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Black and White Masterclass

When Photographers Resource started it was the newsletter of Camera Images. Later it split away to become a separate operation.

Camera Images was the main training provider for advanced users and professionals using Nikon cameras.

With the recession the cost of selling courses exceeded the revenue they produced so Camera Images decided not to take on new clients, but to still provide training to it's existing customer base.

The courses mentioned in the articles below are no longer available unless you are an existing client of Camera Images.

Black and White Photography is not really the right title for this course as its also covers sepia, and various dual tone coloured prints.

For some in their 50ís or older black and white is often looked at as the poor relation to colour photography, something that came before it. Many younger people have less memory of routine black and white photographs, so to them they are something different, and often more valued.

There is more emotion, more of a message often in a B&W than in a colour photograph, light shadow, contrast and mood being more apparent. Because it portrays more emotion it is often the black and white photographs that people remember the best.

When you go from colour to tones of grey, you may have problems, for example a red rose is a similar one to the green plants it is often with, and other items similarly may merge into the background. We overcome this by using filters that in effect lighten colours similar to the filter and darken the opposite. So shooting a red rose through a red filter will make the rose lighter and the background green plants darker. In a similar way the B&W landscape photographer is able to make the clouds stand out by using a yellow or orange filter or have a storm like effect with a deep red one.

A number of our Nikon DSLRís can take Black and White, the D80 and D300 also having built in colour filters. With the D300ís live view mode you get to see a black and white image even before you have taken it. As long as your image is stored as a raw file you are able later to also get a colour photo if you want.

Alternatively we can start with a colour photograph and produce a black and white photo in editing by a variety of methods, we can  also where we want mix colour and black and white.

Contrast is so important in B&W and can be controlled when taking, by using flash to lighten shadow areas, using reflectors and in some cases other in camera techniques like active D lighting. It can also be changed in editing in a variety of ways.

The Photography Skills Masterclass on black and white photography is a day long, recommended 7 hours, and covers the above plus looks at different toning styles. It is about 60% acquiring skills and 40% putting them into practice.


By: Keith Park Section: Training Key:
Page Ref: B&W_Masterclass Topic: Camera Images Training  Last Updated: 03/2010

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