have color detail lost in the dark areas. This can be hidden in black and white photos and be used to our advantage.In our second example, using a low key effect, we add mystery to the car. The glow of the headlights draws our eyes in and the ambient lighting outlines the car’s body, yet it is dark and we wonder what the car is up to. The low key look with the glow of the headlights gives the car a menacing feel. We are not sure whats going on, but we are curious about the car. Additional vignetting was adding in during post processing to help create more focus and mystery.
“Neverworld Wake” by Marisha Pessl Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
Black & White Photography: The timeless art of monochrome in the post-digital age
5.0 out of 5 starsDavis is a great photographer, an excellent technician, and a clear and humorous writer
4.0 out of 5 starsVery good. Some challenges but a great read
Adobe Lightroom CC Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows and Mac OS (Shortcut Matters Book…
Black-and-white photography poses unique challenges; without color to guide the eye, contrast, lighting, and composition take on even more importance. Renowned photographer Harold Davis explains these elements and demonstrates the basic rules of black and white photography as well as when and how to break them. He breaks through the complexity of this photographic medium, explores opportunities for black-and-white imagery, and shows how to capitalize on every one.
Black-and-white photography poses unique challenges; without color to guide the eye, contrast, lighting and composition take on even more importance. Renowned photographer Harold Davis explains these elements and demonstrates the basic rules of black and white photography as well as when and how to break them.
He breaks through the complexity of this photographic medium, explores opportunities for black-and-white imagery and shows how to capitalize on every one.
5.0 out of 5 starsInformation for those interested in monochrome at the next level
First off let me tell you – I’m an engineer and so not a very arty person. So, the first few chapters about seeing & feeling were not 100% for me.Read more
2.0 out of 5 starsThis book won’t teach you much about shooting black and white
Creative Black and White: Digital Photography Tips and Techniques 1st Edition
Monochromatic HDR Photography: Shooting and Processing Black & White High Dynamic Range Photos
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
If you are a serious black and white digital photographer, then you must own this book. The author reveals little tips and tricks that he has developed which will make your images come alive with dynamic range and contrast.
You will not find these tips in a book on Photoshop or in Photoshop courses. They are specific to the abstract art of black and white.I took an image of a tree in a snowy field that was nice but unexciting.
Normal photoshop adjustments made it better but not great. I paid a professional Photoshop master to try and improve it but he hit the same limitations that I did. Then I bought this book and learned about creating layers with different adjustments for level, contrast and filtering.
The magic started when I began to add those layers together with different levels of opacity. The final print was a “wow”.Get this book. The price is very fair when compared to other professionally oriented photography books.
It will even help you before you take a photo because you now have ways to deal with extreme ranges of brightness.
Most of the photos of my youth where black, and white outdoor photos. Because color wasn’t affordable. outdoor, because flash bulbs, and the batteries they require where also unaffordable. Your instructable is done well enough so the average snapshot photographer follow, if they wish to experiment. Because of that it should also be helpful to the artists that use the medium of photography. For the rest of us, if we took B&W photos, and showed them to other, we would be asked why they are in B&W. People are used to seeing old B&W photos, but expect to see new photos in color.
In an age of digital photography, a lot of us appreciate the visual impact and elegance of black and white photography when juxtaposed with color photography. Black and White photography is not simply a result of old technology of a bygone era.
Black and white is a technique that we can still employ today to enhance our photography. With black and white photography, we are allowed to see the world beyond colors. With black and white photography, we can control moods.
With black and white photography, we can highlight details we normally would not see in color. Ultimately, with black and white photography, it is a technique that can enhance our ability to tell our story through imagery.
However, unlike color photography, many of us have trouble creating artistic or compelling black and white photos.Thus, this will be a beginner’s guide to black and white photography. In this Instructables, we will learn to think in black and white, learn how to set up our camera, look at some examples of how we can use black and white photography to enhance our craft and lastly, we will look at some post processing tips.
Techniques and opinions in this guide should not be taken as hard rules for black and white photography or photography in general. There are no absolute rules in photography, only suggestions. Experiment and see what works for you.
Discover your own style.Requirements: Point and shoot digital camera or DSLR A basic understanding of photography principle A computer Post processing software (Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, Gimp, iPhoto, etc) and most important curiosity to learn
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This is really good photography. I really like the black and white because it points out the light and dark parts of a picture. With color in the first one, it would destroy the focal point, but with black and white it puts that at the focal point.
