Black and White photography

Photographers Need to Be "Nearsighted" and "Farsighted"

© Rick Sammon
Composition is the strongest way of seeing.

When we see and compose our pictures, we need to be both "nearsighted" and "farsighted" – paying close attention to the foreground and background elements in a scene (and, of course, everything in between).

In the above photograph, the near element adds to the sense of depth of the image. In the photograph below, the far element adds an extra sense of interest to the photograph.

© Rick Sammon
Both photographs illustrate careful and creative composition.

For more on composition, see my Kelby Training class: Composition - the strongest way of seeing.

You'll also notice the great depth of field in both images, taken with my Canon 24-105nm IS lens on my Canon 5D Mark III.

For max depth of field:
- use a wide-angle lens
- set a small aperture
- focus 1/3 into the scene.

I teach creative composition on all my workshops. I hope you can join the creative fun.

I also teach how to see the light - which I discuss in several of my apps.

Explore the light,

I created these black and white images in Nik Silver Efex Pro - one of the creative plug-ins I use.

Terrific Black and White Effects from Topaz Labs

Cool news! Topaz labs just introduced B&W Effects - the latest addition to their family of creative plug-ins. I'm playing around with the new plug-in, and will be doing a free webinar on September 27th.

To sign up for the webinar click here.

For now, I just wanted to share the news - and a few images that I created with B&W Effects.

Quick Tips:
• Play with the pre-sets (on the left of the interface) and then create once-of-a-kind effects by adjusting the sliders (on the right of the interface).
• Fine-tune individual areas of your image with total brush control.

• The photograph often suggests the best effect. For example, if you want a rich, black sky, boost the Reds and Blacks.

To order Topaz B&W Effects, click here. Hey, save a bundle when you order a Topaz bundle. 

You may want to download the plug-ing before my webinar so you are familiar with the interface.

I hope you can make my free webinar on September 27th.

Explore the light,

Create Beautiful Black & White Images

While teaching my workshop here in South Beach, one of the students asked me about Nik Software's Color Efex Pro. Well, I was happy to demo!

The bottom image was created in Color Efex Pro using the Black and White effect. The key to creating this cool images was to set the filter color to yellow. Setting it to other colors produces a different effect - some good and some not so good.

When working with the Black and White filter (with Color Efex Pro and with Nik's Silver Efex pro, which is GREAT for black and white, too), play around with the color filter. You'll be quite surprised at the variations you'll get.

Explore the Light,

P.S. You can get a discount on all Nik products, as well as some other plug-ins, at the Plug-in Experience.