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Black And White Landscape

black and white landscape 1
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Black And White Landscape

Shooting successful landscapes in black and white is not quite as easy as it might seem. I have to admit that when I first started photographing landscapes with black and white film, I was so disappointed with the results that I gave up for several years. What I didn’t realise is that I was breaking one simple rule that if I had understood it, would have made life much simpler. Basically, my images lacked separation. The Fundamental Rule Of Black And White To achieve a good black and white image you need to have separation between the elements in the frame. If you can’t distinguish or find it difficult to distinguish between the elements the image will lack impact and the viewer will struggle to understand it. The problem I had and one that many people trying to shoot black and white landscapes have is that whilst in colour the different elements are easy to see. Once converted to black and white, many of the tones of the landscape blend together. What’s needed are ways to separate the elements for the viewer. Here are some ideas to help you. Conversion The tools we now have available in the digital darkroom make life much easier. Ideally you need a conversion technique that allows you to target different colours so they appear as different tones in the final image. For example you might darken a blue sky whilst lightening grass and foliage. If you were using black and white film you would use a Green or Yellow filter to achieve this effect but tools such as Photoshop and Lightroom make this easy to achieve. A further tip you might like to try is selectively changing the colour for some areas of your image. This will make them respond differently during the conversion to Black and White and help provide separation. Composition Strong composition can also help in separating the elements of the image even where they might have similar tones. One good way to ensure a good composition for black and white is to include a strong foreground interest. Seek out strong shapes in the landscape such as walls and trees that might provide a leading line into the landscape. Strong distinctive shapes are easier for the eye to pick out and understand even when the tones are similar. In this example I have used the strong shape of the rocks to provide a bold foreground interest. I have also used other techniques discussed below to enhance the separation of objects in the scene. Contrast This can be a problem with many black and white landscape images. I find the elements within the frame will become much more distinct when the contrast enhanced. In the film world we would use a coloured filter such as a Yellow, Orange or Red placed in front of the lens to help boost contrast. We might also use exposure techniques and higher contrast papers when printing in the darkroom. In the digital age the easiest way to add contrast is by applying an S-Curve in your editing package. Also don’t overlook Midtone contrast as this can really add to the monochrome landscape image. The easiest way to add Midtone contrast is in RAW conversion software that has a Clarity slider, which is essentially the same thing. In the following image of the Polish Tetras I have significantly boosted the Midtone contrast to help provide some separation between the trees which would otherwise blend into a solid grey tone. Dodge & Burn The technique of dodging and burning an image has been around from the early days of photography and was used extensively by masters such as Ansel Adams. In this image I have created a conversion that deliberately darkened the ground to create a contrast with the waterfall. I then used the dodge and burn tools in Photoshop to emphasise this as well as lightening selected areas of grass. When you dodge and burn an image it helps to create the feeling of interest in the scene for the viewer. So remember the rule; if you want to capture strong black and white landscapes you need to separate the elements in the frame. Words and images by Robin Whalley You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Photo Month Forum Competition
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Black And White Landscape

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.
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Black And White Landscape

Two Very Different Hats To peruse the website of Chris Clor, you might get the idea that he’s two different photographers. His commercial work in color for corporate clients tends toward wildly imaginative (some might say over-the-top) composites clearly not meant to represent reality. His black-and-white landscapes, such as his photograph of the Isle of Skye, are highly classical, even austere. “Since much of the black-and-white subject matter I shoot is landscape or cityscape, I have adopted a more straightforward approach to the photography, prefering almost no manipulation,” he tells us. “Something about black-and-white demands a bit more photographic realism, since at its core it is already an abstraction—we see in color.”
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Black And White Landscape

Jay Wesler is a fine art photographer who specializes in black and white western landscape and nostalgic cityscape photography. Images include scenic landscape photography with photographs from Montana, Illinois, Utah, Wyoming, National Parks, and the west.The pictures have been represented in numerous fine art publications and galleries for black and white photography. Many of the pictures follow a minimalist style, with high contrast printing and zone system techniques.
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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.
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“The biggest mistake made by those new to black-and-white is to rely too heavily on differences in color rather than differences in luminosity, or brightness,” Kimmerle says. “Radically different colors may appear, in a black-and-white image, as the same shade of gray. Seeing in black-and-white is a skill that must be learned by doing.”
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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.
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Jay Wesler is a fine art photographer who specializes in black and white western landscape and nostalgic cityscape photography. Images include scenic landscape photography with photographs from Montana, Illinois, Utah, Wyoming, National Parks, and the west.
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This can be a problem with many black and white landscape images. I find the elements within the frame will become much more distinct when the contrast enhanced. In the film world we would use a coloured filter such as a Yellow, Orange or Red placed in front of the lens to help boost contrast. We might also use exposure techniques and higher contrast papers when printing in the darkroom. In the digital age the easiest way to add contrast is by applying an S-Curve in your editing package. Also don’t overlook Midtone contrast as this can really add to the monochrome landscape image. The easiest way to add Midtone contrast is in RAW conversion software that has a Clarity slider, which is essentially the same thing. In the following image of the Polish Tetras I have significantly boosted the Midtone contrast to help provide some separation between the trees which would otherwise blend into a solid grey tone.
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These black and white picture are beautiful. I am new to all this, but I love taking pictures of clouds and flowers. Normally, I don’t take pictures in black and white but here a few I did today.
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“To become better at working in black-and-white, I think it is important to immerse yourself in it completely, training yourself to see the world as it looks in compositions of black, white and gray,” Fokos says. He suggests capturing images simultaneously in RAW and monochrome JPEG to view the image on the LCD in b&w.
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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.
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Shooting successful landscapes in black and white is not quite as easy as it might seem. I have to admit that when I first started photographing landscapes with black and white film, I was so disappointed with the results that I gave up for several years. What I didn’t realise is that I was breaking one simple rule that if I had understood it, would have made life much simpler. Basically, my images lacked separation.

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12 Photos of the "Black And White Landscape"

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