Photographer’s Guide to the Nikon Coolpix P610: Getting the Most from Nikon’ Superz…
I originally became acquainted with Hoffmann through his book “Photography as Meditation” and thoroughly enjoyed his insights into developing a vision for my photography.Read more
Photography as Meditation: Tap Into the Source of Your Creativity
Enjoy this book. The book is very detailed in workflow, which I deemed very useful. The images are great. Thanks
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The Photographer’s Black and White Handbook: Making and Processing Stunning Digital Black and White Photos
composition darkroom photoshop photos photographer section image shooting photographic useful concepts elements photographers raw chapters technical genres rules sections tools
4.0 out of 5 starsVery knowledgeable – technique and artist principles
Goes beyond basics to teach photographers how to conquer the challenges posed by black-and-white photography Appeals to professionals and serious amateurs who are interested in exploring creative black-and-white imagery Presents photography fundamentals and shows how black and white requires some of the rules to be bent Encourages creative thinking and confidence Lavishly illustrated with Harold Davis’s outstanding monochromatic photos
Make your photography stand out from the crowd. Learn to sharpen photos like a professional. Comprehensive video course included.
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Always good to read another view point on creating photographic images. Well printed book that motivates any photographer to get back to shooting for fun, not just money.
Take Color Photos Do not be tempted to just set your camera to black and white in the settings. Take the photos in color. Why? First, this will allow you more practice to visualize your composition in black and white without the aid of what your camera telling you how a monochromatic photo “should” look like. Second, by taking the photo in color, you preserve all the color tones, white balance and exposure. This will allow greater range of post process editing compared to editing an already black and white photo that came off that camera. When you take a photo in black and white, all the color tones will be discarded leaving less information for the post processing software to use. If you do not intend in editing your photos, then you can shoot in black and white.Shoot in Raw If your camera supports Raw format, use that format instead of the jpeg format. Just as shooting in color, raw format preserves more of the photo’s information. Raw format is essentially the raw data collected from the camera’s sensor with all of the camera’s settings. This will allow a greater range in post processing. Jpegs are compressed photos, so many of the image’s information will be lost during jpeg processing done by the camera. There are plenty of websites out there that shows how many stops of light or amount of color tones are lost during jpg compression compared to the raw format. All dslrs and some high end point and shoot cameras will allow this format. The downside to shooting Raw is that not all photo editing software supports raw formats.The image example was shot in raw and was a tad underexposed due to the window. Because raw formats preserve more sensor information, I can fix the exposure in Lightroom with the recovery slider. With this correction ability from Raw, we can see the contrast between the bright window and the dark stairs.Now that we have an idea of how black and white photography works, what are some things we can do in black and white photography? Read on to find out.
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In this section, we will look at some basic post processing settings we can use to enhance our black and white photos. The example photo was taken from Lightroom, similar controls could be found in other post processing software. We will go through each setting and what you can do with it to improve your black and white photos. The Lightroom settings you see correspond to the night photo of the Palace of Fine Arts. The photo was taken in Raw format with a Canon Powershot s95 point and shoot.Histogram The histogram shows the distribution of tones. The left side is black, and the right side is white, the middle is gray. In the example, most of the photo is of darker shades. You can use this tool to monitor your distribution when you start editing.Treatment The treatment is the type of photo you are editing, either in color or black and white. I prefer changing the treatment to black and white. You also create a black and white by desaturating, but thats not truly black and white as the color information is not being discarded. Some programs call this feature “gray scale”.White Balance While the photo is black and white, adjusting the white balance will still affect the photo. As with color photos, adjusting the white balance will alter the tones of gray. You can play with this to adjust your gray shades or tones if you like. I did not adjust WB in my example.Exposure Similar to color photos, adjusting exposure alters the lighting in the black and white photo. Exposure has a lot of ability to alter the contrast of a photo. Using the exposure can easily allow you to enhance low key or high key photos. I liked the overall exposure so I did not adjust the exposure in my example.Recovery Recovery allows you to bring back highlight detail. This can be great if your camera over exposed something you didnt want to over expose. This works even more effectively in black and white in my opinion than in color. Recovery at times in color seems understated, but in black and white, you can see the details come back right away. Since this was a night photo, and I wanted to display some of the details of the Place of Fine Arts, I adjusted the recovery to bring back some details due to the bright lights.Fill light and Blacks These two sliders can help you add more light or blacks to your photo. Both of these can greatly increase or degrease the contrast of the photo. As you can see, I adjusted both the blacks and fill light to increase contrast.Brightness You can play with this to brighten up your photo. I do not usually move this slider too much in black and white as the photos can easily wash out.Contrast This slider is self explanatory, increase contrast on the slider will increase contrast in photo. I increased the contrast to the maximum to really allow me to show the details of my subject.
Many practical insights on how to compose and edit black and white images. While desaturation can yield black and white images good images require much more than that starting with a good composition, proceeding by tonal and color balances before making it monochrome.
The author provides many insights on how to make interesting black and white images. For me at least Black and white while not necessarily better than color is different and just as complex.
Before we start taking photos of things we think will look good in black and white, we need to be able to think in black and white. How do we do this? The following are a few areas to think about before you should click your shutter button.Light Learn how light works. Photography is the art of capturing light. Without light, there would be no photography. The basic light principles have been the same since the first cameras came about. A medium, either film or a sensor captures light changed over time. Seeing how light is hitting the subject wil affect contrast. Brighter environments then to provide lighter tones of gray to white, and the opposite is true, less light appears darker or black in black and white photography. Remember you can control light with your shutter, aperture, and ISOColor Black and white photos are not just black and white, there are many shades or tones of gray. Thus, when thinking about black and white compositions, remember that colors will be implied and exist. Colors could be used to your advantage. Color tones could be altered when converting to black and white. With the example image, the green moss is not present in the photo due to it being a dark shade of green. so the green blends in to the rocks. If the photo was colored, the rocks would not be as striking as the green moss will become more of a distraction.Contrast In black and white photography, there are no colors. Everything is presented as white, tones of gray and black. Try to see the world or find subjects with in terms of contrast. Contrast is defined as the difference between the tones. Photos with high contrast means there is a lot of white and blacks, but very little shades of gray. Low contrast photos appear mostly black or white with some grey. Most photos are just normal contrast with a mix of black, white and grey tones. How do we see this contrast played out in the color worked? Many photographers prefer high contrast black and white photos as they create a stronger subject. However, lower contrast photos can also be useful in softening the subject. The photo example is a high contrast photo. High contrast photos tend to provide very striking outlines of the subject. The black rocks are being outlined by the white mist of the water. Composition wise, the black rocks in the mist creates an atmosphere of mystery.Simplicity My opinion is less is more with the photo composition. Try not to clutter the photo with too many details. A single strong subject is easier on the eyes when creating a message or story. This is more true for black and white. A beautiful and vivid landscape will be various shades of gray in black and white and may be more confusing in black and white.Post Processing Have an idea on how you plan to process the photo since what you see when you take the photo, might not represent what you want as your final result.Have these things in mind and composing a better black and white photo will be easier. These are not all the things to consider about black and white composition, but its a start to get you thinking in black and white. Remember to practice and figure out what works for you.
This is a welcome volume for B&W photogs and a useful read for color photographers from another fine German photographer/author. This is Hoffmann’s first instructional book to be published in English, although he has had numerous articles on image design/composition published in the magazine “Leica Fotographie International”, or LFI, which, by the way, is not published by Leica-Camera GMBH.
Hoffmann emphasizes the possibilities in tonal manipulation in digital and analogue photographing. The point of his presentation is always to show how manipulating the tones and, therefore, contrast, contributes to the design of the image with respect to the photographer’s intentions.
He spends a significant amount of space on showing how to elicit mood in various kinds of photographs (content).His chapters start with, what I find to be, rather interesting summaries of the chapter topic’s history, significant practitioners, and current directions.
Then he examines several of his own images in detail. His commentary on an image concentrates on the visual structure and on the darkroom and/or digital manipulations necessary to realize his intentions.
The only other book that comes to mind for nearly such excellence in pictorial descriptions or captions is the first edition of Bill Smith’s “Designing a Photograph,” which sets the standard for applying the Gestalt visual psychological approach to analyzing image structure.
Rather differently from the other two top volumes on image structure currently in print, Michael Freeman’s “The Photographer’s Eye,” and Harald Mante’s “The Photograph,” Hoffmann spends significant time looking at the various genres of photographic subject matter and then covers composing/design from the point of view of visual tensions and abstract structure.
There is overlap with both of the other volumes, but also depth and emphasis that is his own. Color is not part of the subject in this book, but color photographers will benefit from Hoffmann’s insights into tonality, contrast, and structure in images.
This book, IMHO, sort of completes the circle of really good books on photographic composition/design at the intermediate level. With this book, the years 2007 and 2008 have been the best in a few decades for the publication of outstanding books on design/composition, and it is interesting to this reviewer that the three best are by an English and two German photographer/authors .
It just does not seem that US practioners are taught the nuts and bolts of visual design to any degree of depth and ability to articulate their thoughts about image structure. The ability of even world class US photographers to discuss the reasons that their images work in structural terms is relatively rare.
I like this book enough to make a triumvirate of this one, Freeman’s book, and Mante’s book for readers interested in sophisticated, analytical approaches to visual design and image structure. The only thing I would wish for is that more of his photos be accompanied by those delightful little thumbnails with his structural line diagrams.
The more of these there are in a book, the more an interested reader packs away in one’s mental image databank for later resurrection and use.Some asides before I finish. Hoffmann gets more visual mileage from aircraft vapor trails than anyone else I know of.
Most of us regard these as intrusions into the tranquility of our landscape images. But, in the venerable tradition of divorcing content from an image’s abstract structure, and the role of structure being to support the content, Hoffmann integrates these features into his images so forcefully that to remove them would ruin the image.
Bravo; Mante would be proud.Too, the basic structural architecure of many of his images rests upon the grid formed from the golden ratio approximations of breaking the height and width into 5/8th and 3/8th divisions.
One advantage of this choice versus the preference of US photographers for the Thirds Rule is that the Thirds method breaks the space into nine identical rectangles – a recipe well on the way to boring space management.
Yet, as shows Charles Bouleau in his seminal book, “The Painter’s Secret Geometry,” even relatively simple visual architectures in the hands of someone with excellent training and inspired talent yield captivating, dynamic images, while the plodders among us achieve less subtle and interesting results.
I hope it will not be so long before Hoffmann gives us a volume on design in color photography.19 November 2008. I just read this book again. It is more satisfying, informative, and a pleasure to read than I realized the first time through.
The second section covers thirteen genres or concepts, each one starting with a delightful essay that I began to look forward to in succeeding chapters. Beginning with a chapter on dealing with cliches and ending with a chapter on eliciting mystical elements from a subject and a chapter on panoramics, he deals with the major philosophical aspects relating to photography in each genre, how such issues have changed through the history of photography, sometimes the relationships to other visual arts, and some reference to major past and current practitioners.
The third section presents fourteen aspects of composing images, from “what is composition” to movement in the image. The prefatory remarks are much more brief than in the genres/concepts section, but are insightful.
His approach to composing emphasizes the principles of design and techniques of visualization and thinking to achieve the principles, and less concentration on the elements that one gets from Mante and Freeman.
In all four sections of the book, when he discusses a photograph, he does it better, more thoroughly from a structural point of view, and at a higher level than most any other writing I have seen.I now feel that this book ranks right up there with Freeman and Mante as coequal in quality, depth, and level of presentation.
These are the three strongest books on the composition/design subject in years. If you are interested in analytical, thinking, focussed approaches to making, understanding, and appreciating images, I cannot recommend too strongly owning and reading several times the three books by Freeman, Mante, and Hoffmann.
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Low key and high key are two popular techniques people use in black and white photography.Low key photos are mainly black or of darker shades of gray. The small bits of white in low key photos draw the viewer towards the subject. In this example, the harsh light hits the wall, and the light reflection reveal to us the contours of our subject. This is an easy way to create interesting photos at night without the need to run high ISOs or slow shutter speeds.High key is the exact opposite of low key. High key photos are predominantly white or lighter shades of gray. The darker areas draw the viewer to the subject for high key photos. High key in the example can be used for abstract art as a predominately white photo can be devoid of details. The focus can be on the abstract lines or patterns that are darker.